Since 2014, the team at international design practice Hato has been gathering a list of films with memorable food scenes, eventually spawning books, film nights and supper clubs under the banner Cooking With Scorsese – a nod to the director who the studio hails as the “master of food on film”.
The studio’s new publication is a cookbook featuring recipes by 46 chefs, who have contributed their own recipes for meals that appear in movies or that simply reflect the feelings and sensations conjured by films, including set design and cinematography.
While on-screen food has been the focus of cookbooks before now, like Long Prawn’s iconic Fat Brad, Hato’s Cooking With Scorsese and Others expands across the cinematic spectrum. Think peachy notes inspired by Call Me By Your Name; a roast lamb dish influenced by the one that appears in Withnail and I; and a number of takes on Studio Ghibli’s splendid mouthfuls, which are essentially a subculture all of their own. There are also quotes and stills, making for an all round palate pleaser for cinema fans.
The cover design riffs on film credits, while the specially designed typeface, the Fourth Lion, draws on the Didone family of typefaces from the 18th century, evocative of old Italian cookbooks, according to Hato. Some characters were influenced by the distinct lettering used for Metro, Goldwyn and Mayer in MGM titles.
Hato creative director and co-founder Kenjiro Kirton also created a series of accompanying ‘quote paintings’ featuring quotes from the films in the book, inspired by On Kawara’s date paintings.
“Through the ritual of collecting food on film, we began to see how directors use food to express emotion, make statements and comment on the world and society of a time. It’s something that has a close synergy with our work as designers,” the studio said.
“Martin Scorsese’s use of food as a tool resonated with us, as well as how he chooses to depict it in many different ways, from extravagant feasts to squalid table settings, in order to build characters. Whether it’s DiCaprio throwing lobsters at waiters in Wolf of Wall Street or Travis Pickle’s “black coffee and apple pie with a slice of melted yellow cheese” in Taxi Driver, the concept of food, its commonality and relevance to pretty much anyone, has allowed his films and their characters to transcend time, culture and audiences.”