Celebrity chef Mario Batali has a bit part in the new indie film Bitter Feast, about a snarky, influential food blogger who gets kidnapped by a chef who gets fired after a scathing review described his food as "vomitious." (Batali plays the restaurant owner who cans the chef, informing him that he's being replaced with a sous chef from Marlow & Sons.) So the chef, played by James Le Gros (AKA Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Man in Singles), flips out and locks the blogger in his basement, forcing him to perform "a series of deceptively simple food challenges—from preparing a perfect egg over easy, to grilling a steak precisely medium rare—punishing him sadistically for anything less than total perfection."

Filmmaker Joe Maggio says the origins of Bitter Feast "go back to June, 2007. I was reading a Frank Bruni review of Gordon Ramsay’s first New York City restaurant, London Hotel. There was a lassitude in Bruni’s writing that gave you the sense he liked the food, but wanted to dislike it, and so he delivered this odd, middling, lazy review, ultimately condemning it for lack of what Bruni considered 'the most important thing of all—excitement.'

"It struck me that this was totally ridiculous and unfair. Then I started thinking what I would do to Frank Bruni if I were Gordon Ramsay. After many strange imaginings, I concluded that more than anything else, what Ramsay would probably want is to somehow force Bruni to live in Ramsay’s shoes for a bit, to teach him empathy, to force him to care about cooking with the intensity that Ramsay cared about it, and then to randomly and arbitrarily shit all over Bruni’s dreams. Thus, Bitter Feast." Here's the trailer:

Besides the Bruni/Ramsey connection, the movie also calls to mind Chef Joe Dobias of JoeDoe's threat to run over Grub Street's Daniel Maurer (with his bike). No word yet on when (if) Bitter Feast is going to be released theatrically (it premiered at the LA Film Festival last week), but our interest is definitely piqued! Ripped from the headlines! [Via Eater]