Serving up at-home food and flicks

Dinner and a movie. It’s as perfect a pairing as salt and pepper, Ben and Jerry, peanut butter and jelly, Milo and Otis, chocolate and caramel, sour cream and onion, oil and vinegar, milk and cookies, M and M’s……..

Dinner and a movie is also a perfect way to spend an entertaining evening out – or in.

When you choose to enjoy dinner and a movie at home, forget what you’ve heard about the perils of eating in front of the TV. Let the movie you plan to watch inspire some creative menu planning. Or, if you’re short on ideas, look for any of the following books at your local library or bookstore. They are all great sources of inspiration for recipes and menus to pair with a wide range of movies. (If you want to watch a foodie flick, check my March 31st post for lists of movies about food or with food scenes.)

1. Dinner and a Movie by G & R Publishing, 2006

2. Movie Menus: Recipes for Perfect Meals with Your Favourite Films by Francine Segan, Villard, 2004

3. Claud Mann’s Dinner & A Movie Cookbook by Claud Mann, Andrews McNeil Publishing, 2003

4. More Than Just Dinner and a Movie by Gordana Mosher, Spice of Life Books, 2001

5. Generation Eats: Great Recipes for a Fast Forward Culture by Amy Rosen, Warwick Publishing Inc., 1997

6. Dinner & A Movie Cookbook by Kimberlee Carlson, Andrews McNeil Publishing, 1993

7. From Group’s Dinner and a Movie: Friendship, Faith, and Fun Series:

– Adrenaline Rush: Flix for Guys by Brian Diede, Mikal Keefer, Tony Nappa and Michael Van Schooneveld, Group Publishing, 2007
– Friendship, Faith and Fun for Small Groups by Cheri R. Gillard, Group Publishing, 2005
– G-Rated: Friendship, Faith, and Fun for all Ages by Linda Crawford, Heather Dunn and Gina Leuthausen, Group Publishing, 2007
– Chick Flicks, Group Publishing, 2006
– Chick Flicks 2, Group Publishing (available June 2008)

Beyond popcorn: enjoying food in film


If you enjoy watching films that centre around food or include references to food or scenes with food, you’ll want to check out the lists of foodie flicks found on Gastronomica magazine’s website and in The Nibble online magazine.

Although the lists aren’t comprehensive (I couldn’t find Chicken Run, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Fast Food Nation, or Ratatouille on either list), there are lots of food-based movies or movies with memorable food scenes to choose from on both lists. There is also a description about each movie in case the titles don’t sound familiar. On The Nibble’s site, you can access an alphabetical list of food movies or a list by genre.

My personal film library isn’t very extensive…..yet. It includes the afore-mentioned Chicken Run and Ratatouille, and of course Chocolat. Rather pathetic a collection (in terms of quantity, that is) compared to the hundreds of cookbooks, general interest books about food, and novels (culinary mysteries mostly) that line the bookcases in my home office, the family room and the sun room, and sit in messy piles by my desk and my bed.

Speaking of books, if you want to learn more about the role of food and dining in filmography, these books will provide food for thought:

  • Food, Film & Culture: A Genre Study by James R. Keller, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006
  • Food in the Movies by Steve Zimmerman & Ken Weiss, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2005
  • Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film by Anne Bower, Routledge, 2004
  • Food in Film: A Culinary Performance of Communication by Jane Ferry, Routledge, 2003
  • Reel Meals, Set Meals by Gaye Poole, Currency Press Pty Ltd., 1999