Our Fave Food on Screen Moments in Film and TV

There’s nothing like a beautiful shot of food on the big screen to get your mouth watering and stomach rumbling

Sometimes the sound alone can do it; the rattle of the grilled cheese in Chef as it hits the plate and the crunch of it being sliced in half is enough to have you running to the fridge. Total ASMR. Even fictional food, like the Super Squishy and the Ribwich from The Simpsons (there could be a whole list on Simpsons food alone tbf), can have us drooling like Homer.

But, as in life, food on film isn’t always a pleasant experience – there’s the live octopus eating in Oldboy, Paul Newman’s 50 egg-eating feat in Cool Hand Luke, dinner aboard the yacht in Triangle of Sadness – but it’s still memorable.

With The Bear, the sublime series following former fine-dining chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto and his motley crew of colleagues as they turn a Chicago sandwich shop into a proper restaurant, back for season three (landing on 27th June), it’s the perfect time to round up some of the best and most famous food scenes committed to film and television.

The Cheeseburger in The Menu

Food is front and centre in this sharp satire of fine dining and the uber-rich – all the action takes place at the super-upscale restaurant Hawthorne, located on a private island and run by deadly serious chef Julian Slowik (played by Ralph Fiennes) – but the standout dish (well the one you’d most want to eat) has to be the cheeseburger at the end.

Bruce Bogtrotter vs the Chocolate Cake in Matilda

A moment etched into the memory of every nineties baby (and chocolate fiends). After stealing a slice of Miss Trunchbull’s chocolate cake, Bruce Bogtrotter is punished by being made to eat an entire chocolate cake, with his bare hands, in front of the whole school, which, of course, he does. A victory for greedy kids everywhere.

Breakfast in Howl’s Moving Castle

There are plenty of excellent food moments across the Studio Ghibli canon – see the huge buffet Chihiro’s parents tuck into in Spirited Away – but it’s the pan of fried eggs and thick bacon cooking on top of fire spirit Calcifer in Howl’s Moving Castle that’s just so beautifully drawn.

Ratatouille in Ratatouille

This Pixar movie is one of the finest food films ever made, perfectly capturing the transformative power of food. Remy the rat (a reminder that yes, the rat is not called ratatouille) prepares a simple ratatouille for notorious food critic Anton Ego, who is immediately transported back to his childhood and his mother’s version of the same dish upon taking a bite.

Sydney’s Omelette in The Bear

Widely praised for its accurate depiction of the highs and lows of professional kitchen life (who can forget the anxiety-inducing scene where orders stream out of the ticket machine?), there are plenty of moments in The Bear that could make this list. In the second season, Sydney takes a break from prepping the restaurant open and cooks what might be the perfect omelette, complete with crushed crisps on top, and makes it look easy.

Pasta Sauce in The Godfather

Want a recipe for authentic pasta sauce? Stick The Godfather on and watch Peter Clemenza whip up a big pot of sauce in front of Michael Corleone. “You start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; you make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs. And a little bit of wine, and a little bit of sugar—that’s my trick.”

The Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

This is one movie that’ll make you wish taste-o-vision was real. The Chocolate Room, where everything is made of candy and the river is liquid chocolate, is the standout moment, closely followed by Charlie and Grandpa Joe’s fizzy lifting drinks escapade and Violet Beauregarde’s three-course dinner chewing gum.

Ram-don in Parasite

Known as jjapaguri in Korean, a portmanteau of the two instant noodle brands Chapagetti and Neoguri used to make it, Bong Joon-Ho used this simple and common dish to emphasise the class divide between the Kims and the Parks in his Oscar-winning tale. Normally eaten as is, he had Mrs Park eat the cheap and cheerful noodle dish topped with a mega expensive piece of beef, prompting a wave of how-to recipes to flood the internet.

Spaghetti Sundae in Elf

With Buddy the Elf, Will Ferrell created one of the great festive characters, and with his signature spaghetti sundae, loaded with Pop Tarts, M&Ms, Fruity Pebbles, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and syrup, he captured exactly what it’s like to be a sugar-crazed child at Christmas.

Chocolate Hummus in Mo

As well as being very funny, Mo, the Netflix comedy series created by Palestinian-American comedian Mohammed Amer, successfully tackles big themes of home and belonging in its quest to capture the immigrant experience in America. The scene where he’s offered chocolate hummus in a grocery store – “Did you say chocolate hummus? Do you know what you just did? You just insulted my grandmother” – resulting in him whipping out the mini bottle of Palestinian olive oil he carries in his pocket is just one of many moments that oil, a symbol of home, makes an appearance. The shots of Mo’s mum Yusra pressing olives to make oil by hand are gorgeous too.

Big Kahuna Burger in Pulp Fiction

Has eating a burger ever looked more menacing? As Jules Winnfield, Samuel L. Jackson tucks into a “tasty burger” from Tarantino’s fictional chain Big Kahuna while he demands the debt he’s collecting on behalf of his boss Marcellus Wallace. It really ramps up the tension – you know it’s gonna get violent, you just don’t know when – and it provides a nice callback to the movie’s other, earlier burger-related scene, where he and John Travolta’s Vincent Vega discuss the ‘Royale with cheese’.