A four-hour documentary film, mostly in French, is one of the most-anticipated TV documentary premieres this year. Yes, Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros is TV you won’t want to miss—and thankfully, you can watch free when it’s released next month.
That’s because it combines food, family, travel, creativity, and other themes into a gorgeously shot, brilliantly edited film that’s directed by a legendary, Emmy-winning documentarian, Frederick Wiseman. Wiseman, 94, has now directed 44 feature documentaries since the late 1960s, including City Hall and Boxing Gym.
Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros is definitely nothing like food documentary series we’re used to, even artful shows such as Chef’s Table, and it’s as far away from food competitions as possible. That’s part of the delight. Just watch this captivating trailer:
Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros follows a family who run three restaurants, including Troisgros, a 93-year-old restaurant that has been a three Michelin star restaurant for 55 years.
The Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang called it a “graceful and captivating movie,” and notes that Wiseman “avoids the visual tropes of so much televised gastro-porn; there are no digitally shellacked entrée closeups or Top Chef ingredient chyrons here.”
Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros, according to press materials,
explores the day-to-day operations of this restaurant, from purchasing fresh vegetables at the market, visits to a cheese processing plant, a vineyard, a cattle ranch working on best farming practices, and an organic farmer whose farm, along with the garden of the restaurant, provides organic produce for the restaurants.
The film shows the great artistry ingenuity, imagination, and hard work of the restaurant staff in creating, preparing, and presenting meals of the highest quality. Characterized by his signature long-form style, Wiseman juxtaposes the choreographed chaos of the kitchen with pastoral shots of the French countryside, resulting in a comprehensive portrait of the Troisgros dynasty.
When and where to watch Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros
The film will be available to watch and stream, free, in the U.S. in just a few weeks, thanks to PBS and GBH, Boston’s public media.
You can watch Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros for free in two ways:
- On TV: Friday, March 22, at 9 p.m. ET, on PBS (check your local listings!)
- Streaming: March 1 to April 20, on the PBS app and pbs.org