Food in Fiction and Film

Authors on Food:

Just Before Dark, Jim Harrison

Harrison, probably best known for his novellas (after Hollywood got hold of them), Legends of The Fall, and Revenge, is also a gifted writer on the subject of food. This collection contains some wonderful food writing.

Warlock, Jim Harrison

has a more jaundiced view of cooking-which is really peripheral to the main theme of midlife crisis, but I highly reccommend the book. I wouldn't try the recipes the central character invents on a bet.

Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

A funny and sometimes scary look into professional cooking.If nothing else, read the chapter "Adam Last-Name-Unknown".

The Aubrey-Maturin Series, Patrick O'Brian

Given that one of the two principal characters in this series of maritime historical novels lives by his stomach, food is frequently mentioned. It's mentioned often enough and in enough detail that a cookbook, Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, has been written.

A Gunroom Guide to Patrick O'Brian Web Resources


Movies with Food as a Central Theme:

Babettes Feast

Like Water for Chocolate

This is a case where a plot synopsis is completely unnecessary-just see it, and learn what the filmaker thinks of the effect of the cook's mood on the dinner. Visually wonderful

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

Recommended by a friend of mine. I found this a surprisingly sweet movie. Family, aging, loss, and triumph are set against a backgroud of professional chinese cooking. The preparation sequences at the begining of the movie are superb, and should be watched intently. The central place of food in the life of family is perhaps what appealed most to me about this one.

All image and text Copyright Dale Austin, 1977-2008