Scene stealers

Julie & Julia

The Oscars are tomorrow, which provides the perfect opportunity to wax nostalgic about our favorite movie scenes involving food. Leite's Culinaria solicited readers to share their favorite or most memorable movie food scenes. Not surprisingly, movies like Babette's Feast, Julie and Julia, Big Night, Chocolat, and Eat Drink Man Woman were frequently mentioned.

Even though these food movies are great, my favorite food scenes are in movies that aren't about food. That's where the intersection between food and life shines through. Scenes like the black-tie affair in Big starring Tom Hanks, when his character tries caviar for the first time, or the food fight from Animal House, are fascinating and funny. The scene in Fried Green Tomatoes ("Secret's in the sauce") is wryly unforgettable.

Even though the Oscars are movie awards, we shouldn't overlook great television food scenes.  If you are a fan of The Wire, First We Feast has gathered the top 25 food scenes from the show. Seinfeld contains a plethora of food scenes including a heated discussion about black and white cookies, but for some reason, all of the cereal-eating scenes in that series resonate with me. After Breaking Bad's "awkward guacamole" scene, the Albuquerque restaurant featured in the scene reported an increase in the sales of guacamole, which is ironic because the characters don't order the dish on the show.

What are your favorite movie or TV food scenes? While you are contemplating the question, here are some recipes inspired by great film or television scenes:

"Leave the gun, take the cannoli" (The Godfather)
Boeuf à la Bourguignonne (Julie and Julia)
Ratatouille (Ratatouille, naturally)
Chocolate Sauce (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
Gnocchi (Mostly Martha)
Guacamole (Breaking Bad)

photo courtesy of Leite's Culinaria

9 Comments

  • janecarrick  on  3/2/2014 at 2:57 AM

    My favourite movie food scene is the passionate "A Tantalizing Feast" from Tom Jones, starring Albert Finney. Brian

  • FuzzyChef  on  3/2/2014 at 1:56 PM

    (1) The title cooking sequence of Eat Drink Man Woman. (2) The "gourmet winos" scene from Tampopo (plus many other scenes from Tampopo)

  • Waderu  on  3/2/2014 at 6:45 PM

    The babka from Seinfeld!

  • boardingace  on  3/2/2014 at 11:14 PM

    The end of "Babette's Feast." My husband and I were a little bored with the movie until then, but wow does it really stick with you!

  • sir_ken_g  on  3/3/2014 at 2:22 PM

    Tampopo!

  • Lindsay  on  3/3/2014 at 4:50 PM

    Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman dealing with escargot

  • hillsboroks  on  3/9/2014 at 2:32 PM

    I know it is late to post a comment to this now but I just happened to think about a 2013 French movie I watched last year on Netflix called "Haute Cuisine". It is described as a French language comedic drama for foodies and is based on the true story of Hortense Laborie who was hired to be the personal chef for French President Mitterand in the Elysee Palace. Her epic battles with the male chefs in the main kitchen are hilarious and the scenes where Mitterand sneaks down to her kitchen at night for food like his grandmother made are really touching. Sure it has subtitles but it is so well acted that soon you don't even notice them. This has got to be one of my all-time favorite food movies and I could happily watch it again and again.

  • Jane  on  3/9/2014 at 5:22 PM

    Thanks hillsboroks - I didn't know about that movie and it sounds like one I would enjoy. My favorite movie about food, as opposed to a food scene in a movie, is the documentary Kings of Pastry about the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition. It's as nerve-racking as a thriller!

  • hillsboroks  on  3/9/2014 at 6:21 PM

    Alright now I am going to have to find Kings of Pastry on Netflix or somewhere else!

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