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16 Favorite Food Movies and Food-Centric Scenes of Valley Chefs

Anthony Shaloub (left) and Stanley Tucci in the film, Big Night.
Anthony Shaloub (left) and Stanley Tucci in the film, Big Night.

From the heartfelt to the mouth-watering to the ridiculously funny, nearly everyone can remember their favorite food movie or food-centric film scene.

Which ones strike a chord with Valley chefs and restaurateurs? A few you might expect, some you may not, and a few that go way back -- way back -- into the film vault.

Check out their favorites then feel free to add your own to the comments section.

See also: Chefs, What Are Your Three Favorite Local Products Right Now?

Chef Matt Zdeb, Sushi Roku The food fight seen from Hook with Robin Williams. I remember thinking how cool it would be to have an over-the-top buffet of food appear in front of you and turn around and have the ultimate food fight with it.

Bill Sandweg, Owner, Copper Star Coffee Any scene with Anton Ego in Ratatouille. "Very well, you provide the food, and I'll provide the perspective."

Chef Ben Mule, Hidden Valley Ranch, Greer From the movie Waiting, the scene where the cooks on the line are staring at the clock waiting for the kitchen to close and hoping nobody else shows up for dinner -- then, two people decide to come in and ruin their night. If professional chefs anywhere tell you this doesn't happen, they aren't being completely truthful. Even in the present recession, after a long night of getting "killed" on the line, last-second-before-the-kitchen closes customers are a sore spot with line cooks. As professionals who know what chefs are up against on a daily basis, we would never do this. I think I speak for every serious professional chef and cook out there.

Aaron May, Chef and Restaurateur The kitchen scenes in Dinner Rush are unparalleled as far as authenticity is concerned. Plus, I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

 

Chef Deborah Schneider, Sol Cocina Restaurant Big Night, of course -- the scene where the chef offers to put "a nice hot dog" on the menu to accommodate American tastes.

Joe Johnston, Restaurateur I prefer food movies that use food and eating as a metaphor and also have a tasty dose of humor. Tampopo by Juzo Itami is my choice. The core of the plot is about a truck driver helping a young widow improve her ramen shop. There are lots of subplots and quirky stuff in this very funny movie.

Romeo Taus, Chef and Owner, Romeo's Euro Cafe You'll get the irony! The diner scene in Five Easy Pieces.

Chef Theresa Wille, 32 Shea Love the Christmas dinner scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when the turkey deflates, the jello is made with cat chow and the dog chokes on the bone. Classic!

 

Aaron Eckburg, Owner, Go Lb. Salt Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It's an interesting juxtaposition to see the passion and devotion with which Jiro has approached his craft for the last 50-plus years. It's equally sobering to see the sadness in his eyes visiting family graves. It's good to be committed to your craft, but no so good that we lose sight of the rest of the world in pursuit of perfecting it.

Gio Osso, Chef and Owner, Virtu The scene in The Godfather when Clemenza is showing Michael how to make sauce!

Chef Jimmy Hernandez, Monti's and Tempe's Front Porch My favorite food scene is in Goodfellas when they're in prison and cooking up a storm in the cell.

Eddie Castillo, Chef and Co-Owner, AZ Food Crafters There are several, but a few that always crack me up are Tom Hanks in Big when he's nibbling on the baby corn at the buffet and Darryl Hanna chowing down on lobster in Splash. One of my all time faves is Hank Azaria in The Birdcage as the houseboy trying to cook dinner -- "Wait, wait, there's shrimps!"

 

Chef Maurice Gordon, The Westin Phoenix Downtown My favorite food scene from a movie would be from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory when Violet eats a piece of candy that tastes like an entire meal and then she swells up like a giant blueberry.

Chris Constantino, Chef and owner, Costantino's Kitchen The scene in No Reservations where Catherine Zeta Jones beings a raw steak from the kitchen and slams it down on the guest's table with a knife and asks him if it's rare enough for him.

Chef Brian Konefal, Coppa Cafe, Flagstaff The scene from Tommy Boy where he describes eating bear claws, two at a time!

"I'd better not. I have what doctors call a little bit of a weight problem. I used to grab bear claws as a kid, two at a time, and I'd get them lodged right in this region here." Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.


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