The Culinary Cinema programme draws attention to the fact that taste is not only a culinary but also a cultural value about which one can have splendid arguments, even though the proverb says that there is no accounting for taste. For some of the events, top chefs create a menu inspired by the evening’s film which is then served to the cinema audience in the Gropius Mirror pop-up restaurant following the screening.
Food and film are both means of communication which speak primarily to the emotions. The combination of the two is widespread. In cinemas there are snack menus; at home, the TV dinner. In the Culinary Cinema however, films and food are separated by space and time. This gives each element its due attention and, in the course of the evening, they merge into food for thought.
In this programme, the Culinary Cinema reflects its respect for filmmakers who use their craft to pay tribute to the individual work of farmers, fishers and chefs. It scrutinises the power of the industry and fights against the increasing trivialisation, both in filmmaking and food, brought about by a lack of attention. At the end of the evening, the protagonists again get to have their say on the stage of the Gropius Mirror pop-up restaurant: journalists discuss the topics of the film with the filmmakers and experts like Ferran Adrià, Carlo Petrini, Vandana Shiva and Alice Waters, and the evening’s chefs.
Films about the dark sides of the food world, such as hunger and poor nutrition, monocultures, factory farming and the climate change it brings about, are also an important part of the programme because they raise awareness about the consequences of our eating habits. Following films on these topics – which usually screen in the late-night programme – no food is served, allowing a more ample space for discussion.