Ratatouille: Good enough for chefs?


Ratatouille is being called one of the best movies of the year. I totally agree.

As posted before, the crew and animators were trained to cook by Thomas Keller, meaning they ate well and were taught by one of the best. But did it pay off? Were the animated cooking scenes authentic and realistic enough?

According to Michael Ruhlman’s blog (as well as Anthony Bourdain) it was definitely as realistic as an animated movie could be.

Ratatouille does get the ethos of the kitchen and the strange strivings of the cook exactly right (mainly embodied and described by Colette).  There’s a single error that I can see, one noted in an email to me by Bob del Grosso: the little rat chef reveals himself as a talented cook not just by fixing a soup completely ruined by the main human character, Linguini, but by making it somehow ethereal.  An impossibility as any cook knows, especially as over salting appears to have been one of the problems.  But that single glitch aside, the movie is a paean to passionate cooking and a moving description of the professional kitchen.

Bob wrote, “the movie was brilliant and so affective that I came away feeling like a schmuck that a rat could cook so much better than I.  I actually wept a bit during a scene when the evil food critic eats the rat’s (Keller’s I’ll bet) ratatouille”

As for Bourdain…

“I think it’s quite simply the best food movie ever made,” Tony wrote today in an email.  “The best restaurant movie ever made–the best chef movie.  The tiny details are astonishing: The faded burns on the cooks’ wrists. The “personal histories” of the cooks…the attention paid to the food…And the Anton Ego ratatouille epiphany hit me like a punch in the chest–literally breathtaking. I saw it in a theater entirely full with adults–and the reaction to that moment was what movie making was once–a long time ago–all about: Audible surprise, delight, awe and even a measure of enlightenment. I am hugely and disproportionately proud that my miniscule contribution (if any) early early in the project’s development led to a “thank you” in the credits.  Amazing how much they got “right.”

Photo from Flickr.

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