Discover one of the greatest and most notoriously private chefs in America, as he grapples with his public persona and his desire to get back behind the stove - one last time.
Discover one of the greatest and most notoriously private chefs in America, as he grapples with his public persona and his desire to get back behind the stove - one last time.
THE LAST COURSE is an intimate, documentary portrait examining the life and career of Chef Scott Carsberg, arguably one of the most underrated chefs in America and yet who is mostly unknown outside of Seattle. Championed by critics and avid gourmands alike— vilified by those who found him enigmatic and temperamental, THE LAST COURSE offers a rare inside glimpse into the inner workings of a notoriously private culinary master. After decades of spending every night behind the stove of his heralded Seattle restaurants he suddenly announced he would be taking a sabbatical to explore new opportunities in cuisine. After a few years spent traveling and advising various other Seattle food brands, he refocuses on finding just the right location to launch what he says will be the last, greatest restaurant of his career.
Determined to build something great in a overcrowded market of prosaic restaurants, we follow Carsberg during a period of dynamic change, from the closure of his lauded Seattle restaurant, through a variety of consulting positions, and into the start of the process of designing a new restaurant concept from the ground up. He navigates the challenges of finding a location that ticks all of the boxes but that also makes financial sense in an overheated real estate market. He also grapples with the decision by his wife and business partner of two decades to not participate in the next stage of his dream.
We witness Carsberg as a proponent of old school European culinary techniques, who rejects gimmicks and crutches, and is a conduit to the disappearing traditions of a master chef – providing tremendous value to his patrons by meticulously overseeing the preparation of every dish that comes out of his kitchen. Supremely confident in his craft and truly at the top of his game, THE LAST COURSE presents Chef Carsberg's position in the Seattle culinary scene in a more nuanced way than is usually represented in national media. And we seek to determine how Seattle’s economic boom, and the rise in interest in cuisine beyond burgers and beer, will bear on whether or not Carsberg's elegant cooking style will at last be in sync with the desires of contemporary diners.
Scott Carsberg grew up in a single parent household in Seattle, Washington and began cooking and shopping for his family at the age of ten. After brief stints working at a local foundry and on Alaskan fishing boats, he was compelled by necessity, interest and ambition to pursue a career in the food industry. Still in his teens, he began working in hotel and restaurant kitchens, bussing tables, washing dishes and delivering room service orders. Distinguished by his aptitude and work ethic, he quickly graduated to prep stations and ultimately the stoves. Spotted by the head chef of the Four Season Olympic in Seattle, he moved to Washington, D.C. at the age of seventeen to apprentice under master chef Yannick Cam at Le Pavillion, a culinary icon of 80’s Nouvelle cuisine. A few years later he was appointed sous-chef under Günther Seeger at the five star Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta.
Once thoroughly grounded in French Classical and Nouvelle Cuisine, Carsberg moved to New York and worked under Andreas Hellrigl at his groundbreaking Palio and then at the Michelin-starred Villa Mozart in Merano, Italy. Under Hellrigl, Carsberg found his own unique approach to cooking, combining French rigor and restraint with Northern Italian inspiration and attention to ingredients. In 1989 he returned to Seattle as chef at Settebello, which he transformed into the Pacific Northwest’s first genuinely contemporary Italian restaurant. A year later, Carsberg married designer Hyun Joo Paek and in 1992 they opened Lampreia in Seattle’s Belltown up-and-coming neighborhood. The restaurant was immediately lauded in the local and national press as the city’s most innovative restaurant. Carsberg subsequently authored a cookbook, made regular appearances in “The Chef” column of the New York Times, and in 2006 won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef.
In 2010 Carsberg and Paek closed Lampreia for a ground-up remodel for a new concept in the same location which they called Bisato. The critically and publicly-acclaimed restaurant featured food from the same exacting kitchen in a warmer, more casual space with small plates inspired by the cicchetti bars of Venice. Bisato was heralded as a landmark restaurant – at once rustic and elegant, locavore and cosmopolitan. In 2012 the restaurant was awarded the distinction of the Birra Moretti Award for best emerging Italian restaurant in North America, taking into account its high standards of cuisine, ingredients of top quality origin and respect for authentic traditions. Bisato closed in the autumn of that year so that, as the chef said, he could take a rest and pursue new opportunities in cuisine.
Carsberg subsequently has done private dinners, both locally and farther afield, as well as a series of sold out Seattle pop-ups. He has quietly consulted for various restaurants, designing and revising menus, reorganizing staffing and advising them on their business operations. He has worked on some longer-term projects for some very well-known Seattle food and coffee brands, including Fran's Chocolates, Caffe Vita and other international clients. Scott and his wife Hyun Joo continue to reside in Seattle where Scott's newest restaurant is slated to open in 2018.
The Last Course features a diverse mix of some of Seattle finest experts on the local food scene – restauranteurs, chocolatiers, chefs, food journalists, winemakers, purveyors, and others important players – with the goal of presenting a more nuanced and personal view of culinary Seattle than is normally portrayed in the national media. Seattle and and its environs are essentially a character in the film. Beyond our focus on the history and the future of one specific chef, the film provides a reference for how restaurant cuisine has developed over the past 30 years and also the unique characteristics and challenges inherent in working in the realm of Seattle cuisine.
Christopher Boffoli is a fine art and commercial photographer, a journalist and a filmmaker. His diverse body of work includes editorial and documentary travel photography, feature stories and independent film. But he is best known for his Big Appetites work which features tiny figures posed against real food landscapes. Christopher has shot assignments for the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Politico, Lucky Peach, Fast Company and many other publications. In addition to his commercial and advertising work for brands large and small, his fine art photographs may be found in galleries and private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He was a finalist for a 2012 James Beard Foundation Award for Humor. He currently lives and works in Seattle.
Director + Producer
Marta Masferrer is a Cuban-American director and editor whose films have screened at festivals internationally including Cinequest, Cannes Short Film Corner, and SXSW, among many others. Her graduate thesis film, ASTERNAUTS showed at over 40 international film festivals picking up over 13 awards including Porto7 International Short Film Festival (Best Screenplay), HollyShorts Film Festival (Best Cinematography), Cortopolis Festival International de Madrid (Audience Award), Boston Sci-Fi (Best Short SciFi), and Columbia University (Best Student Short). Marta is an alumna of the Berlin Talent Campus where was also a Finalist for the Berlin Talent Award. She is an alumna of the UCLA Professional Screenwriters program, an AIVF Screenwriting Fellow, a NALIP Documentary and Narrative Fellow, and an IFP New York Project Involve Honoree. More recently she served as one of the editors on LAS MARTHAS, a PBS documentary that premiered on Independent Lens in 2014. Marta received her MFA in Film from Columbia University where she was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship, and her BFA in Fine Art from Carnegie Mellon University where she was awarded the Wilfred Readio Award for Artistic Achievement. She is the founder of SOFRITO a marketing and video production company specializing in short form documentaries and branded content for networks, non-for-profits and corporations alike. Marta currently resides in Seattle, WA with her husband and two children.
Catie Skipp is a documentary filmmaker from Miami, FL. In addition to joining THE LAST COURSE team as a producer, Catie is also an associate producer on the much anticipated feature documentary LAS SANDINISTAS (SXSW 2018, CineLatino Audience Award), which was recently acquired by AMAZON for distribution and funded by ITVS. Catie has also served as an assistant editor on the upcoming feature documentary, NEVERTHELESS, by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Sarah Moshman; and producer on short narrative film AFUERA (LA Film Festival, Outfest, NBC ShortsFest). Previously, Catie served as Social Impact Coordinator for the Foundation at United Talent Agency where she guided clients on their social cause engagement. She began her career at Participant Media, assisting with the launch of PIVOT, a television network aimed at millennials. Catie directed CROSSFADE and ONE NATION, UNDER GOD? (C-SPAN StudentCam Award) and her writing has been featured in VICE's Creators Project. Catie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Florida in 2013 with a B.A in Interdisciplinary Film with a focus in Anthropology and a B.S. in Business. Catie currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Erin Ploss-Campoamor is an award-winning filmmaker, with experience in documentary, narrative, and television. She was born in Canada to American parents and raised all over North America in an extended multicultural family, speaking English, Spanish and French. Her feature length documentary, LAS MARTHAS, premiered on PBS/Independent Lens to great acclaim: the New York Times praised it as “a striking alternative portrait of border-town life." She also produced a feature length thriller, Dark Mirror (IFC Films), which broke records as IFC’s topselling VOD of all time. She wrote and directed LA AMERICANITA (The American Girl), a short film loosely inspired by her experience growing up with a Cuban-American stepfather, which won two Best Short Film awards. She is the producer and co-writer of LOVE & MONSTER TRUCKS, a feature length narrative film, in development, for which she was a semifinalist for the Sundance Institute's Creative Producing Fellowship and the Sundance Writer’s Institute. Her original TV pilot FAKEBOOK, which she co-wrote with Pablo Proenza, is currently a semifinalist for the Sundance Episodic Lab.
Carla Gutierrez is a documentary editor based in the New York city area. She edited the Emmy nominated documentary REPORTERO, an official selection at the Full Frame Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. REPORTERO was showcased as part of the traveling festivals Ambulante and the Human Rights Watch Festival, and was broadcast on POV in 2013. She edited, LA CORONA for HBO, which received an Oscar-nomination, won Honorable Mention at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and won the IDA Documentary Award for Best Short Film. Carla also edited KINGDOM OF SHADOWS, produced by Participant Media and premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. KINGDOM OF SHADOWS is slated to broadcast on POV in 2016. Her latest work, WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it won a World Documentary Special Jury Award for Debut Feature. Carla has been a creative adviser for the Sundance Edit and Story Lab, and a mentor for Firelight Producers’ Lab. Her other editing credits includes: THE GRADUATES, a special 2-hour PBS series on Independent Lens: WONDER WOMEN!, SXSW premiere and 2013 Independent Lens broadcast; LAS MARTHAS, 2014 Independent Lens broadcast; TALES OF THE WARIA, 2012 PBS World broadcast; SHE IS THE MATADOR, 2009 POV broadcast, Silverdocs Film Festival; SURVIVING HITLER: A LOVE STORY, broadcast on BBC’s Storyville and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, winner of the Inspiration Award at Full Frame; THE SIERRA CLUB CHRONICLES for the Sundance Channel; and IRAQ FOR SALE. Carla received a Masters in Documentary Film from Stanford University.
As a producer/editor Maloney has worked closely with Academy Award winning cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler on his critically acclaimed feature documentary, WHO NEEDS SLEEP? (Sundance 2006). She has produced the narrative feature film, A QUIET LITTLE MARRIAGE (winner Slamdance 2009) directed by Mo Perkins and released by IFC. As an editor Maloney has worked with veteran directors, Marcus Nispel (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) and Trish Sie (PITCH PERFECT 3) she has cut features for director Christopher Monger's environmental film A SENSE OF WONDER (PBS 2008) and Grace Lee's mockumentary AMERICAN ZOMBIE (Netflix 2007) and Mariam Jobrani's powerful feature documentary, EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE (2017). In addition to documentary Maloney cuts scripted television pilots and series. She has worked closely with writer/director, Cynthia Mort (WILL & GRACE) on her television pilot RADICAL, and recently cut several episodes of Jason Ubaldi's new hit show, YOUTH AND CONSEQUENCES streaming now on YouTube RED. In between features and television Maloney also loves to cut commercials, promo material and epks for clients like CBS, GOOD MAGAZINE, PBS, ESPN and many more. When she is not working, getting salty at the beach catching waves with her husband and son is her most preferred state of being!
David Majzlin is an Emmy®-nominated composer and music producer whose eclectic, genre-bending approach to scoring spans across a myriad of styles unique to each project. Film credits include multiple Emmy-award-winning film THE LOVING STORY (HBO), multi-award-winner and audience favorite, HERB AND DOROTHY, (AFI Docs, Hamptons), award-winning doc ALTHEA (American Masters / PBS), YOUTH KNOWS NO PAIN (HBO), Emmy®-nominated doc SINS OF MY FATHER (HBO), STILLE, (Winner - Best Score - Avignon Film Festival), BEING REEL, (Winner - Grand Prize - Project Greenlight Competition), multi-award-winning doc ANGEL OF NANJING, and SHENANDOAH (Louverture Films, Netflix), directed by Pulitzer Prize-Winning photographer, David Turnley. He also wrote and conducted the trailer music for IS ANYBODY THERE?, starring Michael Caine (Big Beach Films), additional music for DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (Samuel Goldwyn Films, Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival), SUNSHINE CLEANING (Nomination - Grand Jury Prize - Sundance Film Festival) - starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Alan Arkin, as well as source music for THE GHOST WRITER (dir., Roman Polanski, starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Catrall), ALL GOOD THINGS (dir., Andrew Jarecki, starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella), and THE JONESES (starring Demi Moore, David Duchovny, and Lauren Hutton).
His music has appeared in countless television shows and promos including HOUSE OF CARDS, PARENTHOOD, PERSON OF INTEREST, ANIMAL PLANET, UGLY BETTY, CSI, THE GHOST WHISPERER, GREYS ANATOMY, THE TONY AWARDS, CNN, CNBC, A&E, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and 60 MINUTES. David's commercial compositions have earned a TELLY, CADDY, THE FIRST LONDON INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING AWARD, and THE INTERNATIONAL MONITOR AWARD.
Kai Tillman combines an academic background in film, audio production and Cultural Anthropology which gives him a particularly strong eye for documentary film in addition to a range of other genres. Kai has brought his keen interest in the cutting edge of film technology to a diverse range of projects that have spanned the globe, from the US and Mexico to Europe, China and Mongolia. In his spare time Kai can often be found surfing the frigid waters of the Oregon coast. His production company – Story Tank Media – is based in Portland, Oregon.
Before moving to Austin, Matthew found his calling in adventure filmmaking while living on the front range of Colorado's Rockies. Most of his efforts focus on vérité style documentary filmmaking and his talents have allowed him to collaborate with networks and companies such as Outdoor Channel, Nissan, BMW, Bravo, and NBC Universal. Comfortable with the difficult locations, productions have brought Matthew's camera from the subzero temperatures of the Arctic Circle to the rain drenched forests of the Himalayas.
Patrick Henry Simmons' work has included music videos (T-Bird & The Breaks, The Issac Sisters, Brandon Callies Band,) corporate (Adometry, Apollo Lightspeed,) and commercial (Kevin Fowler, MonsterLove). He graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Film from the University of Texas at Austin. As a filmmaker he has written, directed, and edited many short films that have played at various film festivals including the USA Film Festival and the Guerrilla Film Fest. He has also crewed on feature films, (Remember Me, Here/There/Now/Year Ago,) reality television (Top Chef Texas,) and commercials, (Academy, Adidas, Chrysler.)
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