One of my personal faves. Classic Asian family dynamics of face, tradition, age, respect, taste and tension between old and new. There are some amazing cooking scenes as the father is a master chef at a Taipei 5 star hotel. One scene in particular takes place as the banquet kitchen is inf full swing. The camera zooms in and around the cooks dogging fire and wok flying vegetables as speeding gueridons race into the banquet hall. Its an adrelanin rush far beyond the likes of a Hollywood digital action flick.
Every Sunday Chef Chu cooks lunch for his 3 beautiful albeit emotionally challenged daughters. Tension is thick between all as the food is passed over with malaise. The cooking scenes here are full of finesse and grace-
There is a surprising twist at the end and necessary resolution to some of the old conflicts. I love the line “you helped me taste again” This is one of the all time greats.
Below is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. I would have to say that the flavor of fermented black beans and seafood is one of the most heavenly combinations. This recipe (though Cantonese) came from my mom who years ago took a series of Chinese cooking classes. Over the years we have used it as a base for just about every type of seafood there is so once you get the flavors and technique down-feel free to improvise. FYI-clams, lobster, shrimp, salmon, trout even chicken will all work really well. Now, get cooking!
Written: Ang Lee, James Schamus, Hui-Ling Want
Director: Ang Lee