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.

Crispy Duck with Udon Noodles
Crispy Duck with Udon Noodles
Browning the duck, braising it, and then re-frying the pieces makes for super crispy skin and tender meat, perfectly complemented by a flavorful chile, ginger, and sugar-spiked sauce. Get the recipe for Crispy Duck with Udon Noodles »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."