The other day I sat down to watch Chef for the first time. There are so few films about a love of food (unless you love documentaries about how gross and unhealthy certain foods are, then you're in luck, there are hundreds of those) that when one comes out, it feels like an event. A big tasty event.
Whilst it's a rarity for films to come out solely about food, there are hundreds of moments or scenes that pertain to food that just make that scene perfect. They make us hungry, they make us scared, nervous or we can just relate so much that it's perfect.
After all, everyone eats, right?
So I put the question out to you guys. What is your favourite moment from TV or film where food takes the spotlight?
I was a little overwhelmed by the response. I came back to a bursting inbox, comments on Instagram, twitter, Facebook, texts and direct messages galore! Friends I had asked came back with multiple answers and I started to realise that I'm not the only one who holds this subject dear to my heart.
In fact I started to get a lot of people commenting on the same scenes. I also noticed a theme.
There were a lot of food fights. A lot of giant foods. Songs about food. Shots of cooking. Scenes where friends politely complimented the chef on something that had gone wrong in the cooking process.
And a lot of scary hair.
So buckle in... Here we go...
Oliver (the musical)
Food Glorious Food!
Anon: Has anyone said Oliver yet? Those cute little orphans sing about all the food they would rather be eating other than sloppy gruel. Who doesn't love that scene!
Kate: FOOOOOOOOOD GLORIOUS FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: The contrast between the gruel soaked dullness of the dining area and the massive colourful roast dinner in the office.
When I was 10, my school put on the musical version of Oliver. I don't mean to brag, but you're looking at homeless girl no.2, and background Orphan no. 4. I owned those parts. I auditioned because I loved this song, it was one of the most memorable scenes in the film for me as it made me hungry every time I heard it. Food is well and truly in the spotlight. Fantasising and singing about food I want to eat is something I pretty much still do every day.
Bridget Jones Diary
Bridgets Birthday Feast
Katie: BLUE SOUP! Colin Firth actually makes me swoon in that scene.
Hannah: It has to be blue soup from Bridget Jones, Makes me feel better that I couldn't cook the first time I tried.
Gemma: It's perfect. We've all made a mistake like that and had to serve it to our friends. Makes me laugh EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Blue soup.
You know what's going to happen the second she wraps her leeks in blue string, yet you love it anyway. Covered head to toe in food, it's a truly accurate portrait of how most of us cook. A favourite moment of mine is as each friend delicately complimenting Bridget on her cooking through gritted teeth. Been there.
The ordering scene in the diner
Gemma: I love this film, and it turns out I'm a little like Sally when ordering my dinner
Hannah: It's the first time we're introduced to her 'quirks' and I love it. She's so confident in what she wants.
ManFoodMike: Probably because the way she orders this pie always makes me hungry. Also, I'm not ashamed to admit it turns me on a bit.
Emma - Bake then Eat: And the classic When Harry Met Sally diner scene, always worth a giggle!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Not even the pie? -Waitress stink eye-
Sally, leans back and relays the most specific pie order I've ever heard. Obviously, there are a few diner scenes in WHMS, and this probably isn't the one you thought of first, but I like it. Also, her hair looks a bit like ice cream and that makes me hungry too.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone
The magically appearing banquet
Laura: I love this mainly because I love the films, but this one is so indulgent. It just looks like you can have anything and everything you want. It's like the realisation of my ultimate fantasy!
Jack: It's the first time we see magic on a big scale, for something that we'd love. I'd go to school to learn how to magic up a buffet.
Jen: That first scene in the great hall, with the food?
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Ron, stuffing his face whilst everyone else looks on amazed. So began my biggest childhood crush.
From the second Dumbledore magically makes food appear, I think this is a man I could be besties with. Even the slytherins are amazed like "What? Let's stop being dickheads because yay food!" I'm pretty sure the whole wizard war could've been avoided if Dumbledore had just magicked up a few doughnuts at the right moment.
A whole lotta talk about burgers
Michelle: I think it is funny because they are so serious in the discussion, like its the most important aspect of travelling abroad.
G4ce: Pulp Fiction, talking about burgers on the way to a hit and then what a surprise, he gets his burger. The tension is built perfectly with it's star in the spotlight: The burger.
Phil: My vote was for the scene in pulp fiction with the Tasty burger.
Christine: The hamburger scene, It plays on your mind, it's so innocuous, talking about everyday things like food in the middle of this tension.
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Taking a slow bite on the breakfast burger.
Such a down to earth, mundane conversation, all during such a tense scene. The food adds to the craziness of it all. Also John Travolta's hair gives me nightmares. Is it meant to be long? Is it meant to a be a mullet? Is it supposed to be a quiff?! Is it wrong to be scared so much by someone eating a burger? So many questions.
Gemma: Hes like a great character - heart of gold but right clumsy, reminds me of my childhood.
Chris: GIANT PANCAKES. No other explanation needed.
Anon: When I was little that scene with the pancakes made me want an uncle buck. Screw everything else.
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Is that a whole block of butter on those pancakes?
It feels like there is a literal spotlight on these pancakes. They are huge. I also love the kids faces when they walk in. Also to the face at the end, YES.
Laura: I think I like that one cause it's like food isn't just food is it? They're annoyed at each other and they're using food to show it, just like you'd bake a cake for someone you love, y'know? It's another way to express yourself?
Katie: You know that scene in Shrek 2? And they are having an argument and Donkey is like "I've got some stuff to attend too" but then the food comes and he's all like "I can wait!" or something. That always got me, cause that is SO what I would do.
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Obviously the flying pig.
This scene is almost like a dance off with food. They slice, rip, chew and fondue (?) their argument back and forth, and the music just makes this. What an indulgent meal too, lobster, a whole pig and a whole chicken on the same table... for 2 people, 2 ogres and a donkey?! Also, Donkey = amazing. Also, my spell check keeps automatically changing ogres to orgies, so if there's an accidental one in there, I'm sorry.
The Party Preparations
Hannah Jade: Chocolat party preps. Oozy chocolate! Women working together! A bloke losing the plot!
Linda: Any scene from Chocolat. Preferably one with close up shots of chocolate being made.
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Falling face first into the chocolate display. We've all been there.
The jolly music. The melted chocolate. The crushed chocolate. The meltdown in a chocolate shop. Plus, it's a welcome distraction from thinking about Johnny Depp's plait in this film. Like... does he plait it himself? It's very neat. Why am I noticing hair so much in these clips?
The imaginary feast
Hannah: The "imaginary" feast in Hook! Always loved that one because everything looked so amazing and bright in colour.
Sabrina: The imaginary meal that turns into a food fight in Hook
Sophia @ NY Foodgasm: Omg the hook scene was awesome- though I have nooooo idea wtf that colored cream was!!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: The camera pans across to reveal a whole lot of chicken drumsticks (Why do these always appear in these magical buffets? What about a nice scotch egg once in a while)
I've never seen Hook, but I've heard about this scene from people that loved it. So I just watched it, and apart from getting some seriously good insults to throw at people, what I realised is that it's very similar to the Harry Potter one. I mean, where are all these men learning to magic food out of no-where? This is an amazing talent and I want in.
Beauty and the beast
Be our guest
Sophia @ NY Foodgasm: I will never forget it from my childhood- firstly I never knew what French food was til I saw this and ummmm a dancing candelabra! A feast for the eyes!
Emily_Etc: Also the Be Our Guest song in Beauty and the Beast!
Beth: Life wouldn't be complete with the beauty and the beast song about french dining, would it?!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: The actual spotlight, perhaps? Onto the food?
All you need to do is hum one line of this song and people will sing it. In fact, I tested this theory and sang it in the office and all joined in. I blame this film for making me believe that kitchen utensils could sing and dance. #LifeDisappointments
The whole film
Lucy @ Lucy Food Snaps: Grilled cheese scene. Mentioned on insta but here's the clip. I could've chosen any part of the film tho!
Holly: Literally anything from Chef.
Em762: It has to be the whole film of chef. The melted cheese! SO MUCH MELTED CHEESE!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: I think if I don't say The cheese, then I'm going to get lynched.
It wouldn't let me embed the grilled cheese scene, but I've uploaded my another awesome scene instead. He's frantically creating his new menu to impress, and I love it. The music, the tempo - he's like a painter splashing on his canvas and it makes me so happy to watch. This video of collated food scenes (also unable to embed) makes me very happy indeed.
Bruce and the chocolate cake
Natalie: What about the chocolate cake from Matilda
Emily_etc: Bruce Bogtrotter chocolate cake? "See ya at lunch!"
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Licking the plate clean "Take that yah bitch!"
I used to feel a strange mix of sickened and hungry when I watched this. I'm still not a massive fan of chocolate cake to this day, and I blame this film. It stuck with me, way past the credits.
I literally got sent about 20 examples from this show.
Food or Sex?
Rachel's English Shepherds trifle
Erica - Tea with Erica: The one that first came to my mind was that when Monica (Friends) made several lasagnas and lost a nail in one of them. Seeing her and Phoebe digging in was hilarious! And the search for Phoebe's grandmother's cookie recipe...They've got great episodes involving food!
Pippindor: When rachel crosses the trifle with shepherds pie!
Del: Friends portrayed my love of food perfectly! The trifle gone wrong! The cookie recipe! The food vs. sex argument! MY SANDWHICH?!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Unable to choose. Too many. ARGH.
Whilst searching for these clips on youtube I found myself watching many of these over and over. So many of these phrases made it into me and my friends daily lives that I'd forgotten they started on friends. Perfection.
Jenny: Ratatouille :) when the old guy tries it and if has that flash back to his childhood :) epic!
FabFood4all: In the kitchen of "Ratatouille":-)
Hannah: When Anton is transported back to his childhood when he tries the food. Gets me every time!
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: As his face changes, he drops his pen and becomes totally involved in the food.
This gets me choked up every time, because it's just so perfect. The nostalgia of a meal really can do this - I get the same feeling whenever I have yorkshire puddings or apple crumble.
There really were so many suggestions, that I had to run with the suggestions that I got more than one of. But here's some of the other fantastic suggestions I received:
This is a terrible example... but it's the first movie scene I thought of involving food, and makes me laugh every time. Poor Baxter! I'll strive to come up with something more appropriate later: - Becky
That scene in the hobbit! You know the one. After they all turn up at his house - Steph
Lady and the tramp, famous spaghetti scene, it's sweet and shows the innocence of a "first kiss" - Rachel
Food fight from Cheers! I so wanted to be in that fight...it makes me howl - Del
Last holiday with queen latifah the dinners at the hotel - Seaweedandsass
Not technically eating food, but the food fight scene in Whip It comes to mind. Actually quite hard to think of food scenes in films! - The Baking Explorer
The apple Pie in American Pie, which I know is a bit odd given the subsequent pie shagging but I can't help it and the Chocolate fountain from that Vicar of Dibley scene. - Fiona - Ilovechoc
Vicar of dibley Christmas special with the sprouts, or when she turns to the bible for comfort, but opens it to find the pages cut out to fit a chocolate bar, AND the chocolate fountain... yeah just.....every vicar of dibley episode - Ayse
I couldn't find the Vicar of Dibley chocolate fountain scene, but it did get ALOT of mentions so just for you guys....
So ... What is your favourite moment from TV or film where food takes the spotlight? Did we miss anything?