image description February 12, 2011

10 Reasons to Stay In on Valentine’s Day

10 Reasons to Stay In on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is upon us.

While some folks opt for the romantic dinner in a fancy restaurant, I enjoy spending the night in with my family, making dinner and watching a flick. I don’t know about you, but I usually find a good food movie to be sexier than your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. If that’s more your style as well, one of my top ten food movies should ignite your evening.

1. Babette’s Feast

A powerful testament to the intense gravitational pull that food can play in our lives, and the food is sensational. This is the food movie that seems to have been the first ripple in the pond of the international food obsession.

2. Ratatouille

The best film about the inner workings of a real kitchen that I have ever seen, and a fabulous commentary on the nature of art vs commerce in the food world.

3. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

A fantastic film with perhaps some of the best knife skills scenes in film. The food is spectacular and the fish frying scene is memorable.

4. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

As a young cook making my way in the restaurant world, I watched this film and ached for a kitchen like this. Medieval, authoritarian and producing gorgeous food. The dining room that changes colors is extraordinary and of course, a young and fetching Helen Mirren as the obsessed foodie muse doesn’t hurt either. The ending may be the ultimate food joke.

5. Big Night

Anyone who has ever been a chef or line cook can instantly relate to this movie from the first scene forward. Who’s right? The Customer? The Chef? Again, the fine line between a chef’s integrity and the financial imperative of running a business. Great score, great food and the kitchen scenes with Shaloub are perfection, especially the fried egg and bread scene, a heartbreaker.

6. Tampopo

A love affair with noodles, a beautiful funny film and a sensual food fest.

7. Le Grande Bouffe

Eat and drink yourself to death, French cineaste style. Genius.

8. The Scent of Green Papaya

Lyrical and languid, the perfect Southeast Asian food show.

9. The Freshman

Not your typical food film, but at the core of this movie sits Marlon Brando who is desperate to eat a kimodo dragon. Priceless.

10. The Godfather

Chocolat, Mostly Martha, Tortilla Soup, Dinner Rush and several others come to mind, but simply because of the sight of Clemenza in the apron, the wedding food at Connie’s nuptials, the shooting of McCluskey and Soluzzo over dinner and several other food moments, I will take the Godfather over them all. And the Corleone family is in the olive oil business for crying out loud.

What food movies would make your list?

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