Monday, February 25, 2013

Today's Special is February's movie at Food 'n Flix

Have you ever watched the movie Today's Special? It's a story about food, life, culture and it's packed with foodie scenes. This month's host is Deb at Kahakai Kitchen - see her announcement post HERE

I liked the movie, but my experience with Indian cuisine was not as pleasant. Details later.... Let's hash out some of the movie's details first.

Samir was class act sous chef at a French restaurant and expected to get a huge promotion for his efforts and skill in the kitchen. When he was told by his boss he didn’t have passion, that yes…he was a great sous chef but…Samir lacked the fire connecting the skills, heart and mind. Losing out on a chef’s position (A job he thought he had in the bag), Samir announces he is going to Paris. This is, of course, a fat lie.

Enter the chance meeting with Akbar. Samir hails a cab and Akbar is driving. They talk about cooking and creativity. Akbar was my favorite character in this movie. Later in the movie they hook up and Akbar patiently teaches Samir about cooking and how to find passion in the entire process; The prep, the cooking, the final product.

Samir rediscovers his heritage and his passion for life in the kitchen, listening to stories and cooking Indian dishes. Akbar's recipes put life back into the Tandoori Palace and business improves dramatically. Soon, it’s Samir who is doing the cooking, creating and along the way, he finds happiness. There is also a side love story going on with Carrie, the blonde he met while working at the French restaurant.

This is a total foodie movie…not just the scenes of food, or talking about food (and there is a lot of that) but the talk about why you prepare something a particular way and enjoying the very act of creating a dish to share.

The act of cooking isn’t work, not in this movie.

So, being the baby I am about spicy foods, yet wanting to prepare a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for this month’s edition of Food n Flix…..and further not wanting to screw up perfectly good ingredients by preparing something I may not like (and have to toss)...I thought I would go to a local Indian restaurant such as Samir ran. Give back to the economy and get an authentic Indian dish.

We started with the Coconut Milk Soup. Very good, very creamy and yet light. This portion of the meal was the only one we enjoyed. Wait...the naan was excellent!

This hearty looking plate contained a noodle based vegetable toss, basmati rice and some incredible naan.

Two bites in and my mouth is tingling. Ok....I continue to sample. A few more bites and the ridges of my tongue are vibrating with heat. It was as if I had ingested a big spoonful of fire ants. There was a burning sensation that was simultaneously painful and numbing. I drained a water pitcher...and it had ice in it. Anyone who knows me even remotely knows I do not like ice water...just give me plain old water, no ice, every. single. time. For Doug it wasn't the heat or spice - he didn't care for the taste of the food at all.

Noooo....I left there not knowing if my stomach was thundering with hunger or trying to minimize the damage I just heaped into it. Oh. My. So, kudos to you ladies cooking from Madhur Jaffrey for these past six months. Am I a baby when it comes to Indian/spicy food? Maybe...but I was reared south of Philly where I ingested the cultural melting pot food items from German, Italian and Irish cuisines. The Indian food is clearly not for me, or my man. He didn't care for it either but again, it wasn't the spice issue for him.

BUT - we both liked the movie very much and it was a cultural journey we certainly enjoyed. No offense to any Indian food's just my opinion :-)

Next month I am hosting Food ‘n Flix’s movie How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. Wonder how much food is that one? Stay tuned for my announcement post next month. Hope you will join in.

I am sharing this with Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.


Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

Oh wow, you really ARE sensitive to heat, aren't you!? I remember you telling me that before, but I didn't realize the severity of it! Well, I'm happy that you guys enjoyed the flick...even if you couldn't enjoy the food.

I'm looking forward to your pick for next month...I haven't seen it in a LONG time, and I can't wait to see what it inspires me to make in the kitchen. :)

Kim said...

Oh dear...too bad it was too spicy for you. That stinks. But, at least now you know! I know the coconut milk soup was delicious. I love that stuff!

Hope you are doing good. I have a giveaway for some free French macarons on my website. Stop by and leave a comment if you're interested.

Pierce said...

This was a great movie and I sure look forward to my turn hosting. Thanks for the lovely comments, ladies!
kim, I sure am interested in those right there :~}

Deb in Hawaii said...

A bummer neither of you enjoyed the meal--I prefer my Indian food on the milder side. ;-) But, I am glad you enjoyed the movie--thanks for joining in. (I'm looking forward to next month's pick too!)

Anonymous said...

I've found that Indian food is something that people either love or hate. Bummer that you didn't really enjoy your meal! At least there was the naan :)

@yumivore said...

Sorry to hear you didn't hit it off with Indian cuisine, it can be overwhelming but once you get hooked it's delicious (for some at least). At least you had a fun evening enjoying the film!

Pierce said...

Thank you all so much for the nice comments!

Beth F said...

I'll have to get this movie -- I love foodie movies. Too bad about the Indian food. I love it and I love spicy.

Trish said...

Fire ants in your mouth? As a Texan who feels that fire ant bites are one of the worst things in the entire world I'm definitely intrigued. ;) I haven't seen Today's Special but will see if I can find it! Sounds like fun.

Love How to Lose a Guy but I can only remember one restaurant scene. Enjoy!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I'm sorry the meal wasn't to your liking. I can't eat spicy food either. At least you enjoyed the movie.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Sorry this wasn't a good experience. But you liked the film, right?

I was so sorry I missed this round. Will try to do better next month!

caite said...

I am not a huge fan of heat, but I can take a bit and I do like Indian food.

jama said...

Thanks the movie rec. I do like Indian food, but I don't like it too spicy. Perhaps you'd like it more if you could have a milder version of those dishes. Can't beat naan, though -- always good!

Janel Gradowski said...

I've never heard of this movie before, but I will put it on my list of ones I want to see. My husband and I often enjoy going to a local Indian buffet. I find their vegetarian dishes are spicier than the meat ones. A bit of yogurt can help tone down the heat, but I'm guessing you won't be trying any anytime soon!

Angela said...

How disappointing for you guys :(
At least you didn't slave all day over the hot stove in preparation for a meal that you wouldn't enjoy.

Grilling Chicken and Asparagus

This new Weber grill has taken the heat out of the kitchen and outside on the porch. Perfect when the temperatures are reaching the upper 90...