Set in 1960s Mississippi, the movie adaptation of the best-selling novel The Help looks at the complex relationships between African-American housekeepers and the white women they work for. Food plays a role in the story, but instead of turning to the usual caterers and food stylists for help, the director chose to use real Southern cooks, not professionals, to make nearly all the onscreen food.
Food & Wine's August issue includes a behind-the-scenes story about the food in the film. The Mississippi-born director recruited real-life cooks from the small town of Greenwood, including Southern cookbook author Martha Hall Foose, who made fried chicken based on the recipe in the novel. Other cooks included a newspaper columnist, a cafeteria manager, and a teacher.
The director chose to use home cooks over professionals because he wanted the film's food to be authentic:
"There's a way we cook in the South; vegetables get a certain color to them," he says. "That gets lost a lot of times, unless the right people make the food."
The article has us excited for the film's August 10th release!
Do you have any favorite films that feature Southern food?