Rémi's first film, A Chef's Voyage, is a fascinating look behind the scenes of the inner workings of one of the top restaurants in America, and a visit to the heart of bucolic Provence, the animation of Paris and the magnificent coast of Marseille. The film is getting an international theatrical release in 2020.

Read what critics have to say about it:

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A Delicious Espace to France

September 14, 2020

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"A new film looks at a working holiday in France taken by the chef David Kinch and his Manresa kitchen team.

 

For the 15th anniversary of Manresa, his restaurant in Los Gatos, Calif., David Kinch took his entire kitchen team to France, where they shared the cooking, including their own California style, in three notable kitchens alongside the French masters: Alain Solivérès at Le Taillevent in Paris, Gérald Passedat at Le Petit Nice in Marseille, and Glenn Viel and Jean-André Charial at L’Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux-de-Provence. A 90-minute film, “A Chef’s Voyage,” recorded it all. It’s a feast, not just for the food shown in exquisite detail, but for the images of the countryside, the shore, and the streets and markets."

Florence Fabricant

"One of the first things we see on screen is a stack of Michelin-guides, while food critic and author, Christine Muhlke explains to us what Michelin-stars really are. They’re basically the culinary Olympic medals and very hard to obtain. Once you get a star, you strive for another and try to keep the one you already have. “It’s hard to make it look so easy“, says Emmy Award winning chef, David Kinch, from the comfort of his own kitchen in Santa Cruz, where he’s figuring out what to make for breakfast. 

A Chef’s Voyage begins a year after the residency that took Kinch and his team across France, where we go back and forth in time while interviewing sous-chefs, pastry chefs and sommeliers on their experiences with Kinch, and follow them on their foreign adventure. For many of the kitchen members, this is their first time abroad. While Christine Muhlke adds, “Being on your feet in a kitchen takes a physical toll. It’s not just about the food or how it gets made. It’s about the whole dining-experience.“, the camera flies over Los Gatos, California, into the in blue-tile covered kitchen of Manresa.

The cinematography is breathtaking, benefiting from the vibrant colours of each dish that gets prepared, while quotes such as GQ’s “Touring chefs are becoming the new touring bands” fill the screen over the upbeat tunes of Plastic Bertrand’s “Ça Plane Pour Moi”. Soon we learn more about this “four hands dinner” that’s being planned. A collaboration between two chefs but above all, between their teams. After fifteen years, Kinch is closing his parking lot based, 3-star restaurant for a month. One mistake on this trip could mean living hell for him and his team. But it’s when sous-chef de cuisine, Koji Yokoyama, gets interviewed, while Kyle Newmaster‘s ominous score contributes to the atmosphere, it suddenly seems like something did go wrong along the way, but keeps you guessing until the final minutes of the film.

 

Rémi Anfosso and Jason Matzner‘s culinary voyage is meticulously made, focusing not only on the chefs but on the locations they’re at and how all these strong personalities work so well together. Steven Holleran has a great eye for detail and using different cameras and very specific techniques to make everything pop and look interesting from start to finish. The Provence has never looked better. A Chef’s Voyage goes deeper than you think, pulling heart strings and uncovering what makes each chef stand out in his own unique style.

An honest documentary made for foodies and those who respect culinary insights, that not only crosses borders, but pushes for new experiences."

TheFlemingSeth

"When dining at one of fourteen restaurants in all of the United States that can boast a three-star rating from the Michelin guide, the entire experience should appear almost effortless. The food must be exquisite and artfully composed on the plate, the service impeccable, pacing perfect, and the atmosphere relaxed and inviting. Every single detail from start to finish should make the meal feel like a perfectly orchestrated symphony. But achieving the superior level of cuisine and service required to earn Michelin’s highest rating can only be achieved from an incredible amount of unseen work and dedication behind the scenes. And that’s precisely the rarely-seen world viewers get to enter in A Chef’s Voyage, a documentary that follows Chef David Kinch and his team at the three-Michelin-starred Manresa as they travel from California to France to cook collaborative dinners with chefs from three of the country’s most legendary restaurants.

 

The film opens in Los Gatos, California as Kinch and the Manresa crew close down the famed restaurant for a month so they can travel to France in celebration of their fifteenth anniversary. Planning for the trip has been going on for months. In order to represent Kinch’s refined California cuisine in France, the team must bring some of Manresa’s hallmark ingredients like seasonings, sauces that take days to make, and Pacific seafood like dried abalone. But the logistics are tricky, and they worry if they’ll be able to get all the foods through airport security and customs. Every member of the kitchen staff is tasked with packing some items like in their suitcases, so Kinch tells them to pack light on personal items so they have extra room. Pack “underwear and abalone,” he quips. The stakes are high, and — as Kinch says — “everything could go wrong.”

 

The crew hits the ground running from the moment they touch down in France to cook alongside the chefs and crews at three of the country’s best Michelin-starred restaurants: Le Taillevent, L’Oustau de Baumanière, and Le Petit Nice. Even for Kinch’s well-honed team, it’s tricky to navigate their host kitchens and represent California fine dining cuisine on Michelin’s “home turf” while jetlagged, on an aggressive schedule, and with a language barrier to boot (most of the crew doesn’t speak French). But for the viewer, it’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of America’s upper-echelon restaurants — and, it’s a tour through the heart of bucolic Provence, bustling Paris, and the gorgeous coastline of Marseille. We’re along for the ride as the team navigates unfamiliar kitchens, jokes with their toque-wearing French counterparts, consult Yelp to find out what restaurants in Paris are open until 4AM for way-after-midnight snacks, and celebrate fifteen years of Manresa excellence by doing what Chef Kinch and his team do best: create meals and experiences that are worthy of those three stars. 

 

The feature-length documentary was originally slated for traditional film distribution. But when the coronavirus pandemic shuttered restaurants and left millions of restaurant employees without work, Kinch pivoted. To support the LEE Initiative’s Restaurant Workers Relief Program — which is supplying laid-off restaurant workers with meals, provisions, and support during the COVID-19 pandemic — Kinch released the film on SOMM TV video on-demand, with 100% of the $4.99 rental fee going to the organization. The LEE Initiative was co-founded by James Beard award-winning Chef Edward Lee and aids members of the restaurant community in 14 cities across the country, from Seattle to New Orleans, Boston to Manresa’s own Bay Area."

Elizabeth Brownfield

Three Star Voyeurism

April 21, 2020

"Running out of movies and videos to binge watch? Here’s a tip: Watch A Chef’s Voyage, a documentary that follows Manresa and Mentone chef David Kinch and his three star Michelin culinary team on a 10-day pop-up cooking tour in three top French restaurants. Viewers can purchase the rental for $4.99 on Somm TV until midnight on May 3 and have 72 hours following the rental to watch it. The 30-day online release will donate 100% of the rental donations to laid-off restaurant workers around the country. Made three years ago on Manresa’s 15th anniversary, A Chef’s Voyage is a mesmerizing documentary about Kinch’s style, his work ethic, and the backstory of achieving those Michelin stars.

High quality, enjoyable, with beautiful production values—complete with subtitles when needed and a hot soundtrack—the film offers an intense view of Kinch taking his entire culinary team to France. Partnering with his host chefs, Kinch cooks his way through the kitchen of le Taillevent in Paris, then the fabled l’Oustau de Baumaniere in Provence (both of which I’ve sampled), and finally to le Petit Nice on the Mediterranean. 

“Cooking’s easy; leadership’s more difficult,” Kinch confesses as the film shows him managing the intricate dance of turning custom-designed ingredients into visual artworks. It is performance art, inside the kitchen and out, in staggeringly tasteful dining rooms. It offers fascinating evidence that the top chefs are driven, fanatical artists. The food’s so beautiful you will salivate. View the trailer at instagram.com/p/B-floZ7HW21."

Christina Waters

©2020 by Rémi Anfosso.