Assembled by Gary Meyer
(Updated November 21, 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.
Curated and adapted by Gary Meyer
Spices from the Oaktown Spice Shop can take a very good dish to new levels.
C.J. Hirschfield wrote about Oaktown as they have adapted during the pandemic to provide their goods to home chefs around the world. EatDrinkFilms has chosen some recipes and comments from their website (plus one of our own) to get you started.
There is a full meal starting with Bloody Mary cocktails, a zucchini salad, strawberry spaghetti, and chewy molasses cookies for dessert; plus great popcorn idea to eat while watching an after-dinner movie.
By Risa Nye
July 15, 2022
The first thing to know about Living Wine is that it was filmed in 2020. The reason the year is worth noting—as one would note a particular vintage on a wine label— is that this was the year of the Lightning Complex fires: one of the costliest disasters of the year, and the sixth most destructive wildfire in California’s history.
Before viewers know this, however, producer and director of this documentary, Lori Miller, introduces us to a number of nontraditional winemakers who produce natural wines in Northern California. We accompany these winemakers through their beautifully tended vineyards: Gideon Beinstock and Saron Rice (Clos Saron), Darek Trowbridge (Old World Winery), Megan Bell (Margins Wine), James Jelks (Florèz Wines), and Dani Rozman (La Onda). Continue reading
By Fred Swan
July 15, 2022
Many wines are simple. The world of wine is not. A seemingly endless list of factors creates the individual character of any wine. From microbes to mesoclimate, from variety to vintage.
If you scratch the surface of most any wine topic, you’ll find greater depth, and more connections with other topics, than you’d imagine. Living Wine, a new film being released Friday, July 15, does more than just scratch the surface of “natural wine.” Nearly every one of its 85 minutes raises an idea or question that would be fascinating to explore in depth.
Two fascinating video sessions occurred in November, 2021. We have obtained these recording for your viewing pleasure.
Gregory Bezat, San Francisco producer/director of a film in production, M.F.K. Fisher:The Art of Eating, was on a terrific panel on Food Luminary Documentaries such as Julia Child and James Beard.
Allen Michaan told tales of saving and operating the Grand Lake Theatre movie palace in Oakland in a wide-ranging conversation about the joys of saving a place that has meant so much for nearly a of century of moviegoers..
Both can be watched below.
by Peter L. Stein
For many years I saved a phone message from Julia Child on my answering machine. Back then, in the early 1990s, I was a television producer at KQED, San Francisco’s public television station. Despite my frequent encounters with talented artists through my work, as well as a growing friendship with chef Jacques Pépin, with whom I had been producing several seasons of PBS cooking programs, I can still remember the shiver of excitement when I retrieved a message on my office voicemail which began, in that unmistakable forceful warble, “Hello Peter, it’s Julia Child!”