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And the award for best leading actor goes to … food

By Laurie Bennett

March 26, 2014 at 3:44pm

Jon Favreau’s upcoming movie, “Chef,” a comedy about a food truck owner, has us savoring our favorite food movies.

After a few minutes of playing with Muckety maps, we concluded that you can’t go wrong with a movie starring Stanley Tucci and dinner.

Tucci played Julia Child’s adoring, always-supportive husband Paul in the 2009 film, “Julie and Julia.”

And he was part of a brother team of restaurateurs, with Tony Shalhoub, in the 1996 movie, “Big Night.”

The film’s piece de resistance, a timpano of pasta, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and salami enclosed in dough, is prepared by the Tuccis every Christmas.

Good food is such a central part of Tucci’s life that in 2012 he wrote “The Tucci Cookbook,” a collaborative effort with family and friends.

You see him cook in “Big Night,” scrambling morning-after eggs. It’s a simple dish - just oil, three eggs, a sprinkling of cheese and a hunk of bread. Yet it’s discharged with such authority that you want the plate that goes to his brother.

Tucci’s most recent work is not about food but its lack. Playing Caesar Flickerman in the “Hunger Games” series, he asks Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) what she loves most about her visit to the capital. Her answer: “The lamb stew.”

If an interview he gave to Gourmet in 2012 still holds, “Julie and Julia” remains closer to Tucci’s heart.

“I loved playing Paul Child,” he said then. “It was one of those rare films that one wishes would not end because there was so much more to tell - and to eat and drink.”

“Chef,” opens in May with an all-star cast including Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.

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