A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
The Peruvian Experience
Australia will be introduced to Peruvian cuisine in a mouth-watering documentary entitled Finding Gaston. To be premiered at the Spanish Film Festival 2015. Gaston Acurio is a revered Peruvian restaurateur who pioneered Peruvian cuisine with his restaurant Astrid y Gaston. He has gone on in the past 20 years to promote sustainable produce and healthy food for all ages and incomes. The audience can see Gaston Acurio's infectious passion for using local produce, supporting indigenous farmers and sourcing seafood from sustainable fishermen. It seems there are many parallels with that other well-known chef, Jamie Oliver.
Through delicious close up cinematography, this documentary creates wonderfully edible scenes. It is wise not to attend the film on an empty stomach! The film tracks the life and times of Gaston. His privileged upbringing and career choices. His world trail blazing on Peruvian food and sustainable use of foods.
The overwhelming sense of this film is beautiful food and the warm and engaging man himself. Gaston is seen as a hero figure in Peru. It seems Peruvians are similar to the French in their love of cooking, good food and the people who make it.
Gaston is seen in extreme close up speaking about his philosophy on life, food and people. There is a conspicuous absence of any other scenes of the personal life of Gaston. The viewer does not see his partner in the restaurant, his wife Astrid at all. Perhaps his celebrity status draws the line here.
The film is a documentary not only of fine food, but a plea for local food by local producers. The artisan fishermen, the quinoa harvesters and other producers. The audience will hear of the stories, inspirations and dreams of Gaston. It seems his outlook is far bigger than creating beautiful food for beautiful people. The social justice he speaks of is a vein that could have been expanded on.
Finding Gaston is lusciously presented, with the best large font subtitles I have come across. This was my pick of the program for the Spanish Film Festival in a very strong field. Any foodie will love this film, but a wider cross section will adore the locations, people and ethos that is Gaston. As a viewer I was left craving Peruvian food! It seems a pity there are few exponents on our shores.