Some friends of mine were playing ‘Name That Movie,’ which is where one person quotes a line from a movie and the others guess the movie. It’s a fun game to play, but not nearly as fun as going to a movie, hoping it might have one of those memorable scenes that you’ll never forget.
For some unexplainable reason, cooking movies have always mesmerized me. Probably because food, especially sharing food with others – in a restaurant for example – carries so much meaning. To me, eating dinner at a restaurant with friends or family is almost a religious experience, because of the sacramental elements. But now I’m getting maudlin. And the point of this article is to enumerate my favorite cooking movies, which all had great kitchens with just the right equipment that gave them just the right look and just the right feel. That’s why they’re so memorable.
So here they are:
Ratatouille: wherein the director borrows from the classic Cyrano de Bergerac story, telling the tale of a rat who transforms the kitchen’s garbage boy into a celebrated chef. Great kitchen scenes, even if they’re animated.
Like Water for Chocolate: a young woman expresses her passion for the man she loves through her cooking, which becomes almost magical. Sadly, the man is married to her older sister.
Chocolat: A single mother and her young daughter move to a rural village in France, where they open a chocolate shop. If your one of those rare individuals that doesn’t like chocolate now, you will after you see this movie, which is slow and sexy, just like chocolate.
Big Night: a David versus Goliath movie of great poignancy. Two brothers, restaurateurs, compete against a bigger, glitzier and more popular restaurant. The cooking scenes, literally, speak volumes about life and human emotions.