DVD Review: Finding Gaston

GastonDVD1STUDIO: Film Movement | DIRECTOR: Patricia Perez
RELEASE DATE: 3/1/16 | PRICE: DVD $24.95
SPECS: NR | 75 min. | Documentary | 1.33:1 widescreen | stereo | Spanish with English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

“Our cuisine is perhaps our national emblem that fills us with pride, gives us hope, peace, security and the capacity for dreaming” announces acclaimed chef Gaston Acurio at the start of the documentary Finding Gaston.

The film follows the Peru-based Acurio, who is largely credited with creating and popularizing Peruvian cuisine, to find the stories, the inspirations and the dreams that has inspired him to take his cuisine outside the kitchen and make it part of a mission to change his country with his food.

FindingGaston1_opt(1)Finding Gaston offers a pleasant look at the life and motivation of Acurio, who shunned his father’s dream of becoming a politician to pick up a ladle instead.  From start to finish, the film heaps lavish praise on its subject and provides numerous shots of delicious-looking dishes that will get your mouth watering. Indeed, the film plays like an extended commercial, and Acurio certainly deserves admiration for being such a terrific brand ambassador for his country and its cuisine.  However, for a documentary which follows the rise of Peruvian cuisine, it doesn’t really get to the meat of the story. At the end of the 79 minute feature I was still left wondering, “Well, what exactly is Peruvian food and how did Gaston transform it into a worldwide phenomenon?”  Director Julia Patricia Perez has left out some crucial ingredients.

A darling of the festival circuit, Finding Gaston won a few accolades along the way including the San Sebastian Film Festival Culinary Cinema Award and Best Documentary at New York Food and Film Festival. So perhaps you need to be a certified foodie to fully understand how Acurio transformed Latin American cooking, but for ordinary folks viewing the film, they might leave the table a bit hungry for more.


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About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at DishDisc.com.