Award-Winning Documentary by SMPA Alumnus Features DC-area Chefs

New Chefs on the Block interview
New Chefs on the Block
March 21, 2018


The award-winning documentary film “New Chefs on the Block” by Political Communication alumnus Dustin Harrison-Atlas, B.A. '04, will open on April 4 in fourteen cities with special post-screening appearances by local celebrity chefs and restaurateurs. The screenings include Landmark Theatres' E Street Cinema in D.C. and Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, Maryland.

The documentary is an intimate, multi-year portrait of two D.C.-area chefs and their staffs who struggle to open and maintain their first restaurants. The film begins with each restaurant under construction and follows them through their first year of business.

Against all odds, one becomes the most famous new restaurant in America, winning Bon Appetit magazine’s Best New Restaurant award and a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. The other chef redefines success while his wife mulls leaving her high-paying job to work at the new pizza shop full-time.

A 2017 AFIDOCS Film Festival “Spotlight” Selection, the documentary also includes interviews with restaurateur and author Danny Meyer, two-time James Beard Award-winner Michel Richard, celebrity chef Mike Isabella and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman.

“This is more than a foodie film,” says director and cinematographer Dustin Harrison-Atlas. “'New Chefs on the Block' is about what and whom it takes to open and maintain a restaurant. It’s an American dream film blended with ample amounts of food porn.”

Dustin Harrison-Atlas has lived in the D.C.-area for the last 17 years. He worked for Discovery Communications before starting a successful freelance business. “New Chefs on the Block” is his feature debut.

The film will become available on demand and on DVD on April 17.