The Hundred Foot Journey is one of the neatly packaged Indian-French drama novels. For lovers of heavy Indian stories, don’t expect in this novel there are dances and songs like Indian novels in general. Even so, the audience will not regret watching it because the storyline in this novel is quite interesting. Many funny and annoying scenes in this novel. The setting is also not in India but in France. Beautiful scenery is also enough to color this novel. Indian music is indeed found in this novel, but it is not specifically played but as a backsound or part of the storyline. At present there are many Indian novels that are set in Europe and America. The players are also not all Indians. In this novel The Hundred Foot Journey we will see the acting of Indian and French actresses. Actually this novel is not entirely Indian nor is it entirely non-Indian because the main character is indeed the Kadam family from India who live in the French country. I personally do not know what is called an Indian novel, whether it must be the role of all Indians or the film is set in Indian culture.
“A recipe has no soul. “You must bring soul to the recipe as the cook” -Thomas Keller-
The sentence above is a quote that illustrates the main core of the novel story The Hundred Foot Journey. This novel tells the story of the Kadam Family who struggled to survive after being destroyed by a mass attack during a regional election in their place of origin. As a result of the attack, the Kadam Family residence and the proud restaurant of the Kadam family were destroyed in the fire, even Mrs. Kadam died from the tragedy. After the tragedy, the Kadam family moved to London together. However, the Kadam Family did not last long in London because for them the city had no soul in the culinary world. Then, the Kadam family moved to France on the grounds that culinary and food ingredients in France had a soul. The Kadam family did not go through a smooth road to move to France. Many of the questions his family had to answer when the immigration police asked for family data and the reasons for the Kadam Family’s move from London.
After taking care of the administration, the Kadam Family lives in St.Antonio, a beautiful, bustling yet calm France. The Kadam family intends to open a restaurant in the new place, although right across from their residence there is a famous and best restaurant in the city. Even so, Mr. Kadam still insists on running his restaurant business in Indian style. The children of Mr. Kadam certainly feel that the effort will be in vain. This is certainly due to the very different cultural background of the French people. Starting from lifestyle, cultural values to the appetite of French people is very different from Indians. Although the children objected to the stubborn decision of his father, Mr. Kadam insisted on running the Indian office which was later named the Mumbai Mansion. Mr. Kadam adheres to his belief that French people do not want to eat Indian food because they have never tried it so they do not know the taste. Therefore, Indian restaurants must be run so that French people know the taste of India.
Thanks to Mr. Kadam’s strong determination, finally the Mumbai Mansion can stand even though it starts with full twists and turns and fierce competition with Madam Mallory’s restaurant owned by Mrs. Mallory, the best restaurant right opposite the Mumbai Mansion. All strategies are carried out by Mr. Kadam to attract the attention of consumers. For starters, Mr. Kadam and his family distributed flyers opening the Mumbai Mansion so that many French people would come. Another strategy to attract the attention of visitors is to have all family members of Mr. Kadam wear traditional Indian clothes and stand in front of the gate. Nor did Mr. Kadam turn on Indian music loudly. Surely the conditions that occur at Mumbai Mansion are different from the restaurant belonging to Mrs. Marshall, which is considered very classy. On the first day, Mumbai Mansion found it difficult to get visitors, but Mr. Kadam still did not give up. In the end, many visitors arrived at the Mumbai Mansion. Some residents of St. Anthony, France consider the Mumbai Mansion restaurant like a wedding party, because it is too crowded with the sound of music and twinkling lights. Even though what happened at the Mumbai Mansion was considered strange and new, the Kadam Family’s efforts were able to survive and go as expected.
100 feet for 100 flavors
The difference between Ny.Mallory’s restaurant and the Mumbai Mansion’s restaurant is not just the difference in taste and taste of food, but also the prevailing cultural values. The two very different restaurants are opposite and the distance is only 100 feet. These conditions made competition between the two restaurants increasingly increasing, especially the nature of Mrs. Marshall and Mr. Kadam who were both stubborn and ambitious. Mrs. Marshall himself is actually a very democratic person, appreciates freedom, equality and brotherhood. Although French citizens are known for being racist, as are the song lyrics contained in French national songs, but Mrs. Marshall doesn’t want to be such a Frenchman. In the French national song entitled La Marseilaise there are song lyrics whose translation is as follows,
“For war, citizens, your battalion form,
Let us march, may their impure blood flow in our land ”
The lyrics of the song are sung by Jean-Pierre, one of the chefs from the restaurant belonging to Mrs. Marshall. Previously there was a burning incident against the Mumbai Mansion. Mrs.Mallory learned that the incident was the work of her men. The next day Mrs. Marshall gathered all her staff and gave advice and warnings to all the restaurant staff. At that time, Mrs. Marshall told Jean-Pierre to sing La Marseilaise to corner it. Mrs.Mallory confirmed that the lyrics of the song were the French way of life. Impure blood is not worth living in France. However, Mrs.Mallory emphasized that there was another way to become a Frenchman, namely by respecting freedom, equality and brotherhood. Mrs. Marshall’s statement was challenged by Jean-Pierre. Seeing Jean-Pierre’s attitude, Mrs. Marshall stressed that she paid the chef to cook, make good, delicious and beautiful food, not to kill and destroy. Finally Mrs. Marshall sacked Pierre at that moment.
Mrs. Marshall’s attitude is a form of idealism and professional attitude as culinary actors. Not only that, Mrs. Marshall really appreciated Hassan’s skill in one of the children of Mr. Kadam who was very good at cooking. At first Mrs. Marshall was reluctant to praise Hassan’s skills. However, thanks to Hassan’s omelette, Mrs.Mallory finally melted too. Mrs. Marshall is used to testing someone who wants to join her restaurant by cooking omelets. Omelette is indeed a very simple dish. However, perhaps from that simplicity many people underestimate how to make omelets. In fact, whatever the recipe, regardless of the level of ease and difficulty of cooking, what is important is how the person respects and respects food while respecting the person who is given food. Thanks to Hassan’s omelette recipe, finally Mrs. Marshall gave Hassan the opportunity to work while learning more recipes at his restaurant. Hassan’s skill in combining taste made Mrs. Marshall proud, even starting a good relationship between Mrs. Marshall and the family of Mr. Kadam. The restaurant owned by Mrs. Marshall is increasingly rich and dynamic since Hassan joined him.
Hassan and Soul Spices
“To cook you have to kill, you make spirits, you kill to make spirits, souls that live on every ingredient of cooking”
That is the sentence that Nyadam told Hassan. Hassan recalled correctly that in cooking there needs to be a soul, and that soul is the taste of the food itself. Hassan learned a lot about how to taste recipes. Spices are an important force in cooking. In accordance with Indian culture, Indian culinary tastes are very closely related to various powerful spices. The main ingredients used by the Kadam family are cardamom, marsala salt, cumin and many more. Everything is formulated perfectly so that the food served has a soul. The food chosen must also be really suitable so that the food has a good impression.
Some people know that India is very attached to thick curry dishes. In this novel, the audience can see curry. Furthermore the song, in this film the audience will see how the dish is formulated. The film shows how Hassan as the Mumbai Mansion captain was able to create new taste experiments in the culinary world. Armed with spices from India Hassan became a great chef, progressive and dynamic. Hassan proved that the classic 200-year-old recipe can be modified without having to damage the classy taste. Hassan pointed out that the change and development of old recipes is not a bad thing, it actually enriches the taste of food. Thanks to Hassan’s efforts, Mrs. Marshall believed in Hassan and greatly appreciated his expertise. Hassan who is an ordinary young man was able to show that he was not only able to give stars to the restaurant owned by Mrs. Marshall, but also able to become a great star in the international world.
Hassan’s success was not obtained from the academic world, but learned from his family. For Hassan, his mother was the teacher of his life and the family restaurant he owned was his school. Through the many experiences and lessons learned from his family, Hassan is able to have a career in the international culinary world. Hassan who had studied with Mrs. Marshall was able to become a world famous chef. Hassan was able to master gastronomy and was able to raise the Kadam Family’s degree in France. Thanks to the achievements of Hassan, Ny.Mallory’s restaurant also continues to get stars from culinary observers of the French State. This is where the togetherness between Mrs. Marshall and Mr. Kadam’s family grew. Thanks to the togetherness, it was not only a glorious achievement that could be achieved from the two owners of the restaurant, but the combination of French and Indian flavors which were able to be united by the magic spices formulated by Hassan.
The novel The Hundred Foot Journey teaches us that there is a need for balance in everything to create something amazing. Food is not just food. Through food one can remember stories or memories. Through food, a person can continue to develop, be dynamic and continue to be creative. Something very different can be put together through proof, an attempt to merge to get an equality. This makes the film The Hundred Foot Journey so rich in positive value. We do compete in life, but there are still healthy ways to compete and survive, even making our rivals a great partner. The film The Hundred Foot Journey is not only about food and restaurants, but also the ideology built between the two different restaurants. Through this film we will know the importance of mutual respect and respect for differences. Differences can make someone strong because they can be complementary relationships.