We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Anthony Bourdain’s pick for best food movie is surprising, but correct

Legend of the screen Anthony Bourdain selected the best food movie ever made, and though it's a surprising choice, the celebrity chef was absolutely correct.

Anthony Bourdain Ratatouille background

Anthony Bourdain was and remains a legend, especially if you’re interested in the exploration of international cultures through the lens of food and cooking. And, as a beloved food author and celebrity chef, Bourdain’s view on the depiction of cooking and restaurants in cinema should be of particular note.

Bourdain, who is perhaps best remembered for his culinary travelogue series Parts Unknown, was asked to serve up (sorry) his picks for the best movies about food, cooking, and restaurants when speaking with Entertainment Weekly. His top choice is genuinely a surprise, even though it shouldn’t be: Pixar‘s 2007 classic Ratatouille.

Quite possibly the best Pixar movie, Ratatouille is among the best animated movies ever made, and Bourdain adored it. “It’s a measure of how deficient Hollywood has been in making an accurate restaurant-food based film that far and away the best was about an animated rat,” he began.

Continuing on, he said: “They got the food, the reactions to food, and tiny details to food really right — down to the barely noticeable pink burns on one of the character’s forearms. I really thought it captured a passionate love of food in a way that very few other films have.”

YouTube Thumbnail

Food journalist Michael Ruhlman provided even more detail on Bourdain’s love for Ratatouille (via Chicago Reader) reporting that Bourdain said: “And the Anton Ego ratatouille epiphany hit me like a punch in the chest – literally breathtaking. I saw it in a theater entirely full with adults – and the reaction to that moment was what movie making was once – a long time ago – all about: audible surprise, delight, awe and even a measure of enlightenment.”

It’s absolutely effusive praise from Bourdain, who knows more than most when it comes to the accuracy of the portrayal of restaurants and the individuals who inhabit them. So, despite the fact that the movie is all about a chef who’s a rat, if you’re looking for the most realistic, detailed, and authentic portrayal of professional cooking, Bourdain tells you to look no further than one of the best family movies around.

Since Bourdain’s death, other food-centric new movies and TV shows which have found popularity include The Menu, and The Bear. While The Menu is mostly a satire about class with a superficial focus on food, The Bear really is about working chefs and the pressures and stresses they face as their profession seeps into their personal lives. There’s almost no doubt that Bourdain would have enjoyed it. You can watch Ratatouille now via Disney Plus.

If you enjoy The Bear, you’ll love our list of the best drama movies ever made and the best TV series of all time. You can also read our The Bear season 2 review, and our guide to The Bear season 3 release date.