Julie Child (Meryl Streep) messing up an omelet

‘I know how to bake an egg!’, says Julia Child indignant in the film Julie&Julia, when she’s looking for an advanced cooking class in Paris. But a few scenes later we see her flipping an omelet on her TV-show ‘The French Chef’, landing it half in the pan and half on the stove. ‘Never apologize, no excuses, what happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen’. Besides; ‘who’s to know?’, Julia says in her Julia-style.

Although an omelet seems to be the simplest thing to cook, film and reality prove that baking a golden, fluffy omelet is one of the…

Understanding Japan in 12 food scenes from Tampopo

Tampopo has been widely recognized as one of the quintessential food films of all times, next to Como agua para chocolate and Babette’s Feast. But unlike those other two films, Tampopo’s storyline is not only about enjoying food. It deals much more with a deeper cultural (Japanese) knowledge of food. As a western viewer it might come in handy to understand some of these meanings before you go and watch the film. So here’s a not to be missed guide to Tampopo’s Japan in 12 food scenes.

1 No crisps

Meaning: film is stylish theatre

The Ghost of Cooking

Mexican films and books can easily be recognized for a spirit entering the story, sooner or later. The Mexican cultural history features Aztec and Maya believes are combined with the Spanish catholic believes, so the supernatural is never far away. Dia de Muertos (the day of the dead on November 2) is world famous but the remembrance of deceased ancestors is always kept to a close.

Decorated skulls from pure sugar. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.

In the best Mexican food film Como agua para chocolate (Like water for chocolate), spirits are all around. …

Or: who cooked the food in the film ‘Chef’?

One of the things that made ‘Chef’ into an easy digestible food film, is the magnificent food. So let’s focus on that food and what really went on behind the scenes, because a lot of (other) food films do not capture the kitchen atmosphere as well as ‘Chef’ does.

The Classic Menu

Chef Carl Casper cooks pretty high end French/Italian culinary food in the beginning. He once cooked sweetbreads, but that wasn’t the ‘crowd pleaser’ the patron was looking for. And his moelleux — or chocolate lava cakes in English — , are…

Six tricks for eating food in film

While tasting the menu of Julie&Julia, we tried to take some photos of ourselves enjoying the delicious food. Well, every photo looked horrible. Not because WE look terrible — we always look great — nor because we can’t take photo’s, but simply because the action of spooning the food into our mouths looked horrendous. That open mouth, that train wreck in your mouth, those close-up nostrils… It’s everything but tasteful. Which made us wonder: how do actors eat their food in a food film as Julie&Julia?

Modern Times, drinking imaginary coffee

1 Don’t eat
Actually, most of the actors in films…

Five stories that film kitchens tell

In 2013 the film Kitchen Stories was released. In this Norwegian comedy scientists observe 24/7 the behavior of single men in their private kitchen. The film is set in the kitchen of one of the single men, a beautiful minimalistic Scandinavian wooden kitchen interior. The observer sits on an umpire chair in the corner of kitchen, a hilarious image.

As with food in film, kitchen sets in film tell the story of the film in their own way. For instance, the kitchen in Kitchen Stories tells something about the time period — the fifties…

What is she really having? (When Harry met Sally, Rob Reiner, USA 1989)

The foodie films of Nora Ephron

The scene and the setting are world famous: Sally (Meg Ryan) fakes an orgasm in Katz’s Delicatessen, and a woman at the next table is making one of the best film quotes ever, the one stated in this title. The writer of the scene was Nora Ephron, a woman Cinema Culinair is very grateful to.

Wies Sanders

Cinematic event organizer for Cinema Culinair and Secret Cinema. Writing for Dutch magazines and blogging on food in film.

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