Ask your average American, “What is ramen?” and most would likely point to the small plastic packs of noodles typically found in the multi-cultural food section of their neighborhood grocery. But in Japan, ramen is an art with thousands of shops, each offering a twist on the preparation and flavor of the wheat-noodle soup. It’s such a craft, one can even study the art of ramen. Keizo Shimamoto, a Japanese American, did. He quit his job as a programmer in California, moved to Japan, then studied and worked as a chef in a ramen shop. But it wasn’t his ramen education that earned him fame; rather it was what he did with it. Last summer Shimamoto created the ramen burger — that’s a beef patty sandwiched between two pan-seared ramen noodle buns — and with it a food meme tasty enough to rival the cronut was born.
The dish was introduced at Smorgasburg, a food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn After talk of the ramen burger went rampant on social media — think lines 40 deep and the inevitable New York Post headline, “Move over, Cronut! The new Ramen Burger has New Yorkers in a foodie frenzy” — director Michael Fox and his production company Edit Beach decided to follow and document the creation. The resulting film, Biting into the Ramen Burger, will have its Holy City premiere during Edible Adventure.
“The coolest thing about it is the tasting while watching the film,” say Fox. Shimamoto will actually be at High Wire Distilling Co., host of the Edible Adventure, serving up his creation. But his film/food feature isn’t the only highlight of the night. There will be O-Ku sushi to accompany Sushi: Handcrafted Happiness and Holy City beer with Beer: A Beautiful, Artistic Symphony.
But, out of the nine films shown, the most whimsical debut will likely be Guacamole — A Gambling Recipe, a stop-motion Western with vegetables as its characters. Director, Francesca Nobili, explains, “We decided to start a series where the main ingredient of the recipe was also the main protagonist of the film, and we started in Mexico with guacamole, because it’s very particular.” The short film takes on the Spaghetti Western plot line, and who wouldn’t want to eat guacamole while thinking of Clint Eastwood?
To close out the evening Where Does a Compost Cookie Come From? screens. The Lucky Peach production follows Momofuku Milk Bar founder and 2012 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Christina Tosi as she crafts this coffee, butterscotch, graham cracker, potato chip, pretzel, and chocolate chip amalgamation. And of course, Edible Adventure attendees will sample the treat as they watch.