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Posted on Tue. Jul. 08, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

DROP DEAD CULINARY, A COLUMN BY LAURA WILSON

Foodies will love these movies

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I love movies. I love movies. My husband, friends (and all by my lonesome) and I go to about every movie out except some of the major blockbusters and scary devil and/or slasher movies. So this leaves a lot of movies for me to go to and eat a lot of popcorn. I love popcorn too, by the way, so it is a good relationship.

One of my favorite genres is food movies. How I love them! If you are a foodie, you probably go to them as well. If not, get thee to "Chef" right now, as I think it will be leaving Carmike 20, 3930 E. Dupont Road, soon. It is well written, has likable stars and is a feel good movie with an actual happy ending — rare these days. The premise is a chef, played by Jon Favreau, is unhappy working for Dustin Hoffman's character because he is strictly limited to a boring menu that Hoffman thinks fills the seats. When a food critic (the awesome Oliver Platt) reviews it with disdain, Chef believes the negative review will change Hoffman's mind. He develops a killer menu to serve but his ideas are shut down that night. So he packs up his knives, is given an old, filthy food truck from Robert Downey Jr., and the rest of the story goes from there. There are so may things to love about this movie, but I honed in on the knife skills, wondering who was his double, and the gusto with which they spiced and ate their food.

Here are some other food movies that I love. These are not all the food movies out there, just the ones I really liked. You can watch them on Amazon or Netflix. Very worth it!

Documentary:

"Kings of Pastry" — This is about the fight for the incredibly difficult to obtain MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) award in France. I love this because I have trained under three of these chefs. Two of these chefs, Jacquy Pfeiffer (who did not win after three tries) and Sebastien Canonne (who did) left France and started the wonderful French Pastry School in Chicago. You can take classes from them, too! Check it out online.

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" — a great documentary about a humble chef and his two sons who have won many Michelin Stars in his tiny sushi shop.

"Three Stars" — an enlightening film about 10 three Michelin Star chefs and the whole Michelin system. I have also cooked under one of the chefs highlighted in this film, John-Georges Vongerichten, and he was truly talented.

"El Bulli" — A movie about the now-closed restaurant in Spain of the same name. It has often been called the best restaurant in the world.

Movies:

"Haute Cuisine" — Another one of my favorites about the woman who was the president of France's personal cook. I think anything about French cooking wins me over! Subtitled.

"Julie and Julia" – Meryl Streep plays Julia Child to a T and Amy Adams plays Julie, who decides to cook in one year all Child's recipes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and blog about it. This movie is great because I read the book on which it was based and it shows how much work went into getting that groundbreaking cookbook published.

"Like Water for Chocolate" — A wonderful book and a wonderful movie about love and loss in Mexico.

"Chocolat" — Juliet Binoche is a bit of a wanderer who travels to a small, windy town with her daughter and opens a chocolate shop. Johnny Depp is the handsome love interest. If you have not seen this movie, what planet have you been living on? OK, it's an old movie, so if you're young I'll cut you some slack.

"Mostly Martha" – a German film on which the movie “No Reservations” was based. While I liked "No Reservations," I have to admit I liked this one a little better. An uptight female chef gets custody of her sister's daughter when the sister is killed in a car wreck. This is one of my very favorite movies. Subtitled.

"Ratatouille" — For children and for adults. Darling.

"Eat, Drink, Man, Woman" — A CLASSIC.

"Babette's Feast" — A movie about a French woman who wants to cook a French dinner for two frugal Danish spinster sisters after winning the lottery to thank them for taking her in when she was a refugee. Based on the book by Karen Blixen. Subtitled.

"Big Night" – A comedy-drama about two Italian brothers who own a restaurant that is about to be foreclosed and their chance to cook for someone famous. Stanley Tucci stars. (Who doesn't love Stanley Tucci, right?) Mark Antony, who has a supporting role, at the time was a young, skinny actor not a hot Latin singer. Isabelle Rossellini and Minnie Driver also are in it.

There you have a list of movies for a rainy day or evening in.


Laura Wilson, owner of La Dolce Vita in Roanoke, is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. Her column appears every other Tuesday in The News-Sentinel. Have a question for Laura? Submit it to clarson@news-sentinel.com or call 461-8284. We'll pass on questions to Laura. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.


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