The best part of being a Patak’s Mom this past year, aside from all the great food I’ve been trying, is the way Patak’s Canada encourages us not just to learn about Indian food but the culture as well. They have sent us out to Indian restaurants, asked us to try something new from Indian culture, to celebrate Diwali, and in our eleventh month of this amazing journey they sent us to the movies. And what a fantastic movie they chose!
The 100-Foot Journey is one of the sweetest movies I’ve every seen. This beautiful story focuses on love, family and culture in the most delightful way and ties it all together with the one thing that binds us all together….food.
The Kadam family emigrates to France after having to leave India due to political unrest. Om Puri plays the kind but mule-headed father who leads them to a village where he declares “brakes break for a reason” and decides to set up their family restaurant directly across from Le Saule Pleurer, a fine French restaurant with a Michelin Star and an equally mule-headed owner, Mme. Mallory. Helen Mirren plays Mme. Mallory to perfection and as one would expect, it’s hard not to love Helen Mirren. Also key to this story is the son Hassan, who is a talented young cook in his own right, who longs to learn more about food outside his Indian roots but in the end can’t help but mixing in a little India with everything he cooks. Huh, it’s like Patak’s knew.
I so love movies like The 100 Foot Journey that don’t have to rely on sex or violence to share an engaging story. Without providing any spoilers, I will say this. Go see this movie before it’s gone. It’s delightful.
Patak’s wanted to know what I walked away from this movie with? Two things really.
First, a reinvigorated drive to keep cooking. For me, feeding people is one of the few things in life that bring me true joy. In the movie Hassan and his love interest Marguerite talk about how “food is memories” and it truly is. I remember great meals with great people in my life. I remember smells from my mother’s kitchen and even from my grandmother’s. Every time I smell bread rising, I envision the big ceramic bowl with dough rising in it under a damp tea towel in her kitchen. I remember groaning when my mother would make a traditional “boiled dinner” and now find myself craving it’s salty goodness. I love watching people smile when you’ve fed them one of your favourite recipes and I love making memories with my children in the kitchen. So, after a busy summer, I am eager to play in my kitchen this fall.
Second, I’m going to continue to mix in a little India, long after my ambassadorship with Patak’s Canada ends next month. Patak’s sauces and pastes have become a staple in our home, but after watching The Hundred Foot Journey, I’m inspired to see what new recipes I can come up with, mixing Indian with Italian maybe? Or even a little French in keeping with The 100 Foot Journey.
Either way, I send my deepest gratitude to Patak’s Canada for allowing me to join them for the last year. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you.
Disclosure: I am part of the Patak’s Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.