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Top 10 Food Film Moments

Food plays a large role in our lives, but not always as large a role on TV and movies. The reason for that is simple. Food is hard to shoot. Food doesn't look the same in multiple takes, making editing difficult. Food doesn't stay hot or fresh for long so that melted cheese won't be melted by the time your actors are ready to eat it. It's a major decision by the filmmakers to include food on film. So when food does appear in a film or on TV, you know it was important to the creators for some reason or another. Below is my list of the best food movies and shows.

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1. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman


Ang Lee was a house husband for years before becoming a successful fim maker and is considered a great home cook. The opening scene is the best food porn committed to film to date. And the scene at the end when the father regains his sense of smell is very moving.

2. Ratatouille

The climactic scene of Ratatouille makes me tear up a little every time I watch it. It demonstrates the power of food to transport us to a place and time visually far better than any words could.

3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


I mean, who are we kidding? We all want to go to here. I mean there is a chocolate waterfall, for goodness sake! I say again: Chocolate. Waterfall. And I am, of course, only referring to the original movie with Gene Wilder.

Great behind the scenes shot.

Great behind the scenes shot.

4. Goodfellas

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Food is always a surprisingly large part of any mob movie or show. From the tomato sauce in Godfather to this scene in the middle of Goodfellas. Food Porn worthy of the greatest of food movies.

5. Chef

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There are a lot of beautiful food moments in the new movie Chef, but this scene is amazing to me. Why you ask? I mean it is only a grilled cheese. But to me, that's the beauty of it. It is such a simple food that everyone makes and eats, but it is so hard to capture on film. Chef takes its time to make sure the cheese stays melt-y and every time Jon Favreau bites the sandwich, there is a wonderful crunch and the cheese pulls away in delicious cheesey strings.

6. Big Night

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The final scene captures the healing nature of food. Stanley Tucci makes a perfect omelette for himself, Tony Shaloub, and yes, Marc Anthony. It's strangely compelling even though (or maybe because of) it is shot in one take and has no dialogue. The two brothers make up silently from a 'big night' of fighting simply by breaking bread and eggs together.

7. Waitress

This wonderful lesser know movie intersperses great performances from Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, and the great Andy Griffith with amazing videos of aptly named pies, such as 'I Hate my Husband Pie' being made.

8. Whites

This BBC comedy may be one of the funniest shows on Hulu, but it takes its food porn surprisingly seriously. The food in the restaurant is beautifully prepared and shot. I highly recommend this office style British comedy. There isn't much food in the video below, but be sure to watch the famous 'eggless omelette' scene.

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9. Tampopo

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You can't watch this movie without craving ramen afterwards. The movie is actually a series of vignettes mostly and some of them get a little strange, but this is still a must watch cult classic for foodies.

10. Pairings the series

OK, full disclosure: this is my show. I was inspired by all of the above films to create Pairings. Pairings sets out to prove that cooking makes a man sexy. But underneath that it is about how food creates lasting relationships, whether it be romantic, family, or friend. The first season won awards for episode 4, 'Bittersweet' where three siblings cook and grieve together for a father lost. Season 2 is airing now.

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Honorable Mention: Julia & Julia

I would be remiss in not mentioning Julie & Julia. While in this author's humble opinion this was only half a good movie (I was not a fan of the 'Julie' portions of the movie.) Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci do a wonderful job of exploring the life of TV's most influential cook.

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