If you love a good foodie flick, you may want to pack a bag of your homemade rosemary popcorn and check out Burnt, the new Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller movie, in theaters now. A romp through the intense world of Michelin star restaurants, the film features Cooper and Miller as hard-hitting chefs in a swank London restaurant. (As might naturally occur in a small space where two gorgeous people are plating snowy squares of turbot and other delectable bites, sparks fly.)
The two actors fielded questions from the audience after a recent screening at the Museum of Modern Art, hosted by the organizers of the New York Wine and Food Festival. Cooper and Miller—resplendent in a long, black, bohemian Chloé dress—gazed upon the rows of N.Y.C. food luminaries who had turned up to watch the movie, including chefs like Daniel Boulud of the famed French restaurant Daniel and April Bloomfield of the hip burger joint The Spotted Pig. Here are a few of the surprising things we learned:
Cooper has spent some time in a kitchen. “I was a 15-year-old busboy at a Greek restaurant, and then a prep cook at an Italian restaurant in New Jersey,” he said. “That is when I became obsessed with that world. [After making Burnt], I understand what it means to plate food, and how a kitchen runs in the front and the back of the house. When I go to restaurants now, I sometimes get the opportunity to go into the kitchen to meet the chef, and I love to watch what everyone is doing. You can get a flavor of the energy the minute you walk through that door. The level of respect that I have for them is even higher. And I have such a feeling of camaraderie with everyone working there that they absolutely don’t feel toward me!"
When she’s dining at a topnotch establishment, Miller now makes sure to visit the ladies room before or after—but never during—the meal. “Now I know that at a Michelin star restaurant, if everyone’s food is ready at a certain table, and if someone from that table stands up and goes to the bathroom and takes more than three minutes before returning, the kitchen must throw all of the meals away and start again," she says. "So now if I am with friends in a very posh place, I say, ‘No one can pee!' There should be a leaflet that goes out warning people about that!”
In their real lives, both actors tend to get excited about a good meal. “The chicken I had today at Locanda Verde was so simple and amazing,” said Cooper. “I had an incredible curry at an Indian place in London,” said Miller wistfully, adding later: “I’ve also been known to dip my French fries into a chocolate milkshake. Salty chocolate!”
Watch the trailer for Burnt below.