When Juan Mari told his mother he wanted to study catering and continue in the tradition of the family business, she tried to convince him to choose a career offering a better future. Sixty years later, the social prestige enjoyed by gastronomy is enormous, the change has been revolutionary and today many children encouraged by their parents dream of becoming great chefs. Juan Mari has lived this evolution in first person and has been a fundamental part of it. Arzak, the family eatery situated at the top of San Sebastian’s Alto de Miracruz, has become one of the world’s best restaurants. Today, the new generation has taken up the baton. Elena Arzak, Juan Mari’s daughter, now runs the restaurant and her father is gradually retiring. The time has come to look back, to take stock of a whole life; to analyse the transformation of traditional cuisine into the new cuisine d’auteur.
Camí Lliure (Free Way) is a film that goes deep into the mind, heart and creativity of chef Raül Balam. Achieving excellence in the competitive culinary world is a task that requires hard work, which is no problem for him, because that example has always been present in his mother, Carme Ruscalleda. For several years, Raül was immersed in the world of drug addiction, which meant he was unable to be a rational person who liked to enjoy life. It also prevented him from growing more professionally. Nevertheless, he finally succeeded in standing up and being the person that he is today, the real Raül. His family is a fundamental pillar and now he sets himself increasingly higher challenges in which he combines his passion for cooking with the extravagant daily activities he publishes on Instagram. This documentary shows part of his journey since the closure of Sant Pau, his mother's 3-star restaurant.
Ricard Camarena bases his cuisine on Valencia’s local vegetable production. His constant search for harmony between flavours has seduced the critics and crossed borders. Alongside Mari Carmen Bañuls, the brain behind the management of their restaurants, the two form an indissoluble team which have overcome great adversity to achieve success, vouched for by two Michelin stars and the recent National Gastronomy Prize. The couple are enjoying their most balanced moment. Balanced? The Covid-19 outbreak has thrown them up against a hitherto unheard-of challenge: to reopen their restaurants with the uncertainty of the “new normal”. Heedless of the pandemic, the vegetable garden continues its natural growth cycle and offers the chef a new horizon of flavours.
Deep in the forests of Northern Italy resides the prized white Alba truffle. Desired by the wealthiest patrons in the world, it remains a pungent but rarified mystery. It cannot be cultivated or found, even by the most resourceful of modern excavators. The only souls on Earth who know how to dig it up are a tiny circle of canines and their silver-haired human companions, Italian elders with walking sticks and devilish senses of humor who only scour for the truffle at night so as not to leave any clues for others. Still, this small enclave of hunters induces a feverish buying market that spans the globe.