Behind the Kitchen Doors

In honor of National Waitstaff Day (May 21), let’s take a look at books and movies set in the culinary world.

Waiter Rant by The Waiter – An account of a waiter’s life at an upscale New York restaurant describes his daily experiences with a series of outrageous customers and shares tips on such topics as getting good service and proper tipping etiquette.  This funny book will resonate with anyone who likes to complain about work.

Dishwasher by Pete Jordan – For the armchair traveler, this is the story of one man’s quest to wash dishes in all fifty states.

Under the Table by Katherine Darling – A chef describes her haphazard experiences as a student at New York City’s French Culinary Institute, a journey during which she and her classmates tackled a range of challenges from veal calves and fish heads to broken eggs and cutthroat teachers.

Cleaving by Julie Powell – The author of Julie and Julia describes how in the wake of a strain on her marriage she left town to immerse herself in the art of butchery, the laborious training she received, and her journeys throughout the world in search of the butchery practices of other cultures.

The Waitress (DVD) – Jenna is an unhappily married, pie-baking pro who dreams of leaving her husband Earl, but her plans are thwarted when she becomes pregnant.  Discovering a mutual attraction with the new doctor in town adds further complications.  Staring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion.

Just Desserts (DVD) -  In this Hallmark movie, sparks fly when pastry chefs team up for the Golden Whisk Dessert competition, “the Olympics of desserts” and its $250,000 prize. With nothing in common, they’re determined to restrict the partnership to “just desserts”, but it isn’t long before this marriage of convenience threatens to turn into the real thing.

No Reservations (DVD) – Master chef Kate Armstrong runs the kitchen of an exclusive restaurant. When Kate’s sister is killed, her 9-year old niece Zoe comes to live with Kate, and Kate’s life is turned completely upside down. Nick Palmer is the newly hired sous chef, whom Kate perceives as a serious rival. Even as they clash, Kate is drawn toward Nick, eventually coming to the realization that Nick offers something that she needs both in her restaurant kitchen and her new life with Zoe. Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart.

Mostly Martha (DVD) – Feel like a foreign film? This is the original German version of No Reservations.  Which do you like best?