5 “Eat Drink Man Woman”
“Eat Drink Man Woman” was one of Ang Lee’s first triumphs. The 1994 Taiwanese movie was nominated for an Oscar, a nomination it definitely deserved. The main character is a chef who shows his love for his daughters by cooking them lavish Sunday dinners. The movie is a far cry from Ang Lee’s later action flicks, showing a sensitivity and emotional portrayal of a father’s love through food. There are some funny moments sprinkled into the food-based drama as well.
4 “Babette’s Feast”
“Babette’s Feast” is a Danish movie that explores the theme of sensual gratification versus austerity. The 1987 film was the first Danish picture to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The story revolves around two sisters living in 19th-century Denmark who are members of a Christian sect founded by their father. They have many suitors as young women, but their father refuses them all. The movie shows scenes of the woman in their youth and their old age, and ends with the famous feast. Don’t watch on an empty stomach.
3 “Fried Green Tomatoes”
Fried green tomatoes is a traditional side dish in the South and a famous movie starring Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker. The 1991 hit is about an old woman in a nursing home who relates fascinating stories of her life to an unsatisfied housewife. Fans of the film will remember the Whistle Stop Café, a place that attracted people down on their luck. Its signature dish was fried green tomatoes, though on one special night Big George cooks and serves the murdered Frank Bennett. Do yourself a favor and skip the special.
2 “Like Water for Chocolate”
“Like Water for Chocolate” involves a special cook whose emotions transfer into her food and affect the people who eat it. The 1992 film was based off a book published three years earlier by Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. The main character is a woman named Tita. When her sister marries the man she loves, Tita’s emotions flow into the food she prepares for the wedding and makes the guests exceptionally sad. Later on, she cooks for her lost love and her passion pours into the food. It sparks lust in everyone who consumes the meal. If only that worked!
“Ratatouille” is not only an adorable animated film sure to become a Disney Pixar classic, but it is also named after a popular French dish. The 2007 hit tells the story of a rat who wants to be a chef. Because rats aren’t exactly welcome in restaurants, the rodent needs to find a human helper. He gets a kitchen worker to sneak him into a famous restaurant under his chef’s hat and controls the kid by the pulling on his hair. It’s a very cute, family-friendly film with lots of cooking scenes and only a few health code violations.