The inspiration behind Bone & Marrow is largely my mom and the role Jamaican food has played in my life, but also Nora Ephron’s 2009 dramedy, “Julie & Julia.” The movie follows New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams), as she cooks her way through the 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” I have watched this movie so many times that the script has been permanently etched into my brain. What I love most about "Julie & Julia,” and all the cooking movies I’ve watched throughout the years, is how much joy the act of cooking brings its characters. It not only helps to fulfill them internally, but also forces them to step outside of themselves and connect with others. I’ve found that cooking — and eating — has done much of the same for me. I have felt most connected to the people in my life when preparing and eating a meal with them. So, here is a list of my five favorite cooking movies:
Forget about “Elf” and “Iron Man.” The 2014 movie “Chef,” which centers on a washed-up chef who rediscovers his passion for cooking after launching a food-truck business, is John Favreau’s best piece of work. Not only does he star in the movie, but he also wrote, co-produced, and directed it. In fact, the movie is so good that Netflix decided to create a show based off it called, “The Chef Show.” Now in its second season, the show follows Favreau and chef Roy Choi as they explore food in and out of the kitchen with their celebrity friends.
2. Julie & Julia
3. The Five-Hundred Foot Journey
A classic culture clash, “The Five-Hundred Foot Journey” focuses on an intense battle between an Indian restaurant and a French Michelin-starred restaurant in a small French village. Violently forced from their home in India, the Kadam family takes refuge in the south of France and buys a restaurant with the hope of beginning a new chapter. However, they find themselves unwelcome by their neighbor Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) who runs a traditional French restaurant across the street. In her attempt to sabotage their Indian bistro, Madame Mallory and her kitchen staff develop a close relationship with the Kadams.
5. Always Be My Maybe
Netflix’s 2019 romantic comedy “Always Be My Maybe” starring Ali Wong and Randall Park has helped generate the latest wave of rom-coms. After 15 years of silence, childhood friends Marcus and Sasha reluctantly reunite when Sasha returns to San Francisco to open her new restaurant. Old sparks begin to flare between the two as they try to transfer their past relationship into the present, where Sasha lives as a famous chef and Marcus lives as a struggling musician working for his dad’s company. This film does a beautiful job of centering Asian-American culture and the connective power of food. Personally, my favorite scene comes at the 28-minute mark when Sasha cooks herself a meal in the quietness of her big house. It’s both sad and visually captivating.