‘Ratatouille’ Did an ‘Incredible Job’ of Making Kitchen Scenes Right, Professional Chef Says
Ratatouille is realistic.
Of course not the rat becoming a chef part but, according to a professional chef, the kitchen in the 2007 Oscar and Golden Globe-winning animated film from Pixar is accurate.
In GQ’s YouTube series, “The Breakdown,” experts dissect scenes from movies and TV shows. In a particular episode from Dec. 2019 where professional chef and restauranteur Michael Chernow analyzed various cooking scenes from movies, he found that Ratatouille did a good job of accurately portraying what a professional kitchen is like.
Colette called Linguini out for doing things the wrong way
Chernow examined one specific scene in Ratatouille where cook Colette Tatou (Janeane Garofalo) showed Linguini (Lou Romano), the new garbage boy at Gasteau’s, the proper way to do things in Chef Skinner’s (Ian Holm) kitchen.
Without any training, Linguini got schooled by Colette when he seemed to do everything wrong. The young man stacked his pots at his station, grabbed copper pots by the handle without a towel, and didn’t keep his work area organized.
These are all things Chernow said a real cook or chef wouldn’t do. Just as Linguini got in trouble with Colette, one would indeed get chastised for doing the same stuff in a real-life professional kitchen.
“You would never pour boiling anything into another pot with boiling anything because you’d burn yourself. And you typically would not hold the pan handle without a towel on your hand because you’d most likely burn yourself specifically if you’re dealing with copper pots. They get super fu***ng hot,” Chernow explained in the video. “And then you also wouldn’t stack your pots on top of each other on the station because you’d get screamed at like she’s about to do right now,” he said referring to Colette critiquing Linguini.
Everything really is about being organized
In the same scene where Colette told Linguini what to do and what not to do in the kitchen, she harped on him about keeping his station clear. Her exact words were, “Keep your station clear or I will kill you.”
While the statement might be harsh, Chernow said this moment embodied every clip he examined in the 20-minute video.
“It’s all about trying to be organized,” he said before adding that it’s like the kitchen saying, “When your station’s a mess, everything becomes a mess.” And that’s what everyone wants to avoid in a professional kitchen.
Potato peeling method in ‘Ratatouille’ is ‘pretty on point’
Again, the movie did a topnotch job of portraying how kitchens are very organized places. As Chernow said, everything is in bowls. A perfect example of this is when Colette and Linguini peeled potatoes.
“They’re not peeling their potatoes on to the cutting board,” he said.
Instead, they have every element confined to a dish, which is exactly how it would be done in a real kitchen. “It’s pretty on point,” according to Chernow.
Movie ‘did an incredible job of making the kitchen feel like a kitchen’
When it comes to the look of the kitchen in Ratatouille, it’s realistic too. Chernow called the movie’s depiction of an “old school beautiful French kitchen set up” accurate. “Even to the dish station,” Chernow said pointing it out on-screen, “It’s perfect.” He continued, saying, “The whole entire set up and the line there — that’s called ‘the dish pit’ — it could not be more accurate.”
After evaluating the scene, he gave Ratatouille his stamp of approval for being spot-on: “Now looking at this cartoon, they did an incredible job of really making the kitchen feel like a kitchen,” he said.
Watch Ratatouille on Disney+ knowing while it does have a talking rat who is a talented chef, the movie’s kitchen has been approved by a professional chef and restauranteur for being realistic.