When we asked our Chef in Your Ear stars to name their favourite food films, they highlighted movies that showcase elaborate dishes, culinary travel and lots of kitchen shenanigans.
Here are their top suggestions for your viewing (and dining) pleasure. Enjoy the shows and bon appétit!
Rob Rossi, Greg Komorowski and Cory Vitiello all name Big Night as a favourite film. Starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub as brothers trying to save their failing Italian restaurant, the movie features exquisite renditions of Italian food, including a show-stopping timpano – layers of ziti, eggs and sausage wrapped in a giant piece of pasta, baked to perfection and seasoned with comedy.
“Big Night is hilarious,” says Chef Rossi. “It’s hilarious because they’re trying to run this restaurant and the front of the house is run by one of the brothers, and he’s cool, calm and collected and then the chef in the back is like, ruthlessly angry all the time. It’s an interesting dynamic that they have.”
“It’s a total rom-com but I think any chef can appreciate it,” says Cory Vitiello of Jon Favreau’s 2014 food film, Chef. Jon Favreau stars as a talented but troubled chef who hopes his new food truck will allow him more culinary creativity. Writing for the LA Times, Favreau – who also wrote and directed the film – revealed that he went to culinary school to get the details right.
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon star as pair of love/hate besties touring northern England while Coogan’s character, a food writer, is on assignment. The movie is a condensed version of the BBC television series of the same name, and takes viewers to actual English restos. It’s Craig Harding’s favourite food film, and a great way to research your next culinary tour of England.
“Every chef has a little soft spot for Ratatouille,” says Cory Vitiello of the 2007 Disney Pixar animation. Jordan Andino agrees. The Brad Bird-helmed film about a rat with culinary ambitions was well received when it came out; it has a 96 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Roger Ebert wrote it was one of the few animations that made him desire seconds…er, a sequel.
Devin Connell’s favourite food movie centres around a three-day party in the castle of one of Louis XIV’s princes, and stars Gerard Depardieu as the titular chef. “Vatel was the chef of the castle and he just made these epic feasts,” says Connell. “And [SPOILER ALERT] rumour has it that when King Louis came for a party at the house…the pheasants didn’t arrive or some sort of game didn’t arrive for the dinner, and he killed himself out of total despair and embarrassment.”