Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

A Chef in Love



Notes: Sony Pictures Classics. 100 minutes.
Pascal Ichac: Pierre Richard
Princess Cecilia Abachidze: Nino Kirtadze
Zigmund Gogladze: Timur Kamkhadze
Anton: Jean-yves Gautlier
Marcelle Ichac: Micheline Presle

Director: Nana Dzhordzadze
Producer: Marc Ruscart
Screenplay: Irakli Kvirikadze
Cinematography: Georgi Beridze
Music: Goran Bregovic
Language: French and Russian with English Subtitles

Summary: This story begins in pre-Communist revolutionRussia and follows the incredible adventures of French chef PascalIchac. Early in the film he meets Princess Cecilia Abachidze andthe two travel through Russia together. His keen sense of tasteand smell allow him to detect bombs; twice he smells gunpowderand manages to foil the plots of the revolutionary Zigmund Gogladze.Unfortunately, in doing so he manages to create a life-long enemy.Later, he settles down with Abachidze and opens his own restaurantin Georgia. During the Communist revolution he refuses to leavehis restaurant and ends up being a servant to Gogladze. Gogladzeeventually persuades Abachidze to marry him in return for promisingto spare Ichac life. Ichac’s servitude to Gogladze does not last;he serves him crow, resulting in the communist getting ill infront of his troops. After that incident Ichac lives in an atticand is brought meals by Abachidze until he dies.

Commentary: Throughout this film one gets to watch Ichacboth eat and prepare wonderful meals. One exceptional scene iswhen he is challenged to identify all the meats in a dish. Notonly is he able to identify all of the meats, he is also ableto tell that the liver used in the dish is bear liver. Anotherwonderful food scene occurs when he is showing a fellow gourmetthe dishes in his kitchen. He gestures to the gourmet and tellshim that the best dish is over here, and gestures to a pit. Oneof his assistants removes a sumptuous looking suckling pig. Thefood scenes in this film are fewer in number and less appetizingthan those in Big Night, but they are certainly sufficientto qualify this as a food film.

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