Where I Watched it: Hulu
English Audio Description Available?: No
The plot: Basically an overview of Chef Jose Andres and the work he does with his charity to feed people who are displaced and trying to survive after a major disaster.
What Works: I wanted to watch this, even though it had no audio description, because it was a topic I was interested in hearing a bit more about. In general, I got a solid documentary about a person trying to get food to people in need. It’s about Chef Andres and his personal life, talking to his family, and how he made this a huge priority for himself despite owning an being known for his own restaurants.
I did learn things. I learned that he works to try and make the food that fits the culture of where he is, which may not always be his style of cooking. I liked watching him learn how to cook Haitian food, for example. He also uses the money from his charity to buy food from people who could use the income, but perhaps had their local restaurant destroyed. Like, if you run a place and can make tamales, he’ll put in an order for 10,000 tamales. But, you also get the money, so it goes back into your economy, and hopefully helps you rebuild.
In many ways, this documentary is what I expected. ANd I appreciated that.
What Doesn’t Work: Unfortuantely, what hurts this documentary is simply that it features the participation of Andres, and therefore doesn’t feel like a 100% honest portrayal. It just feels like the safe version being presented of a famous individual who is still alive. That happens a lot with documentaries and biopics of still alive individuals. If you look at the ones made after someone has passed, usually that story is less afraid of “going there” if there was a side of someone that was less pleasant, but makes them more human.
Here, the worst we see from Andres is that he gets exhausted. But if recent adaptations of real stories like First Ladies and Gaslit have taught us anything, it’s that if you put a beat in between the moment and the movie, there’s usually a really interesting story to be told.
The Blind Perspective: No audio description, so you just have to listen. It was OK. Documentaries aren’t as bad, as they are pretty close to listening to the news, which is never audio described.
Final Thoughts: Not my favorite documentary, but I got what I thought I would get out of it.
Final Grade: B