Monday, January 6, 2020

Around the Kitchen Table -- Our Favorite Foodie Movies + books #giveaway


LESLIE: Mr. Right and I live in the country, six miles from the nearest town and thirty miles from the nearest movie theater. So though we both love movies, we don't make the trek often. Oddly, we tend to "go to the movies," rather than watch from the couch, in the winter. Yes, the roads can be tricky then, but we're less distracted by fun things like hiking, sailing, and gardening!

And we adore food movies. Sadly, there haven't been any major food flicks in the last few years, at least not that I'm aware of, though I did read that one of my faves, Babette's Feast, is being remade -- two older, unmarried sisters in modern-day Minnesota take in a refugee.

Making a list is like the old TV commercial said of potato chips---bet you can't eat (watch, name) just one. Mine---not in order, because that's impossible---are probably Chocolat (2000), Julie and Julia (2009), and Mistress of Spices (2005), a lovely movie featuring a young woman who moves to the US from India and brings her love of spice with her.

Got a favorite? Or a favorite eating scene? (I know, I know---hard to top Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally, but there are others!)   

Leave a comment below to win a veritable FEAST of books! 

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Krista: One of my old favorites is While You Were Sleeping. Romcom, of course, but there's a scene where they are eating a delayed Christmas dinner. Everything in their lives has gone haywire but the mom just can't stop talking about how creamy the mashed potatoes are.

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Maya: My favorite foodie movie is from the 1990s--Big Night. It's set on the Jersey Shore in the 1950s and revolves around two brothers whose restaurant serving genuine Italian food is having trouble competing with the red-sauce eaterie across the street. The brothers go all out for an Italian feast on the "big night," hoping it will rescue their business. It's a great movie about food and family.


Leslie: Maya, great choice -- I love Big Night! And it stars Stanley Tucci, who plays Paul Child so wonderfully in Julie and Julia!

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Daryl: Oh, Leslie, that scene between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal at the diner is a classic! And Rob Reiner's mother's retort: "I'll have what she's having."  LOL  One of my favorite foodie movies is Chef starring Jon Favreau. A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise. I also really enjoyed The Hundred-Foot Journey, described as a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste.

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Lucy: I've watched Julie and Julia many times over, (Meryl Streep is such a master!) and also loved The Hundred-Foot Journey (though the book was even better.) My grandkids love Ratatouille--I'm going to watch that with them. And two documentaries I enjoyed are Spinning Plates and Kings of Pastry.

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Peg: That scene with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal will forever be a favorite! It was filmed at Katz's Deli on the lower Eastside of Manhattan. They even have a sign indicating which table they sat at! I learned about it while researching for my Murder, She Reported series.  I also loved Julie and JuliaThe Hundred Foot Journey and Chocolat.

 It may seem like an odd choice for a "foodie" movie but the Godfather trilogy is filled with eating scenes--Sunday dinners, wedding feasts, meals at restaurants in Little Italy.  And the scene where Michael learns how to make sauce.


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Ellie: I’m with Daryl on The Hundred Foot Journey. It’s one of my all-time favorite foodie movies and anytime I watch it, I have a serious yearning to create an Indian feast! A close second for me is The Lunchbox, another movie featuring Indian food that not only makes me hungry for spicy curries, but also makes me want to travel to India. Side note, Irffan Khan, who stars in the film has been a legend in Bollywood for years, so I love that he’s gaining a following throughout the globe.

Leslie: Oh, The Lunchbox! Mr. Right lived in India as a young man and we actually have one of those cool brass stacked lunchboxes that he brought home!


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Vicki: I have to confess that this is so NOT my topic. I'm not a movie lover and almost never go to them. Off hand, I can't think of any foodie movies. I did love the scene in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where the Hobbits list their daily meals -- Second Breakfast, anyone?


DENISE: I hate to admit it, but I don't really notice food in movies too much. But one that comes to mind is Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe. I really wanted to taste that bombe she was making.




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Linda:  I have to go along with Lucy and Peg - Chocolat was almost my very favorite food movie.  I could actually luxuriate in the flavor of the chocolate from the descriptions. And there were oh, so many to delight in. And Ellie was so right about The Hundred Foot Journey. However, my all-time favorite, although one I haven't watched in too long a time, is a Danish movie with English subtitles, Babette's Feast. It was one of the first I watched consciously searched out as being a foodie movie and it didn't disappoint. I'm hoping it's still available in some remote internet universe. Actually, I see it's available on Amazon but I'll have to save up my pennies for it!






Cleo Coyle: We remember that hilarious bombe, Denise! Marc and I are also fans of the zany Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? and so many of the films already mentioned. We’ll just add two more for anyone interested. Like Daryl, we loved Chef (see trailer here), a sweet, funny film that tells the universal story of a talented person who is facing the common issue of professional burnout. It’s a very personal story for filmmaker Jon Favreau, who shows us how to rediscover the passion in our professions, while also reminding us how important it is to temper ego and ambition with love and joy. There are similar universal themes in Bradley Cooper’s Burnt (see trailer here), a fast-paced look at the pressure-filled life of a chef whose expectations for excellence have taken a brutal toll on his life and the lives of those around him. It’s another journey of discovering how important it is to evolve as a human being or risk destruction. Both movies also celebrate the joy of cooking with gorgeous, vibrant food photography, and both films are highly authentic. The filmmakers hired real chefs as consultants on their sets to ensure the screen action was as close as possible to the real thing.

Finally, because so many of us are fans of Julie & Julia, made by the late great writer/director Nora Ephron, we’re sharing (below) one of our favorite scenes from her wonderful film.

With refreshing honesty, Julia Child (as played by Meryl Streep) expresses how all of us foodie folk feel about what we (really) like to do!



Click the white arrow in the window above to play the video clip.
If you don't see the window, you can watch the clip by clicking here.





GIVEAWAY

What's your favorite foodie movie? 
Leave a comment for a chance to win. 
(Include your email address so we can contact you; US addresses only.) 

The entrees and cast:  

Beyond a Resaonable Stout, by Ellie Alexander
Fatal Roots, by Sheila Connolly
Roux the Day, by Linda Wiken
Sifting Through Clues, by Daryl Wood Gerber
  Tell-Tale Tarte, by Maya Corrigan
The Dog Who Knew Too Much, by Krista Davis





162 comments:

  1. This post is so much fun! Absolutely love that last clip of Meryl Streep as Julia Child! good luck everyone...

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  2. Love this post because I love food-centric movies! Check out What's Cooking (four different Thanksgiving feasts of four very different families in the same neighborhood), Waitress (a waitress who specializes in pie baking makes different types of pies inspired by how events in her life progress), and Tortilla Soup (the life of a Mexican-American chef and his family, based on the movie Eat Drink Man Woman, which I have not seen but probably should), to name just a few.

    Some movies that I haven't seen in a while but enjoyed are The Scent of Green Papaya, Shirley Valentine, Strangers in Good Company, and Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, all of which involve food to a greater or lesser extent. I could go on and on here, but there is a comprehensive list of food-centric movies at the link below (although some of them are questionable in terms of food - Motel Hell, really?):

    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls057674149/

    Now I feel the need to watch a few movies!

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    1. Cee, what a great list! I've seen most of them -- such fun! Except, they make me hungry...

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    2. Shirley Valentine was great!

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  3. The Hundred Foot Journey is one of my favorites, too! Helen Mirren is fabulous.

    What about Like Water for Chocolate? The book, again, was better, but the movie was so sensual and wry. And even though it's not specifically about food, Something's Gotta Give has some great food/cooking scenes.

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    1. If I'd gone for my Top Ten, Like Water for Chocolate would definitely be on it -- as you say, so rich and lush, but ah, the book!

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    2. Something's Gotta Give is a favorite!

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  4. Wonderful post since I enjoy foodie movies greatly. Chef is so special but my favorite is No Reservations. The original Italian movie was emotional and beautiful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Excellent choices! When I started writing the Spice Shop series, I went on a food movie kick, although the Flick Chicks quickly expanded beyond foodie movies, and we watched both -- truly wonderful.

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  5. Hey, Linda, is there Netflix in Canada? They have Babette's Feast -- and did you see my comment about the remake? Cross your fingers -- they're walking on hallowed ground!

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  6. What a fun discussion! I loved Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep is wonderful as always and Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses. I enjoyed The 100 Foot Journey and was glad to see Manish Dayal get a part as a doctor on The Resident, even though the show is very uneven. When Harry met Sally is another favorite movie and I laugh hysterically every time I see Meg Ryan's scene in the deli. I will have to look for Big Night since Stanley Tucci is always fun to watch. I'd like to see the original Babette's Feast, as well as the remake set in MN, since I live here. Now, if only lunch wasn't 2 hours away. I'm hungry now lol. suemngirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  8. Such a great topic today since movies involving food are delightful, unforgettable and my favorite. Mostly Martha was fabulous. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I also loved Mostly Martha. It's worth watching again.

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  9. I'm not really a movie person, so don't have a foodie favorite. I have seen some of the ones you all have listed & did like them.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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  10. I love to eat, and bake, and though I cook all the time, after 47 years of marriage I am over thinking of what to make every night! I think my favorite foodie movie is Chocolat, with the Hundred Foot Journey next. I hope there will be more movies that deal with food - a popular topic for most people!

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    1. Kitty, I loved Chocolat and read the book, as well. So delicious. ~ Dary;

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  11. I have to go with Julie and Julia
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  12. I've never really seen a foodie movie, I don't think. My husband did find a really interesting food documentary on Netflix - we learned a lot about the history and culture of tacos, and all the different kinds of tacos. bunkielisa at gmail dot com

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  13. I have to say that Big Night is the BEST of the foodie movies. Chef is a close second. Thank you so much for the great giveaway! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. The best movie food scene ever is from the original Lady and the Tramp!

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  15. I'm weird and I know it's not a foodie movie but I love Christmas With The Kranks. From the beginning with having to ask the butcher about the chocolate, to the hickory honey ham being smushed by the tractor trailer to having all their neighbors and friends eating and having a good time on Christmas Eve. It just makes me feel good. Pictorvia411(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. Fun column today. You're right, no real foodie movies lately, but who doesn't love Chocolat? And I had forgotten about those creamy potatoes in While You Were Sleeping. What about I Love You to Death with Kevin Kline and Tracy Ullman? Whatever else Joey is doing, he wants to be sure people are fed, and it's the spaghetti that almost does him in! Thanks for a great giveaway
    sallycootie(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I had forgotten about that movie! It was hilarious. Kevin and Tracy were both fantastic in it!

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  17. I loved Julie and Julia. That was so interesting and fun.
    I guess I havent seen too many movies around food. Hmmm
    quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

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  18. I haven't seen most of the movies that have been mentioned except for Chef. I loved this movie. Great story, great acting. It's a movie that doesn't have any flashy effects. Just a story about reconnecting with family and rediscovering what your passion is.
    Margaret: scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I'm not a movie watcher. I'm a reader. I've found the only books I like about food are cozy mysteries. Pie shops,bakeries,ice cream shops,candy shops.... Love reading about them and seeing recipes in them.
    janestarcher@gmail.com

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    1. So much fun food fiction, right? Later today, I'm visiting a book club via Facetime that only reads books about food -- novels like ours, plus chef memoirs and biographies, food histories, and more. Wish I were going to be there in person to eat with them!

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  20. Julie and Julia. Ty for the great giveaway! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  21. What a fun discussion! Chef and Ratatouille are among my favorite foodie movies. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

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  22. Here's an obscure one for you.
    Theatre of Blood with Vincent Price and Diana Rigg!
    I have a marvelous still from it hanging in a place of honor in my kitchen.

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Ha -- if we were giving a prize for the most unusual choice, this would be it!

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    2. Libby Dodd