The 2015 film, Burnt stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller.
Perhaps the title applies to more than food, in spite of how jarring it sounds on the tongue, as if you’ve truly been seared by hot food.
In the case of Cooper’s character – former top chef Adam Jones – however, it’s a druggy lifestyle, thugs and near-death experiences that keep him away from the kitchen for at least five years. In the meantime, the kitchen he used to work for, Jean Luc’s kitchen, closes down and its namesake dies.
Jones, however, manages to hunt down his former kitchen mates, and convinces them to fund as well as work in his own restaurant outlet, replete with his shiny name on it – in a bid to win his third and final Michelin star.
Somehow, he convinces them.
Them, as well as a sullen girl-cook with tattoos (Sienna Miller’s Helene) who, it turns out, is pretty good at kitchen inventions.
Jones is focused – so focused that imperfection is an eyesore to him. He cringes, snarls and then throws tantrums at it. Long story short, he cannot bear the sight of it.
And as kitchens go, things heat up.
You get scenes of cleaning, scrubbing, scouring, shouting, mundane eating, orgasmic eating, and chefs with temperaments throwing gorgeous white plates around.
But ultimately, you get that food is an art of its own making – and everyone has their own interpretation of taste and style.
Burnt recreates the kitchen experience for you – behind and in front of the scenes – but you may just come off the show thinking that ‘burnt’ is simply the result of having an ego too big for the door.
Still, I kept the film on because of the food. I love fish, and watching professional cooking, in spite of Helene’s criticism that it was just too old school. I kept it on because Jones’ ego did not mean he was invincible.
Despite his temper, he was actually fair.
At the end of the day, if you get your values and priorities right, everything else tends to tumble into place, as if obeying a line of order.
And somehow, maybe, you don’t quite stay as burnt.