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The recent release of Jon Favreau’s Chef provides a new addition to the popular sub-genre of Food Cinema. From Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) to Julia & Julia (2009), film directors have often created meals so mouth-watering that the thought of another handful of chewy, over-toffeed popcorn makes a mockery of one’s very soul.

Here then is the ultimate HeyUGuide to the ultimate Cine-Banquet, for any budding chefs out there to prepare for like-minded friends (please consult Alexander Payne’s Sideways for your wine selection).

red dragon

AMUSE-BOUCHE: ‘Rillettes du Canard’


“Hannibal, confess. What is this divine looking amuse-bouche?” Dr. Lecter is perhaps wise to keep back some of the secrets of the lavish banquet he has prepared for The Baltimore Opera Society. Few of them would suspect that the missing (and talentless) flutist from their own woodwind section is not just the ghost at the feast, but the key ingredient. “If I tell you, “ he replies, “I’m afraid you won’t even try it.”

The good doctor’s culinary skills are currently on display in his eponymous television show, Hannibal (Sky Living, Tuesday nights). The feted Spanish chef José Andres acted as food consultant on the series, bringing vividly to life signature dishes like Lecter’s Lung & Loin à la Bourguignonne. Readers uncomfortable with using human flesh (or unable to locate any at their local deli) might wish to prepare their canapé course with pork and duck instead. A good peppery rillettes, slathered on buttered croûtes with sliced cornichons will make an excellent, informal start to the evening’s proceedings.

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If your pub team is short of an encyclopedic Bond or Hammer fan (the horror people, not the early-90s, billow-trousered rap icon) - then he's our man. Given that these are rather popular areas of critical expertise, he is happy to concentrate on the remaining cinematic subjects. He loves everything from Michael Powell to David Lean, via 70s New Hollywood up to David Fincher and Wes Anderson; from Bergman and Kubrick to Roger Corman and Herschell Gordon Lewis. If he could only take one DVD to the island it would be Jaws, but that's as specific as it gets. You have a lovely day now. Follow him at your own risk at