Still from "Knife Skills."
You can watch Knife Skills,
the film nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short category, at the link below.
Directed by Thomas Lennon, this 40-minute documentary recounts the harried six weeks before the grand opening of Edwin's Restaurant and Leadership Institute on Shaker Square.
Featuring founder Brandon Chrostowski (who later ran for Cleveland mayor) and several of his inaugural cohort of former inmates, the film has the flavor of a culinary reality show: kitchen instructionals, lavish French ingredients, close-ups of cuttings boards, and more. Virtually none of the participants in the Edwin's program, which aims to curb recidivism by providing culinary work for ex-cons, had restaurant experience.
The film is thus both redemptive and occasionally exhilarating. Will these folks who can't utter a single word of French become, in a mere six weeks, hosts and chefs at one of the region's fancier restaurants?
See for yourself: