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Guy Martin: Portrait of a Grand Chef

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(Apr 12, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

A Gastronomical Voyage with a Master of French Cooking

Guy Martin is the chef of Le Grand Véfour, the legendary Michelin 3-star Parisian restaurant. As a kid, he dreamed of being a doctor or a rock star. First trained in a pizzeria, 20 years later he is one of the best chefs in the world, with dozens of awards and restaurants in four countries.

"Guy Martin: Portrait of a Grand Chef" reveals Martin's philosophy of cooking, which ranges from resolutely traditional to savagely creative. It brings to life the sources of his inspiration, from his childhood in the rugged Savoy region, to his appreciation of France's historical supremacy in food, to his surprising and open-minded curiosity. For Martin, everything always is to be discovered. Nothing is ever finished. The cooking is to be reinvented every day. By drawing from past, he reinvents the present.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Guy Martin
  • Directors: Lionel Boisseau
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Guy Martin, who earned his third Michelin star as a chef at the small (30 tables!) restaurant Le Grand Velour in Paris is in his early 50s. He began as a chef at age 24. He has been at Le Grand Velour since 1991. He loves food and he loves to smoke cigars. Those are the basics of his life and that is what is presented in this aptly titled "Portrait".

The 52-minute film consists of a running interview with Martin (we don't hear any questioner) and the film crew follows him to the market and to the two restaurants where he received his first two Michelin stars. He is beloved in Japan and so we see him being honored and also working the kitchen there. If this sound pretty plain, its because director Lionel Boisseau adds no conflict to the story. Martin never gets mad, is never under pressure and the thought that something might go wrong is never even hinted at.

This is another in the "Art of Food" series of documentaries released by First Run Features. I've reviewed the others here on Amazon and, of the four films, I found this to be the only "average" one. There are gorgeous shots of food in the first five minutes that will make you drool, but these give way to listening to Martin talk and seeing the countryside. Its nice to know that he exists - I wasn't familiar with him before - but that's about it.

Though not noted prominently on the package, the film is fully in French with English subtitles. Because the subtitles are in white print they are often difficult to read (especially when the background is a white wall or a chef's apron). Luckily the film is short so that your eyes are not strained much. (In cases like this the subtitles should appear either on the black bar below the images or in a contrasting color such as green or dark yellow.
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