Hey there amazing foodies! A long weekend is upon us and I say let’s buckle up for an awesome and delicious movie marathon. I am sure you’re going to love the films in this EATSpirational list as much as I do. It’s going to leave your stomachs pleasantly teased and your minds daydreaming in yummy heavens! Check them out in alphabetical order ^_^.
BABETTE’S FEAST (1987)
This is the oldest film in this list but it is actually the latest that I have watched. That is because I have delayed watching this since its old and have low definition, hehe =p. However, I am glad that I did get myself to watch this film, which is older than I am, in my endeavor to find the best food movies out there. If you’re like me with that kind of odd prejudice against old films, I hope you overcome it and enjoy this movie to the end. It’s about an extremely conservative and remote place called Jutland in the west coast of Denmark, where a Parisian woman named Babette found refuge. After 14 years, she won the lottery and offered to prepare a feast for the 100th birthday of the former head pastor in the area and revealed a delicious secret.
I intentionally did not rank these movies from one to 10 because they all have a special place and meaning in my heart. Nonetheless, if I were to be forced to choose, this movie would probably be my top pick. It made me fell in love with CUBANOS!!! Oh what I would not do to have a taste of the cubanos they made! I craved really badly that I had to make as close a sandwich as I can right after watching this movie. I am now also always on the lookout for places offering this delectable sandwich. Unfortunately, the two versions that I have tasted were so far from what I saw in this movie. Maybe the movie has destroyed it for me but I’m still hoping to find a cubano that will sweep me off my feet. Moreover, they featured many other drool-worthy foods here. I sure hope I’d be able to embark on a food trip inspired by this movie. The story line of this film is also brilliant. It’s about a renowned chef who lost his creative freedom in the restaurant he was working at; and was forced by his proprietor to make the same menu again and again despite bad reviews. He later quits and ventured on a food truck business.
This is a close contender for the top spot in this list. It comes in second only because it’s not as food heavy as Chef and this is an EATSpirational movie list, but it has the best story. I was pleasantly surprised by how spiritual and socially-relevant this film is while it flawlessly revolved around chocolate. It was the protagonist, the medium of transformation and progress. Just wonderful! I was so EATSpired by this movie that I had to pause it for a while, and melt some dark chocolate chips and enjoy it by the spoon while I continue to watch. It is my dream to enter a chocolaterie and have unlimited access. How my heart aches for that moment!
EAT PRAY LOVE (2010)
This was the only movie in this list that I looked forward to watching because I was able to listen to the audio book from which it was adapted before hand. What can I say? I loved the movie! This is another movie, from which I would like to have a food trip (in Italy) patterned to. I can’t wait to visit that land!!! It has been my dream to go there ever since I was a kid, after reading a book set there. After this movie, I had more reasons (not that I needed more =p) to go and prioritize a visit to Italy once I become capable. Lord, help me! Aside from Italy, the protagonist in this film also traveled to India and Indonesia in a journey of self-discovery. She is a writer, recently got divorced and then broken up with a new lover. She felt lost and had to find herself so she embarked on the life-changing travels. It’s based on a true story by the way.
JULIE & JULIA (2009)
This is the movie I can relate to the most. I feel like I’m Julie and Julia in many ways. We are passioante eaters, we love to write and we have unimaginably supportive husbands. A movie based on two true stories that very much reflects my own true story. I have watched this years ago but I had to rewatch it for this article and I am just so pleased and blessed I did. Little did I know the first time I watched this that this movie will closely resound my life right now. Julie had a bright future ahead of her but found herself so far behind her peers in career, accomplishments and security. A year before her 30th birthday, she decided to start a blog (she is a writer) upon her husband’s encouragement. She embarked on a year-long challenge of recreating 524 recipes of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was intended for the servantless American cook. As her story was unfolding, so is the story of Julia Child, a typical American housewife who had the chance to live in France with her husband and there studied French Cooking. She never really cooked before (just a very good eater) but was determined to learn and teach others as well. I just love this movie! I am so encouraged to keep moving forward in pursuing my dreams and making impact through what I do.
HAUTE CUISINE (2013)
This is another movie based on a true story about strong woman who served as personal chef to the Prime Minister of France. She was far from being a chef of any regard, and a woman at that, so her commissioning ruffled some feathers. Nonetheless, the Prime Minister greatly favored her and adored her food, which is what she ever cared for. This is a very simple and laid back movie but it will definitely satisfy the foodie in you with all those mouth-watering delicately prepared meals.
THE BIG NIGHT (1996)
This movie is strangely close to my heart because it is about two Italian brothers (one is a chef) trying to make it in America when Italian food was still so foreign. No, I am not Italian and I am not in America but I relate to how hard it is to get into and do business. My husband and I have decided to go into food business after he was forced to resign two years ago and it was hard, to put it plainly. I am familiar with the high hopes and steep crashes portrayed in this movie. I hope that didn’t sound too depressing for a food movie you’d want to watch though, hehe. It is still very much a gastronomic pleasure to watch. I am looking forward to eat a slice (or maybe more =p) of that Il Timpano to kill for!
THE HELP (2011)
I have to say outright that this movie is more of a historical, political, social movie more than a food movie. Nevertheless, I chose to include it here because one, this is a great film; two, come to think of it, all the other seemingly more food-centric movies in this list are at the core about something more important. Let me add as well, that this movie also definitely EATSpired me with that famed chocolate pie by one of the black maids. I have tried to remake it and it is love =D. This film is set in the time of extreme racism in America. It revolved around the stories of black maids and documented by a white author into a revolutionary book, that drove the discriminatory high society crazy.
THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY
Take me to Southern France!!! This was basically the only thought in my head while watching this and a few more days after. I felt an aching to live there, where this film was shot. So beautiful, so serene, so abundant! This movie is a feast to the eyes, it is so colorful and vibrant that you can almost taste the flavors, touch the textures and smell the air. It has a very simple yet powerful story about an Indian family who used to have a restaurant in their native country but it was razed to the ground along with the matriarch. They sought to find a new beginning elsewhere and found themselves in the south of France where they ventured on building a new restaurant armed with the exceptional cooking (and tasting) skills of one of the sons. Unfortunately, this was not met with much enthusiasm by a local Michelin-star restaurateur, whose restaurant happens to be just across the street.
TORTILLA SOUP (2001)
Last but not the least! This movie is about a Mexican-American family of four – a father and his three beautiful and very different daughters still living in the same roof. The patriarch is a fantastic chef who would cook a delicious and abundant feast every Sunday for his girls (and their occasional guests). The eldest daughter is a prude with not much prospect for marrying and very much concerned with her father’s well-being. The second is a successful corporate woman who actually dreams of becoming a chef like her father and is about to move out. Lastly, the youngest is a free-spirited high school who is yet to discover who she really is, what she really likes and what she wants to do with her life.
So there it is! That is my Top 10 picks of must watch food movies that will surely EATSpire you to eat, cook and beyond. Make sure to let me know what you think on the comment section below. God bless! =D