I cannot remember if I have recommended to readers here Off Menu Podcast. It is a podcast I find the funniest recently, even funnier than formal comedy podcasts. The podcast itself is basically about food. The hosts, two young comedians (Ed Gamble and James Acaster) invite a friend of theirs every episode to talk about his/her favourite bread, appetizer (or starter as they call), main, side, dessert (or pudding as some might say) and drink, assuming that the constraint keeping him/her from getting those foods is taken out. Most of the guests describe the food they love, or hate, in a very very funny way, that I cannot help but laugh out loud on street most of the time (that’s way I keep it listening at home as much as I can). It’s ironic that I, as a person who doesn’t fancy food much and who views food as necessity for survival, can be so amused by someone I don’t even know talking about nothing but food. As ironic as that the article I most look forward to reading every weekend is Jay Rayner’s review of restaurant in UK in Observer. But I really don’t like food much. At least not as the level of my wife, who is 100% foodie.
So, the most recent episode to me is a double amusement/irony whammy. An episode in which Jay Rayner talking the food he loves.
Most of the things he talked about food is inspiring as much as funny. Like how he could not imagine someone could keep a chocolate safe full of chocolate in it. Like how stupid he thinks people asking him what food can he think of if he is going to die tomorrow (“I simply lost appetite"). Like why he thinks people think beautiful dessert craftsmanship is a show-off is stupid (“You are stand-up comedian! Doing comedy in front of thousands of audience! It’s showing off!!!"). But what impress me most is that he loves the movie “Ratatoille". He said it is the best movie description of restaurateur and kitchen in fine dining and food critics. The most inspiring moment was when he said “it’s the best because the production did the research". WOW. This is what I didn’t know before. My son and daughter asked me many times which Pixar movie is my favourite (that’s telling how many Pixar movies they have watched. Tell you. ALL). My answer is either I don’t know, or Ratatouille. But not because I know the movie was well research. I used to say, a good movie usually has a moment, maybe a 5-minute scene. Which is so captivating that you give the movie 5 stars right away just because of that moment. Even though the remaining 95 minutes are absolute crap (it’s even more difficult to do!). Shawshank Redemption had this 5 minute (remember the protagonist broke in the warden’s office to play that lovely music to the whole prison?). Manhattan had this 5 minutes. Annie Hall had this moment. Almost Famous had this 5 minutes. Pulp Fiction had this 5 minutes. Brooklyn had this 5 minute. Ratatouille definite had his. The mouse, just washed along the river from where he lived, crawled inside the dark gullies and drains up a building, along the way met he some light sneak peeping daily life of Parisians, and then dark again where he crawled. The pace of the mouse then picked up, with the camera behind, with the light from above sneaking in more and ever faster, until he climbed to the top of the building, with the best night scene of Paris in front of his, and my, eyes, all over the screen (or monitor in my case). Every time I re-watch it, I still have a word stealth out of my chest without my control, “Marvellous". This is a textbook case of how we present a short story in motion.
That made me fancying rewatching it once again. But shit. It’s not in Netflix.