Top 10 - Meals on Reels
The photo I used for this article is, of course, the unforgettable spaghetti scene from The Lady and The Tramp. I have chosen to have no animated films in this list, however I must make Shrek an honorable mention: not only for the line “I don’t mean to brag but I make a mean weedrat stew” but also the brilliant torture scene of the gingerbread man - “not the gumdrop buttons!”.
- Scream - Popcorn Scene
What an appropriate way to start a movie, with friends cooking popcorn. Sadly this popcorn never gets eaten and ends up burnt and in the sink, although far more horrifying things happen to the friends who planned to eat it. The tension in the scene perfectly mirrors the tension in the pan too.
- Scent of a Woman - Turkey Marbella
This is one of my favourite movies of all time. Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade and his family don’t have any easy conversations but they are enjoying an interesting thanksgiving meal. Turkey Marbella is cooked with prunes, olives and capers, an unusual combination more commonly done with chicken. The drink alongside is Seabreezes, a cocktail made with vodka, cranberry and grapefruit juice. Also look out for the delicious looking black bread rolls in the pivotal scene in the Oak Room - “You should try these rolls Charlie, I used to dream about them when I was at Fort Huachucha”.
- As Good As It Gets - Breakfast
Frank’s breakfast must be just right, down to the waitress who delivers it and the plastic cutlery he eats it with. This wonderful movie is about a successful romance writer who struggles with mental health issues, not to mention his difficulties with other people. “Three eggs over easy, two sausage, six strips of bacon with fries, a short stack, coffee with cream and sweetener” - now that’s a serious breakfast.
- The Godfather - Clemenza’s Meatballs
“You start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; you make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs. Add a little bit of wine, and a little bit of sugar – that's my trick.".It’s brilliant to give a whole recipe in the movie, personally I like to use a bit of Heinz tomato ketchup to sweeten my tomato sauce but I definitely wouldn’t complain about about anything this man served me. He also utters the brilliant line “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” This man clearly has his priorities right.
- Pulp Fiction - A Five Dollar Shake and Blueberry Pancakes
“And they don’t put no bourbon in it or nothing?” Vincent Vega is unsure if the shake is worth the money but he does agree that it’s delicious (in his own more colourful language).
In a different story in the film “I’ll be back before you can say blueberry pie” is shown to be not true before Butch’s troubled morning but, on his return, he still remembers to ask his girlfriend if she got the blueberry pancakes. Spoiler alert: they didn’t have any and she had to get buttermilk.
- Goodfella’s - Dinner in Prison
Even in prison these guys did dinner right: “We had a pasta course and then we had meat or fish. Pauli did the prep work, he was doing a year for contempt.” We are shown a close up of Pauli’s serious face followed by a close up of a razor cutting incredibly fine slices of garlic - “that used to liquefy in the pan with just a little oil”. Personally I agree with Pauli, three small onions is a fine amount for a tomato sauce.
- Matilda - Ms. Trunchbull’s Chocolate Cake
No one can get the image of this scene out of their heads (even if they just read the book!). A heavenly indulgence turned into a worst nightmare.. “You can do it Brucey!”
- Hannibal - Liver with fava beans and a nice chianti.
In the book Hannibal actually pairs the liver with Amarone, a wine more traditionally paired with liver. However the movie makers decided on Chianti so that more of the audience would know what he was talking about. I don’t think I need to tell you what animal the liver was from..
- Big Night - Il Timpano
This whole movie builds up to this dish. A notoriously difficult to cook affair that is sort of like a lasagne pie with pasta and sausage baked inside it. The dish is also called Timballo, Bomba, Tortino, Sartu and Pasticcio and varies hugely across Italy. Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci's love of food can be felt through the screen - it’s very hard not to be very hungry after watching this film.
- Tampopo - Omelette
This movie features many scenes about eating, and can inspire a lot of cooking and eating. From a man using his last words to share a recipe for sausage to the reply when a restaurant owner asks what a customer thinks of her ramen: “sincere, but lacks character”. My favourite scene however, is inside a prison where a man and young boy sneak out to quickly whip up an omelette with rice. Although they have only minutes to cook and clean before the guard gets back, he still uses a perfect omelette flipping technique. Excellent attention to detail, and a reminder that fast food can still be cooked yourself.