The late Joel Siegel knew movies. So when we set out to write a feature about pairing dinner and a movie, we sought
his advice. Unfortunately, most of the movies he reviewed for Good Morning America and WABC-TV are viewed in
screening rooms where, he said, "they don't even allow us popcorn."
"However, I did watch 'The Godfather I and II' with a very good bottle of, no, not Chianti, (but) Francis Ford
Coppola's own Niebaum-Coppola 1985 and some homemade pasta," Siegel
said. "It was great."
"The movies that make me hungriest (are) 'Babette's Feast,' 'Eat, Drink, Man, Woman,' and, believe it or
not, 'American Graffiti,'" he said. OK, we bite, what does that movie have that gets your stomach
rumbling? "I grew up in L.A. in the 50s and 60s and once won a contest with buddies recognizing various
drive-in and burger joint sandwiches in a celebrated blind tasting."
For many of us, dinner and a movie go together like Fred and Ginger, Rhett and Scarlett. If you are looking
to add meals to your reels, let the Internet be your virtual recipe box.
Here are some pairings sure to get your dinner plans off to the right start:
"Big Night" and Italian fare
A love sonnet embracing Italian cooking, the film is full of camera shots that woo the food as the owners of a
restaurant prepare for a celebrity visit. Read how to create the movie's real star, the drum-like timpano, at
"The Joy Luck Club" and Chinese cuisine
Want to bond with mom over this film based on an Amy Tan bestseller that weaves tales of relationships between
parents and children in early 20th-century China and late 20th-century America? Serve General Tso's Favorite
Chicken. You'll find the recipe at
See Recipezaar for
instructions on how to make a great Chinese hot and sour soup to serve as an appetizer.
"Like Water for Chocolate" and Mexican poultry
Cook up a sensual dinner of Mole chicken for your love to accompany this Mexican Cinderella story.
Eatchicken.com has a fine recipe
for a saucy Mole chicken, a traditional Mexican favorite.
"Casablanca" and a Moroccan food mix
Rick and Ilsa might have dined on this if they could have worked it out: spiced couscous and lamb,
apricot and almond tangine. Check out Moroccan recipes at
"Dr. Zhivago" and Russian dinner classics
Hearty Russian fare would go great with this winter wartime classic based on the Pasternak novel.
You'll need something to warm your heart at the end of this story of star-crossed love.
Russianfoods.com offers a variety of traditional
recipes for an everyday evening meal of beef shashlyk or foods for special holiday celebrations.
"Red" and French fine dining
Rent Kieslowski's "Red", the final chapter of his colors trilogy that included "Blue" and "White",
and pair the film with steak au poivre. Finish
off the evening with an Alsatian-style apple and cream tart from a
Gourmet Magazine recipe.
"A Fish Called Wanda" and seafood
AllRecipes.com offers a collection of fish recipes including
nutty fish dip and shark teriyaki that can help you and a friend wade through this caper comedy starring
Jamie Lee Curtis. You can order fillets for your meal to be delivered to your door at
"Out of Africa" and coffee dishes
Serving coffee with this Academy Award-winning film set on an African coffee plantation? Learn
how to choose great beans and about their growing regions at Coffee Review.
About.com even has a luxurious
recipe for coffee risotto.
"Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally": just desserts
Rob Reiner offered a subtle hint about the dessert best served with the love story "Sleepless in
Seattle" within the film itself: tiramisu.
The Food Network
serves up a step-by-step recipe for this pick-me-up. Looking to make it a double feature? Who
could forget the scene in the same director's classic, "When Harry Met Sally" when Meg Ryan's
character appeared so, um, excited, by her apple pie?
CooksRecipes.com offers a
spicy take on the wholesome dessert using crystallized ginger.