Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ratatouille ... Something for Foodies

Although the story line has its charms, the precisely rendered detail of a professional kitchen will appeal to the food-obsessed.

The Pixar crew took cooking classes, ate at notable restaurants in Paris and worked alongside Mr. Keller at the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.

“As a former actor and dancer, I have spent a lot of time in restaurants, but I had no idea of that vast difference between France and America, and especially the three-star restaurants in Paris,” said Brad Lewis, the producer. ...

Throughout the film, the characters work on dishes like steamed pike with butter, braised fennel and heirloom potatoes or grilled petit filet mignon with oxtail and baby onion ragout topped with truffled bordelaise and shaved Perigord truffle. The idea was to create food so authentic that people would leave the theater with an urge to cook and eat. But it turns out that computer-generated food can look much scarier than a computer-generated bug or car.

“We didn’t want something to look really photo-real,” said Sharon Calahan, the director of photography and lighting. “If it starts looking too real, it starts getting pretty disturbing.”

A scallop, for example, needs ridges and bumps to look realistic. But add too many and the shellfish becomes grotesque.
This New York Times story about the making of Pixar's upcoming movie about rat-chef Ratatouille and French haute cuisine is fascinating. Via Eats.

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