City Of Gold Documentary 2015 - Review

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Laura Gabbert directed and produced the documentary “City of Gold.”   At the beginning, it wasn’t easy for Gabber to convince Jonathan Gold to make the documentary about his adventures as a restaurant critic in Los Angeles.  She followed Gold for four years in his Dodge pick-up truck in order to make her captivating documentary and it made its world premiere at Sundance 2015 and it was screened at SXSW 2015.

Laura Gabbert directed and produced the documentaries The Healers of 400, Parnassus (PBS), Sunset Story (Special Jury Prize, Tribeca Film Festival and Audience Award, LAFF, Independent Lens) and No Impact Man (Sundance ’09, Oscilloscope, Discovery).

City of Gold:

Director: Laura Gabbert, Executive Producer: Jamie Wolf, Braxton Pope, Producer: Laura Gabbert, Holly Becker, Cinematographer: Jerry Henry, Goro Toshima, Editor: Greg King, Bill Haugse Additional Credits: Co-Producer: Andrea Lewis Principal Cast: Jonathan Gold

Jonathan Gold is the most important restaurant critic in the “melting pot” of Los Angeles, but he is also a huge addition to the American culinary scene. Jonathan Gold is a very well known food critic who is currently writing for the Los Angeles Times and has previously written for LA Weekly and Gourmet.  In 2007 he became the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize.  He also hosts the radio program on KCRW's Good Food.

Gold likes to choose small ethnic restaurants for his reviews and he loves to cover all types of cuisine. He explains the human history behind the food he reviews at the variety of eateries he visits.  He also examines the diversity of different cultures and traditions within the consolidation of the different cultures in Los Angeles where immigrants keep secret recipes that are like sacred tools to accomplish their “American Dream” with the big business of haute cuisine.

The documentary portraits Jonathan Gold as a man with a great heart who is humble, charming, and loved by his family, friends, and coworkers. He shows the audience his passion for art and music in meaningful scenes with people celebrating his love for food.

The longtime restaurant critic recently officially revealed his identity since serious restaurant critics often disguise themselves with costumes in a “game of peekaboo.” Gold became more visible just before the premiere of  “City of Gold.”  He has made reservations with different Opentable online accounts and when he pays for his food he has used credit cards with aliases and also has used cheap and disposable cellphones so his number won’t be recognized.

The "City of Gold" is also about life in Los Angeles and shows the diversity in Los Angeles with its many cultures and complexity. One way we make new connections with other cultures is through food.  Jonathan Gold not only visits the restaurants to sample the cuisine and make a review, he makes several more visits to investigate and further his research.  He does an extensive investigation about the food he eats through cook books, google translations, and cultural books.  He goes deeply to the root and scrutinies all the facts and is very knowledgeable with food and ingredients and helps people to see their city differently. The documentary shows small immigrant-run restaurants in far-flung ethnic neighborhoods and strip malls. “City of Gold” didn’t show the critic during an actual restaurant review; instead, the crew followed him to some of the places such as Jitlada (Thai), Guelaguetza (Oaxacan), Meals by Genet (Ethiopia) and Chengdu Taste (Sichuan), among others.

Laura Gabbert and Jonathan Gold. Q&A SXSW 2015. Photo by Jim Fain

Different cultures and people are coming to this country and people are assimilating a particular cultural with its food. It’s really amazing to live in a country; especially the city of Los Angeles, where we all come together and enjoy food from Germany, India, Greece, Mexico, France and other cultures. It’s really hard to hate people when we love their food and Gold embraces their traditions with his reviews!
Follow LA Splash Magazine on Twitter @SplashMagWW
Follow Jonathan Gold on Twitter @thejgold
Follow City of Gold Documentary on Twitter @CityOfGoldDoc
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Follow Laura Gabbert on Twitter @LauraGabbert1

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