This nano-documentary about legendary Tennessee ham man Allan Benton — producer of pork products admired and used by chefs like David Chang, Hugh Acheson, Thomas Keller, Sean Brock, and even barmen like Jim Meehan and Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver — is short, brown sugar-sweet and smoky. Benton speaks about the process of making ham and bacon, which he says isn’t an "exact science," from his cluttered office, where faded business cards adorn the walls. The family recipe, Benton says to a customer on his "high tech" rotary phone, came "straight out of a log smokehouse behind the lil’ house I was born in." Every few frames, the camera lingers inside the actual smokehouse, and the process of smoking and aging meat takes on a profound, almost mystical quality.
Benton Family Cure [Vimeo]