This film is like Foie Gras or the lovely truffles which get a good bit of mention and some nice screen time. It’s a lovely classy indulgence about the two-year tenure of the first private female private chef for the French president. The film’s strength is the beautiful renditions that Hortense, the cook, produces for president Mitterrand. Another is the few conversations that she has with him where he highlights his love for traditional homey French recipes. My favorite of such conversations is when he stops by her kitchen and she makes him a lovely black truffle sandwich with truffle butter and a glass of fine wine.
Unfortunately, for some reason the movie oscillates between that main story and Hortense’s current job -actually her last day on the job- in the south Antarctic. That just serves no real purpose other than being a big distraction. Another such distraction that goes nowhere is the Australian journalist who’s filming a documentary in that Antarctic station. Why is that there? Really if Haute Cuisine focused more on the primary story and the cordial friendship between the cook and the President it could’ve been a fantastic little gem.