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After today, my life will return mostly to normal, and I'll be cooking again and reading cookbooks, sharing recipes, and commenting on your posts. It's been a very rough period, and I appreciate everyone's good thoughts.
At one point while sitting in the hospital last week, I took a mini vacation by putting in my ear buds and setting my tablet for Netflix streaming. As you might guess, I turned to my favorite type of movie: something to do with food.
Haute Cuisine (directed by Christian Vincent) is based on the true story of Danièle Delpeuch, the first woman to be the private chef for President François Mitterrand. Although the names were changed in the movie, the general story is supposed to be fairly accurate.
This quiet film highlights the many hurdles Hortense Laborie (played by Catherine Frot) had to face when she was hired into the very male world of the Élysée Palace's kitchens. Hortense and her pastry chef assistant (Nicolas, played by Arthur Dupont) worked in a small kitchen and were responsible for the president's intimate lunches. The main kitchens, on the other hand, handled the state dinners and banquets.
Be warned that despite the adversarial relationship between the two kitchens, there isn't much of a plot in Haute Cuisine. On the other hand, the food is simply gorgeous, and I enjoyed following Hortense and Nicolas's growing friendship. Plus I love Hortense's idea of simple French food (read: not simple at all!) and would hire her to be my personal chef in a heartbeat.
The movie alternates between Paris and Antarctica, where Hortense cooked for a year after leaving the palace. The South Pole scenes were not as interesting as the Paris kitchens, but they do demonstrate Hortense's resilience.
Haute Cuisine is recommended for foodies in need of a quiet escape. (Note: the movie is in French with English subtitles)