Like most (read: all) ‘foodies’ G and I are addicted to FoodTV and any food-related show. We have been watching Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen” since its inception in May 2005. I would say that that first season, and the second, were excellent television from a foodie’s perspective. Sadly, as is the wont of such shows, the premise begins to slide as the years progress and the producers – vile people that they are – scurry around trying to keep the show relevant and in the rating’s race.
Those early seasons had real chefs with real talent trying to vie for a covenanted tenure at the helm of one of Ramsey’s kitchens. They knew how to cook and food was their passion. The current crop of cooks on this 4th season is a laughable group of misfits, cast for ratings, and woefully short on any cooking passion, let alone skill. Witness poor Bobby, who after – what – six episodes of cooking beef wellington, still couldn’t get it right last week?! Sad.
If I were Ramsey, I’d be terrified as I wouldn’t want any of the remaining four cleaning my kitchen to say nothing of actually cooking in it!
And so, to lament the demise of a great show to the sorry mediocrity that is Hollywood, G and I whipped up our own Beef Wellington on Saturday night. It took us all of 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes later was utter perfection. Take that Bobby!
Directed by Brad Bird, Ratatouille won the 2007 Best Animated Oscar and deservedly so. As a dedicated foodie myself – and the rats aside – you cannot go wrong with a film that stars food, a restaurant and Paris. Il est magnifique. Remy is a rat long on culinary aspirations but short on opportunity, not surprisingly. When he gets separated from his brood and finds himself in Paris, in the celebrated restaurant of the recently departed Auguste Gusteau no less, the rat gets his chance. Forging an alliance with Linguini, a kitchen mop boy (later discovered to be the son of Gusteau), the two begin to wow Paris while simultaneously pissing off the restaurant’s current frozen food fan chef. Light hearted, endearing and fun, and with a great role for Peter O’Toole as the voice of food critic Anton Ego, Ratatouille is sure to be a great addition to any movie menu. My rating 8 out of 10.
Alison and Ben are having a baby. The thing is Alison and Ben don’t really know each other and don’t really even like each other. But that in itself is a perfect match for any movie. And in the hands of director Judd Apatow it works marvellously together. After a random (and typically drunken) one-night stand Ben (Seth Rogan) and Alison (Katherine Heigl) end up pregnant and begin the process of getting to know one another in the clear, cold light of day. Knocked Up works exceptionally well thanks to the chemistry between the two stars and the perfect pacing Apatow employs in his direction. There are several laugh-out-loud, uncontrollable funny lines in the film. More importantly though, the film allows the characters time to know each other so that in the end we believe that what we see on screen could be ‘real’. The supporting cast are all standouts as well, in particular Jay Baruchel (as one of Ben’s buddies) and Paul Rudd (as Ben’s sort-of brother-in-law). If you’re looking for a laugh, do yourself a favour and get knocked out with giggles watching Knocked Up. My rating 9 out of 10.