Cooper is the tastiest dish
AS THE hottest dish in Hollywood, Bradley Cooper is definitely the right guy to play chef Adam Jones in John Wells’s Burnt. When I first interviewed the then young Marco Pierre White, he was a lot like Adam. Arrogant, shouty, ingredient-obsessed with no tableside manner, he terrified diners but beguiled them with his genius cooking. That’s Adam, or at least it was when he was a Michelin star in Paris, but then his self-destructive personality and penchant for Class A’s took over and he had to leave. But you can’t keep a top chef out of the kitchen and Adam has come to London to rebuild his career and claim that elusive third Michelin star.
Given that he still has a Gordon Ramsay-sized gob (the craggy chef is executive producer) it’s amazing that his old muckers and some new staff including potential flame and sous chef (Sienna Miller) are willing to stand at the stove with him — but Adam is played by Bradley and he looks great in his whites. Perhaps they think some much needed off-loading on a therapist (Emma Thompson) will stop him throwing plates and ladles.
There is a side-plot or two, one of which involves Adam owing money to thuggish French dealers who have come to the capital to track him down.
Evidently, Burnt was Cooper’s passion project and he now has enough Oscar nominations to make such passions come true.
It certainly sounds as though the cast who started out as cookery novices knew their onions by the time Wells wrapped, albeit that the dishes on screen were prepared by Marcus Wareing. Most critics have not been too kind about Burnt, which they feel is past its sell-by date as we are force-fed cookery in a million different guises on TV every day. There have also been some very warm and comforting food films, such as Big Night (Stanley Tucci at his best) and Jon Favreau’s Chef, which take some beating. But does everything have to be a contest? I’ll admit it’s a bit twodimensional and the dialogue is more familiar than it should be, but personally I’d watch Bradley Cooper make dinner every night of the week. I just wish it was in my kitchen.