So many movie masterpieces center around food—from Breakfast at Tiffany’s famous pastry and coffee opening montage to the laughable lobster boiling scene in Annie Hall—and the interplay between food and performance is one we know all too well.
This fall, we’re traveling back in time with a weekly celebration of classic dinners and movies. Whether you prefer an emotional drama or a psychological thriller, we’ll be sure to cover all the classic tropes—filled with food. In an homage to black and white cinema, and a little nod to Cook’s Illustrated magazine, with its 20+ years of signature black and white drawings, we’re pairing some of our favorite recipes with iconic films of yesteryear. For 12 weeks, we’re inviting you to stay in, rent a movie, and cook along with us (and our thematic recipe pairings) as we screen some of the best-loved cinematic works of our time in Cooking With The Classics. We’ll also be offering our readers several chances to win a copy of our beloved Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book along the way, so be sure to enter our giveaway below.
Needless to say, this is a whole new type of Hollywood Diet.
This Week’s Feature Film:
Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 film, Breathless (originally titled “À Bout de Souffle,” translated in French as “At the End of Breath”), heralded the dawn of a new age of cinema. The French New Wave style, as it would later be known, was defined by a spirit of youthful iconoclasm and showcased an experimental aesthetic that coincided with the social and political upheavals of the time. Not surprisingly, the actions of the main characters in Breathless also seem to echo the cultural angst and rebellion of the era itself.
When Michel, the petty criminal (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo), arrives in Paris after a car theft turns sour, he seeks refuge in his occasional girlfriend Patricia. Played by Jean Seberg, Patricia (an American journalist making her living hawking newspapers along the Champs-Élysées) unwittingly harbors Michel, but eventually learns the truth and betrays of him in a tragic final scene, where he collapses, “at the end of breath.” This experimental film displayed cinematic romanticism in a strikingly creative style for its time. After more than fifty years of initial release, this film continues to leave audiences, and viewers of many ages, breathless.
Pardon My French – Michel arrives in Paris—one step ahead of the law
Upon arriving in Paris, Michel’s first order of business is to secure money and a place to stay—but we imagine a quick bite to eat wouldn’t be too far behind, either. What better than a tasty plate of Steak Fries for a man on the run from the law? For Michel, time is certainly of the essence, but our frites are a far cry from any drive-through fast food. We’ve paired them here with our Rosemary-Thyme Aioli for an extra indulgent treat.
Perfectly Parisian – Michel and Patricia rekindle their romance
Though Patricia first expresses resistance, she blindly agrees to let Michel stay with her in apartment (seemingly unaware that indeed he is actually hiding from the police). The pair brood around the apartment, quoting William Faulkner and discussing the nature of grief. Ah, young love! We think our recipe for Salade Nicoise with Fresh Grilled Tuna—with its briny black olives, crunchy green beans, creamy potatoes, and sweet tomatoes— makes a similar case for the pleasure of a perfect pairing.
“À Bout de Souffle” – The dragnet circles closer and Michel finds himself out of breath
Plans to run away to Italy are cast in a new light when Patricia discovers the truth of Michel’s identity and criminal proclivities. Following a police chase, Patricia makes a choice in order to test if her love for Michel is real, leaving him, tragically, “à bout de souffle.” And though their relationship was doomed from the start, we think our delicate Gran Marnier Souffle, with its dramatic rise (and delicate creamy center) is the perfect elegy to the end of their brief, but emotional, affair.
Enter To Win:
Want to be nominated for a bonus entry? Play director and share your Cooking With The Classics photo(s) on Instagram using a black and white filter. Be sure to mention @testkitchen and tag each photo them with #ATKclassics. We’ll be announcing our Oscar-worthy winners each week right here on The Feed. Entries due Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 11:59pm EST. Giveaway for continental US residents only.
The Envelope Please…
The Oscar for Best Animated Feature goes to Christina C., who won a copy of the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book! Thanks Christina C., for reminding us to “try the grey stuff” and to all who shared their favorite food-filled moments in film; read them all here.
Photo Credit: IMDb.com
All recipes free through October 10th, 2013.