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Did Ralph Fiennes Actually Cook the Food in The Menu?

Ralph Fiennes as chef Julian Slowik in The Menu
Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Ralph Fiennes' performance in his latest film, The Menu, truly makes for a believable chef. In the film, Fiennes plays the role of award-winning chef Julian Slowik, in his ultra-exclusive restaurant named Hawthorne.

With his believable delivery of a rouge chef, it's no surprise why many are wondering if Fiennes can actually cook like his character can.

Does Ralph Fiennes Know How to Cook?

Lemon caviar served on raw oyster with mignonette in The Menu
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Credit: Searchlight Pictures

In a 2012 interview with Bar & Kitchen, the article branded Fiennes as someone who "doesn't fit into a foodie category." The actor also confessed in the interview:

"I make very good scrambled eggs. They have to be runny. If they're all horrible, stodgy or custardy, I can't bear that."

For The Menu movie, Fiennes had to learn how to cook and how to move like a real professional chef. The actor had to learn from three-star Michelin chef, Dominique Crenn, who was hired as a consultant for the film.

While training Fiennes, Crenn focused on teaching him how to behave like a chef instead of actually cooking the dishes. And that's because chef Slowik doesn't actually do much cooking in the movie except for the one dish in the end.

Ralph Fiennes as chef Julian Slowik with his team in The Menu
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Credit: Searchlight Pictures

In an interview with Variety magazine, Fiennes said:

"It's more the behavior in the kitchen. She [Crenn] gave me a lot of tips on how you behave, how you move, how you talk to people. The shorthand of communication in that level of kitchen. So that was great, and also an excuse to try cooking at home, but don't ask me to chop an onion."

As for the one moment where Fiennes actually cooks in the movie, the actor says that his lessons with Crenn helped him a lot.

"What you see in the movie, I was guided through really good beef and you know, when to flip it and then we had to put the right amount of cheese and mustard on and grilling the patty till it's just right, it's intuition."

Who Prepared the Food in The Menu Movie?

Amuse-Bouche in The Menu
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Credit: Searchlight Pictures

From the very start of production, the team knew they needed to have a culinary expert join them to create such dishes. And Dominique Crenn was their top choice considering she is the only female chef in the US with three Michelin stars to her name.

Crenn told Vanity Fair, that it took her two seconds to say yes after reading the script. She decided to bring in her executive pastry chef, Juan Contreras, to help her with her new job.

The team also hired chef John Benhase to train the kitchen staff, a bunch of actors who were only hired if they had prior experience in the kitchen.

Lastly, food stylist Kendall Gensler, was also included in the team.

The Menu dinner guests
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Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Crenn worked hand-in-hand with production designer Ethan Tobman to come up with a tasting menu that would set the emotion for the film.

In an interview with Thrillist, Tobman said:

"We knew that things would have to start out feeling very, very normal, but as the night goes on, they become a little more grotesque. And that was a delicate balance to play with chef Crenn and her team-- to start with water, then move on to land protein, then slowly get a little more surreal."

What Food Did They Serve in The Menu?

Tacos printed with diners' photos in The Menu
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Credit: Searchlight Pictures

So what were the dishes they served in The Menu? Here is a list of their menu:

  • Lemon caviar served on raw oyster with mignonette
  • Amuse-Bouche
  • First course: The Island
  • Second course: Breadless Bread Plate
  • Third course: Chicken Tacos with Scissors in it
  • Fourth course: The Mess
  • Palate cleanser: Wild Bergamot and Red Clover Tea
  • Man's Folly
  • Traditional Cheeseburger
  • Dessert: S'more

Which of these dishes would you have wanted to try?

The Menu is now available to stream at Disney+.

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For more articles like this, take a look at our Queries, Disney, and The Menu pages.