Never mind the Empire State or even the ‘Great Lady’ herself, one of New York’s most popular tourist destinations is Katz’s Deli – the place famous for giving Meg Ryan one hell of a sandwich experience.
Of course the appeal of Katz lies in more than what’s on the menu… but when it comes to cinema, it’s often difficult to not find yourself distracted (or even disgusted) by the culinary delights on show. Whether ‘Supersize Me’ left you craving carrots, or you found yourself wishing you could swap your popcorn for a big bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans – there have been endless iconic foodie moments on film.
Here’s just a small selection plate of my favourites.
Beauty and the Beast and ‘Be Our Guest’
Like Lumière says: “If you’re stressed, it’s fine dining we suggest!” – and who could possibly resist when dinner is served with such an enthusiastic side portion of musical entertainment? Although the emphasis here is probably on the delivery as opposed to the food (Belle doesn’t seem in a particular hurry to actually ‘try the grey stuff’) – it doesn’t matter. I reckon some modern-day restaurants should give ‘culinary cabaret’ a whirl; it could even overtake burgers as the next big food trend.
Goodfellas and the Prison Feast
Food is integral to any Italian-American’s life, so why should it be any different when you’re inside? From Paulie slicing the garlic with a razor to be ‘so thin it melts in the pan’, to the moment we see them sitting down to eat – the prison feast scene brilliantly conveys how much enjoyment can come from the preparation and indeed the anticipation of food itself. (As well as how seriously some people take their onions).
Harry Potter and the Start of Term Feast
With JK Rowling creating an entire wizarding world, it’s no surprise she came up with a whole host of magical delicacies for us to marvel at too. I mean who wants plain old Muggle fare when you can gorge on chocolate frogs and Butterbeer? Alongside trips to Honeydukes, the ultimate dining occasion is of course the Great Feast – the annual banquet to welcome back the students to Hogwarts – which basically looks like the ultimate Sunday roast, only complete with Dumbledore as the host with the most.
Pulp Fiction and the Five Dollar Milkshake
From the Royale with Cheese to the Big Kahuna Burger, food – and in particular, fast food – is discussed as often as it is consumed in Pulp Fiction. Right before the movie’s most iconic dance scene, a great moment occurs when Vincent asks to try Mia’s milkshake, not believing it could be worth a whopping five dollars. Was it actually worth the dosh? Or was it only “pretty fucking good” because he was as high as a kite on drugs? Probably the latter, but it’s a great depiction of the classic restaurant experience: wanting a taste of what the other person has ordered.
Lady and the Tramp and the Spaghetti with Meatballs
It’s beyond me why anyone would choose to share a plate of spaghetti, let alone the best spaghetti in town, but I suppose we can forgive Lady for not wanting to look like a little porker in front of her suitor. With its dreamy song, starry-eyed couple and undeniably adorable conclusion, this famous scene perfectly captures the romance of an evening meal for two. Italian is the food of love, after all. Or is that language? Either way it’s guaranteed to end in satisfaction. (Extra points go to Tramp for offering up the last meatball. He knows what he’s doing, people).
Matilda and the Giant Chocolate Cake
If you’ve ever debated the concept of having too much of a good thing, you’ve clearly never seen (or read) Matilda. When Bruce Bogtrotter makes the catastrophic mistake of stealing from Miss Trunchbull, she decides to give him a literal slice of his own medicine by forcing him to eat the biggest chocolate cake known to man. But unfortunately for Ol’ Trunchbag, Bruce was clearly a competitive eater in training. And that poor school cook? Well she must have missed her calling in life, with those GBBO-standard credentials, she was a Star Baker in the making.
Now then, anyone feeling peckish?