Foodie Movie Review: Vegucated

Vegucated (2011) Poster

This week’s edition of Weekend Chef’s Foodie Movie Review is based on another Netflix find: Vegucated. This 2011 documentary was written by, directed by, and stars Marisa Miller Wolfson. She became a vegan when she moved to NY from the Midwest and she shares her reasons and philosophies as to why she became one of those “crazy people” herself. The film focuses on a challenge that she posted on Craigslist: to find 3 typical New Yorkers who could give up the Standard American Diet for 30 days and become vegans. She filmed the 3 participants before the challenge began. What would they miss most about giving up meat and cheese, etc? What did their starting health look like? What was their understanding of the food chain from beginning to end?

During the 30 days, Marisa and her test subjects not only committed to a new diet, but they also sought to be  educated about where food comes from. This really had us thinking about not only our personal health but the health of the planet and our kindness to other creatures that we all eat every day. There were plenty of moments that really woke us up to the state of the world around us. Since watching the film, we have really been conscious about reducing our meat intake and the sources of our food that we buy.

I won’t go into detail about the course of the film as I want all of you to go check it out and report back. Has anyone already seen Vegucated? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.


Foodie Movie Review: Chef


This week, we’ll be trying to add more regular reviews of food-related movies. The Weekend Chef is handling this review:

We are regular patrons of our local library for books, music, and movies. There is usually a great selection of recently released movies on DVD as long as you’re patient and wait your turn on the hold list. It can sometimes take a few months to receive a popular movie. We received Chef on DVD a few weeks ago and were excited to watch it. Wouldn’t you know, Netflix made it available the same weekend the DVD came in so we ended up watching it streamed anyway.

The first thing you notice about Chef is the all-star cast. Starring Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Jon Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, and Dustin Hoffman, among others, this is truly an ensemble cast where everyone gets to shine. In my opinion, though, the real star is the 10-year-old Emjay Anthony who plays Percy, the son of Jon Favreau’s chef Carl. Carl is a chef that, even though has a top job at a popular restaurant, has lost his way with his family and passion for cooking. Certain events cause Carl to leave the restaurant and travel across the country with his son and sous chef, cooking genuine food that he can feel good about making again.

The kitchen scenes seem very believable, looking behind the gloss and glamour of the dining room into the real lives of people who work in the food business. Jon Favreau must have done a lot of training to make the prep and cooking scenes look effortless as if he has been cooking in a restaurant himself for years.  Overall, the movie has a “feel-good” and “heart-warming” quality that will appeal to both genders. It’s a big-name film with a small-budget feel. Jon Favreau has been directing some recent mega films in the Iron Man series as well as “Cowboys and Aliens” but a lot of people (myself included) still associate him with the relatively small 1996 movie “Swingers”.  I feel “Chef” brings him back to basics himself and really presents some great and natural characters with heart and humor. Check it out while Netflix still has it. It’s a great food movie.


Ty The Pie Guy


There’s a new family cooking comedy show on youtube that you have to check out!  Ty The Pie Guy premiered January 14 on youtube.  I sat with the kids on one of their recent snow days and we checked out the videos.  Ty is a quirky, upbeat, and funny host.  My kids ages 6 and 8 were laughing aloud at Ty’s antics and kept wanting to see more.  We watched all the trailers, challenge, and episodes available.  In the first four and a half minute episode, seen pictured above, Sammy loves pizza, but his mom won’t let him eat it cold for breakfast.  So, he turns to Ty for help.  Ty comes up with a breakfast pizza.  When I think of breakfast pizza, I think of pizza dough with eggs, cheese and maybe some bacon or sausage.  Ty comes up with a pancake pizza with a raspberry topping.  Ty’s brainy little sister, Rose also adds some fun and interesting facts about the history of pizza.   The short episode is filled with humor and fun.  In another short video seen here, Ty’s sister Rose shows the viewer a magic tip for separating an egg.  Let’s just say even I was surprised, having never heard of separating an egg this way before.  And of course we will be trying this out the next time we have to separate an egg!

According to the Ty The Pie Guy website, the show’s goal is to inspire families to cook together, try new recipes and explore new cuisines while having fun in the kitchen.  This show supports all of the goals that we are trying to pursue with our own kids here at NY Foodie Family.

If you have young children who enjoy food and cooking, I highly recommend that you check out Ty The Pie Guy!  You can click here to go directly to the youtube channel.  New episodes air every Wednesday!