Movie Feature

Brad Can Cook: Bradley Cooper cooks up a storm in 'Burnt'

By Zaki JufriMovies - 28 October 2015 12:39 PM

Brad Can Cook: Bradley Cooper cooks up a storm in 'Burnt'

Bradley Cooper was born to play the role of chef Adam Jones.

He grew up in a food loving home in Philadelphia — some of his favourite memories are of his Italian grandmother making pizza, cheesecakes and homemade raviolis — he was a busboy at a Greek restaurant, a waiter at a fancy establishment near Georgetown University and harboured culinary dreams before acting. 


Uma Thurman, Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller at the 'Burnt' premiere in New York City | Photo: Getty

Cherishing a childhood dream to become a chef, he learned culinary skills in his grandmother’s kitchen before working in a restaurant while in high school.

“I was so inspired by the magic that my grandmother would wield when cooking. She was an incredible cook. I grew up watching ‘The Frugal Gourmet’ and Julia Child on television,” Cooper recalled.

'Burnt' is not his first time wielding a kitchen cleaver. In 2005, the 40-year-old actor starred in TV show ‘Kitchen Confidential’, based on a memoir by chef Anthony Bourdain. 

As chef Adam Jones in ‘Burnt’ he arrives in London seeking redemption - and perhaps a third Michelin star. 

A former rock star chef, recovering from a substance abuse problem, which destroyed his culinary career back in Paris.

Directed by John Wells, ‘Burnt’ also stars Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Jamie Dornan, Emma Thompson, Alicia Vikander and Uma Thurman. 


Although life in a restaurant kitchen is a a toxic combination of stress, long odd hours and fatigue, it does holds appeal for some.

“There’s a level of respect for what they do, and a level of dedication and almost samurai mentality dating back to Francois Vatel, a pastry chef who cooked for Louis XIV and was called upon to cook for a banquet. When the fish hadn’t arrived in time, he thrust himself on his own sword. It turns out the fish had, in fact, arrived on time,” he said.

"Cooking is an expression of who we are." To learn more about Chef Adam Jones, go to now.

Posted by Burnt on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Copper added, “There’s something in the blood of these people who are so driven that it’s a perfect meal or death.”

While films like ‘Chef’ or ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ have proven an appetite for food-oriented movies, they largely incite hunger pangs and romanticise the profession; almost always glossing over the constant need for perfection in the trade.


When cooking at home, Cooper likes to use simple ingredients and cook them simply | Photo: GV

“’Burnt’ really tells the reality of what it is behind the scenes in a kitchen brigade,” said the actor.

The Academy Award-nominated actor met with Britain’s unholy trinity of haute cuisine chefs - Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing - who shared their secrets and helped him cook up the ingredients needed to create the hottest chef in film.

All the actors received crash courses in the culinary craft. Cooper also trained alongside Claire Smythe, executive chef of the three-starred Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road.Sienna Miller, who stars as Adam's sous chef, also spent several weeks training with Wareing. Even director John Wells spent up to 18-hours a day in Michelin-star restaurants and consulted with Wareing, Ramsay and Mario Batali.

Wareing, of the two-Michelin star restaurant Marcus in London and Ramsay’s former protégé, created recipes for dishes seen in the film and taught the actors everything from how to hold a spoon, which according to Cooper “is the most vital weapon a chef can have”.

Although Wareing developed the recipes for the film, Cooper had to step up to the plate when cameras rolled -- there were no ‘chef doubles’ for him, or any of the other actors – and they all have cuts and burns to prove it.


Bradley Cooper is no stranger to the restaurant kitchen, having worked as a prep cook | Photo: GV

Had Cooper not become a Hollywood superstar, he would have made a decent chef, according to Wareing.

In an interview with People, the chef said that Cooper would “watch me dress a plate and copy it almost identically. He'd say, 'Is that okay? Are you happy with that?' And I'd stand back and think, 'It's taken me all my life to get here and you just do it straightaway!' He's very good.”

But the actor is in no rush to trade in his job for a life in the kitchen.

“Whether I could have gone to the level that these characters are at and the people that I interviewed, God knows? The kind of dedication and talent that a Marco Pierre White or a Marcus Wareing or a Gordon Ramsay or Clare Smyth has is extraordinary. They are at the Michael Jordan level of cooking,” Cooper said.

‘Burnt’ opens 28 October 2015 

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