If there is one thing food lovers delight in more than eating, it is watching other people cook. Movies are excellent at capturing our main senses; sound and vision. But every so often when we look back to some memorable moments in movies featuring gorgeous food, we are transported into a whole new world where we can almost relish the taste. Over the years, many movies have attempted and thrived in bringing to us this sensation. And so today, we have compiled a list of movies featuring mouthwatering food, in a selection that is not only limited to eating, but equally spreads to cooking or baking.
- The Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Pasta Aglio e Olio in Chef
The leading character Carl is a chef at an upscale restaurant who feels like he is not pushing his limits due to the repetitive menu he is forced to follow. One day, he quits and gets back to discovering his own roots by making Cuban sandwiches in a food truck. While the movie is filled with lip-smacking recipes and food, the best may be the grilled cheese sandwich he makes for his son. It looks like nothing special – only the perfect grilled cheese sandwich ever! A close second is the pasta aglio e olio he prepares. The entire scene from when he is craftily chopping up ingredients, skillfully tossing them in the pan, and serving with just the right amount of poise is absolutely breathtaking – there is no other word for it.
- The Street Food in Crazy Rich Asians
While this is a rom-com, the movie has us salivating throughout. The moment Rachel lands in Singapore, she is taken to a food market with a huge lineup of local, affordable street food stalls serving everything from satay to dumplings to chili crab, and stir fried noodles and bowls of laksa curry. If there is anything to be taken from this is that Singaporean street food is a must try. The “Dumpling Standoff” is another critical scene in the movie in which the characters talk about how to make dumplings, whereas the process is also demonstrated to some extent. The grand wedding towards the end also leaves us wanting to dive into the screen to eat from the endless buffet and caviar, along with decadent desserts.
- EVERYTHING in Spirited Away
If you are a fan of anime, or more specifically Studio Ghibli, you must have watched Spirited Away. The food in this movie is intricately detailed. When the family first stumbles upon the spooky amusement park, they come across mountains of food from sausages to rice cakes to dumplings. When “No Face” makes an appearance in the bathhouse, the workers offer him heaps of food and it devours them completely. A few popular favorites in this scene are notable – Japanese snack “tonkatsu” and of course, sushi.
- The Ramen Bowl in Ponyo
Save for a couple of scenes, it does not focus on food but there is a bowl of ramen we just cannot get out of our minds. Although it is only a classic bowl of ramen noodles with hard boiled eggs, green onions and ham, it looks mouthwatering enough. Another interesting thing we noticed was that something as simple as a cup of milk tea with a spoonful of honey is made to look so appealing especially when Ponyo and Sosuke are gulping it down enthusiastically.
- The Hundred-Foot Journey
You might not crave French and Indian cuisines together but this movie might change that. A French woman with the best restaurant in the country has some serious competition when a young Indian chef moves to town. From perfectly grilled filet mignons to colorful Indian curries, this movie will give you a serious case of hunger and nostalgia.
- The Ratatouille in Ratatouille
What else is there to say? Everything you need to know is in the title. There is a rat who cooks the world’s best ratatouille. It is not meant to be a fancy dish, but Remy makes it look fancy enough for a 5-star restaurant and it tastes delicious too. This is an endearing film – leave it up to Pixar to turn this health code violation into something fun and inspiring enough to make you rush to the kitchen and cook up a storm.
- Indian Food in Lunch Box
The way to a man’s heart may sometimes be through their stomachs. A lonely housewife sends a “tiffin box” lunch to her husband but it gets delivered to the wrong man who licks the box clean. This is the start of a new friendship and a series of colorful Indian lunches from “paneer kofta” curries to a simple “dahl”, making this movie a heartwarming watch in which the actress puts her heart and soul into cooking. It will certainly spark an interest in the food lover in you.
- Julie and Julia
This is a crowd favorite – a movie about two women who are very passionate about cooking. It touches on the joy of cooking and eating. It is applaud worthy that while the food on the screen looks tantalizing, they also make an effort to not make it look unrealistic. Whoever thought that seeing someone wielding a whisk would make us want to grab our own and make that hollandaise sauce or perfect batter for a gooey chocolate cake? One of our favorite lines is “If you do not dry the meat, it will not brown”. Take note, children.
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This is not exactly a movie but a documentary on Jiro Ono, an 85 year old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant. It captures the transcendent talent of this phenomenal sashimi chef, who thrives in delivering everything to excellence. Not only does this give you more insight into his life, it captures every moment of “raw fish preparation” to perfection. This is definitely 80 minutes worth the watch as not only is it a sight for sore eyes, it also teaches you a lot of terrific tips and tricks.
Words by Nashwa Saeed