The lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) covers up for talented baker Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) as they pretend to be producing regular batches of the gorgeous Mendl's pastries, while in reality they are up to some wicked baking. A scene from Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel'.
I am guessing that, like me, you also like to watch a good film. And I am guessing that, if you're here, you're pretty much into food as well. So I guess that, just like myself, you like to watch food on the screen. You have probably even googled the words food and movie together quite a few times, and you're likely to have come across some lists of must-see films for foodies. I thought so. And that's why I've decided to compile my own list with some of the most remarkable silver screen moments featuring food, in a selection that is not exclusive to those pictures we all know too well feature eating, cooking or baking. Oh yeah, I have gone through them all.
22 REMARKABLE FOOD MOMENTS CAUGHT ON SCREEN
[warning: there might be spoilers]
1. FOOD FLOPS
When Bridget decides to cook for her own birthday party.
Bridget has this virtue of making any woman feel less clumsy, unlucky and insecure. No wonder this movie is one of girls' favourite pick-me-ups. As if that would not be enough already, she is bound to be a lovely disaster in the kitchen. I mean, one can be a terrible cook, but there's barely a flop that can match blue string soup! Yet what matters is the intention and the love behind it all and all is worth it when, just like Bridge, you have friends that love you just like you are.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Blake Edwards
The exploding cooker.
How terrible is it to - literally - blow it all up when you're trying to impress someone? No doubt it happens to all of us. Holly was clearly trying hard to show she was converting into the perfect housewife, learning portuguese, knitting, cooking... until the cooker explodes right in front of her!
The 'meet-the-parents' dinner. (38m12s)
La Cage Dorée is a brilliant commedy that satirizes the cliché about Portuguese emmigrants in France. To me, this dinner between the young couple and their Portuguese and French parents is the key point of this satire. The french mother, even though she is trying hard to be extremly polite, keeps saying ludicrous things: greeting the hostess in Spanish, mistaking Salazar for General Alcazar (which was from Tintin), and so on. Despite all these offensive flops, the Portuguese family lacks confidence and is overly worried they cannot measure up to the high standards of the richer family, even though they are actually going over the top showing their best assets. Even though the food is plenty, and delicious, when the French lady hints that they had thought they would be eating codfish, the Portuguese lady is heartcrushed and runs to the kitchen to fry some 'bolinhos de bacalhau'.
2. CREATIVE COOKS
The Apartment (1960), Billy Wilder
The tennis racket colander.
We cannot help but be admired at C.C. Baxter's skills for draining spaghetti with a tennis racket. He does make it look like an easy task. However, if we were in Fran's position, we would likely run away from that bachelor's pad the moment he held the improvised colander.
Soul Kitchen (2009), Faith Akin
Making a fancy looking dish out of fish fingers, ketchup and mayo. (18m16s)
When the talented chef Zinos is trying to get to cook at his 'Soul Kitchen' restaurant sees what the place is all about, he is annoyed and walks away. Then he gives us a show on how to prepare a 25 dollar dish out of trash. We are both disgusted and astonished at his creativity.
Paulette (2012), Jérôme Enrico
The accidental hash cake.
Paulette's luck suddenly changes when her grandson locks himself in the kitchen and mixes her drugs into the batter of the cake she was making for her friends. Plus the old ladies couldn't have had a better tea time.
The surprise-inside cakes.
When M. Gustave is locked up in prison, his cellmates come up with a plan for escaping, yet they have no tools for digging. Someone noticed that Gustave keeps receiving pastries from Mendl's that, for their astonishing beauty, go through security intact, and that's how the tools make their way into the prision - even when the cakes have obviously odd shapes.
3. COOKING LESSONS
Sabrina (1954), Billy Wilder
Learning how to crack an egg with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
In my opinion, this is one of the most epic, underrated and unknown cooking lessons in the history of cinema. The whole course Sabrina makes in Paris is really funny, but this lesson in particular, with the strict chef and his nervous ways, teaching how to crack an egg as if he was talking to an army, is delightful.
Julie and Julia (2009), Nora Ephron
Julia Child takes french cooking lessons.
When Julia sees herself stuck in basic level cooking lessons for naive housewifes and decides to stand up for herself and face a men-only class, going through all obstacles, including being in a foreign country and being hated by some, eventually coming to be the best in the class. It reminds one that even when we're placed in a hostile environment, we can succeed, and that constant challenge is the way to achieve it.
4. WHEN FOOD MELTS A HEART OF STONE
Ratatouille (2007), Brad Bird
Anton Ego tastes the Ratatouille.
Animation movies also have their food moments, and this is a big one. It's easy to shed a tear for our own foregone childwood when we see Anton Ego, the ruthless food critic, suddenly losing it all after a single bite of Remy's Ratatouille, as he plunges into a vortex of memories of his mother's food. After all, is there ever anyone whose food tastes better than mom's?
Chocolat (2000), Lasse Hallström
The mayor tries to put an end to the chocolate blasphemy, but literally falls into it instead.
After several attempts to get rid of Vianne Rocher and her chocolate witchcraft, which he believes is leading the town to sin and misery, the mayor puts his own hands at use and breaks into her store. He then tries to tear apart her chocolate showcase, but as soon as a tiny bit of chocolate touches his lips, he goes crazy and starts devouring everything, ending up falling asleep on it.
5. FALLING IN LOVE BY THE MEANS OF FOOD
No Reservations (2007), Scott Hicks
If you would ask me about romantic scenes in movies, this one would never come to my mind, and it would never be in my top list of romance. The film is not that special, it's even a remake of an older one. But when food is at stake... I find it, and particularly this scene, terribly romantic. If a guy would show up at my place for dinner with homemade tiramisú and that smoothness, oh dear!!
The Lady and the Tramp (1955), Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske
The classic spaghetti scene.
In reality, as a very young kid, I would wonder where to find such amazing huge pieces of spaghetti, and how to recreate the scene in real life with them. Was I the only one!? This scene is all about innocent love, and with all the tramps a lady gets to meet on her way, she can't help but wonder where's this Tramp, who treated Lady to spaghetti and meatballs under the moonlight. Sadly humans usually eat spaghetti on their own plates and with forks, so the kissing thing is not likely to happen like that.
It's Complicated (2009), Nancy Meyers
Late night croissant baking.
Call me lame, I love this scene. First, there's nothing quite like puff pastry! It takes so much time, care and patience, that it actually has a lot to do with love by itself! And is there anything quite like baking pastries like these with someone special!? Even though she gets back to Baldwin in the end... Great choice, Steve Martin.
6. FOOD AND FOREPLAY (18+)
Nine and a Half Weeks (1986), Adrian Lyne
That refrigerator food scene.
Okay. I have a love-hate relationship with this film. I like it, because it is sexy. It's like the '50 Shades of Grey' of the 80's, except that infinite times better. I hate it because it kind of reminds today's hookup society. Somehow likewise, I realized I have a love-hate relationship with this scene. In a way, it makes me feel a bit sick... I mean, what a mess of flavours! Despite all that, this is definitely one of the most sensuous food scenes on screen. Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke absolutely nailed it here.
When Harry Met Sally (1989), Rob Reiner
Meg Ryan aces at faking it over a hot dog.
Movies are clearly full of staged orgasms, but the best one of all actually happens to take place at a restaurant's table - no intercourse involved. Ryan's performance is so outstanding that I am afraid of playing the scene out loud because of what my neighbour's would think. Whenever I watch it, I also wish I had Sally's courage and confidence, doing such a thing amidst countless speechless and stunned spectators. So I'll have what she's having as well.
Pulp Fiction (1994), Quentin Tarantino
The five dollar milkshake.
This scene could not be left out of this list, even though it is not as straightforward as the previous one. There's nothing quite like sipping your milkshake to make a men's legs shake. Sharing it over the table? It's not only his legs shaking. Maintaining eye contact? Nailed it, girl. Biting your cherry? Let's not even go into it! Then come around saying something witty about uncomfortable silences... You can bet he's feeling pretty uncomfortable sitting on his chair right now.
Dieta Mediterránea (2009), Joaquín Oristrell
The whole film, basically.
Let's talk threesome. If you thought 'you, me and food' was a threesome, think again, because Sofía Molinos will tell you better. She's an outstanding cook, in her starred restaurant and at home, and she still has the time and patience to put up with two men. Excuse me if I deeply admire this woman. If you're into trying exotic dishes, and you think you may like to do so in Spanish, then don't miss this one.
7. FEASTING WITH FOOD
Beauty and the Beast (1991), Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
The dinner scene.
This was always my favourite Disney classic, especially because it was premiered the same day I was born! I found it out as a kid, on a chronological chart in a book my father brought from Disneyland when he went to Florida, and I couldn't be more delighted. As it happens with all the classics from my childwood, I adore the Brazilian Portuguese version and hate the (much, much recent) European Portuguese remake. I love this song, the sweet mix of french and Brazilian Portuguese, the huge list of dishes that are ennumerated so fast that as a child I couldn't understand any of it... and the whole banquet they put up to impress Bella when she's feeling at a loss... simply stunning.
Babette's Feast (1987), Gabriel Axel
Babette prepares a banquet.
After years of hosting this mysterious foreign woman, the extremely religious inhabitants of the village struggle between granting Babette a final wish before she leaves and keeping their own vows of living a humble life. They promised themselves not to enjoy the food and not even talk about it. Eventually, and with the help of some wine and an unexpected guest, things loosen up and everyone ends up giving the superb dinner prepared by Babette, who turns out to be a very famous chef, the attention it deserved.
Marie Antoinette (2006), Sofia Coppola
Let them eat cake.
All Marie Antoinette and her ladies do all day is trying on outfits, hairstyles, shoes, playing cards, drinking champagne and... eating cake! This scene is a runaway of gorgeously looking Ladurée pastries that makes anyone feel like they haven't had enough pretty cakes in their lifes.
EXTRA. FOOD PORN
Chef (2014), Jon Favreau
A simple grilled cheese.
I could have chosen so many scenes to feature this extra, and that's why I went for something elementary: the grilled cheese. And yet, the appeal of the way the cooking is filmed from above... and this not your ordinary toast... this is basically just as pro as a homemade grilled cheese can get. And as he plates it and serves it to his son, the kid's reaction is disarming: 'mum cuts out the crust'. This film is full of food porn scenes and you should definitely go watch it if you haven't.
What did you think of my list?
Which movie scenes would you add!?
I'm very curious, share it in the comments, please!
lots of love,
than you for reading me,