For generations, there have been chefs with the surname Troisgros working in the same region of central France. Michel Troisgros (1958) recently passed the 93-year-old, three-Michelin-starred restaurant La Maison Troisgros on to his son César (1986), fourth-generation chef. Using his well-known direct cinema method, director Frederick Wiseman settles in the heart of the restaurant to observe, without interviews, commentary or background music.
Wiseman films the carefully considered menu selection and the tight, concentrated choreography of the kitchen brigade. These scenes are intercut with shots from the 'front,' where guests enjoy the ultimate dining experience. In the wake of his protagonists, the director also visits livestock farmers, horticulturalists, cheese makers and winegrowers and makes trips to the two other family businesses, Le Central and La Colline du Colombier–at the latter, Michel’s other son Léo (1993) is the chef.
Lasting nearly four hours, this slow-cinema experience focuses on one family in particular, but at the same time explores universal themes such as the master-apprentice relationship, sustainability and craftsmanship.