"Food is memories," Hassan Kadam and Marguerite agree as they savor a picnic near the river. The on-screen couple's romantic interest is heightened and sometimes challenged by their mutual love of gastronomy in Lasse Hallström's new film, The Hundred-Foot Journey, in theaters now. Check out the movie's official website here:

I knew I was going to love this movie when the opening scene centered around sea urchin, a very weird, very tasty ingredient revered around the world as a delicacy. The movie, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, follows the Kadam family as they move from Mumbai, India to Europe after a tragedy back home. The family of restauranteurs ends up in a quaint French village after their car breaks down, leading their patriarch to believe destiny is calling them to begin their next business venture there. Many residents in the town believe the family to be crazy for trying to run an Indian restaurant in France, especially since their location of choice just so happens to be 100 feet across the road from Michelin-starred French eatery, Le Saule Pleureur. However, no one could be more vexed by the family's arrival than Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), prideful proprieter of the famed restaurant struggling to earn their second Michelin star. Hilarity ensues as the two cultures clash, but eventually uptight Madame Mallory's heart is softened toward the kind-hearted family, especially when she discovers their son's undeniable gift in the kitchen.

Hassan (Manish Dayal) is the culinary genius behind the Kadam family restaurant, driven by warm Indian spices and his mother's influence. He is intrigued by the classical French style of cooking, and sweet Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) helps him grasp the basics, like the five French mother sauces. This feel-good film enraptures the audience with lovable characters, entices us with mouthwatering food imagery, and reminds us that food is intensely and inseparably tied to the heart.

Families and foodies alike, I wholeheartedly recommend that you see The Hundred-Foot Journey. Filled with tasteful humor and heartwarming moments, the film embodies everything that I try to accomplish with World Flavor Wednesday: celebrating food and culture, encouraging cooks to try new things, and savoring life's delicious moments.

I have already written about Indian and French cuisines, so you'll find links to those blog posts below, as well as a few recipes inspired by the movie. Unfortunately, we don't have any recipes with sea urchin... yet.

Classic French Omelet
Credit: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Curried Vegetable Samosas with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
Credit: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr