Boursin omelette anyone? The TikTok chefs recreating TV food – from The Bear to Bridget Jones

<span>Jonny Marsh of Taste Film rustling up a screen-inspired meal.</span><span>Photograph: Supplied</span>
Jonny Marsh of Taste Film rustling up a screen-inspired meal.Photograph: Supplied

From Sydney’s Boursin omelette topped with crisps in The Bear to Bridget Jones’s blue soup and Carmela Soprano’s lasagne – recipes in film and TV can be almost characters in their own right.

So it is perhaps no surprise that a growing number of people are sharing recipes inspired by TV shows and films on social media, either to challenge their cooking skills or enhance the viewing experience.

Search for the infamous omelette on TikTok and there are hundreds of videos racking up millions of views from people seeking to recreate the nouvelle cuisine spin featured on The Bear, a show that has sparked renewed interest in kitchen culture.

Jonny Marsh, a private chef, has had 81,000 views for his version of the omelette, which he posted as a riposte to the “cheffy culture” of making them soft and raw rather than firmer and cooked.

“When I saw it on the actual show I thought that’s a bit weird putting crisps on an omelette because that isn’t classical. I decided to have a bit of a bash at it. It’s that thing of when you watch a football game and see a player do a trick, and you’re like ‘Are we going to the park later, lads?’,” he said.

Marsh has previously taken inspiration for private dinner parties he caters for from the Chef’s Table TV show as well as the 2007 animation Ratatouille, which he says appeal because they “look fantastic”.

Brands are also cashing in, including Heinz, which has released a Godfather pasta sauce, and the meal box company Gousto, which offers meals “inspired” by films, the most faithful of which is a Lady and the Tramp-style meatball spaghetti.

In 2017, Amy Fernando founded Taste Film, which pairs films and TV shows with the iconic dishes they feature, and she has seen the trend “skyrocket” since. She was inspired by a scene in Goodfellas in which the characters make pasta in prison.

“I had a lightbulb moment and I thought, what if we could be closer to these characters? Feel what they’re feeling, experience what they’re feeling through taste? There are many storytelling methods – sight, sound – but I realised that nobody was tapping into taste at the time.”

Post-pandemic, she thinks there has been a growing interest in immersive events, with people prioritising experiences over things, but she also thinks we live in an increasingly food-obsessed culture, in which young people are more willing than ever to eat their way through their pay cheques.

“People aged 25 to 34 seem to have disposable income I never had at that age to spend on food. Everyone now is a chef, they’re really passionate about food, they want quality, and they want to pair it with their favourite things from the past,” she said.

In selecting her film and food combinations, she usually looks for nostalgic films with which people “already have an emotional connection”, and for which Taste Film can then heighten the viewing experience by adding a new dimension to a familiar favourite.

Pairings that have proven especially popular include the leek and potato soup cooked by Remy the rat at the beginning of Ratatouille (guests receive a wooden board with croutons, cheese and herbs so they can make the soup alongside the scene in the film); the Cubano sandwich sold from a food truck in Chef; Bridget Jones’s dinner party disaster, blue soup; and the Notting Hill brownie – which everyone receives, unlike the characters who compete for the last one by sharing their saddest story.

Chef Ziad Hariri (@thechefziad) attributes the origin of the trend on social media to the American chef Andrew Rea, whose popular account Binging with Babish on YouTube features dozens of videos of recipes from different TV shows and films.

Hariri enjoys the challenge of experimenting to refine the recipes he posts on TikTok, and has had followers asking for his renditions of dishes including the pasta aglio e olio featured in Chef, and the apple risotto in the manga series Shokugeki no Soma.

He recently recreated The Bear’s chicken piccata to eat while watching the show. “It did enhance the experience, it’s such an engaging way to watch television but also makes cooking more fun. Everyone loves TV and film and everyone loves food. Marrying them together is just harmonious,” he said.

Photographer Julie Garlejo (@juliedeandrade) had a viral hit when she posted a video of the pasta al pomodoro in The Bear on TikTok. She thinks part of the appeal is the trying, sharing and discussing of recipe ideas. “I think it brings a community, new habits, and getting out of your comfort zone,” she said.

This isn’t just a social media fad – cookbooks featuring recipes from popular TV shows are increasingly popular. Kim Laidlaw has written several, including The Nightmare Before Christmas and Emily in Paris – featuring the €20 caesar salad, Gabriel’s omelette and the smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres from the De L’Heure launch party that Emily attends.

“Part of the fun of writing (and reading) these cookbooks is finding the hidden gems in the story and then relating them through food. I think it’s a trend that has been growing for a few years now. It connects you not only with the show itself, the characters (and actors) on a show, but also with the fanbase,” Laidlaw said.