Top 5 Food Films (and a wonderful cinema)

I love food, I love cinema, I love being in a place with a great vibe … so how special is it when all of these are rolled into one experience!? Enter Golden Age Cinema and Bar, a wonderful use of historic Paramount House – that elegantly curved, late art-deco building that wraps around the corner where Commonwealth, Hunt and Brisbane Streets meet in Surry Hills – which still houses Paramount’s original 56-seater screening room. Beside the mini-cinema is a lovely dim basement bar with a short, fun and oh-so-appropriate menu, well-crafted cocktails, good beer on tap and an interesting selection of wines. Popcorn spiced with everything from green tea to cinnamon comes in stainless steel cocktail shakers, there are toasties (including the seriously good “Fellini” of salami, provolone and pickled chilli on Brasserie Bread sourdough) and what just may be the world’s most decadent choctop (salted caramel and white chocolate chip Messina gelato coated in single-origin Balinese chocolate – oh YES!). Most night’s there’s also live music, usually themed to match the movie. All this cinema fun and tasty toasties made me think about my favourite food films.

 

Chef (2014)
One of the great joys of food is bringing people together, father and son, husband and estranged wife … throw in some seriously good Cubano sandwiches and a road trip and you have the makings of a great fun film with soul.

 

The Hundred Foot Journey (2014)
Bollywood meets Provence and a narrow country road represents an enormous cultural divide … ultimately bridged by the power of the shared table.

 

Ratatouille (2007)
This animated comedy about a rat who becomes a chef reminds us how important it is to pursue our dreams.

 

Babette’s Feast (1987)
The repressed, austere Scandinavian villagers awakening to the sensual joy of food is one of cinema’s great moments – and Babette’s generous gift of enlightenment to the sisters who gave her refuge makes it all the more poignant.

 

Big Night (1996)
This story of two brothers (Primo and Secondo) who fight each other and the odds to serve authentic Italian food to the spaghetti-meatballs set of the 1950s New Jersey shore, reminds me of how hard Sydney’s Italian chefs and restaurateurs have had to fight to make their authentic regional Italian food understood!