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Porthos wrote,

"Anyone who reads my posts knows that I am not a restaurant professional - I'm an engineer. One of the tiny details put into the film caught my eye and defined for me just how much effort was put into creating realistic kitchen staff. That tiny detail is when Collette gets off of her motorbike and grabs her roll-up case of knives to take into work with her. I doubt 1 out of 20 viewers will ever notice but for me it spoke volumes."

Saw the knife case. As you said, the detail is spot on.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Does anyone know where I could find a picture of the finished dish? I haven't seen the movie and probably won't be able to for a while but I'd love to see Remy's Ratatouille !

THIS blogger made the dish(look for the July 17 post). The animated version looks a lot better but his looks tasty too.

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Didn't you just love that the bastard son of Gusteau the Great French Chef was Linguini?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got to see it yesterday, on the first night it was showing here in The Netherlands! I went with my friend who loves rats and food as much as I do (I have, and he used to have, pet rats).

I LOVED it. Both from a food- and rat perspective everything was so well done and beautiful.

Did anyone else wonder what that soup tasted like?

My friend did comment that they took great trouble not to show too may rat's tails. The tails of rodents are apparently what grosses out people the most about these critters, and ofcourse in the movie they had to be cute and not scary!

oh and I was quite disappointed when I woke up this morning and my rats were in their cage and not in the kitchen making me an omelet :laugh:

Edited by Chufi (log)
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I enjoyed Ratatouille but thought it fell far short of greatness.

I'm no stickler for realism in cinema, but I'm pretty surprised that so many foodies are praising Ratatouille's accuracy. While many of the kitchen scenes are brilliantly done (the introductions of the members of the brigade, Colette's tough-girl speech, and the portrayal of Skinner the Napoleonic nightmare chef, were my favorites, though the decision to make Skinner so swarthy was a bit troublesome), the portrayal of the restaurant overall is painfully unrealistic. They spent all this time consulting with cooks, but maybe they should have put a little effort into consulting with a server or two, or even a critic, or a restaurant designer. As a result of those accuracy gaps, the restaurant portrayed is barely reminiscent of anyplace where someone would actually eat. And, as mentioned above, the repeated confusion of herbs and spices is cringe-worthy, as are the five-star rating system and the portrayal of restaurant service on roller skates.

Accuracy aside, though (because this is after all a cartoon and if you buy the cooking rat you can't be such a stickler for accuracy), there are some pretty deep flaws. The arc of the number two character in the film, Linguine, is barely coherent. The device of controlling Linguine by his hair is foolish -- surely someone could have come up with something better. Anton Ego's "review," read allowed towards the end of Ratatouille, is surely one of the worst pieces of food writing ever. And the positioning of heartless critic Anton Ego and corporate frozen-food interests as the restaurants' twin nemeses reflects a lack of imagination in screenwriting that no amount of clever animation can overcome.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I enjoyed Ratatouille but thought it fell far short of greatness.

I'm no stickler for realism in cinema, but I'm pretty surprised that so many foodies are praising Ratatouille's accuracy. While many of the kitchen scenes are brilliantly done (the introductions of the members of the brigade, Colette's tough-girl speech, and the portrayal of Skinner the Napoleonic nightmare chef, were my favorites, though the decision to make Skinner so swarthy was a bit troublesome), the portrayal of the restaurant overall is painfully unrealistic. They spent all this time consulting with cooks, but maybe they should have put a little effort into consulting with a server or two, or even a critic, or a restaurant designer. As a result of those accuracy gaps, the restaurant portrayed is barely reminiscent of anyplace where someone would actually eat. And, as mentioned above, the repeated confusion of herbs and spices is cringe-worthy, as are the five-star rating system and the portrayal of restaurant service on roller skates.

I noted the unfortunately swarthiness of Skinner myself and that, along with a number of other cues made me wonder if there was a deeper subtext to the movie. I'm no Jewish Studies major but the assimilationist conflicts within the rat community (did I just type "rat community") and grim scene at the rat-trappers, along with the definite French-Arab appearance of Skinner (cf Disney Cartoon Bad Guy Jafar) struck me as a little, I don't know, allegorical or something.

I told this to a friend and he said I had too much time on my hands.

On the five star rating system, I assumed that they purposely avoided any comparison to Michelin.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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One good thing about seeing Ratatouille is that I didn't have to see "No Reservations" instead.

My very favorite part is where the rat gets inside the guys chef's coat and tickles him so that he dances around like a . . . well . . . like oil-coated linguine on electroshock.

Obviously when I say oil I mean EVOO.

But as far as direction given by a rat pulling on your hair it happens all the time.

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No Remy wine at Costco. From what I saw before, I thought it was going to have a Gusteau label, which would have been subtle yet appealing, at least to me. Yes, the movie may not be 100% accurate, but the pure love of cooking as an end to itself is so appealing. And who knows how much more appealing it would have been with some Gusteau's burgundy? Unfortunately, we'll never know.
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another little food-faux-pas; after Colette has summed up all ingredients for the sweetbread recipe (and it does sound pretty disgusting, with the liquorice sauce and all) she shouts: veal stomach! Do we have any veal stomach soaking?

First I thought the stomach was another ingredient, but now I think they actually meant veal stomach = sweetbreads :shock:

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Does anyone know where I could find a picture of the finished dish? I haven't seen the movie and probably won't be able to for a while but I'd love to see Remy's Ratatouille !

THIS blogger made the dish(look for the July 17 post). The animated version looks a lot better but his looks tasty too.

French Laundry Cookbook, I think might have a pic of it. I don't have my copy near me to look. I thought it was an absolutely precious movie. I sat there trying to figure out why the voice of the American wanting the special sounded so familar and then later found out why. I really cannot wait for this to come out on dvd. Pixar has a way with doing a bang up job with their movies and this did not disappoint. Would go see it again and again if I had a choice between this and No Reservations...

Here is a short interview Keller did about working with Brad Lewis and the crew of Ratatouille.

http://www.movieweb.com/video/V07FoKw7rMsEZN

Edited by kristin_71 (log)
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I absolutely loved this movie--and i've been a real bore, telling people to go see it.

I agree with FG that the front of the house was unrealistic--I was thinking at the time how dead it seemed--but maybe that was to accentuate the liveliness and imagination occurring in the kitchen.

And the critic, Ego, was really absurd--yet redeemed (as already mentioned) when he had the flashback to childhood and happiness

The streets of Paris were fabulous--the zipping around on a red Vespa has been a longtime fantasy of mine, so i just loved those scenes.

The swarthiness of Skinner--it hadn't occurred to me that he was supposed to be Arab--well, maybe--but it was distasteful--why couldn't he just look like the angry, fat, sweaty, cigarrette smoking, balding and drunk chefs that I encountered in my restaurant days? That would be quite disgusting enough!

chufi said--

Did anyone else wonder what that soup tasted like?

yeah, I did--it didn't look so appetising, but it must have had some good stuff in it!

I think Colette was my favorite character--loved her looks, her toughness, her dash, and her generosity.

Zoe

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In case you're still wondering...

"Ratatouille" has wowed France's viewers, reviewers and even top chefs who have "mega-egos," drawing the fourth-highest opening day attendance in the country's movie history. The French have been impressed by the film's technical accuracy and attention to culinary detail, as well as the manner in which the Paris restaurant depicts the true sense of the city. "I didn't expect such gastronomical knowledge from an American cartoon!" said one cook.

Article in The Washington Post

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I took my 5-year-old nephew and 8-year-old niece to the movie on Saturday. They both loved it. I did enjoy many of the culinary aspects of it but...um...didn't anyone get grossed out by the thought of that many rats overtaking a kitchen??? I mean, really? I don't mind them as pets (I used to have a hamster that ran around in my shirt so I love the scene with Remi tickling Linguini) but I would be put off by that many cats in the kitchen too, and I *love* cats. Maybe its just me?

(BTW, the "Lifted" short...brilliant!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

A refreshing review of Rattatouille. From one of those college students.

You know, one of those smart kids. Tied to no allegiances as yet and not boosting for buddies or career blue or brown nosing.

:smile:

But food smacks our senses for real. It dazzles sight, allures smell, enchants taste in one stimulating moment. It reaches the body directly and attacks its nerves feverishly.

Yes, food certainly deserves an elevated position on the art totem pole.

And just as certainly, “Ratatouille,” does not.

How can I express how uninspired the plot is? Everything is so contained. There’s no sense of adventure. It’s trapped in its own mission to explore the wonders of food. I’m not saying I don’t love food. But if we’re talking about a rat surviving in a human world, it’s too limiting and dull to just have him hiding under some kid’s hat.

“Ratatouille” takes itself seriously. There are few, if any, one-liner jokes that pervade and ruin other similar movies. In here we see a story that attempts to genuinely depict a rat whose fur shines a little brighter, whose smell smells a little stronger, trying to break lose of the rat conformity through food.

Not that Remy really develops better in the end. Sure he’s a gifted chef. But the movie lays it on real thick. It eventually has him pulling Linguini’s hair to make him perform the exact functions that Remy wants him to. He relates to everyone, be it rat or human, only through food. All he really talks about is food. I guess an artistically gifted rat, a rat that can talk, is still just a rat.
Even in a different tone Ego proves his worth as a character, as later he eloquently states both the nature of criticism and the nature of art within the human spirit. In doing this, he becomes twice the meal “Ratatouille” does. I’m not above eating a good cheeseburger. But serve me a rat, and I might just become evil.

I do believe I'll be looking for this fellow's critical writings in the future.

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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So I want to host a movie night (the DVD is out on November 2nd) at the restaurant and of course the movie will be "Ratatouille". We will cook the food of the movie and present it buffet style, however the problem is that I have not seen this movie and further more none of you guys have actually mentioned just what this rat cooks...so help me out here without fussing at me for not seeing this flick. And I know he cooks ratatouille so that's a no-brainer. So how about it...

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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So I want to host a movie night (the DVD is out on November 2nd) at the restaurant and of course the movie will be "Ratatouille".  We will cook the food of the movie and present it buffet style, however the problem is that I have not seen this movie and further more none of you guys have actually mentioned just what this rat cooks...so help me out here without fussing at me for not seeing this flick.  And I know he cooks ratatouille so that's a no-brainer.  So how about it...

Well, it isn't quite that simple BUT if you want Jason's take on the ratatouille, it is located

HERE

(hint: it isn't exactly as you've made it before)

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The New York Times published the confit bayaldi recipe back in June. It's interesting that this dish, which has been around for decades, has been attributed to Thomas Keller. While Thomas Keller did clue the filmmakers into the dish, it's certainly not his invention.

These folks on ChefsLine.com attempted to do a recipe roundup inspired by the film. My memory isn't good enough to say whether they got it right.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Well, it isn't quite that simple BUT if you want Jason's take on the ratatouille, it is located

HERE

(hint: it isn't exactly as you've made it before)

Not to brag but...yeah, it looks fairly easy :cool:

Thanks for the menu FG. Dinner is on the 15th of November if you're in town...

Edited by The Cynical Chef (log)

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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Not to brag but...yeah, it looks fairly easy :cool:

You misunderstood. I wasn't talking about the recipe, I was talking about telling you all of the dishes from the movie. :wink:

Got ya!

:laugh:

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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Last week, I finally went to see the movie with a couple of friends. They first came over to our place where, of course, they were served ratatouille. :smile:

I simply loved the movie, sure, if one wants one could always have critical notes on everything, but I simply had a very good time from start to finish. The atmosphere of the movie reminded me of the older, classic Disney-flicks, kind of Mary Poppins meets Pinocchio, and then with a lot of great food scenes thrown in.

One thing that I have been wondering though, is WHAT, exactly, are those small white cubes that Remy tosses in almost every dish, by handfuls even...? Could it be butter?

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