Houston delicatessen owner Ziggy Gruber and his Post Oak restaurant, Kenny and Ziggy’s are starring in a movie. Erik Greenberg Anjou, a New York-based independent filmmaker, was in town last week with his production crew working on the documentary which is tentatively titled: Deli Man.
The director choose Ziggy Gruber as his star because of his outgoing personality and because he is may be the only third generation Jewish deli man who is still actively running a restaurant. The unlikely Texas location is part of the movie’s appeal. “The fact that the best New York Deli in the country is located in Houston blows people’s minds,” chuckles Ziggy Gruber.
According to the director, “Ziggy’s story, including his move from New York’s Lower East Side to Texas in an effort to continue the family business and tradition, is emblematic of the wider story of the Jewish delicatessen; its storied if not heart-stopping delicacies and its reflection of the migration and development of both Eastern European and American Jews.”
Erik Greenberg Anjou’s previous films cover subjects as varied as college football history and abstract expressionist painting, but his particular interest is in Jewish culture and its perpetuation. Two of his projects – A Cantor’s Tale (www.acantorstale.com) and The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground (www.klezdoc.com) – have found an enthusiastic home on the film festival circuit and on PBS affiliates.
The film is schedule for release in a about a year. We’ll keep you posted.