THE AUTOMAT–Recipes, In The Movies & More

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. 

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Bernstein’s Wall: An Extraordinary Extrovert’s Life

By C.J. Hirschfield

July 19, 2022

In the upcoming (2023) Netflix biographical film Maestro, based on the life of renowned conductor/composer/pianist Leonard Bernstein, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper with Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg producing, there is a scene already circulating on social media of Bernstein passionately kissing his male lover.You will not find this sort of scene depicted in the new documentary film Bernstein’s Wall, which has its San Francisco premiere at the 42nd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 21-August 7. What you will see, however, is a richly textured biography of a man whose remarkable story includes a deep commitment to his Jewish heritage, to political activism, to his art, to teaching, and to his family. His bisexuality, not so much. Continue reading

BREAKING BREAD ACROSS BORDERS + Recipes

By Joyce Goldstein

A-Sham celebrates the food of the Levant (Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) in a three-day event where Arab and Jewish chefs cook their traditional foods together, sharing family recipes and culture.

 

BREAKING BREAD, a new documentary by Beth Elise Hawk focuses on the annual A- Sham Arabic Food Festival in Haifa, a city with a healthy cultural life enjoyed by both Arabs and Jews.

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Cooking Middle Eastern With Joyce

Joyce Goldstein has written 28 cookbooks, been a chef at Chez Panisse and her own Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Currently she is a consultant to restaurants and for product/recipe development. Her recipes present the foods of Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

She has selected some recipes for our readers from two of her books, The New Mediterranean Jewish Table and Saffron Shores.

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Lessons Learned

By C.J. Hirschfield

This meme regarding the controversial teaching of critical race theory in schools showed up in my Facebook feed this week: “If black and brown children are old enough to experience racism, white children are old enough to learn about it.”

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