Meet The Real Chef Behind The Comedy Horror Film The Menu

When analyzing complex subjects, humor is often a great way to highlight a point. Throughout history, comedic films, at their best, would educate the culture on its blind spots and reveal blatant hypocrisy in everyday life (via Rutgers). From the commentary on the nuanced complexity of LGBTQ+ relationships in the recent film "Bros" to the critiques of media and its treatment of climate change in the Oscar-nominated film "Don't Look Up," film is often a great tool to inform and mobilize the masses.

Knowing this, acclaimed TV and film director Mark Mylod opted to use this approach for his upcoming horror-comedy film "The Menu" (via Entertainment Weekly). His experiences at different Michelin restaurants and the oddity around turning food, a basic need, into a display of grandeur and privilege inspired the film. To exploit this idea, he knew he'd need the perfect chef to help curate a menu that helped support his story. He found that in chef Dominique Crenn.

The fun of fear & food

Dominique Crenn is a chef at San Francisco's Atelier Crenn, which has been awarded three Michelin stars — making Crenn the first female chef to earn the honor that many times (via Atelier Crenn). The chef also earned the World's 50 Best Icon Award in 2021. Director Mark Mylod felt confident she could help ensure the food in his new horror-comedy "The Menu" was an integral part of the storytelling. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, the film tells the story of a character named Chef Slowik (played by Ralph Fiennes), who hosts an exclusive dinner experience for wealthy patrons. For $1,250 per person, patrons receive an immersive experience at a restaurant named Hawthorne on a private island owned by Slowik. The dinner features "a lavish menu" with some unusual dishes (via Searchlight Pictures).

Some of the surprising items on the menu include "scallops on boulders" and "a breadless bread plate." When discussing working with Crenn, the director told Entertainment Weekly, "A lot of it worked pretty well, particularly the Island, the first course that came out with the scallop on top of the boulder and all the fruits of the sea around that. But Dominque had ideas about what would work cohesively and aesthetically on the plate. So there was always a dialogue there." "The Menu" arrives in theatres on November 18.