Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24 weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

New documentary produced by Anthony Bourdain takes a slow and thoughtful look at the life of culinary hot-shot Jeremiah Tower.

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
Directed by
Lydia Tenaglia
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English

If you've never heard of Jeremiah Tower, the subject of a new documentary produced by Anthony Bourdain – even if you fancy yourself a foodie – don't worry: neither have most other people. Tower was a culinary hot-shot in the 1970s, '80s and early '90s: he co-helmed Chez Panisse with Alice Waters and was the face of Stars, the famed San Francisco celebrity hot-spot (Tower was the literal face of the restaurant: owing to a Dewar's endorsement and the establishment's high-rolling cachet, he was one of North America's first celebrity chefs). But Tower gave it all up in the 1990s, fleeing to Mexico and fading into the background. Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent doesn't frame the chef's story as a glorious rise and tragic fall; rather, it takes a slow, thoughtful look at the life of a man who didn't have any grand culinary ambitions to begin with. Director Lydia Tenaglia ensures that audiences skeptical of Tower's clout are assured by the roster of talking heads – from Mario Batali to Martha Stewart to Bourdain – that appear throughout the film, between dramatized footage of a young Tower, old photos of the real Tower and, of course, interviews with the now-septugenarian Tower. The result is an oddly compelling documentary that sheds light on an important – albeit forgotten – cornerstone of modern, contemporary cuisine.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies