Courtesy of DreamWorks Studios
I Just Want To Eat wrote:
"An immersion in the culinary world, when the ugly is soon replaced by the passion for food".
Je Veux Juste Manger said:
"I am hungry!"
"A lovely comedy that makes me hungry!"
This week, I was invited to a private screening of The 100-Foot Journey, the new movie from director Lasse Hallström, who also directed Chocolat in 2000, that will be released in Theaters on August 8th. I would say that I went there as a moviegoer, food lover and...Frenchman. The food part was not only the movie, that certainly makes you want to eat the dishes cooked in the plot, whether they are classical French, Indian or fusion, like the Boeuf Bourgignon à la Hassan. It was also the fact that it took place at the Nitehawk movie theater in Brooklyn, where one can enjoy a meal while watching the movie.
I never went to this kind of movie theater and was a bit excited.
The theater is organized in a way that you have two seats sharing a small table where you get a menu, as well as some paper and a pencil to write down what you would like to order.
As this was a special event, we were served a beverage and some flavored popcorn inspired by the theme of the movie.
Representing France, we got a glass of Domaine Du Pre Barron Tourraine Sauvignon Blanc
And herbes de Provence popcorn.
Representing India, we had a Kingfisher beer
And some curry popcorn.
The popcorn was really good and my favorite was the curry flavored one that was more flavorful. You might think that it is a weird combination, but it works!
We also decided to order from the menu. I should mention that prices were reasonable and they have a nice selection for brunch or dinner. We ordered two snacks:
Tater tots with a cheese sauce and scallions:
Chorizo and goat cheese fritters:
I admit that I was surprised by the presentation (real plates and silverware) and the taste that was pretty good. I was glad I ordered these dishes as, as we were eating in the dark, a salad would have probably end up on my pants...
We also tried their delicious lemonade.
So, back to the movie:
My take as a moviegoer: it is a comedy and, although they use few clichés like any movie of this genre, it was very entertaining, refreshing, with few moments of sadness.
As a food lover and blogger: just to think about all the dishes they are talking about in the movie makes me drool. I met few Chefs and could see the same passion for food that transpires in the movie: Hassan and Marguerite are passionate about food, while Mrs Mallaury's main goal is to get another Michelin Star. Having a Michelin Star can be everything for a Chef. Sadly, back in 2003, Chef Bernard Loiseau ended his life after a newspaper rumored that he was to lose one of his three stars.
As a Frenchman: food is very important in France and the French are very proud of it, sometimes lacking the curiosity to try other cuisines, especially in small towns. I think this transpires well in the movie.
Here is the synopsis, courtesy of DreamWorks (http://www.dreamworksstudios.com/films/the-hundred-foot-journey):
In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!