Dining with Films and Michelin Stars

Berlin film

Lovers of food and film might want to mark their calendars for next February 5–15, when for the third year in a row, the Berlin Film Festival will offer Culinary Cinema, a series of screenings paired with dinners inspired by the films and prepared by hotshot chefs. This year, after reliving the thwarted dinner party of Luis Buñuel’s 1972 classic The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, audience members were ushered through a labyrinthine system of underground tunnels until they reached the Gropius Mirror Restaurant—a heated, tent-like structure erected especially for the occasion, where an international crowd (sporting everything from gowns and heels to jeans and T-shirts) mingled over cocktails and nibbles of octopus, foie gras, and calves’ kidneys. The highlight of the sit-down dinner, prepared by “Berliner Meisterkoch” Bobby Bräuer, the man behind the city’s Restaurant Quadriga, was a flaky monkfish napped with a rich “martini sauce,” in honor of Buñuel’s favorite quaff.

Save for the hearty bread and the 2006 Grauer Burgunder Trocken, a pleasant, fruity white from Rheinhessen, little about the meal spoke of its Berlin setting, but by the time the festivities ended (the evening also included a panel on “The Future of Food,” with Spain’s Ferran Adrià and Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini ), well past midnight, nobody much cared about that or anything else. At 50 euros (about $70), including wine, this one surely ranked among the best parties in town.

Subsequent evenings featured screenings of Andrew Rossi’s A Table in Heaven, about the reopening of New York City’s Le Cirque, followed by a Livornese fish stew from Cornelia Poletto; the premiere of A Day in Eataly, by several students from Petrini’s University of Gastronomic Sciences; a viewing of The Chicken, the Fish and the King Crab, a “gastronomic thriller” starring Jesús Almagro (voted Spain’s best chef in 2006), followed by a traditional paella dinner overseen by Almagro himself; and a special family screening of Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille, the kickoff for an eggplant-centric cooking project for children from a local youth project.

Subscribe to Gourmet