Culinary Cinema

What is an ideal date for you? Mine is dinner and a movie. Trying out a new spot for dinner and a story that takes me away from reality for a bit is a winner in my book. The hubs and I have spent many a date night doing this exact process over the last 13 years.

My list of favorite movies is a mile long but here I will share some of my favorites that have to do with the culinary world. These are not always big budget movies with A-list actors but I guarantee you these movies will make you want to get in the kitchen and cook!

1.Tortilla Soup

tortilla.soupThis movie was a Redbox choice on a night when there wasn’t much available in the big red box. I like to choose at least one movie I’ve never heard of and try it out. Sometimes that plan doesn’t work out for me (i.e. Mozart and the Whale) and sometimes I find a diamond in the rough (i.e. Tortilla Soup). This is a low budget movie with a great family message.

There is nothing like the food scenes in this movie where the father prepares elaborate Latin dishes for his three daughters every Sunday. The drama of raising three girls brings some humor to the movie but I’ve never seen a movie concentrate so much on the food aspect. When the father is called in to help fix a disaster at a catering event, his ideas are brilliant and he is so humble in receiving praise for saving the night. After owning a catering business for the last 8 years, I know what a big deal it is to turn a disaster into a masterpiece so Hector Elizondo gets all my respect in this movie!

Favorite Quote: “Do you know why we clink glasses before drinking? It’s so all the five senses are involved. We touch the glass. We smell the drink. We see its color. We taste it. Hearing is the only sense that doesn’t participate unless we create it.”

This quote hits home with me because cooking and eating is such a sensory experience. From the sizzle of meat searing in hot oil to the smell of fresh bread coming out of the oven to taking that first bite of your spaghetti sauce that’s been simmering on the stove for 3 hours, it’s all about enjoying the experience. 

2. Chocolat

chocolatJohnny Depp and chocolate…what more could a girl want in a movie? Seriously though, while this movie is quirky at best, the plot takes you on a journey as human will battles spiritual conformity. I most enjoy the intense scenes of chocolate making. They say chocolate is an aphrodisiac and it sure seems to work for the townsfolk of this small village!

Favorite Quote: When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.  ~Regina Brett

This quote is not from this movie but definitely fits the futile attempts to resist chocolate in the movie!​

3. Julie & Julia

julie.&.juliaWhen you’re coming up with a favorite culinary movie list, Julia Child obviously has to be on the list. Besides the fact that she is the queen of food TV, her personality is so sweet and funny. Julie and Julia follows a foodie named Julie Powell during her journey cooking through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook. That is 524 complicated recipes in 365 days while she worked a full-time job. Wow! This movie is the very reason I started Foodie Forum and why you’re reading this right now (refer to my first blog post).

Favorite Quote: I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say “nothing” I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.”

This quote encompasses my love for cooking — no matter what’s going on in life, getting lost in a recipe while creating a dish and seeing others enjoy your food makes everything better!

4. Chef

chefThis is the story of a chef at an upscale restaurant who tires of his bosses insistence on the same old boring menu. He loses his temper in the kitchen and subsequently loses his job. He and a friend decide to go back to their roots making Cuban sandwiches in a food truck. While this movie has some great food scenes and will definitely make you crave a Cuban sandwich, the relationship aspect between the chef and his estranged son is the real winner here.

Favorite Quote: “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.”

This quote is from a scene where the chef has an honest conversation with his estranged son about how he’s messed up in the past but he knows he’s good at cooking and he wants to share that experience with his son on the food truck.


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