Baked Beans

The Menu: Art vs Food

Last night I saw the comedic drama The Menu and I absolutely loved every minute of it. It reminded me of both the excellent 1997 film The Game with Sean Penn and Michael Douglas and Peter Greenaway’s bizarre 1989 movie “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” with Helen Mirren and Tim Roth.

And with Ralph Fiennes playing the Executive Chef, The Menu also brought back memories of his scary portrayal of a serial killer in the star-studded Hannibal Lecter installment “Red Dragon” with Anthony Hopkins, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, and Edward Norton.

I’ve had the privilege of eating at a few fine-dining restaurants in Europa, the US, and Asia. I can certainly appreciate the inventive, creative process of unique combinations where smell, taste, and texture are at the forefront of the experience. But The Menu does an excellent job of highlighting how ridiculously theatrical dining can be in the culinary stratosphere.

I’m all for enjoying visually appealing food, like Japanese cuisine. A beautiful presentation of even the most basic dish is always preferable and finding new interesting combinations of contrasting or compatible flavors is something I often try. But at the end of the day, I’d be a happy customer with just a bowl of Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce in front of me. Or, a bowl of noodles which is what I’ve been eating while writing this post.