Fresh Off The Truck
The movie catering industry is in the midst of a revolution, as a handful of companies strives to make the meals served on set as good as the food the actors eat when they dine out.
Enlarge Image Credit: Landon Nordeman
As a kid growing up with a parent in "the biz" (my dad worked for years as a director and screenwriter), I liked movie set food just fine, from the spaghetti, meat loaf, and baked chicken to the bowls of potato chips and Skittles. As I got older, though, I realized that, on most sets, the food really wasn't anything to write home about. Fortunately, the movie catering industry is in the midst of a revolution, as a handful of companies strives to make the meals served on set as good as the food the actors eat when they dine out. At the forefront is Off the Shelf Catering, which was started by the actor Dustin Hoffman and his personal chef, Yossi Faigenblat, in 2003. The company hires experienced chefs who turn out restaurant-worthy dishes like braised beef with chanterelles and crispy duck with udon noodles (see Crispy Duck with Udon Noodles), all prepared with local, sustainable ingredients. Hoffman, who made some of the chefs co-owners in 2006, is still involved in the company. "Over the years a lot of people have asked me to invest in things," Hoffman says. "None of them ever tasted this good."