7 all time favorite films about food, we are cinefoodies!

Screenshot of Tampopo by Jûzô Itami
Screenshot of the “egg scene” from the film Tampopo by director Jûzô Itami

 

Ah Cinema! “The Seventh Art” as Ricciotto Canudo named it, a title that is still current in many languages. What happens then when our love for food is depicted in movies? We love them more!

What do we do about it? A list! A list of the most awesome movies that they have story lines which revolve around food. Crazy, sexy, funny mouthwatering and many other wonderful or weird setups!

 

Here is  Nomr’s official selection of the best food films ever.

Big Night

Two brothers Primo and Secondo immigrate  from Italy to New Jersey in the 50’s with a dream: To have great success offering authentic Italian food in their restaurant which is called “Paradise”.  For some strange reason though their customers don’t care much about their dishes, they seem to prefer spaghetti and meatballs and other Americanized versions of Italian food.

Their main competitor Pascal, who they have no respect for, is doing  really well serving Americanized  “Italian style food”. In his desperation Secondo goes to Pascal for help….

A really heartbreaking but also funny movie with  great performances by Isabella Rossellini,  Allison Janney, Stanley Tucci  and Tony Shalhoub .

Jiro Dreams Of Sushi

Jiro Ono is considered the best Sushi chef in the world, this is his story. Japan his  country has declared him a national treasure and he is awarded with three Michelin stars. Be a witness of  how disciplined and hard working his staff is but also feel the weight on his first son’s shoulders who is gonna take over the business one day.

See him say that after all these years he hadn’t achieved perfection. Amazing documentary about an amazing sushi chef.

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

A cinematic masterpiece written and directed by Peter Greenaway. Features great performances by (Sexy as hell) Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon and Tim Roth.

A bookseller in a romantic relationship with the wife of a barbaric/sadistic mobster,  engage in all sort of sexual activities  in a restaurant’s hideouts  with the silent permission of the cook.

The story revolves around sex, food, sadistic urges, long tracking scenes and it takes a dark turn it the end..

Eat Drink Man Woman

This movie hails from Taiwan and it’s about a chef Mr Chu and his three unmarried daughters. New meets old and everything revolves around the Sunday dinner…

Ridiculous trailer follows 🙂

Sideways

This is about wine apparently but what’s good food without good wine right? Two friends embark on a road trip to the Californian wine country.

They will meet two women and will connect romantically with them, did I forget to mention that one of the guys is getting married in a week? Oh dear.

A movie about, wine, love, aspirations, depression and many other things. Paul Giamatti delivers a brilliant perfomance as always in this one.

Julie and Julia

Based on two real life stories and two women. One is Julia Child the famous American chef and TV persona, and the other is Julie Powell who took a challenge to cook 524 of Julia Child’s recipes in 365 days…

Tampopo

You have heard of spaghetti westerns right? This is a noodle western.  Gorō  a lorry driver and his sidekick gun stop at a roadside noodle shop and after they rescue the owners son from getting beat up, they rescue Tampopo herself (The noodle shop owner ) by some ill mannered customer.

Tampopo proves to be not a very great chef and Gorō decides to help her. As their story evolves we are treated with other strange stories about food…

 

 

Do you have any favorite movies that we’ve missed? Share them in the comments bellow!

From Asparagus to Jersey Royals! Spring food in England.

English asparagusAutumn is like lady bountiful, great food every where. But for me, spring is the one, when we’re emerging from an impossibly long winter, blinking into nice light evenings, sitting outside the pub or cafe, maybe, and enjoying the coming of the summer. Oh, and the seeds for autumnal bounty are sprouting. For me, the joy of spring was reflected partly in the bounty from this week’s farmers market and partly from the greengrocer:

  • English asparagus. Early in the season, costing maybe £3.50 from the farmers market, later on, £1 from the supermarket for a bunch
  • Jersey Royal potatoes. Those creamy, earthy nuggets slathered in butter
  • Rhubarb. Preferably the slim, forced type, cook to a compote and then put in a crumble

Then, the usual farmer’s market bounty:

  • A chicken!
  • Cavolo Nero, kale, purple sprouting broccoli
  • Carrots
  • 3-seed brown bread like a brick
  • Eggs. Always better than anything you can get from a supermarket
  • Sausages and bacon, the same
  • The butter was disappointing!

So, 2-3 days locavore-ish eating, for not much more than we’d pay in the supermarket. Score!

Do you use a farmer’s market? What do you like to get? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Goulash London style and a heresy

IMG_1331

A friend said he was cooking this which immediately gave me a yearning.

First thing was that my paprika was supermarket and stale, so I ventured to the Spice Shop in Brighton, purveyor of all things herby, spicy and tasty.

Then it starts getting religious: is it a soup or a stew? Sour cream or not? Served with potatoes, rice, pasta, dumpling or some form of bread? Whose grandmother is the one true queen of goulash?

Ultimately, it seems to me at least, it boils down to distinguishing it from any other beef stew and that means NO WINE and NO tomatoes, however tempting that may be. The guardian recipe recommends faffing with green peppers, I didn’t and they were fine. Use lots of onions, they cook right down to the volume doesn’t matter. For a pound of meat, at least three, fried gently. IMG_1332

Hungarian joke: “what do you want for dinner tonight to go with your sour cream?”

Having stocked up on shiny new paprika it was disappointing to find that my caraway was dead. The end result was good enough but we both thought “needed mushrooms”.

Last night I did it again my way:

  • Put in a bunch of quartered button mushrooms
  • Used most of a bottle of red wine (Hungarian! Undrinkable!)
  • Use a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Threw in a handful of pearl barley just because
  • Bought fresh caraway seeds
  • Scored beef shin from Morrisons which was fatty, marbled and so tender.
  • I threw in some garlic at the onion frying stage
  • I put a tablespoon of flour in with three of the paprika when coating before frying. Threw the unused in anyway
  • I made herby (with Greek oregano!) dumplings

I liked mine better.

Scones – Jam or Cream First?

SconesA rather unexpected kerfuffle blew up on my Facebook today after my wife put cream on the scone first and then followed it with jam. This, it seemed to me to be heresy. Jam gets much better traction on the dough and the cream sits on top. Images on flickr seem to be about 50/50 on the subject.

There was some talk of it being a Devon vs. Cornwall thing. Can these things really be that regional?

Burro e Salvia, Shoreditch

Burro e Salvia

Working in Shoreditch, surrounded by people in scary clothes and shops selling stuff I neither want nor can afford, there are a couple of standout places. This one is a traditional “Pastaficio” with all pasta handmade and a little café out back. Unless you’ve been to Italy and had the same, you’ve not tasted anything like this. The pasta itself is just insanely good and the fillings diverse from meaty through to veggie.

I’ve filled a frequent-flyer card!

Links: Facebook, Twitter.

Making Stock: The 10 commandments

chicken stock

Apparently I’d been doing it wrong all these years. These are the rules for making stock:

  1. Thou shall use only the finest ingredients
  2. Thou shall not over cook thy stock
  3. Thou shall not sin by adding salt to thy stock
  4. Thou shall not cover thy stock with a lid
  5. Thou shall not boil thy stock for the chef loves the simmer
  6. Thou shall remove all iniquities and scum as they form
  7. Thou shall not stir thy stock
  8. Thou shall not corrupt the flavour of thy stock with strongly flavoured spices or herbs
  9. Thou shall cool and store thy stock correctly

Keep these precepts and thou will prosper and find favour with thy chef and flavour in thy stock

I have a screen grab of this on my kitchen wall. I almost always make fresh stock for the gravy for a Sunday roast.

Chatsworth Road Market

IMG_0740Within central London, this is one of the few “real” markets I know of. There are plenty of nice coffee shops around, notably 46b Espresso Hut and L’épicierie from where I get my olive oil from the barrel. I tend to go there to visit The Dark Knights of Cholestorol purveyors of fine cheeses, today’s booty being a firm, creamy Italian mountain cheese whose name immediately left my head. Good though! Today also produced some lovely chutney from Urban Preserves, some kedgeree for lunch and could have given us local breads or fine olive oil from Spain, farm meats and some lovely art from Fur, Feather and Tails.

Contrast this with Broadway Market which is just enough inside the hipster catchment to sport even more coffee, gastropubs, designery clothing and so on. Oh, and the wonderful London Fields Brewery close by. Nice in the summer, and a nice stroll on the canal from Haggerston but Chatsworth Road just seems more real.

Got any unsung markets near you?

 

BBC Good Food Show 2013, Whoop!

BBC Good Food Hall

Historically, I’ve avoided these things like the plague, imagining they’re dominated by big brands with a few little fish round the edge. Turns out I was wrong. Whoop!

 

I know for next time how to play it:

  • Avoid the booze at the start like the plague. Yes, gin at 11 in the morning is lovely, but a hangover at 12 can really put a crimp on the rest of your day.
  • Pace yourself. You don’t have to sample all of the things. I was feeling a bit wobbly after we’d done the floor and couldn’t really face anything by the time we got to the balcony. The girl throwing up outside had clearly overdone it.
  • Start savoury and build up to sweet. Don’t mix them!
  • Take your TIME. There’s all day.
  • Drink water.
  • Learn to blank out Jamie Oliver
  • Chillies are big. Save them for the last of the savoury.
  • There’s a whole wine thing upstairs which you’ll miss if you’ve overdone the craft gin!
  • Fancy tea and coffee is a big thing.
  • Craft gin distilleries are springing up all over the country. And vodka. There’s a distillery bar in the City.
  • There are lots of cookery courses.
  • Every man and his dog is doing chutneys, sauces and condiments. It’s getting very hard to differentiate now.

So here’s a list of the companies that stood out to me.

Food:

  • Farmison do deliveries based around Saturday Kitchen. Not completely sure how useful this is, but it’s a good tie-in.
  • Simply Cook More recipe-based box setness
  • Hellofresh Another recipe-based shipper!
  • Lemporia Very nice array of Italian artisan food. They have a place on Maltby Stret Market on Saturday. Worth a visit. Interesting alternative to Borough.
  • The Japan Centre That is all. Our supermarket in central London.
  • Mr Todiwala His pickles and chutneys stood out in a very crowded market.
  • Black Acorn do very tasty pork things.
  • The Pelagonia Range do interesting and tasty Macedonian goodies!

Drink:

  • Equalitea Huge tea importer. Biodynamic so it’s nice magic is involved.
  • Tea Studio. More tea. Cute postcards!
  • Cupari wines I like Argentinian wines. That is all.
  • Sea Island Coffee Weird and rare coffee from around the world. Want to try the Hawaiian!

There is so much more and something for every taste. Maybe there’s a case for going in with a mission, say, preserved meats, smoked foods, cheese or condiments and when you’ve exhausted that, go back and revisit things that stood out on the first lap. Certainly next time I’m going far better prepared!