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Step Up to the Plate


Paul Lacoste

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About the Movie

French chef Michel Bras, one of the most influential chefs in the world (creator of the molten chocolate cake and pioneer of the farm to table movement), has decided to hand over his renowned 3-Michelin-Star restaurant to his son Sébastien. Having worked with his father for 15 years, Sébastien is ready. But it's not easy to take over the family business when your father is a master in his field. Filmed in the gorgeous Aubrac region in the South of France, home to the Bras family for generations, STEP UP TO THE PLATE offers a rare glimpse into the Bras' culinary process while capturing one of the most closely watched transitions in the world of haute cuisine. The Washington Post raved STEP UP TO THE PLATE was "Delicious! For foodies - or, really, for anyone who appreciates watching a creative master at work - it’s great, revealing stuff," and The New York Times noted "Foodies will marvel at the studied care given every choice of herb, every flick of a wrist, every design of a plate."


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 28
  • Fresh: 19
  • Rotten: 9
  • Average Rating: 6.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: "Step Up to the Plate" asserts how family, in multifarious ways, can be the most deeply affecting of ensembles. – David DeWitt, New York Times, Sep 13, 2012

Rotten: A cerebral, dirge-paced outline of a father-son dynamic that asks the audience to fill in too many narrative and emotional gaps. – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Oct 11, 2012

Fresh: Lacoste cleverly uses the enhanced sound of Michel slowly, deliberately chewing and crunching, in what is really the film's climax. – Marsha McCreadie, Village Voice, Sep 14, 2012

Fresh: It's an intimate and immaculate film, modest in its goals and greatly affecting. – Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Sep 24, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Vibrant - Food & Emotions

For those who love food and appreciate the beauty of the art of cooking, you will definitely enjoy the insight and the doors opened in the kitchen of one of the most skilled chefs in the world ever. But the documentary goes beyond food, it is a trip in one of the most beautiful parts of France and "l'art culinaire", and a touching story between a father who started from nothing and became a master, now slowing retiring and letting his son take over the family business. The passion for food that runs in the the blood of the Bras family is vibrant and contagious; it is hard to be insensitive to the genius of Michel Bras and his son, it is a real pleasure to feel part (at least for 1 hour & 30min) of this great human story.


There isn't actually much of a movie here. Lots of people start family restaurants, so what? They tried to make it into something, but really, nothing happens and there's no much to see.

Hauntingly isolated view of this chefs world

I was really looking forward to this! What I can appreciate about this film is that this chef father conveys that cooking is his sole passion.Other than cooking, he seems to have distain for the world! I felt lonely for them. I felt like the food wasn’t worth it if we had to watch the famous chef bicker at his son, even over vegetables and how he picked them, to how he did everything! The son was translucent in his need to please his impossible father.

This re-proves that someone being great at what they do does not equal them being a good person. I learned I did not like the man, even if I love the chefs food. I’m confused if the director realized he painted such a melancholy but true glimpse into this man. There is NO DOUBT these are two of the best chefs in the world, though the father does not seem to want or think his son is “worthy” of it. He constantly snarks at his son, berates him, puts him down. It was painful. The slow way this film produced makes you uncomfortable. The french countryside seems sad and its hard to do that to France! The look in his the fathers eyes was unmistakable contempt at being filmed.

The director and producer made a tortured film. Why? Was their goal to expose how miserable they are? I thought I was getting more in this film. It desperately needed a happier “spin” on this as it made me feel bad for them. Especially the son trying to take over and do things his way, while trying to please a man who can not be pleased. I ended the film sincerely not liking the father. Not at all. I can appreciate his skill but not that he cares for nothing else, but the food and his own reputation.

I thought it shot in such a way to make you feel deeply sorry for these individuals. As if cooking was a prison sentence. One they obsessed on but I did not see a glimpse of Joy in their lives. Even the singing scene at the party was contrived. For me to like this film more, they would have had to shoot it in such a way to “edit” out the egotistical, condescending, unlikable way the father was revealed to be. For me there is no doubt the son will not do his best work as a chef until his father is completely removed from the the resturant.

This didn’t make me feel the passion for their cooking, but more their obsession and lack of anything else. That said, I really wanted to Love this film! :( Why do directors think that this is what we want in a film? To be turned-off?

Step Up to the Plate
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings