How to Cook Your Life (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary  |  10 May 2007 (Germany)
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A Zen priest in San Francisco and cookbook author use Zen Buddhism and cooking to relate to everyday life.



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Cast overview:


Doris Dörrie's camera greets Edward Espe Brown when he arrives in Australia to give a class on cooking, Zen, and meditation. We see him back home in Northern California as well. Brown, for forty years a Zen cook, demonstrates cooking as well as commenting on topics including anger, quiet, gleaning and waste, battered pots, and how he found his vocation. A focus of his is to demonstrate how to bring one's self to cooking and to others simultaneously. He quotes often from two masters, with several examples of Zen wit. The camera takes the occasional trip to fast food restaurants to provide contrast to Brown's approach and results. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

10 May 2007 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Jak ugotowac swoje zycie  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,741 (USA) (26 October 2007)


$84,097 (USA) (7 March 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Cult Film Status?
1 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A quirky Zen leader, a couple followers who are way to interested in what he's saying and a load of other subtly absurd details make this film hilarious if you don't want to take it serious. You can enjoy this as a primer to Buddhism but you can also laugh at it as a showcase of some nutty Americans who might be slightly mistranslating the deep history of a foreign religion. Some scenes are so out of place like all of a sudden the cameras follow people scavenging for food and talking about the connection between American wastefulness and the Iraq'll find half your brain going, "Hmmmmm, interesting" and the other half going "WTF are their talking about?"

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