Comme un chef (Le Chef)
Posted On December 29, 2017
Released on: 2012
Genre: Food Movie/ Comedy
Directed by: Daniel Cohen
Starcast: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn
Comme un chef is a 2012 French comedy film, directed by Daniel Cohen and starring Jean Reno and Michaël Youn. The film had its International premiere at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012.
Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn) is a young Frenchman living with his pregnant girlfriend (Raphaëlle Agogué). After being fired from a restaurant, he becomes worried about the birth of his child and decides to get any job he can despite his passion for haute cuisine. After accepting a job as a painter, he makes friends with the establishment’s cooks and helps them improve their menu. These improvements eventually reach the ears of Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno), who is also in a precarious situation: as the renowned chef of the Cargo Lagarde restaurant, he has to improve his entire menu. If he cannot achieve this, the place will lose a star from its rating and Stanislas Matter (Julien Boisselier) will convert it into a molecular kitchen, with Alexandre and all the cooks losing their jobs. Jacky initially rejects the offer to work with Alexandre, because the position is an unpaid internship, but after hesitation, he accepts. The next day, both Jacky and Alexandre start cooking together but as soon as they begin, Jacky’s finickiness and Alexandre’s stubbornness leads to an argument that results in Jacky being fired.
Alexandre regrets his decision and sends someone to search and take Jacky back to the Cargo Lagarde ranks. They reconcile and start to plan improvements to the restaurant’s menu. As Jacky works as an unpaid intern, he lies to his girlfriend about searching for jobs. However, she goes to where he started as a painter and finds herself in the kitchen of the interns, who are having a video call with Jacky. She discovers him lying and their relationship breaks down. Alexandre offers him a glass of wine that Jacky accepts, and they keep tasting bottles of wine until both of them become slightly drunk. Alexandre tells Jacky that food critics that prefer molecular cuisine will be dining soon at his restaurant and it will result in a loss of one star from his restaurants rating. Jacky, drunk, calls his friend Juan for help. Jacky plans to reconcile with his girlfriend with the help of Alexandre, but the plan fails as she gets mad at his clumsy proposal. Alexandre offers Jacky a room in his house to spend the night, where Alexandre tries to talk with his daughter who is resentful over her dad’s indifference to her thesis and degree.
The movie is a complete package of French Cuisine. It’s a mouth watering movie for sure. We are presenting just one dish and its recipe out of numerous dishes shown in the movie.
For the pastry
250 gms Flour, plus extra for dusting
225 gms Cold butter
Put the flour and a pinch of salt in the food processor. Turn it on and steadily pour in 150ml of water. When the dough comes together, cover it in cling film and chill for 20 mins.
Lightly flour your surface and roll the dough into a 25cm circle. Put the butter in between two pieces of baking parchment and soften it by tapping it with a rolling pin. Cut the butter in half and repeat the process until the butter is pliable but still cold. Reshape to the size roughly of a postcard.
Put the butter in the centre of the pastry and fold over the right and left sides of the circle, overlapping in the middle. Press the dough with your rolling pin to make it longer and then lightly mark into thirds. Fold the bottom third up to cover the middle third and the top third down. Seal the dough gently by pressing down on the edges with your rolling pin. Give the dough a quarter turn.
Roll the dough out to a long rectangle (roughly 18 x 38cm), keeping the edges square and the sides straight. Mark the dough into thirds again, fold the bottom third up and the top third down. Seal the edges and give the dough a quarter turn. Repeat one more time, cover and chill for 20 mins.
Repeat step four twice more, chilling each time. Chill for one hour before using.
For Caramel Millefeuille
400 gms Puff Pastry
30 gms Icing Sugar
500 ml Milk
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
100 g Caster Sugar
50 g Plain Flour
300 ml Double Cream
200 gms Caster Sugar
50 gms Lightly Salted Butter
200 ml Double Cream
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Cut the pastry into 18 equal sized rectangles and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover with a second sheet of baking paper and place a baking sheet on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the top baking sheet and parchment, dust the pastry with icing sugar and then caramelise under the grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Place the milk, vanilla essence in a pan and bring the milk to the boil.
Place the eggs and the sugar and whisk together. Mix in the flour and then add the hot vanilla infused milk. Stir together and then return to the pan and bring back to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour it into a flat dish and cover with cling film, pressing the cling film on to the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin forming. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Once chilled, whisk it until smooth. Whisk the double cream until thick and then fold into the mixture. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.
For caramel sauce, place the sugar in a frying pan and melt, without stirring, to form a caramel. Mix in the butter and the cream and then allow to cool.
Pipe the cream mixture onto the pastry rectangles and then layer them on top of each other so that you have six double layers of pastry and cream. Top each one with a final piece of pastry and serve with the salted butter caramel sauce