Hato Press: Cooking with Scorsese
Food in film wields a vitalising, dramatic force. It can bring out the nuances of characters and relationships, drive plots, provide motives and easy metaphors, tap into emotional hunger --- and get mouths watering with visual splendour.
Nora Ephron, Francis Ford Coppola, Wes Anderson and David Lynch are all director of tastes - and their films are peppered with some of the most iconic culinary scenes of cinema. But what happens when your divorce thesemoments from their contexts? Hato Press, an independent printing and publishing house, have done just this, following up their film-inspired recipe book, Cooking with Scorsese, with a second love letter to cooking and cinema.
Like its first volume, Cooking with Scorsese and others feels more like a black and white comic strip than a cookery book. You wouldn’t want to taint its pages with splashes of tomato sauce. One of the most enchanting selections us the series of black and white stills that piece together the stages of making the famous pastry, Mendl’s courtesan au chocolat, from The Grand Budapest Hotel, showing how it transforms from pastry into a towering delicacy. Of course, here it’s not accompanied by baroque music or a even a nod to the starring plot role these pastries plays in bringing together members of the Zubrowkan aristocracy and prisoners of Checkpoint 19. It is up to you to decide what place the courtesan au chocolat holds in Wes Anderson’s weird world. And that’s why the book works. As Peter Meehan, editor of Lucky Peach, writes in the introduction, “it doesn’t tell you what to think or how to think or what the filmmaker behind the scenes was thinking. The magic is that it says this: look, and think for yourself.” At its simplest, it's a fine celebration of the art of eating.