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How To Pair This Summer's Food Movies With Local Eats

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Summer movie season might mean popcorn action flicks for some, but foodies have lucked out this year. There are heaps of food movies currently in theaters, with more on the way. Here's a roundup of what's out, and where to eat in order to enhance your movie going experience.

Fed Up

This film produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David exposes the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemic in America and what it is we can do to help correct our course. The format is similar to that of the widely-popular Food Inc., covering the inequity of the food system, the problem with government subsidies of junk food companies, and the problem with the prevalence of sugar in our diets. It's definitely not a feel-good flick, but if change is made it sure could help us work well in the future. It's out in theaters now.

Suggested eating: Something smugly wholesome, healthy, and sugar-free.Crossroads Kitchen. Cafe Gratitude. Homegirl Cafe.

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Chef

John Favreau's new movie "Chef" has gotten some great reviews (and some ridiculously cheesy headlines to go along with them.) The plot of the flick isn't one thats unfamiliar with those entwined in food truck culture here in L.A.: chef Carl Casper (played by Favreau) feels stifled behind the stoves at his job and embers on a journey cooking Cuban food from the heart on a food truck. It's a celebration of food, a sweet story of family, and an inside look at the ups and downs of the restaurant business -- all made even more interesting for locals because chef Roy Choi was the technical consultant on the film, making it more accurate in terms of chef life and plating than most food flicks out there. Be prepared to come out craving a Cubano though. The buttered sammie porn is simply mouthwatering. It's out in theaters now.

Suggested eating: Cuban all day. Porto's. El Criollo. Baracoa.

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Foodies

Ten years ago, people looked at us like nut jobs for heading off to Southeast Asia to farm for a few months just to learn about food. But now everyone with some cash seems to be on the culinary jet set bandwagon, and there's a movie to prove it. "Foodies" follows around obsessive eaters from the First World who are willing to travel all over the world to get the best bites. This one comes out in Sweden this summer, and the anticipated American release is coming in the fall.

Suggested eating: Eats fit for the finest food nerds. Red Medicine. Bucato. Ink.

The Hundred Foot Journey

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This lovely novel by Richard C Morais that follows a family moving form India into a small rural town in France to open a Mumbai-style restaurant has now been turned into a movie. The book had as lighthearted sentiment, so we imagine the film will be similar to "Eat Pay Love" or "Under The Tuscan Sun." The score is done by the award-winnning A. R. Rahman, and stars Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Juhi Chawla and Om Puri. It comes out August 14.

Suggested eating: Inspired Indian eats. Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se. Bombay Cafe. Badmaash.

Farmland

Made with the "generous support" of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, the slickly produced documentary "Farmland" often comes off like lobbyist propaganda, profusely extolling the virtues of the independent American farmer, according to the L.A. Times. The film is meant to be a response to all of the bad press that agribusiness has been getting lately—what with all the recalls, GMO debates, and lawsuits as of late. It should be taken with a grain of salt, but it's always good to see what the opposing arguments are. The doc is currently in theaters.

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Suggested eating: Somewhere shameful where your dollars will support the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, like McDonald's or Taco Bell.

FARMLAND Teaser Trailer 2014 from Farmland on Vimeo.

The Lunchbox

As evidenced by the many bento blogs out there, people across the globe take lunch boxes seriously. So when an Indian woman pours her heart and soul into prepping lunch for her husband and is met with indifference, it can be a disheartening thing. That's the backstory in "The Lunchbox," which is currently playing at Laemmle in Santa Monica. Things are pretty grim until a dabbawala accidentally delivers the husband's lunch to another man, therefore sparking a written romance between two people who have never seen each other, but connect over loves notes and what's arguably the most sensuous act of service -- cooking.

Suggested pairings: Westside Indian eats. Samosa House. Zam Zam Market. Mayura.

And She Bakes, Live

This one is theater, but it's still worth a mention. You Tube sensation and vegan blogger Daliya Karnofsky loves to make sweet treats, but she also enjoys dishing up love and relationship advice. In her new live show at Theatre Asylum she does both. The audience can ask questions while she bakes and offers advice on life, love, and dating in relation to food like, "You can't turn the oven on after you put the cookies in." Amen to that. The show runs through June. You can find out more info here.

Suggested eating: Vegan baked goods. Proof. Babycakes. Flore Vegan Cuisine.

America's First Foodie

Though there's no release date set for this still-in-production documentary on James Beard, we felt it was worth a mention. Beard is known as the godfather of American food culture, and one of the first to appear on food TV. He even brought Julia Child into the fold. Today his legacy lives on in the form of the Academy Awards of Food (aka the James Beard Awards) and the various dinners at the James Beard house. The trailer shows incredible archival footage of Beard as well as quotes from the who's who of the food world -- from Alice Waters to Ruth Reichl and Ted Allen -- and is sure to be an interesting watch for food lovers.

Suggested pairing: The classics. Spago. Providence. Melisse.