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Feasting on The Hundred-Foot Journey

We attended a screening as a guest of Disney
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As a person who has a passion for cooking, I always look forward to a movie with a plot centered around food and cooking. Some of my favorites include “Chocolat”, “Like Water for Chocolate”, Babette’s Feast”, “Eat Drink Man Woman”, “Tortilla Soup” and “Chef”. So I jumped at the chance to attend a pre-screening of “The Hundred-Foot Journey”.

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“The Hundred-Foot Journey” Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake is Directed by Lasse Halström and stars Dame Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon. It tells the story of Hassan Kadam, a young prodigy chef who inherits his passion for cooking from his mother. Following a political uprising, The Kadam’s find themselves fleeing their home in Mumbai for Europe and ultimately land in a quaint village in the South of France where Papa, despite his family’s protest opens a restaurant, Maison Mumbai, one-hundred feet across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin starred restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur. This does not sit well with the icy Madame Mallory, played by Mirren, who is offended by the mere presence of this immigrant family whose spicy food, loud music, and colorful presence are counter to what she views as appropriate.

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While an all out war erupts between Papa and Madame Mallory, Hassan is completely taken with Marguerite, sous chef at Le Saule Pleureur. Marguerite early on recognizes Hassan’s talent and ignites his passion for French cuisine. This ultimately leads him to bring his own Indian influence to classic French dishes.

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Om Puri is hilarious and lovable as the stubborn Papa and as bold as the spices in his restaurant and while Mirren’s, Madame Mallory is initially not one bit likable, you will find yourself laughing at her antics and genuinely feeling for her, a credit to Mirren for having the ability to walk that fine line and bring you along with her on Madame Mallory’s own journey.

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Sometimes when I watch a movie, I want to crawl into the picture itself. This was one of those films. Saint-Antonin, the village in the South of France portrayed in the movie is beautiful and picturesque and I actually Googled it so I can add it to my list of future destinations. And if Maison Mumbai were more than a fictitious restaurant in the village, I would probably want to dine in the charming light filled courtyard every night I was visiting.

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While the combination of Helen Mirren and Om Puri are reason enough to go see “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, if you enjoy films about food, are taken with beautiful scenery and landscape, and like stories that make you both laugh and cry as much as I do, you should definitely go. Be warned though, plan on having reservations at a fantastic restaurant afterwards. You will regret it if you don’t. Now showing. Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language, and brief sensuality.

Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures

Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures

The Hundred-Foot Journey is in theaters today!

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.
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