Directed by Abby Ainsworth
Stage (verb; pronounced: stazhje) is a French term for an unpaid position where a cook works in a restaurant to learn the techniques and styles of a certain chef, restaurant or region.
If someone asked you to work for free, what would you say? For thousands of aspiring chefs, it’s a no brainer. The opportunity to stage at a Michelin starred restaurant is not only a privilege but a compulsion.
STAGE follows a group of young chefs as they navigate their way through a nine month contract at one of the best Michelin-starred kitchens in the world, Mugaritz under world renowned Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. It has been one of the best restaurants since 2006 according to Restaurant Magazine and has been recently been ranked fourth best in the world.
The film reveals themes of passion, vulnerability and overcoming all obstacles. It explores the reason why these candidates leave it all behind to pursue a financially taxing, overwhelmingly difficult and incredibly risky position. It’s a candid look into the inner workings of the restaurant industry and what it takes to climb to the top of the Michelin chef hierarchy. It’s also shows what goes into the creation and maintaining of a premium restaurant.
Stage: The Culinary Internship eats, sleeps, and breathes with the stagiaires, living through their conflicts, both inner and outer: being unpaid, being away from home, speaking a different language and working brutally long hours. At every turn the unspoken — and sometimes very loudly spoken question — who can handle the heat?
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