Opening on the painstakingly complex creation of one of the many edible works of art produced at the three times Michelin-starred Restaurant Bras, Step Up to the Plate sadly doesn’t emulate this careful process, blending a number of various ingredients into documentary form that don’t combine together entirely satisfactorily. While it is lovingly attentive to the culinary creative process, seen at times in fascinating detail in both concept and execution, the film’s primary aim is to document the relationship between Michel Bras and his son Sebastien. More
The elder Bras is preparing to let his son take over the restaurant, and as you’d expect from a globally-lauded top chef there’s a fire in his belly that doesn’t let this come easily. Nor does Michel offer the most constructive criticism of Sebastien’s works in progress, sentences starting with “I would have…” or “Didn’t you think of…” seeming to roll off the tongue all too easily.
If this all sounds fascinating, it is. But other scenes that should provide useful familial or cultural context to both Bras mostly serve to distract from the film’s interesting elements. And while there’s also merit in capturing each man in moments of reflection, these scenes, too, take us away from its best properties.
Also affected by pacing problems, Step Up to the Plate doesn’t offer enough pure kitchen action to completely satiate foodies, nor a detailed enough portrayal of father and son to captivate others, but instead proves somewhat more slow-moving and unengaging than its subject deserves. Hide