15 December 2018

Weekend Cooking: Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent (Film)

review of Jeremiah Tower: The Last MagnificentDo you know who Jeremiah Tower is? I hope you do. But regardless of whether your answer to that question is yes or no, you should take some time to see the 2016 documentary Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, directed by Lydia Tenaglia and Morgan Fallon. Anthony Bourdain both appears in the film and is one of the producers.

I know Chef Tower first from his association with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse and later from his San Fransisco restaurant Stars. He also had a brief tenure at Tavern on the Green. He is most known for transforming the American food and restaurant scene and for being one of the first to promote the idea of eating local foods.

Beyond his resume, however, I didn't know much about who Tower was as a person. The movie is primarily documentary, mixing vintage footage and family photographs with more recently shot scenes. The film also uses some reenactments when Tower tells us stories about his privileged and eccentric but less-than-ideal childhood.

After watching Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, I have a different view of the chef as a man: I admire how he rose above a difficult youth and his vision for how best to pursue one's passions, yet I wonder how much of his aloneness is his own fault or perhaps manufactured to create a kind of mystique.

Review of Jeremiah Tower: The Last MagnificentI loved hearing from the range of food elites who appear in the documentary, such as Martha Stewart, Ruth Reichl, Stephen Torres, Wolfgang Puck, and Anthony Bourdain. We also meet other people who knew the chef well, such as friends and people who worked with him.

If you're interested in the rise of the American food scene and the local food movement, then you should get to know Tower, one of the very first celebrity chefs. Although food and cooking are strong threads in Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, the focus is much more on the chef than on showing beauty scenes of the food he cooked and served at his restaurants.

The documentary is currently streaming on Netflix and is well worth your time. Here's the trailer.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 12/15/18, 6:29 AM  

Well I didn't know who he was! Thanks for the info - sounds like an interesting movie!

Mae Travels 12/15/18, 7:18 AM  

Interesting review -- I heard about this film and about Tower from a friend who worked with him on historic recreations of recipes for one of his restaurants. Also, he donated a lot of archival material to the library at the University of Michigan, for the culinary collections here.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

bermudaonion 12/15/18, 7:42 AM  

Vance is a foodie who's into farm to table so I'll recommend this film to him.

Karen 12/15/18, 8:13 AM  

I've added it to the (never-ending) list, thanks!

Tina 12/15/18, 8:30 AM  

That sounds like a great documentary, I’m very interested.

jama 12/15/18, 8:52 AM  

Thanks for the heads up! Will add this to my Netflix queue :).

Claudia 12/15/18, 9:39 AM  

Interesting. I'd never heard of him either, but would like to see this film, especially with all the famous foodie extras!

Jackie McGuinness 12/15/18, 10:32 AM  

I didn't know who he was either!

Not much happening here, both still getting over these colds! Things will start picking up though.

Deb in Hawaii 12/15/18, 10:58 AM  

I have this one sitting in my Netflix 'to-watch' queue based on an article I read about it and your post makes me want to see it even more. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

Unknown 12/15/18, 11:39 AM  

That sounds like a documentary that I'd enjoy!

Nan 12/15/18, 5:11 PM  

I'll add it to my queue. I haven't heard of him, and I barely know Bourdain except for his name. But I am very interested in using local food. Thanks so much.

Abigail Pearson 12/16/18, 4:13 PM  

This sounds cool! I love watching movies and tv shows about chefs. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this one.

Aj @ Read All The Things! 12/16/18, 10:07 PM  

That sounds like an interesting documentary. I used to watch a lot of documentaries, but I gave up most TV so I could read more. Have a great week!

Aj @ Read All The Things!

sherry fundin 12/17/18, 1:59 PM  

I didn't know him, but thanks for introducing me.
sherry @ fundinmental

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