By Corinne Bourdeau, Susan Haymer and the 360 Degree Communications Team
The food world lost two luminaries this summer, Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Gold. Although they were very different in many aspects, they were united in their approach to exploring the layered, multi cultural aspects of food and dining.
360 Degree Communications was privileged to work on the grassroots marketing and social impact campaigns on the culinary stars’ two films — Anthony Bourdain’s Wasted! The Story of Food Waste and City of Gold, a look at Los Angeles through the eyes of Los Angeles Times food writer, Jonathan Gold.
Enveloped in sadness and like many, grappling on how to best deal with our loss, the team at 360 has turned our attention to honoring the legacies of these two extraordinary men by celebrating their inspiring films.
City of Gold, directed by Laura Gabbert, is a finely crafted love poem to Los Angeles told through the culinary explorations of Jonathan Gold. City of Gold was shown at theaters across the country, each followed by Q&A sessions with Jonathan and a wide array of Los Angeles chefs and food activists.
Jonathon Gold and friends gather at Guelaguetza in Los Angeles to kick off the release of City of Gold. From left to right, Corrine Bourdeau (360 Degree Communications, 360 Food), Sarah Leone (Hollywood Food Guild) Maria Juur (Center for Food Safety) Susan Haymer (360 Degree Communications) and Susan Haymer 360 Degree Communications/360Food) and Jonathan Gold (Los Angeles Times).
Always brilliant and insightful and usually very endearing, Jonathan was a champion of immigrant cuisine. Our first brainstorming lunch was at a mini-mall in Glendale, serving delicious Armenian food. Our next meal had us snacking on fried grasshoppers at the Oaxacan restaurant Guelaguetza. It is no exaggeration to say that Jonathon changed the Los Angeles food scene, reminding us that taco trucks, strip mall dives, and immigrant run kitchens are the true soul of LA. His message could not be more timely. The city is in mourning as chefs, foodies, and activists alike gather to celebrate the deep impact and influence Jonathan had on their restaurants and Los Angeles itself.
Anthony Bourdain's documentary Wasted! was entirely different, exploring the facts and figures of food waste while also providing insightful and thoughtful solutions to the problem of the growing food waste epidemic. As we have frequently noted, only Anthony Bourdain could make a film about food waste fun and entertaining.
Anthony Bourdain at the 2017 Cayman Cookout.
360 Degree Communications is dedicated to celebrating food films, particularly those that promote social change. By hosting panel discussions at screenings around the country, we are able to create rich discussion and dialogue around these films. We are longtime supporters of Slow Food, having attended the first Slow Food Nation in San Francisco and the last two Slow Food Nations in Denver. We are truly inspired by Slow Food’s zestful dedication to creating community around food and food issues.
We encourage Slow Food chapters to screen these films as a powerful way to both honor these two food pioneers and bring your communities together. Post screening discussion could revolve around topics of food waste, ethnic food, immigration, the principles of slow food and of course, the legacies of these two bright shining culinary stars whose lights were dimmed too soon.