Food, cooking and dining are some of the most unifying things people enjoy together.
From the home-cooked meals of childhood to the pursuit of cooking as a career, food is one of the most simple yet complex aspects of our everyday lives. Here are a couple of movies that show how the food industry can bring people together and alter the pathways of people's lives.
Julie and Julia (2009)
The film parallels the life of chef Julia Child as a young woman in the early stages of her culinary career with the life of Julie Powell.
Julie Powell is a young writer with an unpleasant job where she answers telephone calls from victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. To do something she enjoys, she decides to cook every one of the 524 recipes in “Master the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child in one year. The experiment left her with a popular blog and her own published book.
Woven into the story of Powell's time in the early 2000s is Child's story in Paris throughout the 1950s, where she attended prestigious school Le Cordon Bleu to learn French cooking and began writing a book about French cooking for American housewives.
The movie shares both women's stories and highlights the similar challenges they're facing in different times, unified by the same recipes.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a family comedy revolving around the food business. It tells the story of a feud between two restaurants across the street from one another. One is owned by a recently relocated Indian family, and the other is a lofty traditional restaurant.
After tragedy in Mumbai, a family relocates to Europe and want to start a traditional Indian restaurant in the countryside of France. Upon arriving, they learn of an abandoned restaurant building available for purchase. It is located directly across the street from the other restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur. Madame Mallory, the head of Le Saule Pleureur and self-declared caretaker of the owners of the abandoned restaurant, asks the family to leave because they do not own the property. The father of the family buys the property and names it “Maison Mumbai.”
A silent war erupts between the two families as their restaurants compete for the top. In the end, it's a feel-good story of love, culture and family told through the different ways people eat, cook and dine.
“Chef” is a drama about life in the modern-day food industry in America.
It features character Carl Casper, who is the head chef of a well-known restaurant in Los Angeles. Though popular among his kitchen staff, the restaurant owner gets upset at Casper when he adds his own flair to recipes, and she asks him to stick to the original menu. Meanwhile, Casper deals with his long-distance relationship with his preteen son and ex-wife Inez.
When a prestigious critic and blogger visits Casper's restaurant, the owner demands that he stick to the original menu at the last minute, causing Casper to surrender to her wishes. The critic leaves a negative review. Casper gains attention on social media following the review and his follow-up tweets on social media. He comes up with a new menu entirely and challenges the food critic to return. The owner is still persistent that he does not change anything, so Casper quits.
Afterwards, Casper returns to his hometown of Miami and decides to start a food truck. Along the way, he must reconnect with the ex-wife, and he, his ex-wife and his son eventually decide to drive back to Los Angeles in the food truck, serving food along the way.
“Chef” shows how although the way we serve food may be changing, the community that comes from the culinary world remains the same.