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Time for a movie about chefs?

PAT I. Oct 9, 2000 04:54 PM

I think the time is right for a movie lampooning celebrity chefs and the restaurant business..kinda like "Spinal Tap" only about food. What chef/restaurant/trend would you skewer? Which actors would you like to see in a movie like this?

I could see Christopher Walken as Charlie trotter...

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  1. k
    Kat Kinsman RE: PAT I. Oct 9, 2000 05:16 PM

    Well, Walken does like to cook. Witness the recent Observer article entitled "Who’s in Chris Walken’s Kitchen? He Is! And He Wants to Feed You". My favorite bit: "Christopher Walken crushed a whole bulb of garlic with alarming force on the countertop, as though he were performing CPR, and began chopping the garlic with a menacing-looking butcher knife."

    BTW, anyone ever been to the Walken family bakery? Wanna comment?


    Link: http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/story...

    9 Replies
    1. re: Kat Kinsman
      Shane RE: Kat Kinsman Oct 9, 2000 09:54 PM


      Is Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential being made into a movie by David Fincher or is that a wild (but nevertheless enticing) rumor.

      Fincher is great as is Kitchen Confidential and the two visions seem to match up perfectly.

      Kitchen Confidential fits in nicely with Fincher's running themes of becoming enlightened only after hitting rock bottom. (he did Fight Club, the Game, and Seven).

      In any case, KC would be a movie about A chef with real, interesting experiences to back up the story. I would love to see the part on the Rainbow Room on film!

      Come to think of it, there's another bond that ties Fincher and Bourdain...the food-sabotaging bits of Fight Club bear a strange similarity to some of Bourdain's less-than-savory revelations about kitchens.

      I can't wait (if it's true). Someone confirm!


      1. re: Shane
        pat i. RE: Shane Oct 10, 2000 07:15 AM

        So who would play him? Tommy Lee Jones?

        1. re: pat i.
          Anthony Bourdain RE: pat i. Oct 10, 2000 09:04 AM

          Kitchen Confidential has indeed been optioned by New Line for David Fincher and Art Linson. At what point in production (or pre-production) they are, I don't know. (I'm a tech consultant). The screenwriter was working undercover in my kitchen for a while though. I told my cooks he was an extern from French Culinary (to explain his complete lack of usefulness...Casting, I haven't a clue..though I think Robert Downey Jr. has the perfect resume.

          1. re: Anthony Bourdain
            Jim Leff RE: Anthony Bourdain Oct 10, 2000 10:17 AM

            Just a tech consultant? I'd think they'd stick you in the frame somewhere at some point...prepping, or as an imperious customer or something. Your face is familiar enough from talk shows by now that it'd provide an "aha" for the audience.

            1. re: Jim Leff
              mark RE: Jim Leff Oct 22, 2000 09:23 PM

              David Fincher?!? This should promise to be one SICK AND TWISTED movie about the restaurant business!! (In the best sense, of course....)

              BTW, put me down as another guy who absolutely LOVED your book.

              1. re: mark
                Maurice RE: mark Nov 21, 2000 10:47 AM

                If you think Fincher is a BIG deal for the movie... Brad Pitt is going to be the lead according to IGNFilmforce.

                Considering how well the two work (Fight Club, Se7en), this should be a good see.

            2. re: Anthony Bourdain
              Shane RE: Anthony Bourdain Oct 10, 2000 10:40 AM

              Good to know, Mr. Bourdain! I really hope it comes through. Maybe Ed Norton can play your part.

              Let me see if anyone else has told you this: your book made me want to a) eat at Les Halles and b) start smoking freebase again.

              Great book, dude.


              1. re: Anthony Bourdain
                pat i. RE: Anthony Bourdain Oct 10, 2000 12:35 PM

                I just finished up "Bone in Throat". Great read!
                "The Count" and his restaurant (with his image etched in the door window) reminds me of a restaurant in the village...across the street from "golden Disc"...

                Food there was pretty bad when I ate there. I think the place was the inspiration for The Olive Garden.

                Looking foward to the movie!

          2. re: Kat Kinsman
            bryan RE: Kat Kinsman Oct 10, 2000 06:08 AM

            What a riot! I'm picturing him saying (in that intimitable Walken manner) "The stock is cloudy.. cloudy fellas.. What... do... I... have... to... do... to... make... this... clear? Stock shouldn't be cloudy!" Also staring Willem Defoe as... the sous chef.

          3. e
            Elizabeth RE: PAT I. Oct 10, 2000 02:35 PM

            The British comedian Lenny Henry did a very, very funny series called Chef! for the BBC in the early 1990's. He played the megalomaniacal Garret Blackstock, chef of La Maison Anglais. He terrorized the sous chefs, waiters, maitre d' and sommelier. Agonized over restaurant critics, publicity and money.
            Some of the PBS stations have run the episodes, or you might find them on video. Highly recommended!

            13 Replies
            1. re: Elizabeth
              Jason Perlow RE: Elizabeth Oct 10, 2000 02:57 PM

              BBC America runs it on cable as well. Great show.

              Lenny Henry is hillarious... I once saw him do a skit as Doctor Who on a british Saturday Night Live-type comedy show that he used to do. I think he would have made a great Doctor!

              now Henry may be funny... but that other Ainsley guy that does that "Can't Cook Wont Cook" Show on the BBC is just absolutely awful. He's just way too hyper.

              1. re: Elizabeth
                Jessica Shatan RE: Elizabeth Oct 11, 2000 06:18 PM

                They had 2 tapes of Chef!, each with 3 episodes at Kim's Video in Manhattan on Bleecker and LaGuardia. I rented the 1st one and will let you know how it is!

                1. re: Jessica Shatan
                  bryan RE: Jessica Shatan Oct 12, 2000 06:36 AM

                  If you go to the shop section of PBS.org you'll find it for sale. Highly recommended.

                  1. re: bryan
                    Sirina RE: bryan Oct 12, 2000 06:02 PM

                    My local video store (in DC) said that 2 tapes is all that are available. Too bad, because there are definitely more episodes.

                    1. re: Sirina
                      Erika RE: Sirina Oct 13, 2000 12:56 AM

                      Chef is so bogus though.
                      I mean, some of it makes sense, but a lot of it is puffery.
                      Have you seen that soup opera thing at ontherail.com?
                      They get nasty, but it's really high opera, and it feels so real.

                      Link: http://www.ontherail.com

                      1. re: Erika
                        Jessica Shatan RE: Erika Oct 13, 2000 10:21 AM

                        Erika, Chef! definitly 'reads' like a prime time sitcom, but a really good one!

                        1. re: Jessica Shatan
                          Josh Mittleman RE: Jessica Shatan Oct 16, 2000 09:12 AM

                          Make sure you're watching episodes from the first two seasons, when the humor was tightly focused on the life of a top chef and the world of his kitchen. In the third seasons, they apparently ran out of good writers and transformed the show to a dreary sit-com mostly about sex.

                        2. re: Erika
                          Gillian RE: Erika Nov 24, 2000 12:26 PM

                          Yah I like those guys too. the articles are pretty true to the REAL life, and I get a laugh about something every time I go there!
                          As for chef, parts are funny, but it's so white washed, and very realistic.

                          1. re: Erika
                            gillian RE: Erika Dec 2, 2000 01:52 PM

                            Hey! THANKS FOR THE LINK TO ONTHERAIL.com very cool site, and they have a postcard you can send with great pictures for chefs too.

                            1. re: Erika
                              Frankie RE: Erika Apr 4, 2001 06:47 PM

                              Thanks for the link Erika!
                              Ontherail.com has some fun stuff. Maybe they should be the ones with the TV show, at least they get it.
                              I liked that waiter-whacker game too. I got 4500 the first try!

                        3. re: Jessica Shatan
                          Jessica Shatan RE: Jessica Shatan Oct 12, 2000 11:24 AM

                          I watched the tape with the 1st 3 episodes on it and enjoyed it very much. Since I'm reading Kitchen Confidential right now it was fun to see some aspects of it come alive (the kitchen, the chef ordering his subordinates around, the characters that make up the staff: the klutz who gets canned, the fat guy, the thin guy, the pert female sous chef, the megolomaniacal chef who is an obsessive artiste/drill sargent).

                          1st, I had to get used to the canned laugh track which was irritating. They've done a pretty good job of combining comedy with drama and two of the pitfalls I anticipated were pretty well avoided: thick english accents and annoying-to-me british humor (for instance I don't like Monty Python and some other brit comedy things). Almost everyone is easy to understand (I don't know about you but I had to watch tapes of Absolutly Fabulous 2x to get what they were saying thru the accents). Re: humor, most of it is universal with the rare reference to something british that I didn't get.

                          Anyway I definitly recommend it, it's a lot of fun, they milk the humor well . . . watch out when a customer asks for salt within earshot of the chef or when the newbie in the kitchen loses a band-aid and what did he work on that day? ravioli and miniature pies with a puff pastry top and bottom that are each delicately tied up with what looks like strips of scallion!

                          In true BBC style, all the acting is very good, and the production quality is high without being too in-your-face.

                          They had 2 tapes and each with 3 episodes--I wonder if there are more??

                          1. re: Jessica Shatan
                            Steven Stern RE: Jessica Shatan Oct 13, 2000 12:55 AM

                            It's been a while since I've seen it, but what I remember most is the theme song. Wasn't it a loping, reggae-ish tune, the lyrics of which went: "Ve-ry se-ri-ous pro-fes-sion..."?

                            1. re: Steven Stern
                              Rachel Perlow RE: Steven Stern Oct 16, 2000 12:00 PM

                              I'm the best
                              So do not test
                              The top of my profession

                              The master of my chosen field
                              Of that there is no question

                              Serious profession

                              Serious profession

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