Two Cities, Two Joined Beliefs
Split between two sister restaurants, A Tale of Two Kitchens is a 30 minute cooking documentary about two kitchens and their similarities and differences. Featuring the usual stylistic ticks you’d expect from this sort of documentary, Two Kitchen is an interesting and insightful film, even if it fails to really dive deep into the origins of the restaurants themselves.
We begin with a brief introduction to Contramar, the original Mexican restaurant which opened back in August 1998. Determined to bring a slice of the ocean to the bustling urban life, the owners set to work in creating a unique and authentic menu. With a kitchen made up of different languages and dialects, this eclectic restaurant eventually gave inspiration to Gabriela Cámara to open a sister restaurant in San Francisco called Cala. Sticking to the same principles of Contramar, the rest of the documentary goes on to depict the similarities and differences these two have..
Trying to find work with a criminal record is tough and given the competitiveness of the job market right now, that can only lead to more rejection straight out the gate. Thankfully, both restaurants have a unique outlook on life, with a philosophy borne around the idea of giving people a second chance. With many of the workers holding past felonies, the restaurants boast a unique method of hiring and given the familial warmth both restaurants manage to achieve, this idea is certainly paying off.
With numerous interviews in front of white screens and the usual array of close-up food shots and slow-mo cooking techniques, A Tale Of Two Kitchens is pretty rigid in the way it presents its material. Much like other Netflix cooking shows, there’s not a lot here to help it stand out next to the smattering of others in this genre. Told almost entirely in Mexican, it’s worth watching this one in its native tongue too as, once again, the dubbing is really not good here and certainly distracts from what’s otherwise a pretty interesting documentary.
If you’re in the mood for a pleasant cooking documentary that has some feel-good vibes to it, you can’t really go wrong with A Tale Of Two Kitchens. Clocking it at 30 minutes, Two Kitchens never outstays its welcome, even if the face to face interviews lack as much substance as they could have had. This educational and interesting take on two very similar but very different restaurants is certainly worth checking out though and there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch, even if it fails to really add enough flavour to its unique recipe.