Whenever you ask the most powerful names in the culinary industry, from Mario Batali to Marcus Samuelsson, where their careers began, they usually have the same answer: in grandma’s kitchen. There’s just something about grandma’s recipes — that ask for “just a pinch of” an ingredient and existed long before Pinterest — that are worth admiring.A web documentary, The Grandmas Project, is trying to preserve grandma’s kitchen through a series of short movies from popular filmmakers.
The idea is to connect some of grandma’s recipes and culinary heritage through movies filmed by their grandchildren. The concept began in 2013 after filmmaker Jonas Pariente’s own grandmother passed away. He had been filming his two grandmothers in the kitchen since 2005, and realized “the story I wanted to tell, that of bringing together food, a history of the 20th century and very intimate, personal stories, could be written by multiple hands.”
Since then there have been multiple eight-minute films created showcasing recipes like Brazilian Mehchi (stuffed eggplant) and knedle (East European plum dumplings). The call for more recipe videos was just closed July 16, and Pariente will soon release a new batch of videos from professional and amateur filmmakers featuring the best cook in all the land: Nana.