Food and film are perfect partners. From popcorn at the movies (forget nachos though please – too smelly and too messy to eat in the dark) to on-screen feasts, cinematic eating and drinking is a wondrous thing. I love to watch, write and talk about films. I also love to cook and eat. I get to do a little bit of the former as part of my day job as a curator at the British Film Institute (http://www.bfi.org.uk/people/nathalie-morris); the cooking thing mostly just happens at home (or someone else’s home) and on my own time. The BFI have very kindly indulged me from time to time though, and have given me an outlet for some of these written and filmed culinary efforts which you can find via the Links page.
Some filmmakers make a big deal out of their food, some don’t include it at all, but when food features it often has a part to play in structuring the narrative, aiding character development or providing an element of sensory pleasure. This blog looks at some of my favourite instances of eating and drinking on screen, sometimes offering a food and film pairing suggestion – a bit like matching wine with cheese (which I don’t actually know that much about – it’s all good, right?), perhaps with a recipe suggestion or two.
Apart from the odd occasion when it seems appropriate, I’m not writing about or using the stars’ own recipes. The wonderful Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers is the world expert on this and you can read more about her adventures cooking Cary Grant’s Tuna Fish Pie, Bette Davis’ Mustard Gelatin Ring and Vincent Price’s Pots de Creme Chocolat here. Jenny and I have a little Silver Screen Suppers side project which has involved a few tasting parties where we have enlisted our friends and colleagues to sample some cocktails and canapés from Hollywood’s Golden Age. You can read about some of our efforts at Silver Screen Suppers. Cary Grant is in my bad books – his mushroom canapés, involving tinned mushrooms, are particularly repulsive.
If you have a suggestion for a great food and film movie please let me know! Ones with cocktails featured are especially welcome. Happy watching, cooking and eating.
Literary Agent: Emma Paterson at Rogers, Coleridge & White
Little disclaimer – although I probably end up mentioning the BFI quite a bit, all opinions, recommendations and cooking disasters here are my own.