31 Jul2007

Suzette, a commenter, left an interesting comment about the movie Ratatouille on a previous post on Chanterelle mushrooms. It just so happened that we went out this evening to watch the movie, and while I found much of it to be rather boring and droll, I was deeply amused about being compared to the character Anton Ego (see photo here). Totally amused. Actually, I think I look a little like him, have that “imperious” and “intimidating” air if necessary, and I think I could make a wicked restaurant critic, but I eat at home too much to want to eat out that often. My favorite line from cartoon character Anton Ego, “I am thin because I LOVE my food, if it doesn’t TASTE good, I don’t SWALLOW!” Hahaha. As for the chanterelles, Suzette, you got the mushroom and the cheese, right, but shucks, I didn’t use any saffron… If you have seen the movie, you may think of Marketman as Anton Ego… that will keep me smiling for days… And just so you know, Mrs. MM has this thing about identifying the voice of any animated cartoon character (she can name the voice of Bart Simpson, for example, done by Nancy Cartright, yes, a girl) so we waited while the credits rolled for her to confirm that Anton Ego’s voice was that of Peter O’Toole. I am honored… :) Phew, I needed a light post after the heat generated by the recent PIPC post, see the comments on that one if you are inclined…



  1. Maria Clara says:

    I believe in Anton Ego’s philosophy why eat food that is not worth the calorie intake and lodges in my thigh and belt areas. Food must be good to be worth its calories!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:31 am


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  3. starbuxadix says:

    ” I don’t like food, I love it. If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow”…

    On the contrary MM, i think that you are also like Chef Gusteau – “Anyone can cook!” (:

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:44 am

  4. connie says:

    Shame on Mrs. MM, how can you not identify Peter O’Toole’s voice? *sticks tongue out*
    I absolutely adore this actor since I saw him in Lawrence of Arabia when I wasn’t even thought of then when that movie came out. He was simply magnificent as the older Casanova in Casanova, not the Heath Ledger movie version (which was atrocious IMHO) but the TV movie version with David Tenant as the younger Casanova produced for the BBC originally, which Masterpiece Theatre here in the US aired via PBS.

    As for Ratatouille itself, I found it boring myself, but no doubt the kiddies will like. I was also disappointed with the voice characterizations especially of that Remy and Linguini. Why in the world everyone have a French accent except for this two who have an American accent, I don’t get. Still I found it funny at the end when all the rats invaded Gusteau’s kitchen. Of course the animation was superb.

    As for MM somewhat of an Anto Ego, the physical resemblance and the demeanor is uncanny. LOL.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:57 am

  5. Apicio says:

    For those interested, here is what one food critic (NYT’s Frank Bruni) have to do to burn off the calories that he has to consume in the practice of his craft and keep his 200 lbs physique from prawling any further: http://www.mensvogue.com/health/regimen/articles/2006/08/21/bruni_glutton

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:46 am

  6. RGM says:

    I’ll just share a couple of franco-centric observations on Ratatouille. All in all, I loved the movie! It was such fun to watch (anything relating to gastronomy makes me interested). However, I did notice some inaccuracies, if you will, with some elements of the movie.

    First is that a restaurant in Paris will never have 5 STARS! If you’re using Le Guide Michelin, the highest will be three (interestingly enough, they call their stars “macarons”) Or if the restaurant is rated by Gayot, it will be a score of 1 to 20. There are no five star restaurants in Paris. (Also, I think that the best restaurant in Paris would NOT have a neon sign on top of it – can you imagine Le Cinq, Ledoyen or Taillevent having one of those?)

    Second is that notice the head chef wanting to create “frozen food products”? I think a french man would die before he lets frozen food products enter his mouth. From a country who destroys their MacDonald’s stores, I think it’s highly unlikely that there will be a market.

    Third of all, the character of Anton Ego should not exist in France, since the culture of the celebrity food critic does not exist there. This is only prevalent in America.

    Actually, all food critics in France are incognito, and for good reason. If you are a celebrity food critic, everyone knows who you are, and therefore restaurants put their best foot forward. However, if you are a “nobody”, who goes into a restaurant, without any pretense and pays for their own meal, you’ll get a better assessment of what the rest of us would experience, and this is how Le Guide Rouge Michelin and Gayot/Gault Millau do it. This is how it’s done in a country obsessed with food.

    Just sharing some trivia. Again, I’m not bashing Ratatouille. You just have to see how brilliant Remy (the rat cook) is! Just poking some fun on the movie! :p

    Aug 1, 2007 | 3:31 am

  7. chris says:

    RGM, that’s funny. i guess you gotta give it to them- i mean, after all, this is a movie about a rat who wants to be a a chef in Paris. =)

    MM, they hired THE Thomas Keller (FL, Per Se, Bouchon, Ad Hoc) as consultant for the cooking aspects of this movie, does it show?

    Aug 1, 2007 | 5:40 am

  8. Marketman says:

    chris, hahaha, that is TOO FUNNY… Yes, it does show, the gleaming Le or La Cornue(sp?) stoves, the anal retentive cleanliness, the fabulously polished copper pans, the impeccable jackets and clean sleeves… The plating… how dumb of me, as the stand in for Anton Ego I should have known that in an instant! Hahaha… RGM, I am with you on your observations, its actually why I am more anonymous than Anton-ymous in this blog… Apicio, thanks for the link, at the rate I am gaining weight, I should have a diet blog instead…

    Aug 1, 2007 | 5:49 am

  9. Apicio says:

    Re: congealed vittles in France. Alas, the inexorable allure of convenience has began to encroach too in the land of haute cuisine. RGM looky here:

    Aug 1, 2007 | 6:25 am

  10. Mila says:

    RGM – the days of bashing McDonald’s in Europe seems to be over. There was an article about how the French love their Big Macs, and a business article about the expansion of McDonalds in Europe as well as how their Euro-look is changing McDonalds all over (think McCafe). The new head of McDonalds (worldwide) is European.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 8:22 am

  11. Mila says:

    This is the article about the mcdonald’s expansion in europe:

    Aug 1, 2007 | 8:32 am

  12. joey says:

    Anthony Bourdain was also supposed to be a consultant…if you’ve read Kitchen Confidential you can actually spot some similar lines…

    Aug 1, 2007 | 9:50 am

  13. Raneli says:

    MILA: The McDonalds outlet by the Le Defense Area in Paris was busy and filled with customers. I know this was France and the last place you want to eat was at McDonalds, but I was tired and hungry and didn’t want to fuss with a menu in a French bistro,so I settled with the typical burger meal with side order of Salad. Wouldn’t you know?..yup it tasted so fresh and flavourful. I enjoyed my meal so much that I decided to sit back and relax with an additional McDonalds pastry and coffee. It was wonderful. Only the French know how!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 10:19 am

  14. Marketman says:

    Hahaha, Connie, you are right. I should’ve recognized Peter O’Toole’s voice instantly, last I saw him was as King Priam in “Troy.” My recollection of “Lawrence of Arabia” is fuzzy at best as that came out before I was born. I told MM that he would never be a true “Anton Ego” because even if he doesn’t like the food, he goes on and eats plates of it.

    Mrs. MM

    Aug 1, 2007 | 12:04 pm

  15. MegaMom says:

    Definitely need to get this movie on our family to-do list this weekend…

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:30 pm

  16. RGM says:

    Mila, Apicio,

    Thanks for the articles. They were certainly eye-opening. I have a french friend that almost fainted when I bought a cup of Starbucks coffee to his house, and he avoids McDonalds so much, he had a hard time here in Manila when he went here. So I’d think that the French would avoid McDonald’s. However, I’ve heard that the McDonalds are really beautiful in France. Instead of the usual red and yellow, it was done in gold and white (back then) and now in black and white. It’s quite interesting. However, all of this is shattering my Francophile sensibilities. Hahaha! Just kidding.

    As for the pre-cooked food, it is a truly sad affair. I don’t want to go to France and eat something that is made to look like “fait maison”, while in fact, it’s all pre-prepared! Quelle Dommage! This, however, reminds me of something I read about food critics in Paris, food critics for Le Guide Rouge Michelin to be exact.

    To be considered a food critic by Michelin, you have to have an extensive background in gastronomy. So extensive in fact that one of the tests that they give to hopefuls is that they have to taste a dish, know all of the ingredients used, know HOW the dish was prepared, and most importantly, by just using their tastebuds, know whether any shortcuts were used and whether other unspeakable haute cuisine sins were committed. Not to mention that they have to have an incredible eye for detail (most Michelin food critics are women, and one time, a critic saw that a “garcon” in a 3 star restaurants had dirt under his fingernails that she considered making it a 2 star instead!) At least, we can all sleep soundly at night with the thought that such bastions of haute cuisine stand guard, all for sake of glorifying gastronomy.

    Aug 1, 2007 | 9:23 pm

  17. Mila says:

    For the Peter O’Toole fans out there, you might want to find a dvd copy of his recent work, Venus. The old boy still has it.

    Aug 2, 2007 | 8:41 am

  18. suzette says:

    i am this size because i love food, if it doesn’t taste good,i still swallow! sayang eh… hahaha!!!

    Aug 2, 2007 | 10:57 am

  19. connie says:

    Mila, that should come with a disclaimer however. LOL.
    The film is not for everyone, some people might feel the need to hit the showers after watching the film. It is not the greatest of rolls, in fact it’s the most unflattering role for Peter O’Toole. Still, IMO, he was still mesmerizing and brings a very poignant performance, and actually made the character endearing and was indeed very worthy of an Oscar nomination last year.

    Fave line:
    Maurice: I will die soon, Venus. Can I touch your hand?
    Jessie: That’s one chat-up line I haven’t heard.

    Aug 5, 2007 | 11:30 am

  20. connie says:

    Err, that should be roles not “rolls”. D’oh!

    Aug 5, 2007 | 11:31 am

  21. Joey says:

    I read a bit of the article, well honestly, boil-in-bag food does have its advantages.. Sous Vide cooking actually concentrates flavor and moisture. I guess its ok if you dont use it for EVERYTHING. I’d prefer Sous Vide to frozen ready to cook food.

    ” Apicio says:

    Re: congealed vittles in France. Alas, the inexorable allure of convenience has began to encroach too in the land of haute cuisine. RGM looky here:
    August 1st, 2007″

    Aug 11, 2007 | 9:32 am


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