Movies: they make us laugh, they make us cry, they make us hungry. If films tell the stories of our lives, and food is our common ground, then it’s only natural to celebrate the delicious marriage of the two. Last month, JBF Greens did just that, serving up dinner and a movie at its sixth-annual collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, A Night of Film and Food. We gabbed with the four fantastic New York City chefs featured at the event about the gastronomical delights of cinema—both on- and off-screen—and the dreamy movie stars who really butter their popcorn, if you will.
JBF: What is your favorite food moment in film?
Alex Raij, La Vara, Txikito, El Quinto Pino, The Pilar Fisherie (coming soon), NYC: I love the dinner scene in Beetle Juice because it is pure joy, but I also love the egg scene in Tampopo. Actually, I’m going to say really all of Tampopo because I was a girl when I saw it, and it felt very illicit. And also because #foodporn now.
Ryan Hardy, Legacy Records, Charlie Bird, and Pasquale Jones, NYC: Stanley Tucci making an omelet for his brother, played by Tony Shalhoub, in Big Night—a memorable and powerful scene that starts with Marc Anthony sleeping on the butcher’s block.
Desiree Tuttle, Achilles Heel, Brooklyn, NY: It would be impossible to think about a funny and memorable moment in film without remembering Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Child in Julie & Julia. Julia Child's eccentric, unforgettable manner inspired so many home cooks, and reminded the professionals what cooking is truly about: nourishing others and having fun.
Shaunna Sargent, Indie Food & Wine, NYC: I love the movie Soul Kitchen, especially the part where the crazy chef comes in and creates haute cuisine using pre-packaged foods and for-home-use cooking equipment. It was so exciting and awesome. That whole movie is so great—really feel good.
JBF: What is your go-to movie snack?
AR: I’m a big fan of unbuttered popcorn. It’s important to get it out of the way during the previews. My kids love Almond Joy bars, so we get both.
RH: Butter popcorn (with extra salt and extra butter) with peanut M&M’s.
DT: When I do manage to sit through an entire movie without interrupting myself with work or chores, it usually happens with the help of cheddar-flavored popcorn, spiced nuts, or dried fruit. Sometimes I'll splurge and get the raisins that are covered in bittersweet, dark chocolate.
SS: I'm lucky enough to work INSIDE the Film society of Lincoln Center. Sometimes, if it's quiet, I'll pop into a movie with some truffle–parm popcorn and a to-goni [to-go negroni]…don't tell anyone!
JBF: Who is your biggest movie crush?
AR: There are so many, but as a girl, Sam Shepherd in The Right Stuff or Rob Lowe in The Outsiders.
RH: Isabella Rossellini as Gabriella in Big Night.
DT: Embarrassingly enough, Leonardo DiCaprio was my all-time crush. I mean, come on, Romeo AND Jack Dawson? Game over.
SS: Can I say Jiro Ono? I just want to eat that sushi every day forever.
Julie Weil is special events and awards assistant at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram.