Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros

Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros ★★★★½

I want that cheese plate.

...a few more thoughts maybe... Interesting how the focus is no longer on the institution here (tellingly, the history of the family business only is being narrated in the very last scene), but rather on process and product. Almost no debates on budget, labor etc, the guests, too, are mostly passive recipients (only a group of Americans sticks out like a sore thumb because the social norms of places like this are not second nature to them, as they seem to be to most of the French patrons) but meticulous discussions on how to harvest the best crop of grapes, about temperature control during cheese-making and so forth. In fact, what drives the film is the most elusive of entities: taste in food, meaning a combination of biochemical mechanisms, cultural imprinting and biographical contingency no one will ever be able to disentangle. From this mysterious place, everything else unfolds, the unsolvable mystery that is taste being translated into the mystifications of high-end agriculture and Michelin star level cuisine.

The strangest thing about this might be how upbeat and optimistic it is. Not only is the restaurant itself a success story, for a few hours Wiseman almost manages to convince us that the planet itself might actually be healing... if only everyone could afford a few 100 dollars worth of cheese each night made from the milk of contented French cows.

Block or Report