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Hortense Laborie is a celebrated chef living in the Perigord region. To her great surprise, the President of the Republic appoints her as his personal cook. She accepts reluctantly but once she has accepted her nomination, Hortense works her heart and soul to produce both a stylish and authentic cuisine. For a while, she manages to impose herself thanks to her sturdy character and despite the jealousies she arouses among the other chefs. For a while only, unfortunately for her and for... the President. Written by
The film is loosely based on "Mes carnets de cuisine. Du Périgord à l'Elysée", the memories of Danièle Delpeuch, the first and only female chef having worked for the French President at the Palais de l'Elysée See more »
Movies and food get on very well, and no doubt "Les saveurs dans le Palais" is no exception. There's a strange magic in movies dealing with cooking and when I come across a movie like this I always feel fascinated and relaxed. In this case the creation of good food is in the hands of Hortense Laborie, who works in the kitchen of the Elysee Palace, but she is able to put the same passion when she is cooking in a South Antartict base. In both settings she shows the same love for food, for looking for good food. Undoubtedly, the most charming part is the one set in the Palace, where we can see, almost smell the fragrance of her dishes, made of highly selected ingredients, although never lacking a home-made touch. And this is the most appealing part of the movie, which for the rest lacks something in terms of psychological insight of the characters. Hortense herself stands up for her passion for food, and indeed cooking is the only means other characters and we as viewers have to get in touch with her. From the beginning till the end she remains mysterious and a little detached from others, always ready to leave when she starts to put down roots. In general, the movie seems too focused on the preparation and the exaltation of wonderful dishes, that everything else seems not to deserve that same attention. But this is a typical feature of movies like this, and also its strong point, I was fascinated by Hortense preparing, and earlier by her describing the recipes, by her naming each ingredient accompanying it with its provenience, and then, of course, by her realizing the recipe as if it were a work of art. In the end, a pleasant picture to see ... and to taste.
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