Monday, November 26, 2007

Introducing "Cooking with the Movies"

Following on the success of our previous collaboration, Cooking with the Bible, we have embarked on a new writing/cooking project: Cooking with the Movies: Meals on Reels. Some of our friends think we're crazy, but we seem to be called to cook! Or at least to entertain. And what better way to entertain than to combine performance (film) with eating (cooking)?

What will Cooking with the Movies be? Essentially, a cookbook and film guide, in which we will select 15-20 noted films and re-create the meals depicted therein. What were Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet really eating in Titanic? Is it that difficult to make the timpano shown in Big Night? And where can one find the recipe for the life-changing chocolate featured in Chocolat? We'll also provide synopses of the films, an explanation of the importance of and context behind the meals, movie stills, and photos of each dish. Some of the other films we'll cover will include Goodfellas, What's Cooking?, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, My Dinner with Andre, Babette's Feast, Monsoon Wedding, and The Waitress.

On this blog, we will chronicle the process of creating and testing the recipes for Cooking with the Movies. As we select the films to include and put together the recipes, we will describe our successes and (perhaps) our almost-rans. Sometimes, the challenges are the most exciting part of writing a book--certainly the most interesting part of cooking!

We may share a recipe here and there as we go along, and we certainly welcome your feedback--after all, we need to know that our instructions are clear, and that any cook can reproduce what we've envisioned. You can comment on the posts here or email us directly. And don't forget to let us know if you have a favorite food film that you'd like us to include!

The finished book will eventually be available from Greenwood Press, and we'll keep you up-to-date on its availability.

Who are we? Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse Jr. are the authors of Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore (visit for more information). They are also co-authors of We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets. Anthony is editorial Director of Praeger Publishers. He is the author/editor/compiler of numerous books, including 100 Names of Mary: Stories and Prayers; Advent and Christmas with the Saints; Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Padre Pio; and At Prayer with the Saints. (The Rev. Dr.) Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., is pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church in New Rochelle, NY. He is the author of Jewelrymaking through History: An Encyclopedia and The Burning Question (forthcoming).

So please join us as we embark on this new adventure. We hope it's a delectable one!