What’s your favorite foodie movie scene? My current favorite is Chef. I love the scene where Jon Favreau’s character Carl Caspar is making a grilled cheese sandwich to share with his son Percy. Watch the YouTube video here. Here is what I think he did.
First, he sprinkles olive oil on a countertop griddle. I believe the setting to be about medium to medium high, because any higher and the bread will toast too quickly. Then he butters two slices of farmer’s bread. He places the two slices buttered side down on the griddle with the oil. He fries the bread on one side only, moving the slices around on the griddle, smearing butter and oil into an aromatic sauce that sizzles.
Then Favreau tops the un-fried bread sides with thin slices of cheese–looks like a fair amount of Cheddar and Gruyere topped with a couple of slivers of Parmegiano Reggiano. When the cheese looks a bit melty, he stacks the two halves, cheese sides together Finally, he spreads a bit of butter on the edges of the fried side of bread to make it evenly brown and crusty. Flips it over and butters the other side. When both sides are golden, when the cheese oozes out, it’s done. Slice. Share with Percy. Eat. Crunchy. Yummy.
After I watched Chef, I tried to replicate it myself–with some of my own touches. I used a much thicker slice of bread than was used in the movie. My cheese slices were thicker too. Gruyere is prohibitively expensive in Bangkok so I substituted Emmentaler. Instead of the Parmegiano, I added the red pepper cheese for a bit of bite. I ended up with a meal. It was filling, salty, gooey, tangy, and so delicious. The ultimate grilled cheese sandwich.
Note, July 12, 2015: I’ve since learned that it was mayonnaise, not butter that was used to spread on the bread before grilling.