Burnt—A Movie That’s Really Cookin’!

October 22nd, 2015

This week the film, Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper premiered, and I was fortunate enough to be there to see the film’s opening.  The story is a fascinating look into the world of chefs and the restaurant business.  Someone sent me a review of the film, and I must say I was a bit surprised because it was rather negative.  I had the opposite reaction and wondered if the reviewer saw the same film.

I enjoyed the film because I feel it’s a compelling look at an industry that affects each and every one of us.  In every city, there are lots of restaurants and cooks.  Among those there is always a “top” high end place where people go for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary celebration.  It’s usually one of the first places you think of to take a business client you’d like to impress.

Watching the film, I began to truly appreciate just how much work and ingenuity goes into making a three star Michelin restaurant.  This is the goal of Bradley Cooper’s character in the film.  He wants to have a perfect restaurant. Achieving that goal is obviously daunting if not impossible.

Before you go out and see Burnt, my first piece of advice is to eat because the food in the film is amazing.  It looks so appetizing on the big screen that it gives you a big appetite.  In the film, Cooper’s character starts out in New Orleans where he’s serving a self-imposed penance of shucking a million oysters after having lived a screwed up life focused mainly on sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  Well, I don’t know about the rock and roll part.  I’m just guessing, but I seriously doubt he was listening to Bach during the years he messed up his career living the wild life.

Seeking to redeem his career, Cooper’s character reminds you of Chef Gordon Ramsey who I love.  He’s unforgiving and terribly demanding. Nevertheless, you give him a pass for the most part because he’s doing it “for the cause.”

Foodies must see this movie.  My foodie friends will view this film in the same way a teen sees a Twilight movie.  Just the food itself is a sight to behold.  Beautiful delicacies fill the screen, and watching how a kitchen runs in a fine dining establishment is never boring.  How a perfect dish is created among total chaos is interesting especially when you realize that it’s organized chaos.

I never used to really understand the foodie thing until I married Paul.  Some people just go gaga over food, and why not?  We all need to eat so why not make it interesting?  My interest in food has evolved recently.  Where restaurants are concerned, I used to focus on the ambience more than the food.  The lighting, music, and colors drew me in.  Now I’m a food snob.  I’ve always been a picky eater, but now it’s risen to new heights, and I have my husband to blame.  That’s because he cooks for me every day using the best ingredients we can find.  We know where the food we’re eating comes from and how it was prepared.

For Paul, I think that focus comes from his Italian heritage.  Marrying him helped me understand Italian culture and with that the role food plays in daily life.  Before I used to think that focusing too much on food just makes you fat.  Now I realize that if you are more thoughtful about what you put in your body, you’ll be happier and actually enjoy life through food rather than just using it as a fuel source.

There is a scene in the film where Cooper is shopping at 5 a.m. for fish.  It demonstrates the hours the chefs put in and the commitment they make to being the best.  Clearly, this is not a business for the weak of heart or someone lacking in creativity.  Food is art at these highly rated restaurants.  If you love food and have an interest in getting a long look into the kitchen at one of these restaurants, go see Burnt. While Cooper is great, the real star of the show is the food which is served up on a silver platter.

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