12 food films to watch during quarantine

Ratatouille (2007)

This heart-warming Pixar animation tells the tale of Remy the rat who dreams of becoming a Michelin-starred chef – no mean feat within the rodent-phobic culinary world. He moves to Paris to follow his dream, and with the help of hapless garbage boy, Alfredo Linguini, puts his culinary skills to the test in the kitchen of Gusteau’s restaurant, stirring soups and sauces from inside Linguini’s chef’s toque.

To make as authentic a food film as possible, before work began on Ratatouille, its producer, Brad Lewis, interned at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Napa, where Keller taught him how to cook a confit byaldi (a twist on ratatouille), which makes a cameo in the film. When fearsome restaurant critic Anton Ego (voiced by Peter O’Toole) visits Gusteau’s, Remy whips up a confit byaldi that reminds Ego fondly of his mother’s cooking, leading to a glowing review.

One of the biggest challenges of the film was creating computer-generated images of food that looked delicious. The animators sought the advice of leading chefs in France and the US, and attended culinary schools in San Francisco to understand the workings of a commercial kitchen.

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