College Kitchen: At the movies

Move over Food Network. There’s a new teacher in town.

Shrimp and Green Peas poured over rice pairs with the movie “Eat Drink Man Woman” being shown at Twin Cities Film Society’s Feast the Eyes: Food and Wine Film Festival.

Image by Bridget Bennett

Shrimp and Green Peas poured over rice pairs with the movie “Eat Drink Man Woman” being shown at Twin Cities Film Society’s Feast the Eyes: Food and Wine Film Festival.

by Lucy Nieboer

In “When Harry Met Sally,” no one remembers the kind of sandwich Meg Ryan was eating when she faked an orgasm in a crowded New York deli. We never learned how the lobsters turned out in “Annie Hall.” In “Talladega Nights,” the dinner scene ended as soon as Will Ferrell said grace.

In movies, food gets little screen time in lieu of major plot-forwarding conversations. Foodies must get their food-on-film fix from instructional cooking shows that lack the interesting drama and plot of feature-length films.

Sulk no longer, food monsters. This weekend is the Twin Cities Film Society’s Feast the Eyes: Food and Wine Film Festival. For four days, a rotation of films centered on all things edible will hit the screens at the St. Anthony Main Theatre.

The College Kitchen Theater previewed a couple of the movies in the lineup and learned some valuable cooking lessons.


“Ratatouille” (2007)

Vegetable Omelet

“Ratatouille” is the story of Remy the rat and his dreams of culinary stardom. Sadly, his little rodent body prevents him from practicing his foodie talents. Using his human friend Linguini, a horrible chef, for his brawn and body, Remy, the culinary savant, is able to land his dream job cooking at a fancy Parisian restaurant. Before his first day at work, Remy makes breakfast for Linguini. Using stolen herbs and eggs from Linguini’s fridge, Remy concocts an omelet and exemplifies his mentor Auguste Gusteau’s motto, “anyone can cook.” Keep things simple and use the best quality ingredients to ensure this dish stays on track. And Gusteau was right — anyone can cook.


3 eggs

1 tablespoon butter

1 handful fresh basil

1 tomato

1/2 cup grated Gouda cheese




Before you begin, let your eggs reach room temperature. Do this by setting them out on the counter for a couple hours or in a bowl of warm water while you prepare the other ingredients. When the eggs are warm, they will cook faster. This will make your omelet much lighter and fluffier. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them together for several minutes until just blended. Slice your tomato, and chop your basil. Heat a medium-sized, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the glob of butter to coat the pan. Wait until the foam subsides to add your eggs. Swirl the pan to make sure your layer of egg is even in the pan. Wait for about 30 seconds before you begin to push down the cooked edges of egg. When you see that your omelet is almost cooked through (less translucent), add your filling. Don’t add so much that you can’t fold over the edges of the omelet. Flip one side over the other, and remove from pan. Serve with buttered toast.

“Ratatouille” shows at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.


“Eat Drink Man Woman”

Shrimp and Green Peas

In “Eat Drink Man Woman,” old Mr. Chu, once the best chef in Taiwan, is alone and bitter. He still cooks lavish meals for his three grown daughters but fears he is losing his taste buds. He must rely on memory and skill to keep cooking. In one scene, Chu sees his young neighbor Shan-Shan off to school and asks what she is having for lunch that day. She holds out her crumpled lunch money. Mr. Chu decides to quickly whip up a lunch to bring Shan-Shan at school — shrimp and peas. This simple recipe is easy to remember and makes a tasty lunch. Keep this recipe in your back pocket, and break it out at a moment’s notice.


1 pound raw shrimp

3 cloves garlic

5 green onions

1 inch cube fresh ginger

1 tablespoon plus 1 dash sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 pinch sugar

3/4 cup chicken stock

1 cup frozen peas


Finely mince garlic, ginger and onions. In a seasoned wok (or large skillet), sauté the ginger, onions and garlic in a dash of sesame oil. Add the shrimp and cook over high heat until they transform from translucent gray to opaque pink. Remove immediately from the wok. It is OK that they are not cooked all the way through — they will be returned to the heat later. In the empty wok, mix the chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook for about 3 minutes, letting the sauce reduce a bit. Add the frozen peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Return the shrimp to the wok and toss all the ingredients together until they are all cooked through. Serve over white rice.

“Eat Drink Man Woman” shows at 9 p.m. on Sunday.


Whether you’re a foodie or a film-lover, bust out the TV trays and throw on a flick with a meal to match — it’s a great break in the weekday meal pattern.