Bitter Feast: Food Porn and Torture Porn Join Forces With Mario Batali
If one requires definitive proof that food blogging has reached its hoary, self-referential apex, here it is: Bitter Feast, a film about a chef who kidnaps and tortures a food blogger who has killed the chef's career with a bad review.
According to its website, Bitter Feast was inspired by Frank Bruni's damning review of Gordon Ramsay at the London, in which Bruni tsked, "Mr. Ramsay may be a bad boy beyond the edges of the plate, but in its center, he's more a goody-two-shoes." That review appeared in January 2007, and so has given director Joe Maggio plenty of time to dream up some fantasies in which the blogger is punished for not knowing how to cook a perfect egg or grill a steak medium-rare.
Aside from looking more than a little contrived, the film's premise doesn't really hold water: The critic is a lowly food blogger, not a restaurant critic for a major newspaper, so it's a bit doubtful that his review would cost the chef his job. Then again, plenty of chefs have no doubt wanted to exact bloody, bone-crushing revenge on food bloggers (see: Dobias, Joe, career), and Mario Batali -- who makes his film debut playing a restaurateur named, ahem, Gordon -- is seen wearing a pinstripe suit instead of cargo shorts and Crocs, so perhaps reality is beside the point.