Food on Film

With all the upcoming excitement surrounding the soon to be released film, Julie and Julia, my local newspaper, the News Register, ran a story yesterday about the films upcoming Friday release.  Part of the story included asking local residents what their favorite foodie films are and why.

I was thrilled when they asked for my choice.  It took me about two seconds to answer.  Here was my quote…”I immediately think of Ratatouille when I think of great food films.  The movie’s ‘anyone can cook’ theme is inspiring, reminding me that pursuing a dream requires a good amount of risk and determination.  This sentiment is reiterated by the line delivered by character Chef Gusteau, ‘Cooking is for the imaginative, the strong of heart.  Only the fearless can be great.’  I couldn’t agree more.”

I loved Ratatouille before it even debuted in theaters.  I knew Chef Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry) was consulting with Pixar about the menus and authenticity of the kitchen design.  I had a feeling everything would be completely realistic looking and I wasn’t disappointed. 

However, Ratatouille was hard for my kids to follow, mostly because of the heavy French accents spoken throughout the film.  What I did like was my kids were asking, “What is saffron?”….”What is a sous chef?”….so ultimately it got us talking about food.  I love that.

Anyway, I was excited for this article to hit the paper because I wanted to see what everyone else chose as their favorite.  I’m curious that way.

I will say after Ratatouille, the movies, Chocolat and Mostly Martha are right up there on my list.

Here are the films other people in my community chose as their favorite foodie films:

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
Big Night
Like Water for Chocolate
No Reservations
Tortilla Soup
Babette’s Feast
Wedding for Bella
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Under The Tuscan Sun
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Are there any others?

What’s your favorite foodie film?

One Year Ago:  Lady…Just Shut Up Already

Post a Comment


  1. My husband and I love, love, love, Babette’s Feast and watch it together during the Christmas season. I like Ratatouille also and I have been excited about the Julia / Julie movie ever since I saw the first preview.

    I think I need to see Mostly Martha just because my niece recommended the movie to me tonight on my Facebook and then I read about it here…and I had never heard of it before.

  2. HoneyB 2

    I LOVE Chocolat! I also love Ratatouille. Grumpy laughed at me when he came home from hunting one day and saw me watching it, but it was an awesome movie even if it was a cartoon!

  3. Mostly Martha and Big Night are my top 2. I also love the movie Simply Irresistible, though Sara Michelle Gellar did not look like she had any cooking skills AT ALL. But the concept of the movie and the glorious Patricia Clarkson made it fun to watch.

  4. Denise 4

    Just dropping a note from Singapore. I love reading noblepig, i’m practically hooked on it everyday! You have a wonderful site full of brilliant recipes and pictures. Keep up the amazing work..and bring on more wonderful recipes.. :)


  5. Hi, I’ve been visiting your blog for awhile. Love your blog and your cooking. :)

    My most current food film favourite is The Waitress. (Can’t quite remember if there’s a ‘the’ in the front) Also, this isn’t ‘about’ cooking but it features a really cute baker which I love – Stranger than Fiction. When I watch Will Ferrell savouring every bite of those cookies, it makes me go crazy for cookies. :)

  6. I like Chocolat. I had the poster on my door in HS.

  7. Love them all!

  8. I haven’t seen most of the movies in that list, probably because a) I usually do not pick (or watch) the movies we rent and b) I’d have a mutiny on my hands if I brought them home. We have seen No Reservations, Willy Wonka (both versions), Chocolat, and Under the Tuscan Sun. No Reservations was cute, but it wasn’t as good as I’d expected. Willy Wonka is a family favorite. I can’t think why someone would peg Under the Tuscan Sun as a foodie movie. Chocolat is my personal favorite. Yum–for so many reasons.

  9. I love it that you thought of a kid’s movie! And Ratatouille is a GREAT movie!
    I supposed I’m a kid at heart, as from the list, my other favorite would have to be Willie Wonka (the original version)–duh, CHOCOLATE! 😉

  10. Waitress (no “The”) is a fabulous movie. I frequently have the song from the movie running through my head (“Gonna bake a pie with a heart in the middle”). It shows how someone who thinks she has no hope can take her talent and break through the stuff holding her down. Also, it’s got a great Mother-Daughter element to it.

  11. Barbie with a T 11

    I am out of the loop…I have not seen one of those fims! I suppose I have not seen a foodie movie before. Julie and Julia sounds interesting, though; possibly I might go see that one. Oh yeah, I did see Chocolat on TV. It was a nice film. So I suppose I would have to say it was my favorite since it was the only one I have seen. lol

  12. Jessica 12

    Spanglish!! Not the best movie, but the sandwich he makes! Something about Adam Sandler being a chef and not some zany character gets me every time. I also agree with Waitress :)

  13. Josie 13

    You might like this article about food films (it has a nice list of titles): link to
    I guess your local newspaper wasn’t the only one to think of writing this article! Like Water for Chocolate probably came to mind for me first… but I love the book as well as the movie.

  14. Big Night. Definitely. I salivate every time I watch it.

  15. I knew I was food obsessed, way back when…..I saw Babette’s Feast and I couldn’t wait to go to France and eat duck, goose, liver, and all that crazy stuff!

  16. Lea Ann 16

    I’d like to throw in “Fried Green Tomatoes”

    And also, “Woman on Top” Penelope Cruz plays Brazilian Chef Isabella Oliveira who makes her husband’s restaurant a success, then moves to San Francisco.

  17. Hands down, “Like Water for Chocolate” and “Tortilla Soup”.

  18. Babette’s Feast is definitely my fave food movie. I love everything about it! Now that I’m thinking about it–I need to see it again soon!

  19. I read somewhere that Sandler’s character was loosely (I would guess very, very) based on Thomas Keller, actually!

  20. Marlene 20

    Soul Food…I love to watch that movie whenever I need some southern comfort.

  21. dawn 21

    I loved Big Night! That scene where the chef calls the woman a criminal is the best.
    We need more food-based movies, there really isn’t that much out there. I mean No Reservations was ok, but….

  22. Bob 22

    Er, does Texas Chainsaw Massacre count as a foodie film? There’s lots of bbq in it! Hm. I don’t really watch a lot of movies and most of what I do watch are horror/sci-fi and such.

  23. Laura L. 23

    Oh, I immediately thought of “Like Water for Chocolate” when I read this post, so I’m glad some of the local residents gave it some love. Oh, that movie was allll about food. The book, too. Recipes are even included in each chapter! Great stuff. : ) And I love your answer. Well said!!!

  24. Julie 24

    I’m anxious to see “Julie and Julia”! I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen any of those films other than Ratatouille…I need to start checking them out!

  25. Linda 25

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding

  26. No reservations and definitely Ratatouille! I can’t wait to watch Julie and Julia!

  27. I watched Babette’s Feast a couple times before I felt like I was really getting all of it. It is a terrific movie with a lot to say about food, cooking and the love that is put into it. It’s all about the food, baby.

    Did you read Michael Pollan’s Sunday NYT’s article about food and cooking? It was great! So insightful.

  28. Pam 28

    I loved Ratatouille but my kids didn’t care for it as much. I can’t wait to see Julie and Julia…it looks so good.

  29. Janet 29

    Definitely Big Night. I felt like I was right there in the kitchen. Plus, I love the soundtrack!

  30. Laura 30

    I loved Ratatouille and Chocolat as well. I’m excited to add a few of those movies to my Netflix! I just watched Ramen Girl a few days ago, and thought it was a good story. Can’t wait for Julie & Julia!

  31. Simply Irresistible. And, don;t you think someone should do a film on Laurie Colwin? Dan Aykroyd will always be my favorite Julia Child. I can think of a lot of food scenes in movies, but I think you pretty much covered all the films with food as the main element.

  32. We have Ratatouille. I love it too! Oh and Chocolat is so good!

    I am embarrassed to say that I have not seen a lot of the ones on this list. I’ve seen the last two. Willy Wonka is a little too Wonky for me but I loved Under the Tuscan Sun! I would like to read the book sometime soon.

    Can’t wait to see the movie! :0)

  33. dawn 33

    Willy Wonka for me…I love it!

  34. Noble Pig 34


    This made me laugh out loud.

  35. 13 foodie films is all? I think more need to be made for sure. I have seen most and must see into the rest.

  36. Kate 36

    Mine was already said. It’s Chocolat. But I also like The Family Stone. I mean it’s not about food per se, but everyone is always in the kitchen. And something good is always being done with the food . . .

  37. I have to say that Chocolat is at the top of my list. Can’t wait to see Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep is one of my favorites. Who else could play the part of Julia?

  38. I loved Julie and Julia….Also, Ratatouille–my daughter was just the right age when that came out and we had so much fun. Thankfully we don’t do animated anymore! She came to Julie and Julia with me and loved it, too.

  39. KAYOLA 39

    I want to go see Julie and Julia…it looks really good…I constantly feel pretty lucky that you even comment on my little ol’ blog…when you are so famous and all…I’m feelin’ pretty special…..

  40. Ginny 40

    well, I like Ratatouille and I love Chocolat too! Simply Irresitable is a good food movie… although the story is so corny and tends to make me laugh… Under the Tuscan Sun is a great choice, too! I feel like I’m missing one but I can’t remember what!

  41. Tanya 41

    I haven’t seen many of those films. Someone above mentioned “Waitress,” which I love, especially the ending with her and her daughter in the kitchen baking pies.

    I saw “Chocolat” in the theater when it came out, but all it does is remind me of the guy I went to see it with who was a total jerk. :(

  42. Hilary 42

    Hi Cathy .. great … I’m glad to have the list .. interesting .. I’ve seen some.

    One that no-one’s mentioned is Hotel Spendide (UK French movie 1999) .. very Gorgemghast style film .. needs to be watched .. interesting –
    ***it was described as ‘surreal, outragous and hilarious’
    *** “Plumbing by Kafka and kitchens by Gormenghast”
    *** “a delicious dark comedy with a Coen Brothers feel” ..

    Your kids will not enjoy it .. but it’s probably worth your while at some stage having a look .. interesting view on 1920s life in England ..

    All the best – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

  43. Flea 43

    Willy WOnka’s gotta be my favorite. And I would love to see Babette’s Feast.

  44. I’ve seen Chocolat but haven’t seen Ratatouille yet, we were waiting until my daughter is a bit older to see it together. Looking forward to seeing Julie and Julia!

  45. elra 45

    Definitely Ratatouille my top list, Big Night come second, then Chocolate, Babette’s Feast.

  46. annbb 46

    Chocolat and Because I said so. I’ve seen most of the movies on you list and like them all (except Ratatouille which I’ve not seen but must now rent).

    I’m probably the only person in the USA that hated the book Julie & Julia. That said, I hope the movie is as good as the trailers have been.

  47. Trisha 47

    I have never really thought too much about what my favorite “food movie” is. That one will take me a while – especially since I haven’t seen many movies in the past decade or so!

  48. Starla 48

    You’re right, MANY, MANY films have been made about food and cooking, and with food in a starring role. But when I wrote the article for the News-Register, I thought it would be fun to list a 13 — a baker’s dozen.

    By the way, it’s delightful to have Cathy in our community!

    — Starla Pointer, reporter, News-Register in McMinnville

  49. imom 49

    Chocolat would have to be my favorite. There is a scene in Elizabethtown where everyone is in the kitchen cooking a feast after a death of a loved one that I also love. I loved the book Like Water for Chocolate, but never saw the movie. I’m going to have to add that and Tortilla Soup to my netflix!

  50. Mary 50

    My favorite has to be Babette’s Feast because it was the first “food” movie I saw.

  51. LisaD 51

    I haven’t seen most of those movies! I do love Ratatouille though. I’ll have to see if I can get some of those from the library. If I tell my boyfriend they’re about food, he’ll totally watch them with me!

  52. Ratatouille was excellent. Too bad some anti-cartoon people were prejudiced against it.

    I like Chocolate and Willy Wonka for sweets. Although I liked Babette’s Feast in terms of the food and the sweetness of the ending, I found the whole setting of the movie a bit depressing.

    Big Night – man I want that timpano!!!

    Soul Food – That final scene where they’re just baking and frying. Wow did it make me hungry. The fried chicken and mac and cheese were worth the cost of the ticket.

    I want to put in an honorable mention for “Michael”. There was a great scene in an otherwise forgettable movie that was all about pie. Andie MacDowell’s song about pie ought to be my theme song.

  53. Biz 53

    I think your movie list just nudged me to get Netflix!!

    My husband and I love Big Night and my daughter has probably seen Ratatouille about 200 times already – I loved it too!

  54. I just saw Julia Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian Museum of American History on Wednesday. I loved it. Completely outfitted with so many knives and pots, but still very warm and inviting. I’m looking forward to the movie.

    Chocolat is one of my all-time favorites. I love Juliette (sp?) Binoche’s character and the way her chocolate works its magic. All the actors/characters are excellent.

    Otherwise, have only seen the last two in the list and I really enjoy Under the Tuscan Sun over and over … just watching bits and pieces of it here and there. Waitress is good, very offbeat. There have to be more … just can’t think of them.

    Willie Wonka is a much better book IMO (I used to read it to my third-grade students). I want to see all the others though. I’ll try to watch some while hubby is away next week. That’s maximum movie time (i.e., chick flicks) usually.

    Glad you were asked, Cathy! I’ve heard great reviews of Ratatouille.


  55. Most of my favourite food films have been listed! I wish to add Tampopo (“Apologize to the pork!”) to the list.

    An excellent Japanese film about food and sex.

  56. Waitress was quite a cute film and Fillion + Russell’s chemistry worked perfectly. And after seeing the first few pies, I was pie-obsessed!

    Side note, it’s quite sad that Adrienne Shelly was working on it when she was killed.

  57. Liz C. 57

    I love all the cooking movies! However, one of my favorites is ‘Woman On Top’ with Penelope Cruz….

  58. Liz C. 58

    Oh! So does the movie Titus count? I thoroughly enjoyed it when Titus baked the bad people in pies & served them up to the other bad people, LOL!

  59. pam 59

    Mostly Martha is mine.

  60. You’re so right Jessica. That sandwich looks awesome and makes me salivate every time I see that movie

  61. Pogria 61

    Tortilla Soup is one of my faves. Anything with Hector Elizondo is great!

    Also, don’t forget one of the great oldies, “Who is Killing The Great Chefs of Europe?”.

    That was a great comedy/thriller with terrific food and cooking scenes.

    Also, Chocolat, with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.

    The television series Kitchen Confidential was also great value.

    ps, I stumbled across this blog a couple of weeks ago and I’m hooked!
    Thanks from an aussie.

  62. Gosh, mine are all there on that list: Babette’s Feast, Big Night, Eat Drink Man Woman and Like Water For Chocolate. The first time I saw Big Night, we followed it by buying all kinds of Italian food and having our own big night afterward. I must go and watch it again and maybe eat some Italian food too :)

  63. Big Night and Eat Drink Man Woman are my favorites. We find ourselves quoting Big Night from time to time, and I have the framed poster in my kitchen!

  64. I love Big Night too! I can’t wait to see the Julie and Julia movie. Did you know her second book is about to come out and after the whole Julia Child thing, she became a butcher!! What an interesting lady!

  65. Lydia 65

    Dinner Rush, with Danny Aiello, is one of my all-time favorite food flicks. And Babette’s Feast is a classic that should be on any list.

  66. lo 66

    Ah, Foodie Movies. So many good ones. I’d have to agree with you that Ratatouille was a good one (loved it). I’d second a number of the ones that made the paper’s list. Big Night is great. Spanglish is another one that always sticks out for me — not completely foodie related, but definitely made me hungry!

    Just saw the Julie/Julia movie in the theater today. It was cute, and we definitely enjoyed; nothing like intimately connecting to a movie to make you like it a little bit more! :)

  67. sandi 67

    What about Fried Green Tomtoes at the WhistleStop Cafe?!?

  68. Definitely Chocolat. And I can’t believe one of the choices was “The Cook, the thief, his wife and her lover” I hated that movie. There is a lot of food in it though!

  69. Have I been visiting you for a whole year already?! I just looked at your post from a year ago and remember reading it previously…and it was funny then too! I am so glad you said something. I might have too…then my hubs would have died.

  70. There’s a spectacular eating scene in “Tom Jones.” Extremely sensual and fun at the same time!

  71. Vicki Spencer 71

    Oh, Eat Drink Man Woman was my first foreign film…what a delight.

    Just discovered your blog, also a delight =)

  72. Dave 72

    The second Hannibal Lecter film, though the name escapes me. Actually I only watched the movie because the book was so food-centric. Lecter is crazy, yes, but often crazy about food. The food/wine descriptions in the book alone made it a page turner.

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