Did you ever watch a chef, food, or restaurant related movie that made you nod your head so hard you got whiplash while crying, cussing, and smiling all at the same time? I just watched Bradley Cooper in Burnt and it blew my socks off (almost- I never wear socks at home). This inspired me to think back to the most heartwrenching, truth-telling-it-like-it-effin-is chef movies.
Let me start with the movie that inspired it:
Despite the fact that Bradley Cooper is obvi yum, that’s not why he is great in this centripetal role. He exudes the arrogance and asshatness needed to portray the dickheads* we call our bosses/heroes/creative nuances in this industry. Bradley Cooper is EITHER a confrontational cocky asshole in real life, or damn good at acting. The character’s OCD, passion, raw anger management problems, blatant disrespect for effective communication is spot on. But he’s the best, he knows it, and he’s the only one holding himself back. Chefs are more critical of themselves than anyone, until they develop the unavoidable derogative dependence on an outside source of relief…Also, the scene where they just got their asses kicked and still have to stay and scrub the kitchen is so realistic that I could kiss the badunkadunk of whoever put it in the script. That part where he tries to kill himself in the sous vide machine is ironically tragic and funny.
P.S. CHEFS THAT SMOKE ARE RIDICK and RUINING THEIR PALATE. Plus I’m allergic, otherwise I wouldn’t mind a reason to take a break.
P.S.S. Health code violation- blowing gold dust over his fancy-smancy chocolate ganache covered torte. I could go on about the many health code violations, BUT I’ll save them for my diaries that I keep buying but never seem to write in. DID anyone wear gloves in that kitchen???
*Disclaimer: I call bosses and chefs dickheads even though I have respect for 80.3% of them. It might seem disrepectful tosome, but I guarantee he/she would agree. I had an epiphany a couple years back that sometimes dickheads are more efficient because they don’t allow themselves to be affected by the emotions of others. Just because I had this epiphany doesn’t mean I’ve managed to figure out how to do it yet.
Other memorable food-related movies:
The restaurant business can be stifling unless you’re a business owner and the chef and the customer and able to be home with your family…Working in this business is essentially and insane cycle of working long hours cooking another chef’s recipes which leads to managing those making the recipes. But when do the recipes become your own? When is it okay to donate your creativity without stepping on your chef’s balls? When do you actually become your own chef? Chefs and line cooks are convinced that this cycle will eventually lead to cooking their own menu on their own terms, but this movie touches on the fact that we need these years of experience to keep learning and get better, and eventually decide when we’re ready to BREAK the cycle and start a personal business. This movie is also amazing because it shows that chefs don’t always need to try to break trends or try something new. Reinventing soulful, classic dishes can create just as much of an interest. People can taste passion and love and these flavors will win customers over nouveau fine dining any day. But I’m a bit partial…
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been planning a trip to India for almost a year or that I love Indian food, but I stumbled upon this movie one night when I couldn’t find anything to watch. It’s about a sous chef that has dedicated his day and night to an upscale restaurant only to be passed over for a promotion…Coincidentally I had just experienced something similar the first time I saw this movie, so I ugly-cried throughout the whole thing. After quitting his job, he’s determined to movie to Paris and work with the best chefs. Instead, his father gets sick and it’s up to him to run his father’s run down, small Indian restaurant. Everything keeps going downhill, until he meets a magical chef that helps make the homemade spices for the slow-cooked Indian dishes. Eventually he discovers a deeper passion for making food that people make their O-face over, even if it’s not the prettiest. So good. A little goofy. But such a good food movie.