March 1, 2011

Food in Film: 10 Mouth-Watering Movies

Food has always held a special place in my heart. Growing up in a household that was surrounded by food and people who adored it gave me a whole new viewpoint on the culinary world. I grew up still maintaining this love for food and I even created my own baking blog to share my experiences with others. Watching food on film is certainly a wonderful experience for me as it always inspires me to learn new things. These are my top 10 choices where food is deliciously depicted on film.

10. Waitress (2007) - MRQE Metric - 72
While some may use substances such as drugs and alcohol as an escape, others do the same by baking pies. This film tells the story of Jenna, a waitress who lives in a small town and has a complicated relationship with two leading men; her husband and her local doctor. At Joe’s Pie Diner, Jenna bakes a fantastic pie everyday filled with her hopes and dreams. She hopes that by entering her exceptional pies in a contest she will win the money to escape her small town and loveless marriage. Her plan seems to be put on the backburner when she finds out she’s pregnant. Each pie Jenna bakes is named after one of her hopes and desires, which all happen to look scrumptious on screen. While this film may not be life changing, it is charming enough to put a smile on your face and make you hungry for some homemade pies.

9. Woman on Top (2000) - MRQE Metric: 46
This sensuous romantic comedy will certainly play with your taste buds. Penelope Cruz plays Isabella, a Brazilian chef who falls in love with Tonino. With their shared passion for food, they open a restaurant together, with Isabella in the back cooking and her husband in the front showing off his charismatic charm. Due to her motion sickness, Isabella must be in control of everything, even in the bedroom hence the title, which leads her emasculated husband to be unfaithful. Isabella fleas Brazil for San Francisco where she finds herself the star of her own cooking show 'Passion Food.' While Woman on Top may not have been widely accepted by the critics, this film's sensuality is as spicy as the food Isabella cooks, leaving its viewers in the mood for something delicious. The feeling she has when she brings a recipe to life is what I feel when I make my desserts; a desire to make others happy.

8. Mostly Martha (2001) - MRQE Metric: 71
While some may have not heard of this German film, perhaps many have heard of its American remake No Reservations. Although these two films have a similar plotlines there is no use in comparing them as the original highly exceeds the remake. This film tells the story of Martha Klein, a controlling chef who throws herself into her career. This rigid chef’s life quickly loses its control when she must adopt her 8-year old niece and when a handsome new sous-chef enters the picture. While this film shows its viewers the inside of a kitchen, with egocentric chefs and mouth-watering meals, it also tells the story of how the unexpected can change your view on life.

7. Chocolat (2000) - MRQE Metric: 67
Perhaps one could say that a way to a girl’s heart is chocolate, and for me that certainly is true. So when a movie called Chocolat came to my theater, I ran to go see it in hopes to catch a glimpse of delicious chocolate delicacies being prepared. Let's just say that after seeing this film, I was immediately overwhelmed with the desire to devour a box of chocolate truffles. This film tells the story of Vianne Rocher and her young daughter who settle in a small rural town in France. Their arrival is not greeted warmly, however that all seems to change once Vianne opens a patisserie and wins over the townspeople with her rich and unique treats.

6. Babette’s Feast (1987) - MRQE Metric: n/a
What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy a new car? Perhaps a new home or even a new wardrobe? Well, if you are Babette, then you would spend all of your winnings on the most lavish gourmet meal; a true feast for you and your friends. The film takes place in Denmark where two elderly ladies take in Babette (who also happens to be a French chef) and hires her as their maid. When Babette hits the jackpot she whips out a fantastic meal for the villagers of her community. This is a heartwarming story about giving back to those who gave you a helping hand. It is a wonderful depiction of French cuisine and it follows a theme that I love to live by; share with those you love.

5. La Grande Bouffe (1973) - MRQE Metric: n/a
Have you ever felt so full from a meal that you could burst? Well technically, that is what four middle-aged men did; they practically ate themselves to death. This film is glutinous in everyway from the abundant meals to the several prostitutes. These four men devour their way through gourmet food and call girls until they reach their demise. While this film may not be for all audiences, it certainly shows what may happen when men have too much time and money on their hands. Perhaps some could say that eating greedily through luxury could be a nice way to die, but when that is explicitly show on screen, it can be a little disturbing. La Grande Bouffe is truly an unique feast for your eyes, spirits and palettes.

4. Ratatouille (2007) - MRQE Metric: 85
While you might not want a rat cooking your 5-course meal (especially in Manhattan) you may soon find yourself falling in love with the little rat in a miniature chef hat. Ratatouille will warm your heart and your stomachs as you follow the journey of Alfredo Linguini and Remy the rat. This Academy Award-winning movie tells the story of an aspiring cook (Linguini) who meets a rat with the culinary talents of a gourmet chef. This film is a great one about food because endless effort was put in to make sure each and every dish looked appetizing and delicious. They certainly achieved what they were aiming for because the computer generated meals looked even more delicious than real food! The moral of the story is that anyone can turn their dreams into a reality…even a rat!

3. Marie Antoinette (2006) - MRQE Metric: 61
Perhaps to many, Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette does not immediately bring food to your mind. However, one scene in particular made me think of this film in an entirely different way. This scene reveals the epitome of luxury, from the lavish shoes and clothes to the magnificently delicate desserts, which are being devoured by perfectly painted lips. While this film may not be entirely about food, it certainly has scenes which makes me weak in the knees and have a sudden urge to drink champagne, gamble and indulge in fabulous desserts all while wearing pastel colored gowns. “I Want Candy” couldn’t have been a better song choice for the scene. This scene is a great one about food, especially desserts as it always inspires me to make my own daintily delicious treats.

2. Julie & Julia (2009) - MRQE Metric: 69
I would certainly consider myself a foodie and this movie was definitely gold for other foodies just like me. Julie & Julia is full of eye candy from the Parisian streets, to the busy kitchens full of simmering pots and sautéing pans. This film follows the story of Julie, who wants to get rid of the recipe she’s been living her life by and follow a new one. She challenges herself to cook up 524 recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in one year. Julie creates a blog to document her yearlong journey and soon finds herself with a string of loyal followers rooting her on. This movie definitely reminds me of myself and my journey through cooking and blogging. While I may not be mastering the art of French cooking, I am following my dream of mastering the art of French pastries.

1. Like Water for Chocolate (1992) - MRQE Metric: 73
Two star-crossed lovers brought together by the passion of bringing food to life. A little like Romeo and Juliette, one could say, but imagine less fights between rival families and instead picture pots lightly simmering in a traditional Mexican kitchen. Based on the novel by Laura Esquivel, this film tells the story of Tita and Pedro, two lovers who are forbidden to marry. Since Tita is the last born, she must stay unwed in order to take care of her aging mother. Her mother instead offers Pedro to marry her eldest daughter Rosaura. Desperate to be close to Tita, Pedro accepts the proposal. With the influence of magical realism, Tita’s emotions directly affect the meal she cooks. In her states of sadness, anger and desire Tita is able to communicate her passion with Pedro. From the very first bite, Tita’s family’s is immediately overwhelmed with the same intense emotions that Tita experiences. Winner of 11 Ariel Awards of the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture, Like Water for Chocolate, will leave you in a state of passion through its rich and delicious symbolism.

This article was guest written by Christiana Weber, a recent graduate of Parsons the New School for Design, who follows her love for writing and French patisseries through her own blog. More on Christiana can be found at


  1. Love how you put Marie Antoinette in this blog -- such a fabulous scene.

  2. nice list. I don't think Como Agua y Chocolate is a very good movie - the book, in this case, is much better.
    Apart from Tampopo (possibly the best movie about food ever), you're also missing Ang Lee's wonderful Eat Drink Man Woman.
    There's also Louis De Funes' "The Wing and the Thigh", in a more comedic vein.

  3. This list feels incomplete without Big Night.

  4. I'm with sevastiank, the omission of Tampopo is nearly fatal!

    Check it out!

  6. Like water for chocolate is the best. I agree.

    Ceiling Lights

  7. Eat Drink Man Woman is the best movie for asian cooking scenes and a great drama too

  8. As noted below, Babette's feast, Tampopo, Big Night, Eat Drink Man Woman, all missing. Also the Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover.

  9. Eat Drink Man Woman, Tampopo, and Big Night definitely should have made this list.

  10. You forgot Tortilla Soup!

  11. 9.5 weeks should get an honorable mention.
    otherwise, your love of and joy from food really shines through this article.
    bon apetite !

  12. Chocolat is my fave of all time food movie.sinfully good and sensual. 

  13. I have read most of them and got a lot from them. To me, you are doing the great work. Carry on this. work at home In the end, I would like to thank you for making such a nice website.
    Website Design

  14. I have read most of them and got a lot from them. To me, you are doing the great work. Carry on this. work at home In the end, I would like to thank you for making such a nice website.essay writingdissertation writingthesis writing


  15. I agree JV, I loved Big Night. Made me very hungry.


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