10 Best Movies about Chefs or Cooking | TheReviewGeek Recommends

A wise man once said cooking is not only a skill but also an art, as it can communicate creativity, passion, culture, and personality. This is exactly why films about chefs or cooking are so loved and praised, no matter if they’re rooted in reality like Tampopo or totally fiction like Bradley Cooper’s Burnt. Here are the best films about chefs and cooking that’ll inspire you to create something of your own. 

Julie & Julia (2009)

Starting the list with the most obvious film, Julie & Julia is a wholesome movie that tells two real-life stories. The first one is Julia Child,  an amazing chef who starts off her cooking adventure in 1940s Paris. Then, fast forward to the early 2000’s, we have Julie Powell, new to the Big Apple, who Julia decides to spice things up by taking on a crazy challenge of cooking every single recipe from Julia Child’s famous cookbook and sharing her journey in a blog.

This film is a must-see for everyone who has an insatiable appetite for delicious cuisine and finds comfort in the kitchen.

Tampopo (1985)

Tampopo is a fantastic Japanese comedy all about the pursuit of the perfect bowl of ramen. We see Tampopo, a widow struggling to keep her ramen shop afloat. Joining in on the hard work are Goro and his buddy Gun. They decide to lend a hand, or rather, their culinary expertise, to help Tampopo turn her regular ramen into something extraordinary.

The film is overflowing with all sorts of eccentric characters. For instance, we have a gangster with a passion for food and even a gourmet guide teaching the proper way to cook spaghetti.

Babette’s Feast (1987)

Babette’s Feast is set in a quiet village on the coast of Jutland, Denmark. The film sees Martine and Philippa, two sisters, leading a simple life deeply rooted in their religious beliefs. The whole village follows suit, all thanks to their late father, the founder of a religious sect. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Enter Babette, a French refugee looking for shelter.

She becomes the cook and housekeeper for the sisters, turning their basic meals into something they’ve never tasted before. Art has the capacity to fulfill wishes, and this film beautifully portrays that.  It is not a realistic film, yet it is beautiful if you can let your mind wander.

Ratatouille (2007)

Ratatouille whiskers (pun intended) you away into the world of Remy, a rat with a refined taste and a love for cooking. Remy resides in the sewers of Paris, dreaming of becoming a respected chef despite the world frowning upon rats in the kitchen.

So, how does Remy achieve his dream? Remy teams up with Linguini, a garbage boy at a fancy Parisian restaurant. Together, with Remy’s exceptional taste buds and Linguini’s body, they cook up some culinary magic right there in the restaurant’s kitchen.

Woman on Top (2000)

Woman on Top serves up the story of Isabella Oliveira, a Brazilian chef who can practically cook anything. Sadly, Isabella is not without a flaw-she gets queasy unless she’s the one calling the shots, be it in the kitchen or in matters of the heart. Fighting through the ups and downs of love, Isabella takes charge of her destiny.

Isabella packs her bags and heads to San Francisco to open her own eatery. Not only is Penelope Cruz stunning, but the score is superb as well. This is a must-watch if you love cooking and dream of becoming a chef. 

The Hundred-Foot (2014)

The Hundred-Foot Journey follows the Kadam family as they start anew in a charming French village after a heart-breaking event in their native India. Opening their Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai, right across from the Michelin-starred Le Saule Pleureur, owned by Madame Mallory, the film explores the rivalry and connection between these culinary worlds just a hundred feet apart.

The film is just breathtaking. Culture, humor, and exciting times all simmer together to create an emotional soup. The actors in this film seem so at ease with one another that it might easily pass for a documentary. 

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Another great documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, introduces us to Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old master of sushi. Jiro runs a well-known restaurant in a Tokyo subway station with three Michelin stars.

The film holds a mirror to Jiro’s lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of sushi-making, showing his experience and attention to every detail. The best thing about this documentary is that we get to see Jiro’s family dynamics, especially with his eldest son, Yoshikazu, who is set to carry on the restaurant’s tradition.

Burnt (2015)

One of the best Bradley Cooper films, Burnt, follows Adam Jones, a talented chef whose glowy career takes a downturn due to personal issues, but he decides to turn things around. With the goal of earning a coveted third Michelin star, Jones hires a motley crew of brilliant and underrated chiefs, led by sous chef Helene.

In layman’s terms, Burnt is an intimate look at the joys and sorrows of working in fine dining. This film doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

Lunchbox (2013)

Lunchbox is a personal favorite, and it’s one of Irrfan Khan’s best films, showing his talent for conveying a range of emotions in different roles. The story happens in Mumbai, where a lunch mix-up brings two strangers together. Ila makes lunch for her uninterested husband, but by mistake, it goes to Saajan Fernandes, a widowed government employee about to retire.

Even with the food confusion, they develop a beautiful friendship through notes exchanged in the lunchbox. A touching tale of two lonesome people who find relief in one another after making an improbable but delightful error in the Dabbawala system in Bombay. 

Chocolat (1988)

Dreaming to be a pastry chef, don’t miss this movie, even if it’s the last thing you do. Chocolat is set in a cute French village during the late 1950, where Vianne Rocher, a talented maker of chocolates, arrives in the village with her daughter Anouk.

Their coming coincides with the beginning of Lent, a period of fasting. Vianne opens a chocolate shop, offering the villagers irresistible treats. Despite what your dentist might’ve said, this film shows why chocolates are good for health. Vianne’s tasty treats not only satisfy cravings but also challenge the village’s traditional ways.

There we have it, our list of 10 best movies about chefs or cooking! What do you think about our picks? Did one of your favourites make the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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