Robert Pattinson’s Burger Commentary – An inside look at what celebrities are REALLY thinking about when they mouth off about food. (Season 2, Episode 3)
The Most Iconic Food Trends in Film and Television
Celebrity chefs and famous food critics are often asked about the most iconic food trends in film and television. Many will cite the ‘70s Italian cooking films as the mother of all food trends, thanks to the work of chef Luigi Palombi and the opening of the famous Four Seasons Restaurant in Los Angeles in 1970.
However, the great thing about those films is that the food looked so good. Many people didn’t realize how unhealthy pizza and pasta could be. (It wasn’t until much, much later that people learned about the dangers of certain foods.)
So, while those films influenced a lot of people, they didn’t do much to improve the average person’s diet. But, since then, television and film food has gotten much more realistic, creative, and varied.
The Rise of Ethnic Restaurants
One of the most interesting trends to come out of film and television over the last few years is the rise of ethnic restaurants. The first Thai restaurant, for example, wasn’t featured in a film or on TV. It was just a regular Thai restaurant that happened to be open on Christmas Day in LA in the ‘70s.
Then, in the ‘80s and ‘90s, it became popular to feature restaurants and chefs from different cultures in films and TV shows. This started with Japanese restaurants in films like Beat Street in 1992 and then expanded to include Vietnamese, Moroccan, Greek, and Argentinean eateries.
The Demise of Donuts
Another interesting trend that emerged out of film and television is the decline of the donut. This one is easier to explain. Many films and TV shows in the ‘70s were set in New York City. Since most New Yorkers in those days were Italian, many of the films featured Italian restaurants and foods. (It was more common for TV shows to feature foods than it was for films to do so.)
Then, in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the New York City environment changed as much as the rest of America. With more people moving to California and other ‘burbs, it became less common to feature Italian eateries and restaurants in films and TV shows.
Veganism On the Rise
While other foods have risen and fallen in popularity over the years, veganism is one trend that has continued to gain ground. People are more open to try new things, and celebrities are often a reflection of society as a whole. So, it makes sense that veganism, which involves cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs from your diet, would continue to be a trending topic.
Many films and TV shows have tried to cash in on the trend, with films like Chasing Amy and TV shows like Shaq’s Big Kitchen Experiment featuring vegans and veganism as a key plot point. But what’s interesting is that although these films and TV shows are often about people trying to fit into the ‘skinny corner’, most of the foods served in those places are still meat-based.
So while some might say that the ‘70s were the golden era of food in film and TV, thanks in part to the wide representation of certain foods and chefs in those years, it probably doesn’t say much for the average American’s diet.