Foodie cinephiles have had plenty to feast their eyes on this summer thanks to a bumper crop of culinary-themed films. In a A Trip to Italy, opening wide August 22, British funny men Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden swap Al Pacino impersonations and Lord Byron references while dining at five luxury restaurants during a week-long tour of Italy. Beyond the occasional “belissimo!” Coogan and Bryden barely say a word about their dishes. The food speaks for itself whenever dishes like black ravioli stuffed with mussels, served on a potato cream garnished with candied tomato and white tomato foam, share screen time with the actors.
The Hundred-Foot Journey casts Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal as rival chefs competing for customers in the south of France. Directed by Lasse Hallström of (Chocolat) fame, the film enlisted Indian-American chef Floyd Cardoz to oversee fusion dishes including cumin-seasoned boeuf bourguignon.
Tasting Menu takes place in a Barcelona area restaurant, where exquisitely composed dishes get served to romantically entangled patrons on hand for 30-course closing night blow-out hosted by the restaurant’s perfectionist chef. Director Roger Gual cites Ferran Adrià’s book A Day at el Bulli as inspiration for his love letter to molecular gastronomy. Tasting Menu star Fionnula Flanagan spent several weeks on the coast of Spain. “This wonderful chef Joan Roca came to the set in Barcelona where we shot the restaurant scenes,” she tells Co.Create. “He plotted the food and laid it out and prepared it as though it were all made of uranium, very precious and very particular. The most peculiar thing was having to drink a margarita off a big leaf.”
In Chef. director-star Jon Favreau offers glistening beauty shots of haute cuisine and funky Cubano sandwiches as his character transitions from fancy L.A. restaurant to gritty food truck. Advised by Kogi Barbecue street food legend Roy Choi, Favreau became an accomplished cook and the authenticity paid off: Chef became the summer’s top-grossing indie picture. Chef and will be re-released on August 29 for those hankering for a second helping.
Check out the slide show above for a sampling of drool-worthy dishes featured in this summer’s most appetizing food movies.