Sunday, March 17, 2013

List: Best Movies That Celebrate Food

There are 297 movies currently on my Netflix queue. By the time a movie makes the top of my list and into my house, many times I have forgotten why the movie was on the list in the first place.

I watched one of those movies today - Last Holiday. The 2006 version not the original version from 1950 with Alec Guinness, which I now want to see.

The movie's summary from IMDB:
In morte veritas. Georgia Byrd clerks at a New Orleans department store. She defers pleasure: cooks gourmet meals, eats Lean Cuisine; likes a co-worker in silence; has savings, but hasn't left Louisiana. All that changes when a CT Scan discloses she has three weeks to live. She cashes her savings and heads to Europe's Grandhotel Pupp, where Chef Didier(Gerard Depardieu) presides. She checks into the Presidential Suite, orders everything on the menu, snowboards, and comes to the attention of the chef and the hotel's powerful American guests: a Congressman, a Senator, a retail magnate, and his mistress. She has nothing to lose, so she tells them what she thinks. Will the truth set them free?

 It is a bit predicable, but Queen Latifah, LL Cool J and the rest of the cast are quite good. The movie had two other things going for it that made it even more enjoyable: 1) a large part of the movie was filmed and set in New Orleans (which came as a pleasant surprise to me) and 2) the movie celebrated food - eating and cooking it.

In the first scene in the European restaurant run by the character played by Gerard Depardieu, in response to the waiter announcing the day's specials, Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) orders all of them. According to IMDB, Food Network posted the recipes for all of the dishes on their website. Specific dishes prepared for the movie include:
  • Lobster Salad in Potato Leek Nests
  • Duck Hash on Toasted Baguette
  • Spiced Lamb Shanks with Blood Orange Relish
  • Roasted Quail with Brioche and Chorizo Stuffing
  • Risotto Barolo with Roasted Vegetables
  • Bananas Foster
  • Poulet Tchoupitoulas
This movie has me thinking of other movies that have the love of food as a main idea so here is my list of...

Best Movies that Celebrate Food
Last Holiday
Bend It Like Beckham (for the Indian dish Aloo Gobi, which I have made twice)
Julie & Julia

Honorable Mention:
Soylent Green (no spoilers here)
The Help (for the chocolate pie)

That's a short list for now, but there are other movies on my Movie Master List that I have yet to see that may make the above list once I watch them:
Soul Food
Mostly Martha
Fried Green Tomatoes


jason said...

gee, no Babette's Feast?

Dee said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. I've seen four of the movies you've mentioned. Last Holiday, Fried Green Tomatoes and Julie and Julia. I thought of a couple more to add to your list. How about, No Reservations and Ratatouile? They were also about chefs and centered around food. Have a good day.