Image Credit: Travel ChannelIn this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly (out on newsstands today and tomorrow), Anthony Bourdain, former chef and current host of Travel Channel’s No Reservations, dug deep to tell us about the five scariest meals he’s ever eaten. So to give Bourdain a chance to talk about more pleasant culinary endeavors, we asked him to whet our appetites with his favorite food-centric films:

“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. 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.”

“It’s a great film with great food, and the details were right. It was about all the things that make food good. It was respectful of food. It was adoring of its subject and the dishes prepared. The details matter to me, so to see the great Al Pacino in Frankie and Johnny with a sporty red neckerchief — you’ll hear cooks in the audience going ‘That is so totally bogus.’ To see a chef with a chef’s hat, I just want to leap through the screen and start hitting something.”

Big Night (1996)

“It’s way up there [on my list]. It fully portrays the pain of the chef whose food is correct but unappreciated. There’s an incident in the first scene, a woman walks into the restaurant and orders the chef’s seafood risotto, and it is a perfect, authentic seafood risotto and she complains, ‘Where’s the seafood? What is this? It’s just rice!’ and then asks for an order of spaghetti and meatballs on the side. And when I saw this film, it was in a theater full of chefs. You could hear the sharp intake of breath as all of these chefs reacted to that scene. That pain, everybody had been through it.”

“You want to eat that food. It captures the real pleasures of sitting at a table, a little bit drunk on good wine, eating incredible food. They just got it right.”

Tempopo (1985)

“It just captures food fetishism, that zany fanatical obsession with food. It’s perhaps the most insanely fetishistic foodie film. And it’s funny as hell.”

What do you think of Bourdain’s picks? Do you have any more to add to the delectable list?

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