Documentary: Three Stars

Sergio Herman in Three Stars

Three Stars, a documentary by the German filmmaker Lutz Hachmeister, profiles 10 chefs around the globe who have earned three stars, one of whom no longer has them. Super Chef encourages readers to look out for the film at festivals and movie theaters. The interviews of the chefs are frank and insightful – and the glimpses of their lives and their restaurants are just what young culinary students need to see. The film brings out the similarities among the ten chefs that make them worthy of three Michelin stars, even if the system that awards them is mysterious and vague.

Noma‘s Rene Redzepi arrives on a bicycle to his restaurant.

Michelin Guide stars fill up your restaurant and make people go there. Full stop. People believe in the guide. Full stop.

But the documentary questions how the chefs themselves view the stars. Each is shown appreciating local produce and investing time in getting to know farmers, purveyors, and growers.Juan Maria Arzak and his daughter Elena shows off his Idea Bank filled with 1,500 ingredients on shelves. Redzepi shows off his house boat where he runs a non profit building up a knowledge bank and researches food.

Michelin’s director Jean-Luc Naret smiles into the camera and reels off statistics on the sales of Michelin’s Tokyo guide. In Tokyo, the film follows Hideki Ishikawa, a young three-starred chef who runs a unfancy restaurant.

It’s not so important to us if someone gives us good reviews. It doesn’t depend on books, it depends on whether guests come back. Without stars, we would work the same way and not loose our pride and continue working hard.

It’s the same attitude many of the chefs take – work hard because you have a dream, not just to earn stars.

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