THE AUTOMAT–Recipes, In The Movies & More

Assembled by Gary Meyer

April 4, 2022

The theatrical release of a new documentary by Lisa Hurwitz, The Automat, has taken me back in time with its wonderful clips from classic movies and discussions of food favorites of our youth from Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie to Custard Cups and Pumpkin Pie. It is essential viewing for those interested in the history of restaurants in the 20th Century, the combining of technology and home-cooked meals and a trip down memory lane even if you were born too late to actually visit one. But we also cover contemporary attempts at automated food. We have included many photos, film clips, recipes, music, and related links to supplement your enjoyment of The Automat now playing in theaters and at film festivals—only on the big screen. 

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Deep Fried with Holes in the Middle

By Risa Nye

It’s hard not to give in to the urge to use the onion as a metaphor when writing a story that centers on onion rings. But the truth is, The Ringmaster tells a many-layered story that resembles nothing so much as an onion in that it begins by telling one story which gradually peels away to reveal another, closer to the central core of the filmmaker and the main subject of this documentary.

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My Voyage with Chefs: A Reflection

By Cari Borja

“tell me and i forget, teach me and i may remember,

involve me and i learn.

~ xun kuang

from salon #58 in Berkeley, CA studio, from SF Chronicle article

Ahh, the idea of being in a kitchen again ~ not mine, but someone else’s with others, (or even the kitchen I once had in my design studio in Berkeley, above) ~ apprenticing, learning, collaborating in the same tactile real space as other human beings (that I’m not related to)… making things and tasting things and giving others something they never knew they even wanted? I didn’t think I would actually have to imagine this, crave this even, as much as I do right now.

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