Chef follows a long line of culinary themed Bollywood films that starred big names and dealt with pertinent topics. Here are five of the best
Watch: Five Bollywood foodie movies
Cheeni Kum (2007)
Starring Amitabh Bachchan, the critically lauded film follows an arrogant 60-something chef who sacrifices all semblance of a social life in order to run Spice 6, the best Indian restaurant in London. That solitude comes to an end when 34-year-old Nina (Tabu) enters the restaurant and the sparks fly. Their competition to create the best Zafrani Hyderabadi Pulao (saffron rice) begins a relationship that moves from friendship to love.
English Vinglish (2012)
An international success and India’s official entry for the Academy Awards, the comedy drama follows Shashi (Sridevi), a homemaker taking a crash course in English in order to make the most of her New York experience. Funding the education are the sales of her delicious laddus. Watching Shashi’s meals enrapture fussy New Yorkers, in addition to her growing confidence from the classes, make for a sweet crowd-pleasing film.
The Lunch Box (2013)
Irrfan Khan, in one of his best performances, plays a haggard widower on the verge of retiring from his accountant job, when he receives an unexpected lunch box after a botched delivery. The error causes the young house wife Ila (Nimrat Kaur), who originally made the tasty treats for her husband, send a letter to Irrfan to apologise, and thus, a deep friendship is struck. This tender drama received a standing ovation when screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Stanley Ka Dabba (2011)
Another tender tale about lunch boxes. Set in a school in Mumbai, the film centres around the ceremonious opening of the tiffin boxes – the meal package often cooked at home by parents. Stanley (Partho Gupte) comes from a poor home, whose struggling resources have him coming to school empty-handed. Claiming that his mother is away, Stanley shares the box of best friend, much to the frustration of his teacher (Divya Dutta). Things come to a head when Stanley is told to come to the school with his tiffin box the following day or face expulsion.
Translated to Feast of Love, the film is a mouth-watering advert for Hyderabadi cuisine, from its kebabs and biryanis to the shahi tukda (sweet bread pudding) and jalebi. Plot-wise, the film is rather topical, as it uses the plight of a lower class shop assistant Gulrez (Parineeti Chopra), and her dream of getting married, to pose questions regarding India’s controversial dowry system.