25 February 2023

A Tale of Two Kitchens (Documentary; Weekend Cooking)

Movie cover showing people seated at a restaurantI'm not quite sure how I missed this gem of a documentary, which--according to IMDb--came out in 2019.

A Tale of Two Kitchens, directed by Trisha Ziff, looks at two sister restaurants: Contramar in Mexico City and Cala in San Fransico. Chef-owner Gabriela Cámara's restaurants may share fundamentals, but those concepts are manifested in slightly different ways in Mexico and the US. Cámara's menus feature fresh seafood with the idea of transporting diners to the beach through their meals. The dishes feature fresh ingredients and Mexican flavors and are presented beautifully.

Though the restaurants and the food are important elements of the documentary, A Tale of Two Kitchens is really about the staff and a work culture of found family. In Contramar (Mexico City), the staff puts mutual help and support, both on and off the job, at the center. Workers are looking for a better life and a way to give that better life to their children.

Still photo showing a woman cooking seafoodIn Cala (San Francisco), there is very much a sense of second chances. Everyone is given the opportunity to make a fresh start, and the staff includes ex-convicts, immigrants, and recovering addicts. People are hired on their own merits, not on what they did in the past. In both restaurants, workers are given respect, friendship, and the possibility of a bright future.

In just 29 minutes, A Tale of Two Kitchens gives a unique perspective on how restaurants--and any business for that matter--can be run. Everyone deserves dignity and respect in the workplace. Chef Gabriela Cámara proves it can be done.

If you take a look at the trailer (below), you'll learn one of the sad truths of how many (most?) Americans think of their brethren south of the border. A Tale of Two Kitchens can be streamed on Netflix

Note: photo from Nextflix.

Shared with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker)


Tina 2/25/23, 10:14 AM  

Well that looks cool, I hadn't heard of this one but will look.

gluten Free A_Z Blog 2/25/23, 10:49 AM  

Love the title and sounds quite interesting. Thanks for sharing the review.

Jackie McGuinness 2/25/23, 1:27 PM  

Oh I will look for this, sounds good.

Jackie McGuinness 2/25/23, 1:29 PM  

Coffee table is from Amazon!!!!!

Vicki 2/25/23, 1:53 PM  

I'll look for it. It reminds me of Old Skool Cafe, a cafe run entirely by at-risk youth.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 2/26/23, 9:45 AM  

I can't wait to watch this! I have watched a number of films on the food culture of Mexico, it is always inspiring to say the least. Thank you for this post, I hope more take a look at the film.

Marg 3/1/23, 3:36 AM  

I am watching this now - perfect Wednesday night viewing - after having had a Mexican inspired dinner! The dinner part was a complete coincidence!

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