SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES:  Feed Me Dammit

WhataburgerWhen my son is hungry, he will eat the fastest most convenient thing he can find. He will not wait for a piece of toast if he can eat the bread now. Butter? Jelly? Who needs it. He would just as soon eat at Whataburger as Brennan’s. Ordinary American food has always had its place in the movies. Harold and Kumar do eventually find the White Castle, Jake and Elwood order their fried chickens and dry white toast and many of us recall the beans in Blazing Saddles.

But every once in a while, Hollywood pops out a movie about food and the people who make it. Good food, very good food, the kind of food most of us are lucky to enjoy a couple times a year. Food presented as experience, not sustenance.

MrB GrilledFish In these movies, food is one of the central characters, the places where it is prepared the principle setting and at least one of the main characters is in love with food.

The food here is special. It is sometimes exotic. It is beautiful. It is cared for. It is selected with care, handled with care and finally consumed, bite by delectable bite, with care.

The preparation does not just make the food ready to eat. The chef is in love with the food as an artist loves his canvass or a sculptor his stone. It is this artistry, this love that sets the truly good cook apart from the rest of us.

Burntburnt

Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a great chef and a crappy person. After serving a self imposed penance for his last screw up, he embarks on a quest for his third Michelin star. The food may just be the star of this movie. It is beautiful.

Adam Jones: I don't want my restaurant to be a place where people sit and eat. I want people to sit at that table and be sick with longing.

Chefchef

Renowned chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is fired after an argument with a food critic goes viral on You Tube. At one point he makes his son a grilled cheese sandwich. This is not just any grilled cheese. It is a labor of love; love for the food, love for his art and love for his son. I would watch this again just for this scene.

Carl Casper: I may not do everything great in my life, but I'm good at this. I manage to touch people's lives with what I do and I want to share this with you.

J

julie and juliaJulie and Julia

 Amy Adams and Merle Streep come together in this biopic which should be enough to make you want to watch this movie. Food, particularly butter, is the common thread that ties these women together. Forty years ago Julia child taught me to cook pasta on television. I still do it her way.

Julie Powell: [voiceover, blogging] Last night, our sleep machine, the one we have by our bed to drown out the noise of freight trucks rumbling past our apartment, was speaking to me. And it was saying, lobster killer. Lobster killer, lobster killer, lobster killer.

Todays specialToday’s Special

Daily Show alumni, Aasif Mandvi, stars as Samir, a sous chef out of a job. He is about to head to Paris to up his game when his father, proprietor of the family’s Indian restaurant is sidelined by a heart attack. Samir must trade in his French cooking skills and learn ethnic Indian cooking. This is a fun, feel good film.

Akbar: Eating with utensils is like making love with an interpreter.

So what is your favorite food movie. I’m hungry.

eggs benedict

William Hunn

William Hunn

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