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Haute Cuisine (Les Saveurs du palais)

He runs the country. She runs the kitchen. Together, they serve with excellence.

For a sumptuous experience sure to whet any cinematic appetite, there’s no better place than the Elysée Palace to sample the culinary delights of France. Haute Cuisine, based on the real-life story of the personal chef to former French President François Mitterrand in the late 1980s, takes the viewer on a foodlover’s holiday through the most mouthwatering creations imaginable. Catherine Frot plays Hortense, a provincial chef and restaurant owner who is plucked from obscurity to become the personal cook for M. le Président, who has a craving for the traditional regional dishes of his youth. The only problem is that, for health reasons, the President’s doctor has put the world leader on a strict diet (mon dieu!), which eliminates the heavy creams, sauces, and spices that the President craves. (In a bit of devilishly ironic casting, the portly President is played here by journalist Jean d’Ormesson, best known to French audiences for being one of Mitterrand’s staunchest critics during his presidency.) As the rustic Hortense tries to fit in with the palace’s urbane staff – including her pastry-cook assistant Nicolas (Arthur Dupont) – and chafes against the bureaucracy and casual sexism she faces each day, director Christian Vincent lets his roving camera linger over the chef’s delectable creations, described in minute detail and conjured by her staff with utmost care. Be sure not to watch it on an empty stomach. – Seattle International Film FestivalOfficial Trailer
Showtimes: 

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Christian Vincent
Running Time: 
95
Country(ies): 
France
Language: 
French with English Subtitles
Starring: 
Catherine Frot, Jean d’Ormesson, Hippolyte Girardot, Arthur Dupont
Screenplay by: 
Screenplay by: Étienne Comar and Christian Vincent<br> Based on the story by Danièle Mazet-Delpauch

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