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A 6-part documentary series deconstructing the origins of our food and celebrating efforts which are inspiring new food cultures. Read more

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A 6-part documentary series deconstructing the origins of our food and celebrating efforts which are inspiring new food cultures.

Team DD
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Team DD

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About this project

Just what and who are we investing in when we sit down to eat? Are these 'investments' secure? Become a part of a collective effort to answer these questions and embark on the journey of Deconstructing Dinner.

DECONSTRUCTING DINNER

From the internationally syndicated radio show and podcast Deconstructing Dinner (2006-2010) comes the on-screen reincarnation of the popular program from writer and host Jon Steinman and 2011 James Beard Award winning filmmaker and ichannel producer Declan O’Driscoll.

Deconstructing Dinner: Reconstructing Our Food System will be a six episode HD series for television and the web. The series will celebrate the role we can all play in redefining our food system right in our own communities and kitchens. What's a 'food system'? From the soil to our plates, think of every set of hands, building, truck, or government regulation which our food passes through. Together, this is the 'food system'!

Each episode will highlight one food and how its industrially and artisanally produced versions impact local economies, the environment, communities, health and flavor.

The series will be accompanied by an extensive online collection of webisodes and resources which will build upon each episode and include behind the scenes footage, recipes and tips from preeminent chefs and much more.

WHY DECONSTRUCT DINNER?

We are an impassioned team of journalists, filmmakers, supporters of independent media and lovers of good food with a shared goal: to inspire all of us to question the origins of our food, and in doing so, stimulate the emergence of new and vibrant food cultures.

Deconstructing Dinner will encourage all of us to enter our supermarkets or local restaurants and ask the questions; “Just what and who are we investing in?”, and; “Are our investments secure?” These questions prompt a long list of considerations: animal welfare, environmental and economic impacts, farmer income, farm labour, food safety, health, genetically engineered food, corporate concentration within the food system, and of course.... FLAVOR!. Whew!

Fortunately, there is on-the-ground (and tasty) evidence to demonstrate how supporting localized food systems has far-reaching and positive ripple effects for ourselves and our communities. BUT, is investing our dollars more wisely enough to stimulate change? Or, can we also begin to invest ourselves into the food system? Deconstructing Dinner will showcase the many ways we can all play a more hands-on role in supporting food producers, nourishing our bodies, and having fun! From raising your own chickens for eggs, managing bees for honey, or learning how to make your own sausages at home, a great line-up of world-renowned chefs and advocates of good food will offer their trusted experience.

THE CHEFS

Here is a sampling of the amazing chefs to be featured throughout the series:

Michael Stadtlander, Eigensinn Farm (Singhampton, Ontario) – A Canadian culinary icon who inspires chefs of all kinds to better know the source of their food. Eigensinn Farm was ranked as the 9th best restaurant in the world by London's Restaurant Magazine and one of the top three restaurants in Canada by The New York Times.

Michael AnthonyGramercy Tavern (New York City) – Recently awarded Best Chef in NYC at the 2012 James Beard Awards.

Heather Carlucci-RodriguezPrint (New York City) – Listed among the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine in 2011.

Blaine WetzelWillows Inn (Lummi Island, Washington) – Formerly the sous-chef at the world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen, the 25 year old Wetzel was recently listed among the 2012 Best New Chefs in America by FOOD & WINE Magazine.

Chris Brown, The Stop Community Food Centre (Toronto, Ontario) - Former Executive Chef at Perigee in Toronto, Chris Brown has since established himself as the chef at one of the leading community food centres in the world. The Stop offers amazing educational and skills-based food programming on urban agriculture, cooking, sustainable food systems and much more.

A FEW SHOTS FROM THE PILOT...

Host Jon Steinman and Chef Michael Stadtlander in the gardens of the world-renowned Eigensinn Farm.
Host Jon Steinman and Chef Michael Stadtlander in the gardens of the world-renowned Eigensinn Farm.
The quality of industrial meat versus artisanally raised and pastured meat is startling. Butcher Scott Mills, Chef Michael Stadtlander and host Jon Steinman compare cuts of meat and discover noticeable differences.
The quality of industrial meat versus artisanally raised and pastured meat is startling. Butcher Scott Mills, Chef Michael Stadtlander and host Jon Steinman compare cuts of meat and discover noticeable differences.
The series will feature foods such as Honey, Wheat, Pork, Garlic and Eggs.
The series will feature foods such as Honey, Wheat, Pork, Garlic and Eggs.
Instructional videos will complement the online component of the project - from preservation techniques, to recipes from award-winning chefs or sausage-making (as seen here) with Chef Michael Stadtlander and his apprentice Buddy.
Instructional videos will complement the online component of the project - from preservation techniques, to recipes from award-winning chefs or sausage-making (as seen here) with Chef Michael Stadtlander and his apprentice Buddy.

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FAQ

What will a typical episode look like?

At the beginning of each episode, a meal will be prepared by a notable chef from the United States or Canada and presented to host Jon Steinman. But before taking that first bite, Jon takes you behind the scenes of the North American food system to discover the sometimes shocking origins of our food. Deconstructing the food motivates us to carve a new path forward: one that moves beyond the bottom-line and instead puts communities, health and people at the forefront. Check out our Kickstarter video above to see previews from our pilot episode on pork.

Where does my pledge go?

Some of your generous pledge will go towards your fabulous reward, but most of it will end up in our production budget (writers, camerafolk and travel expenses are the big ticket items). This budget will enable us to produce another 5 episodes in addition to the one episode (the pilot) which is already complete.

Doesn't it cost more than $60,000 to make a documentary series?

Yes, indeed. Fortunately, there are other very important contributors helping to make this series a reality. The $60,000 figure is the bare minimum remaining of a much larger budget. Every extra dollar will be put to essential use.

When do I get to see the finished product?

Having already completed our pilot episode, we have five more to film this summer! Much work ahead!!! We anticipate having the series ready to release in the Spring of 2013 with pre-releases arriving in the hands of Kickstarter donors as early as March.

The model for the series is designed to enable many more episodes to be produced in future years. This means that this Kickstarter campaign is a boost for both this season and future seasons. 

When's the big premiere? And the screening parties?

Expect the parties and premieres to begin as early as Spring 2013.

Can I gift a reward?

Yes! Spectacular idea. If you would like to pledge but give the reward to someone as a gift, go through the normal process of making a pledge. For billing purposes, this action must be in your name. After our deadline, we will send a message to you on Kickstarter. (It will be forwarded to the email address you provided.) We will request all applicable info including a shipping address from you at that time.

I'm not in the U.S., can I still pledge to your project?

Absolutely. Merci, gracias, danke, grazie and thanks! Anyone, anywhere (with a major credit card) can pledge to Kickstarter projects. Please be aware of any additional shipping charges associated with rewards being sent outside of North America.

Can I still make a pledge if I'm not a member of Kickstarter?

Indeed. We encourage all backers to setup a Kickstarter account and give via this site. It's quick and easy, we promise! However, if there are extenuating circumstances, you can make a pledge to this project via the following link: www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/support.htm. If there are additional questions, please contact us at the E-mail address at the bottom of this page.

Can my foundation donate to or partner with this series?

Thanks for your interest! Please contact us at deconstructingdinner@cjly.net if your organization is interested in making a donation outside of KickStarter or partnering with Deconstructing Dinner.

What's Kickstarter, anyway?

Kickstarter is a website designed to help raise financing for creative projects and employs a unique all-or-nothing fundraising method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. For more info, click here: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics#WhatIsKick

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Testimonials

“One of our big problems today is that we live in a world that is shattered. We no longer see the interconnectivity of everything in the biosphere. Food is a way to reconnect with the planet.  That’s why I feel the Deconstructing Dinner series is an important one.” -  David Suzuki(Right Livelihood Award - 2009)

[from the Toronto Star's Pitch a Show contest]...

"Deconstructing Dinner has more program potential. It's a fascinating look at how we eat and could work on any media platform" - Jeffrey Dvorkin, former Chief Journalist for the CBC and former ombudsman for NPR

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Have additional questions or feedback? We'd love to hear from you! Please contact us at deconstructingdinner@cjly.net and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Feel free to check out Deconstructing Dinner’s original incarnation as a radio show and podcast. 193 one-hour episodes are available to listen to at www.deconstructingdinner.com.

Thanks for checking us out!

And if you like what you see, please take 2 seconds to like us on facebook by clicking on the "Like" button at the top left of the page (just under the video). It would mean the world to us!

Jon & Declan

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A special thank you to Miriam Needoba (Small Town Films), Adham Shaikh (Sonic Turtle Records), Solona Armstrong (sunWISE design), Mark Stevens and Kootenay Co-op Radio for all their support of this campaign.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Your name will appear on our Patrons Wall at the Deconstructing Dinner website. Every dollar helps. Thanks so much for your support!

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    Digital download of 2 pre-release episodes of your choice + your name on the Patrons Wall.

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    76 backers

    Digital download of Season 1 (all 6 episodes) + your name on the Patrons Wall.

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    Pre-Order your Limited Edition pre-release copy of the Season 1 DVD containing all 6 episodes + behind the scenes and bonus footage + your name on the Patrons Wall.
    (Add $5 for shipping outside North America.)

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    SEEDLING PACKAGE: Receive a personal thank you call from an extremely appreciative member of the Deconstructing Dinner team and a 8.5x11” photograph from the set signed by Host Jon Steinman and Filmmaker Declan O’Driscoll + the Limited Edition Season 1 DVD with bonus footage + your name on the Patrons Wall. (Add $5 for shipping outside North America.)

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    HARVEST PACKAGE: Everything in the Seedling Package + the Special Edition Deconstructing Dinner canteen from Klean Kanteen. (Add $10 for shipping outside North America.)

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    11 backers

    HERITAGE PACKAGE: Receive a signed copy of Seasonings: a year of local flavour in words and recipes (an excellent cookbook from Jon Steinman’s local foodshed in the West Kootenay region of B.C.), nominated for a 2011 Canadian Culinary Book Award. Includes a recipe from Steinman himself. Also, everything in the Seedling Package including a personal thank you call from Jon Steinman. (Add $10 for shipping outside North America.)

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    4 backers

    Did somebody say party? Oh yes we did... Receive passes for 2 people to join Team DD for one of the release parties in Toronto, Nelson, New York or Seattle + everything in the Seedling Package. (Transportation not included.)

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    This is a fun one (and a limited offer), so get it while it's hot! A member of Team DD will personally lend their horticulture expertise while in your town for a screening and help you build a garden, whether in your backyard or your apartment. Plus you'll receive passes for two to a release party and everything in the Harvest Package. (Limited to backers in Toronto, Nelson, New York or Seattle only please.)

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    Not in Toronto, Nelson, New York or Seattle? No problem. You'll receive everything in the Heritage and Harvest Packages, plus a special thank you on our website.

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    Another limited offer! Join host Jon Steinman for a private lunch with you and a friend while in your town for a screening + you'll receive passes for 2 people to one of the release parties in Toronto, Nelson, New York or Seattle + everything in the Heritage Package. (Limited to backers in Toronto, Nelson, New York or Seattle only please.)

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    HONORARY PRODUCER PACKAGE: We'll list you as an Honorary Producer on our website and include you in a "Funding made possible by

    " credit in all 6 Season 1 episodes + receive passes for 4 people to one of the release parties in Toronto, Nelson, New York or Seattle and everything in the Heritage Package.

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    Honorary Producer Package + a VIP dinner for 2 at any of the featured chefs’ restaurants + an additional 2 passes to one of the release parties (6 passes total). (Transportation and wine not included. Sorry!)

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PACKAGE: You will be named as a Gold Sponsor in all 6 Season 1 episode credits + Jon Steinman will pay you a personal visit and share his knowledge of the food industry over a dinner for you and a friend in addition to everything mentioned in the Honorary Producer Package. (Limited to North America.)

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    1 backer

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PACKAGE: You will be named a Platinum Sponsor in all 6 Season 1 episode credits + Jon Steinman and Declan O'Driscoll will personally host a catered private screening of DD in your hometown for you and up to 16 friends in addition to everything mentioned in the Honorary Producer Package. (Limited to North America.)

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Funding period

- (39 days)