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A Feast Of Memorable Movie Chefs

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Food can be used to symbolise many things in the movie world: love, obsession, control,...food. It's nearly as popular a filmic career as architect, bounty hunter or 'something to do with fashion magazines'.

Here we offer for your delectation a veritable banquet of screen cooks. Contains zero calories and can help slimming as part of a balanced diet (but is not especially filling).

Casey Ryback - Under Siege

Back in the early 90s we were not only prepared to buy plots like 'Steven Seagal fights terrorists and also knocks up a delicious risotto', we would also go out and pay to see such things in our millions. These were much simpler times. We were much simpler people.

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The Swedish Chef - Various Muppet Movies

Even by Muppet standards, he talks absolute nonsense, wittering on incomprehensibly like he's got a mouth full of herring. Yet his nonsense is very funny and with a satire of The Seventh Seal he gets one of the biggest laughs in Muppets Most Wanted. Just don't look at his creepy human hands.

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Sherman Dudley - Deep Blue Sea

The improbably named Sherman Dudley, was of the same school as Seagal in Under Siege, except replace terrorists with sharks. Played by LL Cool J, Dudley was the chef on a sea-based research facility where sharks were being genetically modified in a way that would help cure Alzheimer's somehow. He also had a parrot. The parrot didn't cook.

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Remy - Ratatouille

In real life you wouldn't want this verminous little cook anywhere near your food. But in his animated form, Remy's joy for combining food, and the little colourful explosions that illustrate the flavours filling his mouth, make the prospect of a rat preparing your dinner seem not just lovely, but a privilege. Cartoons, they lie.

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Julia Child - Julie and Julia

Meryl Streep grabbed her 4,735th Oscar nomination for playing America's first TV chef, Julia Child, whose Mastering The Art Of French Cooking is one of the best-selling cookbooks in history. Americans assure us that the hooting voice and heavy-handed way with bits of dead animal is a spot-on imitation of Child. Being not especially familiar with Child, we Brits just enjoyed the comedy.

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Jenna - Waitress

Keri Russell's character in this delightful little film is obviously, as the title suggests, actually a waitress rather than a chef, but she also cooks pies that drive the film's plot, with the fillings named after whatever she happens to be feeling at the time. More films should be plotted around pie.

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Kate and Nick - No Reservations

As played by Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart, Kate and Nick are, respectively, the super-talented and super-uptight head chef of a trendy New York restaurant and the plucky, swaggering sous chef Kate brings in to help her cope with her workload after her sister dies and leaves her to take care of a young daughter. Naturally, they fall in love in the very sexy arena of a busy kitchen where everyone's sweaty and tired and smells slightly of meat.

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Mrs Lovett - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Self-proclaimed maker of the "worst pies in London", Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) takes the leftover bits of the men killed by Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) and turns them into best-selling baked snacks. And she sings while she's doing it. Comes a cropper by falling in love with Todd and indirectly causing the death of his wife.

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John - Spanglish

One of a handful of straight roles for Adam Sandler, in which he always tends to excel. He plays a very successful, and apparently enormously wealthy, chef who is becoming closer with his Spanish housekeeper (who doesn't understand English) than his wife (who doesn't understand John). His food is something he can control, you see. And it doesn't talk.

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Primo - Big Night

A film to watch only on a full stomach, this is a hymn to food as an expression of love. Tony Shaloub plays Primo, the exacting chef of a small, failing Italian restaurant. Stanley Tucci is his brother, the restaurant manager. Faced with closure, they develop a plan, spurred on by a rival, to put all their energies into one big night when a celebrity will come and eat their food and turn their fortunes around. You'll likely gain several pounds just from watching it.

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(Images: AllStar)

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