“Wall of Fire: A ChefSteps Story” by ChefSteps

Video courtesy of ChefSteps, featuring “Wall Of Fire: A ChefSteps Story”  winner of the 2015 James Beard Award for visual and technical excellence. 


This James Beard award-winning documentary on ChefSteps directed by Sandy Smolan, showcases the sequences of events surrounding the inception and manufacturing of a daring and unique way to cook several pigs at once–by rotating them in front of a fire-spewing wall of wood-filled metal barrels overnight. This documentary, filmed over the span of several weeks, had a dedicated small team including photographers Kristina Krug, and Reva Keller, sound mixers Kelsey Wood, Charles Kraft, and myself helping out with production audio.

After the completion of filming and syncing process, and after several adjustments to the main edit, I was given the task to assemble the post audio production team, as well as the soundtrack for the film at hand.

After viewing the film for the first time, I knew I wanted to emphasize a contrast between structured musical arrangements, with the live improvisational nature of live performance. With the scale of work ahead of me in mind, I knew I needed to call a local multi-instrumentalist and composer, Chris Cullman.

Chris and I combined our studios and our creative efforts. We employed the use of a NXT Omni Bass, acoustic guitars, synths, drum machines, a Fender Jaguar baritone guitar, bowed guitar, dozens of custom sound libraries, and a slew of drums we had available.