Wine. Food. Reviews. Recipes. Lap it up.

Friday, June 15, 2007


ratA rat-turned-chef is the lead character in Ratatouille, a new feature-length animated film from Pixar that will open June 29.

According to a story in The New York Times, Pixar's crew researched the film by dining at a number of Parisian restaurants (work, work, work!) and by consulting with chef Thomas Keller of Napa Valley's highly-esteemed restaurant, The French Laundry. Keller and other chefs also helped come up with a menu for the fictitious restaurant, the items on which are sure to make the typical theater fare of popcorn and Jujubes seem woefully inadequate. (If it plays at The Keystone Art Cinema moviegoers could at least enjoy a glass of wine instead of a jumbo-sized soft drink, but that's probably too much to hope for.)

Pixar's artists long ago figured out how to make animated toys, cars and other anthropomorphisized characters believable, but ran up against a new challenge in this project: Food. If rendered with too much detail, lettuce, bread and other familiar foodstuffs can apparently be a little disturbing when projected to wall-sized.

Ratatouille sounds like half of a perfect dinner-and-a-movie evening. But if the dishes portrayed are anywhere near as appealing as they sound – steamed pike with butter, braised fennel and heirloom potatoes, grilled petit filet mignon with oxtail and baby onion ragout topped with truffled bordelaise and shaved Perigord truffle – you'll probably want to eat first.
M. Zane Grey, 8:28 AM