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Film Released: 2007
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Film Directed by: Scott Hicks
Cast/Actors include : Catherine Zeta-Jones,  Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin

Kate, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones,  is the head chef at a trendy  restaurant in Manhattan called 22 Bleecker Street. A perfectionist, she runs her kitchen as she runs her life - everything in the right order at the right time and at a fast pace, co-ordinating her staff  with cold military style precision. A "hands on" chef, she personally arranges the food on every plate and in the process, intimidates those around her .


Kate even dislikes being asked  to meet customers who want to compliment her on her cooking, and comments to her boss that  "brilliant chefs belong in the kitchen" ,  however, her temperament  is such that when  a customer complains about a steak which is too well done, she rushes out of the kitchen wielding a raw steak on a large knife, slamming it down onto the customer's table.  Reactions like this have led her boss to insist that she either goes for counselling or gets fired. So, she goes for counselling on a regular basis.


Kate's regimented life is abruptly changed when her sister is killed in a car crash leaving her nine-year old daughter Zoe played by Abigail Breslin in her care. With all the upheaval on Kate's life, her boss decides to  hire a new chef to help out. Nick played by Aaron Eckhart,  is himself an outstanding chef, but rather than taking a job as a head chef elsewhere, says he wants to work under Kate.


However, Kate begins to feel threatened by Nick and his light-hearted  style of running the kitchen which finds  the rest of the staff warming to him.  He even gets close to Zoe encouraging her to take an interest in eating and good food, a feat which alluded Kate.  Nick's natural charm eventually wins Kate over and their relationship blossoms into more than just friendship.


As you would expect, there is a lot of food featured in this film, but one recipe is mentioned several times during the film,  the first being  right at the beginning, when Kate is talking to her therapist and the last very near the end when she divulges to Nick the secret ingredient which makes it so unique. Here's our take on Saffron Sauce which in the film is served with seared scallops.


The secret ingredient is a fresh Kaffir Lime leaf however, if you can't get one, it's still good without it. This is a very rich sauce however you don't need much of it per serving.


Happy Cooking!

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Saffron Sauce


Makes approx 240ml/8fl.oz. (serves 4)


120ml/4fl.oz. Dry White Wine
2 Shallots, finely chopped
1 Pinch Saffron Threads or Ground Saffron
1 fresh Kaffir Lime Leaf, lightly crushed
2 tbsp Double Cream
225g/8oz Very Cold Butter, cubed
teasp fresh Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper


1. Place the wine and shallots in a small saucepan, bring  to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by half.

2. Add the saffron, Kaffir lime leaf and cream and mix well.


3. Over a low heat, add the butter, a few cubes at a time, whisking well between each addition to blend it into the sauce. Do not boil.


4. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer into a small saucepan then add the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well over a low heat.

Serve warm with seared scallops.

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