Recipe for Love (2014) Movie Script

What's today's special, Mrs. Leslie?
Mock-suey in a brown
sauce with soggy noodles.
What's it really made out of?
Honey, I have no idea.
My office, Hennessey.
So, half the student body reads this drivel
in the school newspaper,
and then they won't touch a thing.
Hey, I'm just writing the truth.
Don't be insolent with me, young lady.
Don't you have
better things to do with your time?
I'm preparing for culinary school in Paris
like Julia child.
You have the brains to go to medical school
or law school someday.
Why do you want to waste your time
slaving over a hot stove?
Because it's what I love.
From this moment on,
your column, "school lunch confidential,"
is shut down.
But that's my access to free speech...
Maybe it will teach you
not to abuse the privilege.
Now go back to class.
A bit of advice,
girls with smart mouths
don't get far in life.
They just get into trouble.
Good day.
[Sighs heavily]
[Sniffling and crying]
Now, Lauren.
How many days on prime rib?
At two per day, that's...
496 pounds of standing rib roast,
380 pounds of onions,
273 pounds of potatoes...
Okay, slow down.
You were supposed to
be off this recipe a week ago.
But I want it to be perfect.
Perfection is a disease.
It only exists in a climate-controlled lab,
not in the home kitchen.
Now, you have been
crying every day for the past month.
Is it the onions, or is it the job?
I'm happy here, Denise, really.
It's giving me great experience,
and I'm saving up for culinary school.
Okay, good,
because I tasted yesterday's prime rib, rs,
and it was out-of-this-world.
Come with me.
Walk with me, talk with me.
Dexter Durant, do you ever watch this guy?
I prefer shows that are about food.
He's selling sex and hair product.
So, let's jazz it out with my firehouse chili...
This was Dexter's audition video
for the ultimate star chef classic competition.
Start with some ramps.
What home chef has access to ramps?
Just say "leeks."
This is exactly the type of overwrought,
complicated-for-no-reason cooking
that I can't stand.
But he does have a book deal with our corporate parent.
we have not been able to get a page out of him.
He has fired three ghostwriters,
blown off two publication dates.
Sounds like a train wreck.
I want to pair him with someone
who knows how to write and test recipes.
I have been reading
your food blog, Lauren,
and I've been watching your work around here.
I think you would make a wonderful ghost writer.
Denise, I'm flattered, but...
We want social media involved,
and your blog is already plugged into that world.
You are the perfect choice on so many levels.
Ghostwriting is a thankless job.
there are people far more experienced than me.
I really appreciate it,
but I have to pass.
If the book gets published, there is a $25,000 bonus.
Last time I checked,
that would pay for your first year at cordon bleu.
That is my dream.
I've always wanted to study in Paris,
just like Julia child...
Julia child. I know.
You remind me every morning.
So, is that a yes?
[TV theme music plays]
[Audience shouts]Let's!
[Audience chants]Let's get cooking!
Let's get cooking.
Ladies and gentlemen,
from studio 29
in the heart of San Francisco, California,
put your hands together
for your bay city chef,
Dexter Durant!
Let's get cooking.
[Cheering and applause]
One more tip
you want to glide your blade through whatever you're cutting.
Don't apply pressure,
just let the knife do all the work.
Okay, when we come back,
we're going to cure your fear of frying.
Cut! and we're out.
[Bell rings]
That was great, Dexter.
I know. Thank you.
I've booked you an aromatherapy session
for this afternoon,
and then your hydrotherapy session
for tomorrow morning,
and your organic cleanse...
No cleanse.
No cleanse...
Where are my pages?
The network is breathing down my neck.
Look, I'm a little busy.
I've got this show, the restaurant.
The network wants to monetize your brand.
They can't do that without a cookbook.
So where are my pages?
It has to be perfect.
[Director]: right, 30 seconds!
Places, people.
Okay, I am speaking to you as your friend and agent.
Don't play chicken with the suits downtown.
The talent never wins.
I'll take my chances.
And we're back!
In five, four, three, two..
And we're back
with deconstructed fried chicken
that'll make the entire state of Kentucky
weep with envy.
And we're out!
[Bell rings]
I'd like you to meet Lauren Hennessey,
she's going to be Dexter's new ghost.
Did you bring your flak jacket?
Kevin! where's Kevin?
Here, smell this.
Breathe deeply, inhale.
Describe it.
Yes, we all know its cilantro.
What's the aroma?
Mexican food?
I have taught you this a hundred times...
Everything in my kitchen has a flavor profile.
Cilantro should evoke citrus,
parsley, Sage, even black pepper.
Smells like asphalt.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
Fasten your seat belt, honey.
We're going in.
Dexter Durant,
I'd like you to meet Lauren Hennessey,
one of the best food testers we have
on staff here at "food& entertainment" magazine.
I don't read "food & entertainment" magazine.
No offense, it's a little Suzy homemaker
for me.
Well, our magazine isnt for you, chef.
It's for the home cook.
And I dont watch your show either,
it's a little too Alpha male for me.
No offense.
[Denise chuckles]
I have chosen Lauren
to be your new ghostwriter.
No, no, no, I already told you, I don't need a ghost.
Are you even a chef?
No, not yet, but...
Then absolutely no.
Lauren, is it?
You do science fair projects in the test kitchens.
I'm cooking for real here.
We offer our readers a valuable service.
It was nice meeting you,
but if you'll excuse me,
my schedule is a little tight.
You are my employee, Lauren, not his.
I'm in charge of this project.
You're staying.
It's going to be fine.
One of my secret ingredients is coffee, freshly brewed.
I find it gives the chili a nice bracing backbone.
How much coffee do you add to a five-quart stock pot?
Kenny, I want you to get nice in tight on this
when we're filming, please...
Sorry, I just didnt catch the measurement
on the coffee?
Why are you still here?
And where's Kevin with my replacement cilantro?
I don't like strangers in my kitchen.
[Everyone groaning in delight]
Wow, incredible.
Best chili ever.
Thanks, man.
Let's see what the ghost has to say.
Ms. Hennessey?
Are you still with us over there?
It's got amazing depth of flavor.
Hints of spice,
without sacrificing subtlety.
The coffee,
it's Italian roast,
extra strong,
probably reduced by half,
then added at the end.
Educated guess.
We wouldn't publish your recipe, chef,
because the home cook wouldnt be able to replicate it,
not with missing or inaccurate ingredients.
But then again, maybe that's your intent.
[Telephones ringing]
Gio Scapellini?
Lauren Hennessey.
How do you know my name?
I've seen you around the test kitchens,
I've read your blog.
Thank you.
I think to myself,
she understands that food is a celebration of life,
a celebration of love.
Um, what are you doing here?
I came to watch Dexter.
I someday hope to have a show like him,
perhaps a book deal,
and possibly a ghostwriter like you.
Until we meet again.
How bad was it?
He's not a horrible guy, per Se,
he just expects everyone to live up to
his near-impossible standards.
Hmm, sounds like somebody else I know,
huh, sis?
[Chuckles ruefully]
I've dealt with temperamental chefs before.
I have a feeling
that ghostwriting is going to be 25% writing
and 75% baby-sitting.
Oh, by the way,
I ran into Gio Scapellini today.
Oh, is he gorgeous or what?
We love him at the network,
and he tests well across a broad demo.
Last week, you weren't dating anyone,
and now you have two handsome men in your life.
Can I switch bodies?
One of them is an incorrigible Italian,
and the other won't even acknowledge my existence.
Switch bodies all you want.
All I care about
yeah, seriously, cookbook can you make this work?
I actually think that I can learn something from Dexter.
He cooks with such passion.
Oh, you should have tasted that chili today.
It was out of this world.
Well, these T.V. Chefs
are not sound investments for us
unless they perform on all platforms.
You sound so corporate, nan.
He accepted a lot of money from us for a book advance,
and there's nothing to show for it.
He's reckless.
I got it.
I'll be careful.
I I just don't want you to get to hurt in the process, okay?
I can take care of myself.
It's going to be fine.
[Hum of busy crowd]
She's an amateur food writer
who knows absolutely nothing about cooking.
Pork roast up on two.
I want more garnish on that before it goes out.
DJ says she was really hot, man.
Ah, recipe testers are like trained monkeys,
they keep doing the same thing over and over again,
until eventually, they drop dead.
She'll be gone in a week, trust me.
[Cell phone rings]
[Typing rapidly]
Lauren, hey, it's Dexter Durant.
I felt like we got off on the wrong foot today.
I want to apologize.
Thank you.
I wasn't expecting that.
Well, why don't you come by my restaurant
before we open tomorrow?
We'll have a drink, we'll start fresh.
I've always wanted to check out Vertigo,
but reservations are impossible.
Well, thats not a problem anymore.
I'll see you at 4:00.
[Typing rapidly]
I love that Julia child put herself through culinary school
when it was mostly men.
The whole cordon bleu experience is overrated
if you ask me.
Culinary schools produce nothing
but generations of glorified food chemists,
slaves to the recipes.
Some of our greatest chefs
went to cooking school.
"Throw caution to the wind."
Excuse me?
That's my signature cocktail.
It took me two years to perfect that.
Oh my, that's... amazing.
It's refreshing,
yet herbal.
You know, I've been thinking a lot about our collaboration.
One of the problems with being a ghostwriter is
you never get to work on your own stuff.
I'm used to working on other people's recipes
in the test kitchen.
In fact, we're not supposed to...
Spread your wings?
Isn't that what you really want to do?
Yes, of course.
When I'm ready.
When I've been to culinary school.
When I have some more experience.
"When? when?" When... what?
What are you waiting for?
I want to do this book, Dexter.
It could drag on for months.
Your spot in the test kitchens might not be waiting for you.
I appreciate your concern, Dexter,
but your reverse psychology
is not going to work on me.
I'm staying.
Finish your tenure in the test kitchens.
Then get out and start cooking for yourself.
All right? Cook your own recipes,
cook your own vision,
your own future.
I'm tasting ginger,
and some bitters,
homemade maybe.
If we're going to include this
in the cookbook,
I need to know everything about it.
So tell me about these Juniper berries.
It's not going to be in the cookbook, all right?
Those ingredients are proprietary,
the fact that we're talking about the cookbook
makes me not want to have a cookbook.
No cookbook.
I'm not doing a cookbook.
I'm done.
[Talking quietly]
Good morning, everyone.
You soaked the Juniper berries in gin
to intensify their flavor.
This is amateur hour.
I give you...
"Throw caution to the wind"...
Come on, Dexter,
taste it.
You paid someone on my staff,
you put Erik up to this...
Chapter one, page one.
Shut it down, Kenny, I'm done.
The crew's waiting.
I can't blow the schedule!
You can't leave now.
You've got to prep for "good morning, San Francisco!"
Look, lady,
there's a lot of us around here
counting on Dexter Durant.
Don't screw this up.
I thought I was doing the right thing.
How did I do?
Good morning, San Francisco,
and you're late?
They want us to start with appetizers
as a preview of the cookbook.
I've got garlic and fresh tomatoes
for bruschetta.
I've already typed up the recipe
and given it to the hosts.
I hate this dog-and-pony stuff.
Where have you been?
You're on in five minutes.
Ugh, look at these bags under my eyes.
You were at the restaurant late last night?
You knew you had to be up early.
Thanks, mom.
Oh! [wincing]
[Groaning with effort]
It's a lot of work, being you.
You have no idea.
Okay, can you just...
Can you...
I need a moment.
Can I... a moment, please?
Okay, people, places, please!
We're about Togo live.
[Sighing deeply]
Good morning, San Francisco.
I'm Rhys Alexander.
And I'm Kimberly Caldwell.
And today, we have
chef Dexter Durant on our show.
Thank you.
Looks like our celebrity chef
isn't used to getting up this early.
Well, we all can't be morning people like us.
Not like you and me, of course.
So tell us, chef Dexter,
what is the first thing you say
when you step into the kitchen?
Ah, "let's get cooking!"
How's the manuscript coming?
I've basically been banished
from the kitchen at Vertigo.
He won't give me recipe proportions
for anything,
and he treats me like his assistant,
not his writer.
It's like he doesn't even want to do the book.
He has got a lot riding on this.
We both do.
Oh, I'm sorry,
I didn't realize that you had a T.V. Show up for renewal.
Forgive me.
The network wont guarantee him another season
without that book.
I expect to see some pages soon.
...and we're live!
All right, I've got some fun, fast, easy recipes.
Foolproof, too.
If you've got a big date coming up and you want to impress that special lady or dude,
I've got something for you right here.
Here we go.
All right.
So, you want to cut that basil nice and fine, put that in.
A little garlic,
you want to smash that.
Garlic smash.
Put that in.
All right, good for the immune system.
You know what I'm saying.
Okay, so now a little help from a chef's best friend...
Oh! oh!
[Squelching and splashing]
[Host gasps in consternation]
Ooh, um, we are just going to clean this up,
and we'll be right back.
[Bell rings]
Hey, hey, hey,
where are you going?
This is ridiculous, I'm done.
No, you can't.This is live,
and we have to promote the book.
Look, just act natural, go with the flow.
It makes you seem sort of appealing.
Okay, look...
When the going gets tough...
The tough make bruschetta.
[Bell rings]
And we're backing five,
four, three, two,
I guess professional chefs aren't immune
to kitchen disasters.
Well, mistakes area part of life.
When life gets tough, the tough make bruschetta.
[Hosts laugh in delight]
So, what are we doing next, chef.
Well, next time I visit, I think I'll wear a Hazmat suit.
That's a good one.
Okay, when we come back,
we are going to taste this delicious bruschetta,
but first,
let's toss it over to Mary-Jo Olsen,
who's with the man
with the world's largest collection
of stuffed cats.
I know.
And we're out!
They loved you.
How did you come up with that bruschetta line?
You're brilliant.
Yeah, it just sort of came to me.
[Trolley bell clanging]
Nan, I'm telling you,
you should see the routine he goes through
to transform himself.
It's exhausting.
I have a feeling theres another Dexter Durant
beneath all that hair product.
Anyway, I'm heading over to Vertigo tonight
to get him to try to work with me.
Wish me luck.
Smells great.
Yeah, the dinner crowd was crazy,
and I'm still not done with these appetizers.
Well, we need something
for "the taste of San Francisco" tomorrow.
They're sending a car at 8:00.
This is a new recipe, all right?
It's giving me a little trouble.
There's an element thats missing.
Look, then let me help.
You can say you don't need me
all you want,
but I'm not going anywhere.
And I can help you.
You saw what I did this morning.
Can you cut potatoes?
How many pounds?
Two handfuls.
And can you just, like...
Back up?
Yeah, it's a little frustrating.
I can't concentrate.
13.5 ounces.
How do you do that?
I just see everything in terms of weight and volume.
It's like the numbers are floating around,
waiting for me.
All right, well, two handfuls, not a two-page explanation.
So, that "good morning, San Francisco" video,
it's already up to two million hits.
You're a natural on camera.
You know, something struck me this morning.
When the blender went crazy,
and stuff went everywhere...
Your reaction was very honest and vulnerable.
Then you went back to playing Dexter Durant.
Are we going to cook, or are we going to talk?
And... you're obviously very good at it,
because you're doing it again now.
Okay, you know what?
I think we're done here.
It's time for you to go home.
Dexter, we have so much work to do.
I'm going to finish up on my own.
Thank you for your help.
Out you get.
I'm going to do it on my own.
Thank you.
Okay, all right.
[Groaning] okay...
I hope you're ready.
The car's going to be here soon.
[Whispers]four pounds of onions.
What are you doing here?
Morning, sunshine.
Do you have an extra change of clothes?
The car will be here any minute.
Uh, no, weve got to cancel, Lauren,
this was a disaster.
I was up all night.Just throw all this out.
I don't think so.
That's incredible.
What did you do?
You, uh, you infused the cream with something?
I added saffron and cayenne.
I thought the base notes could use a little reinforcing.
And you came up with this?
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Why didn't I think of that?
So, we're going to do this every day.
Until we finish all eight chapters.
[Car honks outside]
Come on.
"The taste of San Francisco" awaits.
Absolutely brilliant.
[GPS voice]: Approaching Durant residence
on your left.
You have arrived at destination.
Oh, hey, you're early.
This place is incredible.
Yeah, it's my little acre of heaven.
Here, I got something for you.
Mm, delicious.
And these will be on someone's dinner plate
Actually, most of the produce I use
at the restaurant,
I grow right here.
You know, it's my secret to success,
use only the best ingredients.
And thanks for coming all the way out here,
by the way.
I know its a bit of a haul.
Oh, that's okay.
I love the city,
but it's nice to be able to come out here and escape.
And thanks for, you know, really stepping it up.
Excuse me?
Oh, you saved the day
during "good morning, San Francisco,"
you rescued my baked-potato appetizer,
and it really took guts.
Thank you.
Anyway, let's go get these cleaned up,
what do you think?
All right.
When I get to France someday,
I'm going to smell the real thing.
That is the real thing.
Come on.
This is not at all what I was expecting.
And what were you expecting?
Big architectural pieces, leather furniture,
a lot of mirrors.
Yeah, well, I'm going Togo jump in the shower,
we'll get started.
Make yourself at home?
Hmm. after my folks split up,
my mom, my sister, and I,
we pretty much had to fend for ourselves.
My mom got a second job at night.
No fancy bread-makers or forged-steel knife sets.
My sister, Diane, and I,
when we got home from school,
we'd go to the fridge to see what was there.
I knew my mom would be exhausted
when she got home from work,
so I decided to help.
I'd invent dinner from whatever I could find in the fridge.
I'd just cook from the heart.
It was the only kind of cooking I knew.
Food is the love that kept my family together.
My name is Dexter Durant,
and this is my story.
[Trolley bell clanging]
[Birds Twitter gently]
[Shutter clicks]
So do you have a no-shoe policy?
Uh, I leave my work shoes at work.
There's nothing better
than walking through the garden barefoot.
I mean, were in the country.
Anything goes.There are no rules.
Hmm. I feel liberated already.
There's something I want to ask you about.
Later. right?
You want to talk recipes?
You want to discuss the book?
Then it's time to cook.
Have you eaten today?
Does a protein bar count?
No, it does not.
Let's go.
It's the simplicity of salad
that most people miss.
They lard it up with so much stuff,
and then pour all that bottled dressing
all over it.
We can do better.
You know, when I was a kid,
my favorite thing was eating tomatoes
right off the vine,
I like to cut these close to the base to...
...leave a little
to encourage new growth.
Oh, that's fresh.
All right, let's get some other vegetables.
We've got some green beans,
some Persian cucumbers here.
Be careful not to bruise the Greens
when you're submerging them.
You love that little notebook,
don't you?
Always have, ever since I was a kid.
Well, no more hiding behind that keyboard.
Come here, I could use a hand.
These leeks need a good dunking.
Don't be afraid to get a little wet.
You're not going to melt.
Okay, uh...
[Stammering awkwardly]
Okay, here, sorry.Here, please.
Ladies first.
Now, I'm going to get started on the dressing.
I like to dissolve the salt in the vinegar
before I get started.
The readers going to want to know
exactly how much salt.
Okay, you decide.
You make the dressing.
Oh, no, I couldn't.
No, let's switch places.
You cook, I'll take notes.
I'm fine. Really.
Do I make you nervous?
Not at all.
All right.
The secret is in the ingredients,
the technique is simple.
Now, grab that Spanish olive oil
right over there.
Now, what do you want to add to it?
You know, I really shouldnt be doing this,
this is your recipe...
Wrong answer.
You've got the whisk, you're the chef.
You're at home,
what do you want to make for yourself?
I would add some shallots, some chives...
Okay, stop right there.
Shallots? how much?
And chives, one tablespoon or two?
Half a medium shallot,
and one tablespoon of chives.
We don't want to overpower the dressing.
Great. keep going.
This bread smells incredible.
You hungry?
Let's go.
To chapter three.
We got a lot done today,
15 pages.
You know, seeing you out here,
in this environment,
it kind of shook loose some ideas,
for the cookbook.
You know,
I think this approach has been all wrong,
this tough guy you play on T.V.
I have something else in mind.
Okay, if we're going to be collaborating like this...
I owe you an apology.
I said some very...
Stupid and hurtful things
since we met,
and I want to apologize.
I'm sorry.
Thank you.
I really appreciate that.
Since we're being so candid,
I have something to confess.
While you were in the shower today,
I found your video
for the Ultimate Star chef classic,
and I watched it.
So you did make yourself at home.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't have,
but I did.
You know, it's totally different
from the one that the network has.
That's a long story, Lauren.
We haven't even started dinner.
You want to know my big secret?
I hate him.
I hate him, "Dexter Durant, celebrity chef."
That's who the public thinks you are.
That video you saw,
that was the first one I shot,
and when I submitted it to the competition,
they said that if I had any hope of winning,
I needed more "edge."
My dad always said
I was never going to amount to anything.
I always felt like I was never good enough,
like I was always a disappointment.
I was a busboy,
I had a lot of student loans.
I had and a food truck that needed a new engine.
You know, I'd-I'd seen James Dean
in "rebel without a cause."
So I created this character,
and, well, that's where "Dexter Durant" was born.
I re-shot the video the next day,
sent it in,
and the rest is history.
So, it's all an invention?
Just a fake, a fraud,
and now it's spun
wildly out of control.
Is that why you come to this place,
to protect yourself?
[Chuckles ruefully]
To protect myself from the guy I created.
It's like I said,
we're in the country, anything goes.
There are no rules.
[Rain pouring, thunder rumbling]
Come on, it's beautiful.
No way.
You're crazy.
It's amazing!
Come on.
[Bicycle bell dings]
I included some photos that I shot on Dexter's farm.
Did you know he lives on a farm?
It made me realize
that there's this whole side of him
that we're missing,
so I paired some of my photos with recipes
as an example.
I deviated from the original idea...
Yes, yes, Lauren, I do appreciate your efforts.
Um, why don't you leave this with me,
and I'll have a look at it.
You know, we miss you in the test kitchen.
We are keeping your spot warm just in case.
Bye now.
[Sighs tersely]
...I'm sorry to say this,
but who's the one with the show here?
Me or you?
[Arguing quietly]
Uh-oh. what's wrong?
Ah, pazzo, he bought the wrong fish.
No, I said wild copper river salmon,
that's farm-raised.
It's all they could get.
They won't have copper river until next week.
Besides, no one outside the audience
is going to know.
I will.
It's my number-one rule.
"Always use the finest ingredients."
I say it in every episode.
We have a responsibility to the viewers.
He's right, Kenny.
I'm not going to bump the schedule
for some fancy fish to fly in from Alaska.
We've got an audience coming in at 3:00,
and theyre expecting salmon.
Okay, heres a thought.
We're supposed to shoot bread tomorrow,
but we've got the sourdough starters ready,
so why not shoot it today?
We rehearsed salmon for this show.
We need the overhead rig for bread,
and it's not set up.
It's salmon or nothing.
No, Lauren's right, why are we going to waste our time...
Someone get the network on the phone.
They're not going to like this Dexter.
You're costing them money.
This is not my fault.
If I ran my restaurant this way...
How's about a drink, huh?
Take your mind off things.
Besides, it's my turn to buy.
No, thank you, Gio.
I'm a little wound up.
very nice to see you again.
Ciao, Bella.
You know, he hangs out here an awful lot
for someone whos not on the payroll.
He likes the vibe.
He's learning the tricks of the trade.
He probably has a man crush on you.
[Power switch clangs]
Great, another day wasted.
Hey, I have a thought.
Since we're already here,
why don't we work on the cookbook?
We could do bread.I've got my camera...
No, I don't feel like
going through make-up and wardrobe...
You don't have to.
That's actually what I was just talking to Denise about.
I want you unvarnished.
What does that even mean?
Candid. barefoot.
Washing vegetables in the sink.
Nobody wants to see that.
I think you're wrong.
Well, it doesn't sound very appealing to me.
Okay, why don't you trust me to do my job?
No costumes.
Just you.
It'll be fun,
I promise.
You put a lot of thought into this.
Well, if you're going to push the envelope,
might as well do it right.
[Camera beeping]
Take off your shoes.
[Sighs doubtfully]
[Shutter clicks]
This feels strange.
I don't know, doesn't it seem boring?
Mm-mm.[shutter clicking]
Looks great.
Now, how can I help?
Um, flour.
Thank you.
What are you doing?
I'm measuring the flour.
Oh, come on, measurements and temperatures are crucial
to baking.
You can't just throw Ina couple handfuls of this
and a dash of that.
I agree, but today,
we're going to learn to cook from the soul,
not from the scale.
Did you ever make mac and cheese as a kid?
And I bet you made your first batch
before you read the box.
Yes, that's true.
How did you navigate?
You used your hands,
used your eyes.
You relied on your natural instinct for cooking, right?
I suppose so.
Mm-hmm, okay, so today,
we're going to re-instill that natural instinct.
Culinary school can teach you everything
but a real chef science cooks from the heart.
Dexter, you do realize
I have to translate this all into a recipe
at the end of the day...
And you will.
Do you trust me?
Close your eyes.
No way.I still have to take pictures.
And you will.
We'll take all the photos you need.
Close your eyes.
[Sighs nervously]
You said wed be having fun.
I'm not having any fun yet.
Come over here.
Where are we? What are we doing?
Shh, no more questions.
I want you to tell me what 80 degrees feels like.
How's that?
And there?
It's almost there.
You are good.That's 79.
Come on back over.
All right, now...
Here we go.
Now, I'm just going to add a little salt.
Now, I want you to make an indentation in the mound.
I'm going to pour a little water into that well,
and I want you to mix it together with your hands.
Dexter I can't see.
It's going to make a huge mess.
Yes, the bigger the mess, the better.
It's time for you to get messy.
Get in there.
I've never felt it come together like this.
That's the gluten fibers aligning.
Here, don't be afraid to get into it.
Let me show you.
It feels incredible.
We're getting there.
Okay, we're just going to let that rest
for a minute.
Can I open my eyes?
Turn towards me.
Dexter, we shouldn't.
We should.
[Trolley clanging]
[Roar of traffic]
All the department heads were there,
and Denise was talking about how
Dexter has become a liability,
and it's time to cut him loose.
I thought his ratings were huge?
Well, they were solid for the first three years,
but theyve been eroding,
and Dexter's become a pain to deal with,
and we still have no cookbook.
We're making progress, nan.
Gio's pushing really hard
for Dexter's time slot.
We're putting him in a competition special
against Dexter
to test his numbers.
Okay, this cannot leave this room,
They're talking about canceling Dexter's show.
I thought things were going so well for us.
You need to let go
of trying to control everything.
Nothing's ever going to be perfect.
It's sort of complicated.
[Groaning]: oh...
You've fallen for him,
haven't you?
Don't lose sight of why you are doing this.
Keep your eyes on the prize.
And it is not him.
[Trolley clanging]
Now, there's something primal
about our desire to cook meat over an open flame.
Maybe it reminds us of our primitive DNA.
Or maybe,
it reminds us of dad at the grill
on Saturday afternoons.
You know I think we should...
Great idea.
Let's get some new steaks on the grill.
That was good. Perfect.
Yeah, I know.
All right, lets set up the next shot!
Buongiorno, Durant.
How are you?
Good to see you, yeah.
You look good, you look good, yeah.
Yeah, thanks.
How amazing is this?
It's so nice to be outside of the studio.
Can I talk to you about something?
Yeah. what's wrong?
I don't like Gio hanging around set.
He's been asking questions about Kenny,
and your art director.
I think he's trying to poach your crew.
There's rumor shes getting his own show.
[Chuckles]are you kidding me?
It's not going to happen.
You have no idea what they're talking about
behind the scenes.
Yes, yes, I like. I like.
I want the set to be like me.
I like what you're got here, it's nice.
Three years ago,
when I first got to the network,
the top slot was occupied
by "down home cooking with Peggy sue."
I remember her.
She was all fried chicken and grits,
and then she just disappeared.
The network brass decided that she wasn't sexy enough,
that her audience was graying too fast.
So they had me do a guest spot,
and then another,
and another.
They knew all along.
I'm the new Peggy sue.
Don't say that.
April's been trying to warn me
I've just been too headstrong.
This is hopeless.
Well then, all the more reason
to hunker down on the cookbook.
We can get a couple more chapters written,
and submit it...
No, there's not going to be a cookbook, Lauren.
I mean, you have great ideas, you do,
it's just...
I need to go back to what I'm good at.
Standing behind a stove at Vertigo.
I'm going.
[Sighs heavily]
Are you okay?
I've been worried about you.
I just like to get in the kitchen
and clear my head.
You're not cooking your last meal, are you?
What does roast chicken mean to you?
Holiday dinners with my family.
My grandmother helping my mom in the kitchen.
The whole house smelling amazing.
Not a care in the world.
It's childhood, family and security.
Say that again.
Childhood, family and security?
That's the essence of your cookbook.
You, teaching us to connect
to childhood, family, security through food.
That's it.
What does roast chicken mean to you?
There's no special meaning.
It's just a dish that I rotate on my menu
every Sunday night.
Oh, come on, it has to mean something.
We connect to our families through food,
what about you?
You do not want Togo down that road.
Dex, we all have baggage from our pasts,
but that stuff with your dad,
that was ages ago.
And it's not that easy just to walk away from it.
I'm not saying walk away from it.
I'm saying...
Embrace it.
I'll call you later!
[Gulls crying]
[Dog barking]
[Rings doorbell]
Hi, my name's Lauren Hennessey,
and I'm from "food & entertainment" magazine.
We're doing a story on Dexter Durant,
and I wondered if I could speak with his father?
Wyatt died last year, very sudden.
Heart attack.
He would never go to the doctor.
He always knew more
than the experts.
I'm sorry, I didn't know.
Dexter brought me flowers
after the funeral.
I barely knew him,
but we sat on the sofa and he held my hand.
Sweet boy.
He doesn't let the world see that side of him.
Just like his father.
Hard as nails.
You know, Wyatt missed those kids every day.
Dexter feels like he was a disappointment to him.
A disappointment?
Let me show you something.
Wyatt loved his son so much.
He kept everything that boy ever did.
Wyatt was so handsome.
He looks just like Dexter.
And so damn proud of him.
I don't understand.
Wyatt went through a lot of effort here,
so why didn't he stay in touch?
I think his kids were a reminder
of his own personal failures.
He thought they were better off without him.
Has Dexter ever seen this?
No, I just found it last month
out in Wyatt's workshop.
Wyatt loved his Sunday dinners,
always a chicken.
Dexter serves that at his restaurant every Sunday.
Who saves something like this?
I mean, it must have been important.
"Firehouse chili."
It was.
Everything in here was.
Fathers and sons.
It didn't have to be.
Kale? seriously?
Morning, chef.
I've had it with these food fads.
Last year, it was quinoa,
before that, it was chocolate and bacon.
Kale is dead to me.
I'm with you, boss.
He's on his way.
Oh! jeez...
Yeah, walk over the talent,
and you slay the goose that laid the golden egg.
Well, the golden egg is kind of tarnished.
Yeah, so I've heard.
I was just in a meeting,
and you are shooting "Vertigo" next week
against Gio Scapellini.
And they're going to do everything they can
to make sure he wins.
You know what,
I'm going to show those network suits
that I'm not washed up.
We are going to do a fourth season...
I'm sorry, Dexter,
but they're talking about canceling your show
at the end of the season.
No, they're going to move me to another day,
give me a different time slot...
It's the ratings.
And this cookbook mess, it's everything.
[Kenny]: Dexter!
Let's get cooking!
Yeah, one more minute.
Does Lauren know?
She has to.
Her sister is VP of marketing.
I can't believe this.
These people are snakes.
I'm going to put out feelers to the cooking channel
and PBS,
and see if anybody is interested
in picking up your option.
Hey, I'm so glad
you haven't started cooking yet.
I have something to tell you.
I'm sure that you do.
What's wrong?
Nothing, I just heard
that the network is canceling my show.
We need you in hair and makeup.
Two more minutes.
I didn't want you to find out like this.
It's not a done deal, it's complicated.
Complicated how?
The fact that you and nan knew all along?
I just found out.
Yeah, I bet you did.
Look, it's not too late.
Wait till you hear where I've been.
I've got some ideas...
You have an idea,
what a big surprise.
You know, I've had enough of your ideas,
and this whole cookbook,
whatever this relationship is,
I'm done.
I was trying to protect you.
I thought if we could get far enough into the book...
No, you were willing to do whatever you needed to
to get what you wanted.
I'm your ticket to cordon bleu, I get it.
I don't mean anything.
That's not true.
Are we ready yet?'Cause I'm ready.
Let's go. Please.
Somebody had a late night.
Look at those eyes.
I got slammed at the restaurant.
Didn't get out of there till 2:00.
[Snaps fingers]
[Sighing heavily]
[Cheering and applause]
[Audience chants] Let's!
Let's get cooking.
[Cheering and applause]
[Bell rings, echoing]
[Grunting angrily]
Think I'm going to plant some artichokes in here.
Something sturdy
something dependable,
something I can count on.
Get rid of all these herbs and vegetables.
I'm going to have so much free time on my hands,
why do I need these vegetables?
Dexter, we need to talk.
We have nothing to talk about.
I already told you.
Why did you come up here?
Listen to me,
I've finally figured it out,
how we can capture the magic.
Where do you see any magic?
That first night we cooked here
was one of the most beautiful meals I've ever had.
There was no shortage of magic.
Why do you care so much about this book?
Because I care about you,
and I'm not going to let them do this to you.
I want to show you something.
I've done a few sample chapters.
We preface each recipe with a story about your family
and your childhood.
Cooking from the heart.
This cookbook is the essence of you, Dexter.
And who is that?
Because I don't know anymore.
What's that?
Your father made it.
My father? How did you...
I went and talked to your stepmother.
She showed me this book and let me borrow it.
It's filled with pictures
and stories about your family.
We can build the cookbook around this.
This is the real you.
I can't believe he saved this.
You tell me the story.
Firehouse chili and roast chicken...
They were the only two things my dad knew how to cook.
And I'd...
I'd stand thereon the stepladder
just watching him, next to the stove.
That was one of the...
One of the few things that we actually shared.
You know?
On those days,
even for a moment,
we were a family.
And this is all I have left of him.
Your father loved you very much.
Sometimes, people don't know how to show their love,
so they do it in secret,
with scrapbooks, and pictures,
and stories that they leave behind.
[Chuckles ruefully]
He really did care.
You were always good enough.
More than good enough.
I don't know if I can do this, Lauren.
We can do it together.
Trust me.
[Announcer practicing]: Ladies and gentlemen...
Ladies and gentlemen.
Ladies and gentlemen...
Welcome to a special edition
of Vertigo!
How are you feeling?
Sick to my stomach.
All of the above.
Do you want your jacket?
I think I'm going to take a pass.
Not even for your entrance?
It's the unvarnished version of me or nothing,
Besides, I've got everything I want right here.
Knock, knock, knock!
They're ready for you onstage.
It's a great turnout.
Now, no matter what they throw at you out there,
don't freak out.
Thanks, nan,
but I'm not the one who needs the pep talk.
And where's Erik?
He should be dressed by now.
I told him to sit this one out.
Well, hes your best sous.
And there's no one I want on my side
more than you.
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to a special edition of Vertigo.
[Cheering and applause]
Today, we'll be raising money for the mission street shelter.
Teams will be comprised of a T.V. Chef and a sous chef.
Ingredients have been chosen by local chefs.
And now it's time
to meet our competitors.
In blue,
your favorite bay city chef,
Dexter Durant!
[Cheering and applause]
And in red,
his opponent,
up-and-comer Gio Scapellini!
[Cheering and applause]
Gio will be starring
in his own food & entertainment T.V. show this fall,
"Gio's pasta Al dente."
It's time to open your boxes!
Rose water.
Buckwheat pasta.
[Chanting] pasta! Pasta!
[Audience chanting and clapping along]
Pasta! pasta!
They did this on purpose.
Japanese maitake,
Fava beans...
Gio was raised
on this stuff.
He practically lives and breathes pasta.
It's nothing we haven't seen before.
This whole competition is to showcase Gio.
We're supposed to lose.
You think pasta was a random choice?
Well then, why aren't you shaking in your boots?
Because I have you.
I believe in you, you are a chef.
And one thing you should know,
is Gio's accent is fake.
He's from Cincinnati, not Sicily.
Yeah, we went out drinking one night,
and he totally forgo the had an accent.
Gio Scapellini is just a confection,
the same way Dexter Durant is.
Chefs, you have 60 minutes
to prepare a five-course tasting menu.
Good luck.
Start the clock... now!
[Bell dings]
You two think you really have time for pillow talk?
Basil is basil, you silly girl.
If you say so.
And I've got the mushrooms...
And I've got the salt here...
They're like Fred and ginger.
I like what I'm seeing over here.
Mm-hmm, looks delicious.
No deconstructed anything,
no towers of food,
just simple, straightforward cooking,
like you do at the farm.
Okay, you're right.
Paolo, I need you on the grill.
The maitakes are burning.
I'm draining the pasta.
This is why God gave you two hands.
Vai! vai!
[Lauren]: Dexter, theyve already got two courses plated.
We're not even done one.
Yeah, dont worry about it,
just keep cooking.
[Pot clanging, Gio roars in frustration]
[Audience wincing]
What's wrong with you, huh?
[Protesting in Italian]
And... stop the clock!
[Bell dings]
Chefs, put down your knives.
It's time for...
The twist.
"The twist?"
We have added three ingredients,
which you must include in your main course.
Air-chilled chicken,
Dulce de leche ice cream,
and licorice vines.
This is insane.
[Announcer]: good luck.
Restart the clock... now!
[Bell dings]
The chicken...
Okay, what do you want to do?
I had the whole menu planned.
We can do this.
Okay, you're 11 years old.
You're standing in front of your mom's refrigerator,
what do you cook?
Come on, something.
Nothing's coming to me.
I need your help on this, please.
What would you do?
What if we melt down the ice cream
and add a dash of Rose water,
then well puree the licorice,
saute some shallots and chives,
and we'll make a sauce.
It'll be the perfect complement to the chicken.
I love that.
That's your first recipe.
[Sighing] yes.
I like what I'm seeing over here.
At no time do her fingers leave her hand.
Do not trifle with this woman.
She knows her way around a chicken.
And... stop the clock!
[Bell dinging]
[Sighs wearily]
And this...
Is my favorite part of the show.
Thank you.
What to eat first.
Team Dexter, your grissini was sublime.
Pulling off a yeast bread in 60 minutes
is ambitious,
but delicious.
Team Gio,
your "chicken under a brick"
was rustic perfection.
The Sage and garlic under the skin,
I absolutely adored it.
My chicken was wonderfully charred on the outside,
until I cut into it.
A little raw for me.
I was unaware this was a Sushi competition, chef.
[Audience murmurs and groans]
Judges, have you made a decision?
Team Dexter, team Gio...
For their extraordinary
yet honest
use of ingredients,
and the best meal
I have had in months,
we award the Kitchen Knockout trophy to...
Team Dexter!
[Gasps and cheering]
[Cheers and applause]
[Fervent applause]
Chef Dexter,
chef Lauren,
Thank you.
[Laughing in delight]
You know why we won, right?
Because were the best chefs?
Because we worked as a team.
I couldn't do this without you.
[Audience cheering louder]
That's lovely.
That's sweet.
Beautiful writing,
beautiful thoughts on layout,
beautiful images.
you got inside his head.
You got inside his heart.
Congratulations, Lauren.
You're publishing the book?
[Chuckling] yeah.
Not only are we publishing the book,
but the network has decided to renew his show
for another two seasons.
That's incredible!
The ratings for "Kitchen Knockout"
were through the roof.
Twitter blew up about the chemistry between you two.
Every woman I know wants the secret
of how you tamed Dexter Durant.
We are hoping to keep you
on our team.
We'd hate to lose you to cordon bleu.
So, we have big plans for you.
I still want to become a chef.
With all due respect,
why would you want to spend your life
slaving over a hot stove?
Opportunities like this
don't come by very often.
Think about it.
Your future here is limitless.
It's great.
Hello, everyone!
Okay, just go.
Thank you for your Patience.
On behalf of food & entertainment media,
I would like to thank you for coming here today.
We are hereto witness the unveiling
of the season's most hotly anticipated cookbook.
Please welcome Dexter Durant.
You should be up there with him.
Oh, it's fine.
There are so many people that I'd like to thank,
so many people involved in this.
I know it seemed like it took forever,
but I think you'll agree, that it was worth it.
And of course,
none of this would have been possible
without the help of one very special person.
Lauren Hennessey.
Not only did Lauren take this photo,
but she also tested
and wrote the text for each recipe.
She isn't just a ghostwriter,
she's an angel.
She saved my life.
Don't miss a second of this.
Who said fiction is better than life?
There's just, um, one more change
that I'd like to make
before we go to print.
I think the world needs to know who really wrote this book.
[Fervent applause]
Can I talk to you for a sec?
So Denise offered me a deal
on a second cookbook.
That's fantastic.
I thought you'd be smiling more.
We've both been avoiding it,
but we need to talk about cordon bleu.
It's been on my mind, too.
Look, tonight is a celebration of you,
and everything you wanted.
We pulled it off,
and brilliantly, I might add.
But now it's my turn.
I start classes in September.
I leave for Paris next week.
I knew all along.
You're going to be amazing,
and maybe one day,
you'll let me cook in your kitchen, chef.
Thank you.
[Clinking glasses]
Who would have thought
Dexter would turn you into such a gardener?
I'm going to miss you.
Did you save all the heavy stuff for me?
It's not easy packing for two years.
Well, it'll go by in the blink of an eye.
We've got holidays, summer break.
We'll Skype all the time.
Am I making the biggest mistake of my life?
I can always defer admission for a year.
This is your dream, Lauren.
You now know you have the heart and soul
to be a chef.
Thanks to you.
I'm scared, Dex.
You're going to be fine.
School is just the beginning.
You're going somewhere.
I want to be here, with you.
I'm not going to stand in the way, Lauren.
All right, the whole worlds waiting for you.
You ready?
[Sighs heavily]
Oh, merci.
Uh, Mon cafe?
Cafe? please?
Your coffee, miss?
What are you doing here?
I missed you,
and I took a sabbatical.
I want to do some traveling,
brush up on my French cuisine.
I missed you.
I missed you so much.
Oh, you have to try this.
-Pretty incredible.-Mm-hmm.
One more kiss
two makes bliss
and the thirds the charm they speak of
only you
only me...
what we are when apart from each other
sadly missing
the touch, the smile
the beat of our hearts
a country not left on anyone's chart
somewhere in between
life stops and it starts
we live in a world of love