After a disastrous first attempt that pushed him near financial ruin, chef Evan Funke mounts a comeback by opening Felix, an artisan handmade pasta restaurant in the notoriously volatile Los Angeles culinary scene.
In 2015, Evan Funke was one of the brightest stars on the American culinary scene. Bucato, his first critically lauded restaurant, served capacity crowds night after night. But when allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance forced its closure, Funke became persona non grata in the Los Angeles restaurant world. Director Gab Taraboulsy's engrossing documentary portrait of the chef follows Funke as he embarks upon his comeback. Still healing from the emotional pain of his past failure, Funke struggles to balance his artistic aspirations with the rank commercial difficulties of opening his new trattoria, Felix, on the most competitive street for restaurants in America. His journey toward redemption sees him voyaging through the pasta schools of Bologna (to reconnect with his mentor, Alessandra Spisni), the culinary archaeological streets of Bari, and the obsessive laboratories of Tokyo as he reconnects with the best artisan pasta makers in the world. Throughout this journey, Taraboulsy delivers keen insight into the chef's philosophy and intricate techniques as he handcrafts fresh, heirloom pastas that even the most avid Italian foodies may never have seen or tasted. Passionate and thoughtful, Funke is an ode to the art of pasta and a forthright look at the stark realities of the restaurant business.
Deeply passionate about the culinary world, Gab Taraboulsy has been unearthing stories, as a writer, director, and producer, in kitchens and restaurants all over the world. His documentary series "The Grill Iron" (2014) garnered a James Beard Nomination, and "Heritage" (2016) won a Webby Award for Best Documentary Series. Returning to Los Angeles's competitive food scene, Funke (2018) is Taraboulsy's documentary feature debut.
Sponsored by KIXI 880 AM, Princi, Punch Drunk
- Director: Gab Taraboulsy
- Principal Cast: Evan Funke, Janet Zuccarini, Nancy Silverton, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo
- Country: USA
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 89 minutes
- Producer: Gab Taraboulsy, Alexander Emanuele, Jay Holzer, Cecile Murias
- Cinematographers: Robert Vroom, Gareth Paul Cox
- Editors: Alexander Emanuele
- Music: Steven Gutheinz
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English, Italian
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Submarine Entertainment