"Before the Plate" food documentary debuts this weekend in Toronto


Dylan Sher grew up in the city but he has always had an interest in farming.

Sher’s interest in farming eventually brought him to the University of Guelph, where he studied agricultural business. While he was studying, he started to think about how people could be brought closer to the farmers that supply their food. It was then he decided to to make a food movie. It would be a high quality food movie, with one of the most respected chefs in Toronto. But it would begin where the food began — with the farmer.

The film is called “Before the Plate.”

Sher was in Saskatchewan when we caught up to him at the Odd Couple Restaurant in Saskatoon. Sher was participating in Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan’s food influencer tour.

Director Sagi Kahane-Rapport shot the movie from the point of view of John Horne, head chef of the downtown Toronto restaurant, Canoe. All of the ingredients that make up one plate of food at Horne’s restaurant are traced back to their origins. Horne starts at the farm and then journeys with the food to the “plate” at the Canoe restaurant.

Sher took this approach so an urban audience could find a way to relate to farming. He explains, “You know a farming film is cool, but I think for a lot of people, where I come from in the city, that’s not really of much interest people, not to them.”

Sher called on his friends to pull off this ambitious project. The people in front of the camera are mostly farmers that have graduated from Guelph. For the people behind the camera, Kahane-Rapport engaged a cohort of recent Ryerson grads.

Sher says, “This was a young crew, they’re trying to continue making a name for themselves.” He goes on, “I am very proud to have them on board with us, and also very fortunate that they helped us when the pay wasn’t that great when compared to other projects they had.”

The Before the Plate premiere will be held at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto, August 5, 2018. Here’s the trailer:

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