Dinner & a Movie: Your Top 7 Food Films Paired with Recipes

We heard you. When we shared our favorite food films there were lots of comments and posts on social media about the ones we missed. The list had to stop somewhere and 14 seemed like the place to do it. But we’ve added some of your picks to round out the list with 7 more binge-worthy films about food.

This time we paired a relevant recipe with each film. Short on time? Just make our easy recipe for totally addictive truffle butter popcorn. It goes well with any movie.

Are your favorite food films on this list? Be sure to check our first list before you tell us which ones we omitted here!

1. Chocolat (2000)

As Roger Ebert said in his review, “Chocolat is about a war between the forces of paganism and Christianity, and because the pagan heroine has chocolate on her side, she wins.” Make sense to us. That heroine, who is charmingly played by Juliette Binoche, creates delectable chocolate confections that inspire the villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness. Go along for the ride. With Johnny Depp and Judi Dench in the cast, Chocolat is on many top 10 lists.

Make our easy chocolate chestnut truffles for the sweet bite this movie will make you crave. 

2. Tampopo (1985)

A unique comedy marketed as the first “ramen western,” a Japanese take on the spaghetti western, Tampopo is a deep-dive into the ramen business. With lots of lovely food scenes (and soup slurping), this one will make you crave a hot bowl of ramen. Recently restored to 4K from the original negative.

Try broiled then shredded chicken or duck confit for a quick and easy addition to a bowl of ramen. 

3. Dinner Rush (2000)

This wild ride is a crime film and a mafia tale. Bob Giraldi, the director of Dinner Rush, filmed it in his own New York restaurant for authenticity. Starring Danny Aiello as the owner, reluctant to hand over the place to his son who wants to explore new cuisine and abandon sausage and peppers, among other typical Italian menu items.

You’ll surely agree that classic Italian meatballs are the best pairing for this culinary adventure. 

4. Le Chef (2012)

This French movie is like irresistible candy to us. First, our friend Jean Reno plays the chef and main character, and second, it’s all about food and the creative process. Oh, and holding onto 3 Michelin Stars under pressure. And the conflict between the old and new, finding the balance between haute and humble cuisine, and the self-taught and classically-trained chef. It’s light entertainment, and very tasty.

Our classic recipe for tournedos Rossini is the ultimate way to eat steak while paying homage to French cuisine. 

5. Today’s Special (2009)

If you love Indian food this movie will tickle your fancy. The plot revolves around a chef who is forced to take over his father’s Indian restaurant in Queens after a health crisis leaves the kitchen unhelmed. The trouble is that classically-trained chef Samir knows more about French cuisine than he does about Indian. He can’t even mix garam masala, and is immediately in the weeds. A friendly cab driver comes to his rescue and teaches him the soulful art of Indian cooking. Bonus points for casting legendary chef and cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey as Samir’s mother.

Try this fiery pork vindalo recipe from Goa for a spicy accompaniment to the film.  

6. Vatel (2000)

This fictional account of a real 17th-century chef, Francois Vatel, focuses on the planning of an elaborate 3-day fête for 600 people in honor of King Louis XIV. Gerard Depardieu stars as the title character, who worked magic with food but was a perfectionist unlike any other in history. With a side of sexual intrigue and the biggest party imaginable, this film will be fun for fans of historical costume cinema and elaborate food.

Vatel makes some edible flowers in the film (stunning!) and you can nibble on your own with our recipe for showstopping foie gras and apple rose tarts

7. No Reservations (2007)

The English-language remake of the 2001 German film Mostly Martha stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as a demanding chef who takes in her orphaned niece while tangling with a brash new addition to her kitchen staff. This romantic comedy has some great cooking scenes, and lots of food to drool over, but many prefer the original film to the Hollywood remake. It’s a matter of taste.

Whip up this easy bacon carbonara which we think little Zoe (the orphaned niece) would appreciate.

A note about the criteria for inclusion: the film must be about food and cooking, not just a movie that takes place in a restaurant (My Dinner with Andre), or one that has a few fantastic food scenes (Marie Antoinette – those meals, those macarons!), and for this list, it cannot be a documentary.

Tell us what other food films you love!

Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

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