Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Scene from the Best Food Movie Ever!

This is a scene from a movie called "Big Night." It came out in 1996, and I've probably watched it over 30 times. I consider it the best restaurant movie ever made, and no movie that I've seen before or since has captured the experience of the food business so brilliantly as this one. The film is the story of two Italian brothers who own a restaurant called "Paradise". Primo (played by Tony Shalhoub), is an intense, passionate chef who can't cope with his customers' expectations of "real" (Americanized) Italian food. The other brother, Secondo (played by Stanley Tucci), is the restaurant manager, who is in a constant battle with his brother over the balance between making money, and staying true to their culinary roots.

This is a great movie, even if you are not a "foodie," as its very funny, sweet, sad, and has an amazing sound track of music from that period. Also, any movie with Isabella Rossellini is worth seeing, and try and see if you can identify the buss boy who later (in real life) goes on to have quite a successful music career. Anyone thinking of going to culinary school and/or starting a restaurant, should be made to watch this movie first. It gives such a perfect study of the agony and ecstasy of the restaurant experience. Find and rent this movie!!! Enjoy.


If you can't find this older movie I've added a link here to Amazon. This is a "must have" for any real foodie.

15 comments:

Chef John said...

BTW, let me know what your "best food movie ever" is.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thanks! one of my all time favorites!!! Buss boy is Marc Anthony... what do I win?

Chef John said...

Free cooking clips for a year! ; )

Anonymous said...

I love that movie and sound track too. And your favorite song is ?

Here's some of the words from one I especially like: "Getting To Know You, Getting To Know More About You! " So...

Let see if I have this right: You are a professionally trained chef, a witty, funny man; who refrains from politically based comments; is a baseball fan; Simpson's fan; movie critic; married; lives in SF, but raised in NY.; just purchased a Mac and a real camera; has a big following on YouTube and on his own website; his fans love his voice and his videos; he has a place the webpage where anyone can show their "love" by making a donation, though promises to keep giving his talent away - for free, as long as he can; he has a wife (which saddened some to learn and made others happy?) named Michele (one L) and along with her caters a wine event every year; has a sister-in-law named Nina, a mother-in-law named Peggy, a mother named Pauline, a sister named Valerie, an uncle named Bill and an Aunt Angela. And lastly, beside promising to keep putting up FREE videos, he promises to show his real (Un-clooney-ed) face soon.

Anything I'm missing here?

Chef John said...

no, that just about covers it. btw, I've just googled "Bay Area Personal Security Specialists"

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Bravo! stupid Blond!( not trying to be prejudice) she just doesn't understand! >:( I can see what you mean by the intensity. i have never seen this movie and I LOVE it!!!! And thank you Chef John, for expanding my horizons on food. For you have really made a change on my thought on food. By the way I thought the bus boy was Johnny Depp, because he looked like that character he played... Edward Scissorhands.

Anonymous said...

Google away! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef, I would like to know whether there is another way to make a donation to your site?

I once had a PayPal account, but closed it because of problems I encountered with it.

Can you give a land address or do you have the ability to accept credit card payments?

Thanks and good luck with your new equipment.

Chef John said...

Thanks for wanting to donate. You dont need a paypal account... just click the donantion button and paypal will process it as a credit card charge. If it doesnt work let me know. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Well that's good to know! Can you show this information on the actual donation page? I get stumped once in awhile, thinking PayPal is the only choice when I see that widget, and maybe I'm not the only one.

Kenneth Schembri said...

Just watched the movie :) It was great and loved it! Maybe I'll visit Rome this summer and look for Primo's uncle's restaurant :) just kidding though I do visit Rome every summer... My dad does the Tumpana once in a while, the one in the movie seems to have a lot of ingredients! How about you show us how to do it! I am pretty sure you done it before...

Take care,
Kenneth Schembri

Chef John said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. So many great scenes, my fav is the when the rival owner pounds his fist on the table and says, "there is NEVER too much! ...there is only not enought!" I've never tried the featured dish, always seemed like just too much involved, more of a show than a practical dish. Thanks.

Kenneth Schembri said...

Too me it looks like the usual Tumpana with most of the ingredients found in Pizza Capricosa... Gotta try it out.

Take care!
Kenneth Schembri...

Johnny Chef said...

That was pretty funny. The sad thing is that I suspect many restaurants have to go through the uneducated diner ordeal often.

It's also sad that Italian Food is almost always stereotyped as being nothing more than Spaghetti and Meatballs with the occasional slice of garlic bread.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was the soup nazi.