While the weather turns colder and the rain becomes a more frequent sight, one of the most positive parts of winter is having a legitimate excuse for staying indoors and watching television. Nothing beats rushing through the door after work, throwing on your PJ’s and cosying up to watch your favourite flicks. We’ve put together a list of the best foodie films that will leave you with some serious cravings this season….our advice, buy lots of snacks!
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This documentary follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old (now 92) sushi master who owns Sukiyabashi – a three Michelin star restaurant that serves exclusively sushi. The unlikely location of the restaurant, in a Tokyo subway station, is a hub of tradition and wonder, as Jiro keeps the tradition alive within his 20 seater restaurant. The story follows Jiro and his two sons; Yoshikazu, who still works in the restaurant and is confronted with the prospect of taking over the restaurant and Takashi, who opened his own Michelin star restaurant.
In his later life, the former bad boy of the kitchen went from executive chef to author and TV show host. His most recent series ‘Parts Unknown’ follows Bourdain around the world on an adventure of cuisine and culture. Visiting diverse and often little-visited areas such as Ethiopia, Libya, Okinawa and Myanmar the series gives viewers an insight into the rich and colourful cultures of these destinations and the local delicacies on offer. Trust me when I say you’ll have serious cravings watching this.
As one of my all-time favourite films, I had to include Tampopo in this list. Known as the first “ramen western”, a play on the American spaghetti western style films. It tells the story of cook Nobuko Miyamoto, searching for the perfect recipe for ramen noodles. Nobuko has been told her noodles are “sincere, but lack character” and she sets off to learn the art of noodle making. It’s full of surprises and some of the funniest scenes I’ve seen in a film (when you watch the little old lady running around the supermarket you’ll laugh too) and is simply a celebration of food.
This black comedy-drama follows Miles, an unsuccessful writer and wine aficionado, and his friend Jack, as they take a trip to Santa Barbara before Jack gets hitched. The men’s wine-tasting road trip is full of scandal and, of course, lots of wine. Pinot Noir is the star of the show here, while its poor Merlot that is shunned. Miles refuses to even entertain the tipple, that was a favourite of his ex-wife exclaiming “If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f****** merlot!”
El Bulli Cooking in Progress
The now-closed El Bulli regularly won the title of Best Restaurant in the World and retained its coveted three Michelin stars year after year. The restaurant would close six months of the year, to allow Ferran Adrià and his kitchen to create the menu for the following season. Famed for its use of molecular gastronomy, the 25-course menu showcased how inventive the chefs are with such simple ingredients. At its peak, over two million people requested bookings, in an effort to nab one of the 8,000 yearly bookings, and in 2014 El Bulli reopened as a culinary academy.
Like Water For Chocolate
Based on a Mexican book published back in 1989 it tells the story of Tita, who has been charged with dedicating her life to take care of her family and will not be allowed to marry. Tita’s mother teaches her how to run a kitchen, where magically all of Tita’s emotions are transferred into the dishes she cooks, passing her feelings into the eaters of her food. Putting her heart and soul into her cooking, Like Water For Chocolate has some incredible scenes filled with passion and emotion from Tita.
In this documentary from Joseph Levy, we follow the story of three very different restaurants and the trials and tribulations. Spinning Plates gives viewers an insight into the inner workings of a restaurant, and what it takes to survive and flourish in the food industry. Get a look into the three Michelin starred Alinea in Chicago, where we see star chef Grant Achatz work through a frightening health diagnosis. We visit Breitbach’s Country Dining, in the tiny town of Balltown in Iowa. A small family run diner, serving up food a million miles away from the fine dining of Alinea. Watch the journey of La Cocina de Gabby, as its owners struggle to live the American dream after they move to the USA to pursue their culinary dreams.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Updated from the original novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey takes viewers on an emotional journey from Mumbai, to London and then France. The Kadam family escape an attack on their restaurant and find themselves in the Midi-Pyrénées, where they buy an abandoned restaurant and transform it into Maison Mumbai. Soon the neighbouring Michelin star restaurant ran by Helen Mirren, and Maison Mumbai are engaged in a battle to be the best eatery in the village.
Bradley Cooper is Adam Jones, a chef who moves to London to re-start his career. Following a downfall in Paris, where Jones became addicted to drugs, he is determined to gain the coveted three Michelin stars. Assembling his kitchen team, he gathers eager chefs that are willing to strive for perfection Follow the story of this chef, struggling to overcome his downfalls and make a name for himself again in the culinary world.
Eat, Pray, Love
Newly divorced Elizabeth’s life has stalled. While on paper Elizabeth has everything – a thriving career, a house and a husband, she feels restless and lost. Taking a risk, she starts off on a journey of self-discovery. In Italy, she dines on decadent pasta and pizza and learns the simple pleasure and joy of eating. Get whisked away on a worldwide adventure and try not to crave pizza while you watch Julia Roberts eat freshly baked pizza and enjoy fine wine.
Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.
If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.