The categories highlighted in this article are: - Highlighting the Restaurant Industry - Lessons and Fun Diversions - Documentaries and Biopics

Foodie Movies: A Collection of Culinary Cinema


Foodie Movies: A Collection of Culinary Cinema


Do you love movies about food? Perhaps you enjoy films that feature delectable dishes and tantalizing drinks? If so, you’re in for a treat! In honor of the upcoming Film Fest Tucson, we reached out to Tucson chefs, restaurant owners, and food writers to ask them about their favorite food-related movies. From documentaries to comedies, their responses ran the gamut, offering a diverse selection of culinary cinema. So put on your chef’s hat and grab some popcorn as we explore the world of foodie movies.

Highlighting the Restaurant Industry

“Boiling Point” – A Rush of Reality

“If you have ever wanted to feel the rush of working in a restaurant from your couch, this is the movie for you,” says Chef John from “All shot in one take, ‘Boiling Point’ captures all aspects of a busy, hectic, and somewhat unorganized mess of dinner service. The seamless transitions from scene to scene bring a sense of reality to the everyday stresses in the restaurant industry with a bit of ‘extra’ thrown in for the big screen.”

Shedding Light on the Industry

Chef Sarah from recommends two films that offer insights into the restaurant industry. “‘The Founder’ tells the story of McDonald’s and sheds light on the inner workings of the fast food giant,” she explains. “On the other hand, ‘Waiting’ delves into the darker side of restaurant life, showcasing the chaos and drama that can unfold when things go awry.”

Food and Restaurants as Backdrops

Restaurants often serve as the backdrop for movies, weaving food and culinary experiences into the lives of the characters. Chef Carlos from shares his thoughts on some such films, stating, “‘American Graffiti,’ ‘Diner,’ ‘Sideways,’ and ‘Hollywood Knights’ are all examples of movies that use food and restaurants to add depth and relevance to the characters’ stories. Even ‘Spanglish’ resonates with me, as it captures the stress of dealing with demanding restaurant critics.”

Lessons and Fun Diversions

Fun and Lessons in Animation

Animated films can provide both entertainment and valuable life lessons. Chef Maria from recommends “Ratatouille” as a film that offers a fun diversion for all ages. She notes, “Not only is it an enjoyable movie, but it also teaches us many valuable lessons about following our dreams and defying expectations. Plus, it’s hard to resist the allure of ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ when it comes to indulging in excessive eating.”

Unusual Culinary Experiences

Chef David from highlights a unique film that combines a ramen restaurant with a spaghetti western. “‘Tampopo’ is a hilarious movie with unforgettable moments,” he exclaims. “It’s a delightful blend of genres that will leave you craving both noodles and a good laugh.”

Exploring Different Genres

A Ghibli Delight

Chef Jessica from shares her love for Ghibli movies, saying, “The whole setting of ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ in a bakery is great; it’ll make you hungry for cakes and breads. All Ghibli movies have wonderful food moments that add to their magical charm.”

Childhood Favorites

Sometimes, our favorite food movies are the ones we grew up watching. Chef Robert from reminisces, “‘Ratatouille’ was one of my favorite childhood movies. I would watch it over and over again, fascinated by the idea of a rat chef creating culinary masterpieces.”

Unexpected Culinary Passions

Not all food movies are explicitly focused on the culinary world, but they still manage to intrigue and captivate viewers. Chef Angela from mentions a film that highlights the power of food to evoke strong emotions. “‘Sling Blade’ may not be food-themed, but it features a particularly rumble-inducing dinner table scene, not to mention those infamous french fried potaters,” she reveals.

Documentaries and Biopics

A Geriatric Gastronomic Journey

Chef Michael from recommends a spellbinding documentary about a geriatric restaurateur who absolutely loves his job. “Watching ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ is a true culinary experience,” he shares. “It offers a glimpse into the life of a sushi master and his relentless pursuit of perfection.”

The Journey of a Restaurateur

Chef Jennifer from suggests a documentary that chronicles the life of a renowned restaurateur. “‘For Grace’ takes viewers on a captivating journey through the trials and triumphs of restaurateur Curtis Duffy,” she explains. “It’s an inspiring story that showcases the dedication and passion required to succeed in the culinary world.”

Celebrating Female Chefs

Chef Laura from recommends a 1970s BBC series that shines a spotlight on the first female chef in Victorian London. “If you’re looking for something to watch on a rainy weekend, ‘The Dutchess of Duke Street’ is a great choice,” she suggests. “The series beautifully captures the challenges faced by women in the culinary industry during that era.”

Fusion of Food and Sensuality

A Subversive Culinary Meditation

Chef Daniel from introduces a film that offers a unique blend of food, sensuality, and reverence. “‘Tampopo’ is a deeply subversive movie that was ahead of its time,” he states. “While some elements may have aged since its release in the ’80s, the scenes of characters deeply engrossed in bowls of ramen retain an unexpected sensuality.”

International Flavors and Adventures

Kung Fu and Culinary Delights

Chef Alex from highlights a kung fu movie that intertwines martial arts with mouth-watering food. “For fans of kung fu movies, ‘Drunken Master 2’ is a must-watch,” he asserts. “Jackie Chan’s stunning performance, combined with the tantalizing allure of food, creates a cinematic experience that shouldn’t be missed.”

Whisky, Broken Records, and Scotland

Chef James from suggests a comedy film that follows the adventures of two individuals on a culinary journey through Scotland. “‘The Trip’ is a hilarious movie that combines two different kinds of broken records: food and celebrity impressions,” he chuckles.

Quirky and Unconventional Choices

Exploring Weird Obsessions

Sometimes, food movies can take on a quirky and unconventional tone, captivating audiences with their strange themes. Chef Olivia from mentions a film that immerses viewers in a hazy menagerie of peculiar obsessions, with food being just one of them. “‘Jaws’ is a mesmerizing movie that explores a point in time when people’s obsessions ran wild,” she reveals.

The Unpredictable Aftermath of Drunken Conversations

Chef Samuel from comments on the aftermath of drunken conversations, saying, “The reason why those late-night talks can be so embarrassing is that the characters we become when intoxicated are nowhere near as intriguing as the ones in ‘The Thin Man’.” He adds, “The film delivers clever banter and mystery, leaving you wanting more.”

Enjoying the Classics

A Classic Comedy and Childhood Nostalgia

Chef Emily from enjoys the comedic moments of a classic movie. “‘Some Like It Hot’ is a timeless comedy that serves as a wonderful reminder of simpler times,” she states. “It’s a film that still manages to bring laughter to viewers of all ages.”

A Series of Tantalizing Tales

Chef Christopher from highlights a series of movies that offer a unique perspective on the culinary world. “The ‘Ratatouille’ series encompasses six films, each with its own charm and quality,” he explains. “They take audiences on a delightful journey through the world of food, leaving us craving for more.”

Film Fest Tucson: A Celebration of Culinary Culture

As a reminder, Film Fest Tucson offers a fantastic lineup of films and experiences centered around food. The festival begins on Thursday, October 13, and includes a collection of films that celebrate the rich culinary culture of Tucson. Whether you’re a food lover or a movie enthusiast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


These foodie movies, recommended by Tucson chefs, restaurant owners, and food writers, offer a diverse and entertaining collection of culinary cinema. From documentaries that highlight the passion and dedication of chefs to comedies that take audiences on wild culinary adventures, these films are sure to satisfy your cravings for both food and movies. So grab some popcorn and indulge in the delectable world of foodie films.

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