Over the weekend, I went to watch Ratatouille, another great animation from the director of The Incredibles. In my opinion, this is probably the best integration of plot and theme by Pixar, since its own integration with Disney. The part toward the end where food critic Anton Ego takes a bite of Rémy’s ratatouille is perhaps one of the most touching, yet believable, character transformations I’ve seen (unlike Gringe).
And Ego’s subsequent review of his culinary experience at Gusteau is profound, and ironically, unegoistic:
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize that only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.
So, anyone can cook. But can anyone write?