01 Dec Comfort Food: Aloysius S. Church Video Restaurant Reviews
In the wake of Thanksgiving and in anticipation of the winter holidays to come, many of us find our thoughts turning to all the wonderful foods of the season. If you’re already hungry, visit the Audio-Visual Archive in Special Collections and find a mouthwatering appetizer in the Aloysius S. Church restaurant review video collection (A1057). Produced between 1979 and 1983 for PM Magazine, a syndicated soft news program featuring both local and national programming, the reviews in the collection offer colorful snapshots of approximately 70 restaurants or food experiences, mostly in the Salt Lake City area.
With the help of a cameraman and sound recorder, Church produced two 1-2 minute segments each month, using a balanced blend of frank criticism and good humor to highlight Utah restaurants and rate them using a system of silver spoons. For added entertainment value, many of the reviews contain whimsical touches such as themed costumes or special ratings. In his review of the elegant French restaurant, La Caille, Church arrives in a DeLorean . . .
and leaves in a Pinto.
The Al Church collection features tantalizing shots of food from gourmet and casual restaurants, many of which remain in business today, and provides an engaging glimpse into local cuisine and local television 35 years ago.
In addition to his restaurant reviews for PM Magazine and the Deseret News, Church produced, wrote, and edited numerous other segments for PM Magazine, including favorite features on rodeos and weed hopper aircraft, both of which are featured in this collection, along with other non-restaurant highlights and outtakes from the show. The Aloysius S. Church restaurant review video collection has been digitized and is available to view on DVD in the Special Collections reading room.
Written by Molly Rose Steed
Please visit the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 4 of the J. Marriott Library, Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.