What goes great with popcorn? If your answer is a good food-film, then you’ve answered right! What better way to pick yourself up than to watch a compilation of ooey-gooey chocolatey desserts being cut in half for hours on end?
If the sight of golden butter being gently whisked with melted glistening brown chocolate gets you drooling uncontrollably, and if watching grilled cheese sandwiches being pulled apart in slow-mo sounds like a dream to you, you’re in the right place. 🤤 Here are 15 of the most amazing food-indulgent movies to add on to your collection!
1. Jiro dreams of sushi (2011)
“Ultimate simplicity leads to purity”-Jiro 🧘
They say that if you are truly in love with someone, they visit you in your dreams- which perfectly explains why I have recurring dreams of cheesy fries with relish toppings. So what does a sushi master with a 3-starred Michelin restaurant dream of? Sushi, of course! 🍣 This American documentary film follows Jiro Ono. He is the owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, the first sushi restaurant in the world to receive three Michelin stars. A sushi master is more than just a position in the kitchen, it is a lifestyle- one which requires years of training and precision to master. Jiro, despite the physical difficulties of old age, never fails to create anything short of a symphony with his sushi. Everything from the selection of the fish, to its prepping and presentation, has been meticulously captured by the director. We could almost taste the tuna sashimi and the fluffy egg sushi as the background music and the close-up sushi shots put you in a trance that you will not want to wake up from. 😵
2. Julie and Julia (2009)
“You can never have too much butter”-Julie 🧈
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? This classic has been praised in almost every single must-watch movie list, food-based or otherwise. Meryl Streep as Julia Child was more Julia Child than Julia Child could ever be. Yes, I said Julia Child thrice, which seems appropriate for the 6’2 ft tall pure force of nature that she is. On the other hand, Amy Adams as Julie Powell definitely didn’t disappoint. The movie bounces between the past- where Julia starts creating her ‘to-be’ world-renowned cookbook, and the present- where Julie is recreating all the recipes from the cookbook. The movie feeds on your appetite as Julie recreates the famous beef bourguignon braised in red wine, the raspberry cream twirling in red and white, the buttery hollandaise sauce, and the godliest chocolate cake you could imagine. 🎂
3. The Chef (2014)
20 minutes and 37 seconds into the movie, I realized I’ve been eating grilled cheese sandwiches all wrong! According to Chef Carl, the only right way to eat a grilled cheese sandwich is to go for four different kinds of cheese on two separate toasts smothered with butter. You’ll know if you’ve got it right by the sound of the perfectly crisp crunch as you bite into it. 🤤 The movie revolves around Chef Carl, played by Jon Favreau, who has a passion for cooking and innovating. A critic-induced meltdown and a related twitter-feud led him to lose his job. He then plans to start his own food truck, and what follows is nothing short of food-heaven. Cuban sandwiches with pulled meat, beignets with powdered sugar, and barbeque briskets are just a few of the beautifully captured dishes in this movie.
4. The hundred-foot journey (2014)
Let’s talk about ambitious crossovers in movies (psst…you thought about Avengers-infinity war, didn’t you? 🤭). The hundred-foot journey showcases the most heartwarming fusion of French fine-dining and Indian spicy cuisine. It tells the tale of the Kadam family, who had to flee their country due to religious riots and found themselves trying to open up their own restaurant in France. Hassan Haji, played by Manish Dayal is the protagonist. Throughout the movie, it is told that three Michelin stars are only for gods, but Hasan and his out-of-the-world Indian-French fusion dishes bring heaven down to earth. 👼 Soon enough, the word spreads, and Hasan finds himself working in high ranking restaurants. This movie is a wonderful example of ‘good-food, good-time’.
5. The Trip (2010)
Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan put up an outstanding performance in this light-hearted comedy-drama where they play fictionalized versions of themselves. Steve was asked to go on a tasting tour and review several restaurants for a magazine. He plans this trip as a romantic getaway with his girlfriend, who to his surprise, wants a break. 😓 Steve is then forced to find a partner and settles for Rob. The two then embark on the journey through scenic Northern England. The humorous conversations and the heavenly English breakfast renders a homely feel. The shots from the kitchen satisfy the curiosity to know how the marvelous dishes were cooked. Side effects of watching The Trip may include an urge to plan a restaurant tour to Northern England ASAP. ✈️
6. Big Night (1996)
“To eat good food is to be close to god” -Primo 🙏
Spaghetti may be Italian food, but Italian food isn’t just spaghetti. It is Risotto infused in the broth of shellfish and scallop, it is Timpano with its beautiful golden crust and heavenly filling, and it is Lasagna Bolognese with its layers of love. 😍 This film has perfectly depicted true Italian food in all its glory. Primo and Secondo are brothers played by Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci respectively. They struggle to keep their restaurant ‘Paradise’ alive as Primo continues to insist that he will only cook authentic Italian food and not crowd-pleasing variants. As a final attempt to save their business, they come across an opportunity to cook dinner for a well-known celebrity. The movie focuses on the brothers’ relationship and the mouth-watering Italian dishes they serve together. 🧑🤝🧑
7. Ratatouille (2007)
Is it just me or does animated food look better than actual food? Ratatouille definitely made me feel so. This animation marvel by Pixar tells the tale of a rat ‘Remy’ who finds himself in the kitchen of ‘Gusteau’s’, one of the most reputed restaurants in all of Paris. Remy makes a deal with Linguini, who is the rightful heir to Gusteau’s. The two discover a way to cook dishes together, where Remy (yes, the rat 😂) controls Linguini’s motions, and Linguini, well, could cook on his behalf. The plot thickens when the two have to prepare a dish for one of the most influential food critics in Paris. The steamy soups and the colorful ratatouille make it hard to believe that it is animated. The film makes you believe that good food is music that you can taste and color that you can smell. 🤩
8. Spinning Plates (2012)
Spinning Plates revolves around the lives of three restaurants- a family-run Mexican restaurant desperately trying to survive, a 150-year-old community restaurant that has to rebuild due to fire explosions, and the #1 molecular gastronomy restaurant in the U.S whose chef-de-cuisine is about to lose his tongue to cancer. This inspirational tale gets your eyes watery and stomachs growling. It takes you on a wild emotional journey of how each restaurant fights its battles. 💪
9. Burnt (2015)
You can’t change the past, but you can always try to make the best of what you have right now.🙌 Experience Bradley Cooper’s golden act as he plays the role of chef Adam Jones in this movie. Adam is an upcoming sensation in the culinary world who falls prey to drug addiction and subsequently ruins his career. He then disappears for years, only to return with fresh new hope of starting his own restaurant and redeeming his past. Apart from shots of splendid European fine dining, this dramatic movie will easily break your sweat with its heated scenes of kitchen tension. ‘Burnt’ could be summed up to be an inspirational tale for any dreamer. 🦸
10. Chocolat (2000)
Chocolate. Need I say more? It is a known fact that the French know exactly how to torture you with their exquisite, phenomenal, mouth-watering, chocolate. 😩 Well, this movie is a perfect depiction of this, with the slow-mo whisking shots of sinfully rich, and buttery brown chocolate. It tells the story of a mother, Vianne Rocher, and her daughter, ‘Anouka’ who comes to a village suffocated by its own strict rules. The mayor and his principles have forced the village to permanently give up humanly pleasures and be forced to traditional values. However, Vianne and her tempting chocolates create quite a bit of an uproar in the quaint village. The plot revolves around how Vianne helps herself and others to find freedom with some courage and of course, chocolate. 🍫
Want to expand your food knowledge beyond just Hollywood? 🎎 Here are 5 more movies that may not be in English, but will make your tummy growl all the same. You may want to use subtitles for these!
11. Eat drink man woman (1994)
In this directorial brilliance by Ang Lee, the story of Mr. Chu, a reputed chef in Taipei, and his three daughters is told. In the opening scene, Mr. Chu is seen cooking an extravagant dinner which can only be described as one that is ‘fit for a king’. 🤴 From braised pork chops to deep-fried halibut to crab dumplings, you would wish you had been invited. However, it turns out, he had been cooking all of it just for a quiet Sunday dinner with his girls. 👨👧👧 The story revolves around their family dynamics and the romantic involvement of the characters. Throughout the movie, authentic oriental food spreads are used as a medium to show how much Mr. Chu relates to cooking at a deeper emotional level. The movie ends on a terribly surprising plot twist.. which would be a spoiler if it were to give it away! 🤐
12. Stanley Ka Dabba (Translation: Stanley’s Tiffin-Box) (2011)
You could have food from every cuisine in the world, eat the entire menu from every Michelin-starred restaurant, but nothing could ever compare to the taste of your mums *insert favorite dish here*. 🤤 Stanley ka Dabba has captured this emotion and more, to create pure movie magic. The story is about Stanley and his group of best friends. 🧑🤝🧑 One day, when Stanley is unable to bring food from home, his friends offer all of their tiffins to share with him. However, on finding out about this event, their teacher, Babubhai Verma, prohibits Stanley from entering the school without a tiffin of his own. The film evolves on the premise of how Stanley grows to become an indispensable part of the lives of the characters and, eventually, the audience. 💘 Apart from being a heartwarming tale of unconditional friendship, the movie also shines a critical spotlight on the harsh reality of the society, where being able to bring your ‘dabba’ from home is indeed an overlooked privilege.
13. Salt and Pepper (2011)
Food helps one make friends in the unlikeliest of places. The story revolves around Kalidas, an archeologist who is in a strong and committed relationship with food, and Maya, a dubbing artist who thinks her life has already passed on by. A hangry Maya calls a takeout restaurant but unknowingly misdials Kalidas instead, who was annoyed at Maya’s tone. This leads to a heated argument. Interestingly the two get over their fight when Maya introduces Kalidas to a dish that changed his world,’Thattilkootu dosa’. The two then decide to start a collab project of their own, to make a layered rainbow cake with a romantic story behind it. 🎂 The movie speaks volumes about beautiful friendship and of course, beautiful food. The song sequences with mouthwatering south Indian dishes are enough to get anyone hooked! 😍
14. Lunchbox (2013)
‘Mumbai dabbawala system’ is a lunch delivery system that might just be one of the most complicated yet successful business models of all time. A tiny slip-up led the wrong delivery to an office clerk, Saajan. Ila, a housewife who is trying to impress her husband with his favorite dishes, finds out that it was her husband’s lunchbox that was being misdelivered to Saajan. She writes him a letter explaining the mistake and Saajan, on the other hand, writes back that the food was salty. 😂 Thus, a new friendship begins. Ila keeps on cooking homely Indian food and Saajan writes his feedback. They start sharing their stories and small anecdotes over lunch. Lunchbox is as warm and heart-filling as the dabbas that Ila cooks so lovingly, and makes us feel that we are never truly alone. 🤝
15. Haute Cuisine (2012)
Haute-Cuisine or high-level cooking is one of the most pretentious sounding cuisines out there. Even then, it looks dangerously delicious in this French comedy-drama. Hortense Laborie, a well-known chef, is asked to cook for the President. Despite being a woman in a men-dominated kitchen, Laborie finds her way to the top with her admirable style of cooking. She soon becomes friends with the president himself as they share their mutual interest in reading cookbooks. However, her physical restraints and free spirit find it hard to work. The movie shows dishes true to the Haute cuisine and makes us realize that it is a cuisine bound by simplicity, more than snootiness. 💅
Still not satisfied? Here are a few more worthy recommendations that are sure to do the trick! Bon Appétit! 🍜
- Tampopo (1985)
- Babette’s Feast (1987)
- Sweet bean (2015)
- Kings of Pastry (2009)
- Mostly Martha (2001)
Written and Researched by Angela Merlin