CULTURE

Young filmmaker in a search for the perfect movie recipe

The piquant title of the film «Like Chef, Like God,» which opens at mainstream theaters tonight, is indicative of what you can expect. Newcomer director Stergios Niziris expresses his spiritual angst through his boisterous hero who quite unexpectedly discovers that he has a talent for cooking. Starting at the bottom, he works as a dishwasher in a fancy Athenian restaurant, but quickly makes his way up the ladder, from assistant chef to grand chef. The hero does not settle for preparing decent dishes; he is on a quest for «the perfect dish» with a dash of romance – women are a necessary ingredient in his day-to-day life – mixing and mashing his culinary philosophy with theories on mathematics and physics. He discusses the intricate relationship of ingredients, focuses on the creation of a unique omelette and ponders the essence of taste. He also converses with the divine, visiting a church dedicated to Aghios Fanourios, the saint responsible for finding things that have been lost. «Religions fall, but cuisine remains,» he says, throwing himself with zeal into the art of cooking. His love for the kitchen begins to evolve into an obsession, trapping him in his own world and making him unable to come to terms with the relativity of things. The young director, aged 37, shows skill in evading the usual traps that can trip up a young artist in such an endeavor. He is well versed in the lingo of gastronomy and deals with his subject with humor, though there is a tendency for some scenes to appear a bit too fussy.