The Watchcast: Food on Film with Ana Sortun

The celebrated chef and I discuss TV's cult hit "The Bear" and "Babette's Feast" -- the best food movie ever?

The Watchcast: Food on Film with Ana Sortun

For the sixth edition of Ty Burr’s [occasional] Watchcast, I’m delighted to sit down with Ana Sortun, award-winning chef, owner and executive director of three of the best restaurants in the Boston area (Oleana, Sofra, and Sarma), and the author of “Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean,” among other books. In preparing for the conversation over the past few weeks, we talked about a lot of food movies, but the one we kept circling back to was 1987’s “Babette’s Feast,” which is at the top of many people’s short list of classic films on the subject (matched only, perhaps, by “The Big Night”).

And as Ana and I were exchanging thoughts, a new show on FX/Hulu was building buzz: “The Bear,” an eight-episode series about a stressed-out fine-dining chef (played with sweet exhaustion by Jeremy Allen White) trying to turn around the Chicago sandwich joint left to him by his brother. Where do the dishes in “Babette’s Feast” come from? Is the average restaurant kitchen as much of an ongoing panic attack as in “The Bear”? Listen as Ana spills tea about what really goes on beyond the serving window. And if you have your own favorite example of great gastro-cinema, feel free to plate and serve it in the comments.

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