Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
The film explores the remarkable life of Jeremiah Tower, one of the most controversial and influential figures in the history of American gastronomy.
Tower began his career at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1972, becoming a pioneering figure in the emerging California cuisine movement.
After leaving Chez Panisse, due in part to a famously contentious relationship with founder Alice Waters, Tower went on to launch his own legendary Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. Stars was an overnight sensation and soon became one of America’s top-grossing U.S. restaurants.
After several years, Tower mysteriously walked away from Stars and then disappeared from the scene for nearly two decades, only to resurface in the most unlikely of places: New York City’s fabled but troubled Tavern on the Green. There, he launched a journey of self-discovery familiar to anyone who has ever imagined themselves to be an artist.
Featuring interviews by Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl and Martha Stewart, this delicious documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of America’s first celebrity chef, whose brash personality and culinary genius has made him a living legend.
Post-Film Panel Discussion
Tuesday, May 23 | Following the 7:00 PM Screening
The panel of chefs and food writers will discuss the development of the American restaurant and cuisine and the status of Jeremiah Tower as a pioneer of the culinary style of Californian cuisine.
Rand Richards Cooper is a longtime food writer for Bon Appétit and restaurant reviewer for The New York Times.
Stephanie Lyness is a writer, cooking teacher, recipe developer and tester, author of a number of cookbooks and a former chef. She works as a regional restaurant critic for The New York Times, covering the food scene in Connecticut and nearby neighborhoods. She also has written for Food & Wine magazine and other publications.
Chef David Borselle, Chef and Co-Owner of Park & Oak Restaurant in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Chef Chris Prosperi, Chef and Co-Owner of Metro Bis in Simsbury, Connecticut and a well-known commentator on CT Public Radio.
"Its raison d’etre is clearly to reestablish Tower as the true founder of California cuisine."
"...the film finds high drama in the great man's vanishing act, in his return to prominence, and in his efforts to run a vast, notoriously difficult enterprise while being at loggerheads with his employers."
"Even if you care very little for fancy food and the people who make it, The Last Magnificent works as a portrait of a man who leaves aromatic clouds of glamour wherever he goes."
"Tenaglia's camera lends a polished veneer as food authorities like Ruth Reichl, Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck and Martha Stewart attest to Mr. Tower's gifts, with Anthony Bourdain, one of the film's producers, especially forceful."
DIRECTED BY Lydia Tenaglia
REGULAR ADMISSION: $11
REAL ART WAYS MEMBERS: $5
SENIOR & STUDENT MEMBERS: $4.50
SENIORS (65+): $7
FULL-TIME STUDENTS (WITH ID): $7
REAL ART WAYS' FACILITIES ARE WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE. ASSISTED LISTENING DEVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE CAFÉ.