"Tako NY" ~ A documentary film about Otafuku~

Tako NY from Kristoffer Brearton on Vimeo.

Text: Karl Palma (Otafuku)

Late Summer 2012, I was approached by filmmaker, Kris Brearton, about the idea of making a short documentary about Osaka street food, and it's presence here in NYC.  The film was to be presented at the Food Film Festival here in NYC.  Not knowing much about the Food Film Festival and or the director, I figured any promotion would be good promotion for Otafuku.  I really didn't know what to expect.  I just hoped that doing the film would give better incite to Otafuku fans, old and new, about what we do here and how we do it.  It would be a good time for me to explain some things about the food, the culture, as well as add some personal tidbits about being the head cook here.  Filming the movie was done so fast.  We had a lot of fun in the process.  

It debuted October 19, 2012 at Loews East Village to a pack of 400+ hungry foodies.  Spam and I cooked at the premiere, and it was a busy day.  We were one of the most popular vendors in the lobby.  The smell of Takoyaki filled the basement lobby.   As we were getting ready to feed the next wave of food film fans, one of the event coordinators called Spam and I to the theatre.  We put down our stuff and made our way to the theatre.  The doors opened and it was a packed house!  I felt like I was at the Oscars.  The movie just finished, credits rolling and everyone was in their seats.  I looked a far and Kris was on the stage.  He said, "By the way, Chef Karl and Spam are here, lets welcome them on stage to say something and wrap it all together".  Those weren't the exact words he said but, I'm pretty sure it went something like that...

Everyone turned around in their seats smiling and clapping at us.  Amazing.  We walked up the aisle to the stage, everyone still clapping, and the spotlights were on us.  Right when we turned around to the audience, It became so quiet.  I could hear the crickets.  I looked over at Spam to see if she wanted to say someting, but she froze.   So I spoke.  What happened there, I don't remember so much, but it seems like I touched a lot of people with my honesty and cooking philosophy.  Everything went so fast.  Afterwards my hands were shaking.  
Overall, I think the film was a bigger thing than I expected it to be.  Now, chefs come by, drop off a business card or two, and ask me to swing on by to their establishments so I can rub elbows with the top chefs of NYC.  Wow!  Me???  

I love to cook, and though I'm no Morimoto, I can honestly say, my Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba is some of the best in the city.  I put a lot of love into it, because I always cook like my mom cooks for me.  I'll always do the same for you no matter how busy.  With that, I'll continue to do the best that I can do, and hope you enjoy the ride too.  So check out the film, sit back and relax for the 5 minutes it is (ha ha), and enjoy!  

See you here on 9th street.  

Karl P

236 East 9th St. 
New York, NY 10003
212 353 8503

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