Everything We Know So Far About The Menu Movie

Anyone looking to indulge their appetite for fine dining needn't look further than their friendly neighborhood streaming service. The genre — that is, movies and shows that revolve around (and often romanticize) food and restaurant life — has garnered a loyal following that no doubt includes plenty of crossover from those who spend hours scrolling food TikTok and binging J. Kenji Lopez-Alt videos on YouTube. 

Take "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" which brought in $2.5 million in the U.S. when it premiered back in 2011, and whose director, David Gelb, went on to create the Netflix hit "Chef's Table" in 2015 (per Vulture). A signature of the six-season series is its shamelessly dramatic slow-motion shots of chefs wielding blow torches, garnishing tweezers, and piping bags as they plate their artful dishes with precious care. As Vulture has it, the show "pioneered that slick, frictionless aesthetic that's ubiquitous in food documentaries." More than anything, though, "Chef's Table" adheres to a doctrine that's long been espoused in the food films that came before it, not to mention many real-life Michelin restaurants: The chef is the prophet, the staff are the disciples, and the kitchen is the place of worship. 

But what happens when an elite dining experience at a "Chef's Table"-worthy coastal restaurant turns from a glossy food story into a horror story? We'll find out when Searchlight Pictures' "The Menu" hits theaters in November.

When farm-to-table turns horrifying

"He's not just a chef; he's a storyteller." These words, uttered in the trailer for Searchlight Pictures' forthcoming feature "The Menu," have become a familiar adage on the gastronome's silver screen. Even Hulu's "The Bear" — which trades in picture-perfect food shots for the gritty, occasionally traumatizing reality of restaurant work — depicts its lead chef as a kind of tortured artist who uses food to move through stages of grief. 

In "The Menu," said artist is Chef Slowik, a revered food genius played by British luminary Ralph Fiennes. When couple Margot and Tyler ("The Queen's Gambit" star Anya Taylor-Joy and "The Great" actor Nicholas Hoult, respectively) visit Chef Slowik's enigmatic restaurant for an immersive dining experience, they're met with "a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises," per Searchlight Pictures.

Directed by Mark Mylod ("Succession"), "The Menu" takes place in an ideal horror setting: on a remote coastal island only accessible by boat. Not long after Taylor-Joy and Hoult wax poetic about the mouthfeel of oysters topped with golden roe, they're greeted by Fiennes and his militant staff. They are also presented with the challenge of guessing the "overarching theme" of the meal they're about to eat. Like a foodie rendition of "House on Haunted Hill," the couple and their fellow guests soon learn that the evening has been "painstakingly planned" around what appears to be a cannibalistic hunt for human meat. Run for your lives!