No Reservations

Last night we sat down to watch “No Reservations,” the remake of the 2001 German film, “Mostly Martha” with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin. I’m afraid I liked the original better, perhaps the use of unknown actors (at least to me) made it more interesting as I had no preconceived notions as to who is acting the part. Catherine Zeta Jones, while a truly beautiful woman and a talented actress, somehow just keeps bringing back the part she had in Chicago, while sashaying across her kitchen.

That is not to say that there are not many beautiful and curvaceous women working in professional kitchens present, past, and future, but somehow Catherine’s character comes across as a bit of a prima donna who doesn’t get her hands dirty. Although on the flip side (snicker)! When she goes out early morning to the fish market, and then picks up the fish that the fishmonger shows her and then wipes her hands off on her coat and sticks her hands back in her pockets all I can say is EEEWWW!!!

Just some picky inconsistencies, while I loved the few sparse efforts to throw in the kitchen lingo, i.e. “I need a lobster on the fly.” Someone really should’ve taught good old Catherine to pronounce those culinary terms a bit better. I REALLY didn’t know that Mise en Place, was pronounced “Mice in Plates” or that Amuse-Bouche was pronounced “am-use-butch.” Hmmm, maybe it was just CZJ’s accent or maybe I have a hearing problem or perhaps it was too many years of working for psycho French Chefs : )

And okay, come on guys, who wears crocs in the kitchen? They melt and they have holes in the top. Gee I really want to spill hot oil on MY feet while wearing those! A fine dining restaurant where the dudes dreads get to swing around over the food, hatless no less. Kitchens where no one ever seems to get dirty. The only place that I ever worked like that was when I was Chef de Cuisine at a place in Vermont and I cooked everything. The head chef sat in his office and played computer games all night, only to emerge in his crisp and sparkling white chefs jacket to go out and tell his guests how happy he was that they loved all the food that he just cooked for them.

To say that I’ve gone off track of the movie review is quite true. The movie itself was nice. It was cute. It was sweet. It started out slow, and did get better about 20 minutes, but as for most movies that are made for foodies and not food people, it is quite unrealistic. I think the best part of the DVD we rented was the extras as usual, where it shows that the people that had nothing to do with the actual movie per se are actually the ones that did all the work, i.e. the real cooking behind the movie. I recommend “Mostly Martha,” for those out to watch more then a cute chick flic. For the truly adventurous, I recommend hunting down the BBC sitcom Chef! Starring Lenny Henry. Henry’s Chef Gareth Blackstock epitomizes many of the truly talented psychotic chefs I’ve worked for in the past. Screaming at their staff, being a perfectionist, verbally abusing their customers, and in general being a perfect shit but also striving for excellence in their food.

Chef Forfeng rating – 1 1/2 Gherkins

Chef Forfeng rating – Mostly Martha – 4 Gherkins

Chef Forfeng rating – Chef! – 5 Gherkins

And just a refreshment to those who used to follow me and to new comers, Definition of Foodie: the bane of cooks and chefs everywhere, a Wanna-Be professional cook/chef. There is nothing more irritating then going to a dinner party or meeting at a restaurant with a group of people and there is always at least one “Foodie” attending who proceeds to tell you all about how he/she made the most fabulous chicken dish. etc etc. until you just want to strangle them ZZZ……………


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