On a whim, I asked Lahcen if I could make a documentary about him and his restaurant. I didn’t even know his name at that point, but I had eaten his food several times throughout the years. He was skeptical at first, but we talked about the vision I had and he agreed.
When I pictured the documentary I wanted to make, I saw slow motion. I wanted to see the minute details of how Lahcen practices his art. The dining area, the dishes, the decorations are all the macro, large scale components Paprika. But the very small and mostly unseen aspects of his cooking and presentation were what I wanted to dwell on. Theres a mystique about cooking, good cooking anyway. The alchemy of turning raw ingredients into a sensual experience is dependent on many many simple decisions and practices that add up to the final meal. Slow motion and detail footage can help bring out the potency of how something is sliced, sauteed, served, etc.
I wanted to hear him talk about why he does what he does. He’s a great conversationalist, and I knew I could roll camera while he mused and there would be plenty to mine afterwards.
It’s been five months since we started it, and we’ll be picking up some more footage soon. I’ll update when it’s time.