“It takes culture and memory to shape one’s taste.”
The Taste of Things is the International Feature submission for France. This film is a story about love and food, which it presents as the same thing. It captures mouthwatering dishes like edible, gorgeously realized paintings. Eugenie has been working for acclaimed chef Dodin for the past twenty years. Together they prepare the most lavish meals at their restaurant where they’ve become famous for their Michelin star food.
The opening of the film is simple. Eugenie and Dodin spend hours preparing a four course meal for their disciples. They’re both assisted by their sous chef Violette, and their new prodigy Pauline. The film shows the four of them flaming, roasting, whisking, drizzling, clarifying, plating and more with such delicacy and precision. The meal is perfect and the disciples are astonished by the food, enjoying every single bite and marvelling at what they’ve just eaten.
Dodin has also fallen in love with his trusted cook and has been proposing to her for the better part of two decades. Eugenie sometimes leaves her door unlocked for him to join her at night, but she isn’t so open when it comes to marriage. She knows they’re both happy so why risk changing anything by getting married. But as they’re both aging and moving into the autumn part of their lives, maybe now is the time to take their relationship to the next level. To add to that, Eugenie has been having some health issues.
The attention to detail in preparing all the dishes is what makes this film so extraordinary. The use of natural light, whether it’s the sun streaming into the kitchen, or whether it’s the candlelight at night, it sets the atmosphere for every meal we get to witness. Set almost entirely in the picturesque rustic kitchen, or in the dining room, or the neighbouring vegetable garden, we all leave hungry, desiring the opportunity to taste the food.
The pressure to maintain a high level of culinary excellence can lead to long hours and immense stress. Chefs sacrifice their personal lives, their relationships and their health in pursuit of the Michelin glory. We can only appreciate the dedication it takes to be able to taste such excellence that brings us so much joy.