Three excellent movies all carry themes surrounding the magical properties of food, yet all three are extremely different.
Like Water for Chocolate has fairytale aspects in pictorial style and script. The story is of a young couple who fall in love as children: Tita and Pedro. Tita's mother won't let her marry because as the youngest daughter, her destiny is to take care of her mother for life, an odd family tradition. So the man marries her sister to be near her (I know, I know but it's a story and a good one). Their lives go on and there's lots of magic involved, in her cooking and all around. This is a funny and deeply touching movie about life's anguish and passions. (In Spanish with subtitles)
Babette's Feast is an adaptation from Isak Dinesen's beautiful short story. This is a tale of sacrifice, simple lives and the meaning of choices, which culminates in a meal that represents everything good life has to offer. The acting is superb. One of my favorite movies ever. (in Danish with subtitles)
Simply Irresistible is a likable lighter romance about a young woman who is losing the restaurant left to her by her brilliant chef mother. When the clutzy cook starts to put emotions into her food, everything changes. It's a cute comedy but the concept of putting passion into your work is the same as in the other two films mentioned.
Most people enjoy great food; the notion (or in this case, potion) of big feelings transforming recipes is a nice one that engenders “food for thought.”