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Film Review: Chef Emerges in ‘Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent’

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CHICAGO – The culture of food has never been more pervasive, from entire broadcast channels devoted to it, to new trends in eating being invented seemingly every day. Where did it all start? The new film ‘Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent’ documents the chef that opened the door.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Produced by foodie guru Anthony Bourdain, the documentary explores this little-known chef – with the “last magnificent” title implying he may have been sprung from the gods – and exposes his journey through the use of re-creations of his childhood and career. The film has a dreamy quality to it, with flights of poetry also served up with the history of the elusive chef. Like the newspaper mogul in “Citizen Kane,” the documentary asks us to put the puzzle pieces of Tower’s life together, with no one piece being the key to his motivations. It comes down to “what becomes an unknown legend most?”

Jeremiah Tower starts his life as a lonely rich kid. His parents are indifferent to his odd and separated ways, and allows him to roam freely through his atmosphere of overseas travel, luxury hotels and cruise ships. This attachment to finery is the origin of his interest in food, as the kitchens of these various places always seem to be his destination.

He grows up aimlessly through the 1960s, always maintaining his interest in cooking, even as he matriculates through the war-protesting campus of Harvard University. Like many college graduates of the era, he ends up in California – specifically San Francisco – and begins his career as a chef and inventor of the “California Cuisine.”

“Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” continues its limited release in Chicago on April 28th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring interviews with Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Anthony Bourdain and Jeremiah Tower. Directed by Lydia Tenaglia. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent”

The Lion in Winter in ‘Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent’
Photo credit: The Orchard

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent”

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