Deli Man will be preceded by a short film about Brian Shapiro, called Indy’s Deli Man. There will also be a cooking competition in the atrium near the theater entrance before the screening.
Deli Man is a documentary film about the recipes from Hungary, Poland, Russia, Romania that flowed into late 19th and early 20th century America and soon became part of an American culinary and cultural vernacular – deli. For some, delicatessen food is close to a religious experience. A tender, crumbling cut of corned beef steeped in its juices. A full-bodied garlic dill pickle. Spicy brown mustard with grain. A blintz that melts in your mouth like a creamsicle on a summer’s day.
Although authentic Jewish delis once seemed to be on every street corner in metropolitan areas, today there are fewer than 200 left in the U.S. The effusive and charming Ziggy Gruber is the film’s principal guide. Gruber is a third-generation delicatessen man, owner and maven (as well as a Yiddish-speaking French trained chef) and operates one of the country’s top delis, Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston.