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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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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IRMI—An Interesting Life, Indeed

By C.J. Hirschfield

When the feature documentary Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives was released in 1977, it rocked my world. I already loved documentaries, but this one–widely considered to be the first feature film about lesbian and gay identity–by gay people, quickly became a symbol of the emerging gay rights movement. I was living in glorious San Francisco at the time, where the film premiered at the Castro Theater. Directed by six people collectively known as the Mariposa Group, it took five years, and over two hundred interviews with gays, to complete the historic project.

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