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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Eating Art (2008)

Eating Art (2008)

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Released 19-Apr-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 270:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jane Gerber

Madman Entertainment
Starring Oliver Peyton
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

  From the canvas to the kitchen...renowned artworks recreated by celebrated chefs.

DVD tagline.

Rarely has a DVD cover got it so wrong. For this fascinating programme is not a gastronomic exercise in recreating paintings but rather an examination of the way food has been represented in art over the ages and, perhaps, a celebration of the style of the food depicted in artworks.

The backcover blurb probably states it better:

Why did Matisse paint oranges? What lay behind Dali’s obsession with bread? What was Rembrandt trying to say with an Ox carcass? Did Da Vinci accurately depict what Jesus ate at the Last Supper?

Eating Art is presented by restaurateur and art lover Oliver Peyton. His premise is a simple one. Paintings are not just colour on canvas but sometimes a window into the past - the fashions, the lifestyles and the food.

The idea is a broad canvas itself and whilst it sometimes feels that the concept has been stretched a little to allow for Peyton to chow down on yet another delicacy the programme is never less than entertaining.

The show consists of 10 episodes each of 27 minutes. This is just about the right length. It allows Peyton to concentrate on a general theme and a couple of ideas, keeping out attention intact, whilst not introducing too many complexities. The art description is kept to a level understandable by the average enthusiast and there are a wealth of art and food historians on hand to provide the intellectual grounding for the theories on offer.

Of course it is a dream job for Peyton to travel around the world not only checking out some of the greatest artworks on show but also enticing the finest chefs in the world to let loose their creative side and come up with recipes that are either of the time or influenced , "inspired" if you will, by the time. The range is extreme. So, in episode 1 a noted chef is shown the old-fashioned way of roasting meat in front of an open fire, whilst in Episode 2 the focus on two art related spirits, gin and absinthe, allows the chef to run wild with a hare and juniper berry recipe.

The themes chosen are either very general, such as the representation of bread in art, or very specific such as the relationship Picasso had with food. How deep the relationship goes is a matter for conjecture. Picasso liked cafes, often making artworks out of the tablecloth, and painted a sombre work Still Life with Blood Sausage. Yet I remained unconvinced that his association with food was any greater than any other regular cafe habitué. Still as said, the fact that the connection might be weak doesn't diminish the joy of the show.

The episodes are as follows:

  1. On the Menu
  2. Brush With the Bottle
  3. Beefed Up Art
  4. Eating With Picasso
  5. Sea Power
  6. Selling Food
  7. Fruit Palettes
  8. Square Meals
  9. Fully Baked
  10. The Last Supper

No surprises for guessing that the gamut of art styles and the full spectrum of gourmet delights are covered in the 10 episodes. Highlights? Seeing Salvador Dali's obsession with bread taken to the n'th degree. Seeing world famous chefs turn out spectacular creations and perhaps more so, seeing accurate recreations of the food of ages past. At times the show can seem a bit self-serious but the pace moves fairly quickly and we are whisked from one idea to the next in an instant.

Definitely worth a watch for foodies and arties!

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Transfer Quality


    Eating Art was shot on digital video. It comes to DVD in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

There is precious little information about the creation of this series available on my usual sources. I assume it was filmed in High Definition, but it was shown on SBS in standard in this region and the DVD only stretches to 576i, so it is difficult to tell whether this is the best looking incarnation of the show.

It is not very crisp but it is certainly watchable. The colours are fairly strong which is essential in conveying the two strengths of the series - good food and good art. Peyton has a much loved purple jacket which comes up clean without any colour bleeding.

There is a bit of noise about but nothing too distracting.

All in all quite adequate but not jaw-dropping.

There are no subtitles except where the interviewees are speaking in a non -English language. On those occasions they are burned into the print and are yellow and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Eating Art comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack running at 224 Kb/s.

This is perfectly adequate for a show that consists of walking interviews and talking head stuff. The lack of subtitles can mean that some of the European chefs and others (such as Picasso's former mistress) who have strong accents can be a little difficult to understand. Peyton has a mild Irish brogue which is clear and easy to understand.

The voices are in audio sync.

I did note in the credits a reference to 5.1 sound so it may exist in the television form.

The score is light and breezy and forms a pretty good accompaniment to the show.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This is an All Regions DVD.


    Eating Art is a surprisingly engaging show that combines two fine arts. Even when the link between the subjects seems a little tenuous the sheer joy of watching food being artistically presented carries the episodes.

The show doesn't look amazing, particularly on a larger display, but is adequate for most potential purchases.

The lack of extras is no real loss as the show says it all.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer BDP-LX70A Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayPioneer PDP-5000EX. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR605
SpeakersJBL 5.1 Surround and Subwoofer

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