Television Shows and Movies that inspire careers in the hospitality industry* Image source and credit - Copyright: ©Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved, Aldamisa Entertainment

Television Shows and Movies that inspire careers in the hospitality industry* Image source and credit - Copyright: ©Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved, Aldamisa Entertainment

When it comes to careers the film and television industry has provided raw, dramatic and comical touches to what general careers would be like.

Documentaries and reality television gets one as close to the real working world as possible, but nothing beats a good fictional story that incorporates the working world and life in the various job industries. In some cases they provide anecdotes and cautionary tales but most are produced to inspire, and leaving you having thoughts such as: “Damn I wish I could be like…”

Though the Hollywood glimpse into careers through television or film may not be the truest form of what happens in the real world, it has an interestingly fascinating interpretation. Interesting enough to get the brain thinking about various career options that perhaps where not even in mind...

The Hospitality Industry in particular has pretty much seen every shape and form of production made about it. From the Baker, Chef, Hotel Manager, Doorman and even the Bartender – the examples are more than a bakers dozen for sure…
The top television shows

Kitchen Confidential – a smart show that unfortunately was given a short lifespan and never got past season one. Starring Bradley Cooper and featuring the ever eloquent Frank Langella, it had the promise and sex-appeal that demanded at least one more season. Rating out of ten - a solid 10!

Chef – a classic with Lenny Henry shouting all things foul while making sure his food never fell short of being culinary masterpieces. Rating out of ten - a comfortable 7 because season one was absolutely awesome!

Fawlty Towers – a cult classic in the 70’s – John Cleese entertains and confuses, and leaves you hoping that your hotel is never run this oddly. It scores an old-school rating of 7 out of ten.

The Love Boat – with ten seasons of hospitality on a boat - what is there not to love? A straight 10 out of ten because it stood the test of time!

Pan Am – Short-lived and had the potential for something epic. It just never took off – puns a plenty! A low flying 3 out of ten!
The best reality shows

There are tons of reality shows that have made huge impacts in the hospitality industry. Too many to rank but they all have their uses in when it comes to mixing entertainment with an understanding of what really happens in a seemingly mundane kitchen.

Nowadays anything with Jamie Oliver these will surely capture the eyes of any audience. He revolutionised the modern thinking of reality television with his unorthodox yet fancy cooking techniques. Before him it was all about a chap named Floyd and of course, Martha Stewart.

Jamie Oliver gets a full 10 mainly because he is represents all of the reality television in this category.
The Cheesy eighties and early nineties

Michael J. Fox cleaned up Hollywood during this phase. He had already created noise with the hit Teen Wolf and the popular series Family Ties, before he appeared in Doc Hollywood, the Back Future trilogy and The Secret of My Success. However his roll in the movie For Love or Money is on this list because it is all about hospitality and the life of being a concierge in one of New York’s best hotels! A nice romantic comedy but gets a cheesy 4 out of ten!

There was also Blame it on the Bellboy but that does not make it on the rankings.
Books that inspired movies

The Hundred Foot Journey is based on the Richard C. Morais novel and is produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. If they can produce believable aliens and interesting talk shows you can only imagine what they did with a book about a restaurant rivalry in France! A whimsical 8 out of ten.

Chocolat also provided a sweet flair into the book-to-film production. The arguments that the book is better than the film however leaves us undecided. It went on nevertheless to receive five Oscar nominations, resolving our argument and earning it another 8 out of ten!
Delicious movies that are almost edible

The Romantic Comedy – Mostly Martha, this cultural juxtaposition of German and Italian cooking turned into a pleasant European love story. The food served with love dished out a charming 9 out of ten!

Burnt - Bradley Cooper is back as a Chef! The team has yet to see the film, but hopefully it will match or be even better than Kitchen Confidential! Not rated as yet.

Ironically the movie No Reservations with Hollywood big hitters didn’t quite make our list.

A modern day culinary adventure – Chef starring, written and directed by Jon Favreau brings a refreshing look at life as a Chef. Favreau’s character changes his career from working in a restaurant to a meals on wheels. Throw in some social media madness and you have the clichéd feel good recipe for a Hollywood success. It also stars Scarlett Johansson, so no arguments there. It rates as a much needed hospitality industry movie of 8 out of ten!

Chef starring, written and directed by Jon Favreau* Image source and credit - Aldamisa Entertainment

Chef starring, written and directed by Jon Favreau* Image source and credit - Aldamisa Entertainment

Documenting a Father and Son culinary adventure – Entre les Bras is a smart look at the generational hand over of a famous French restaurant set in the Aubrac region of France. It powerfully rates a 9 out of ten.

Les Saveurs du Palais – based on a true story of how a renowned Chef is asked to be the personal cook to the French President. It is one of the nicer cuisine adventure films around and gets a sparkling 7 out of ten!

Big Night - an Italian restaurant run by two brothers who push to save the business! It is funny and nice to see Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci mixing it up! Scores a solid old school 8 out of ten.

Sideways – this is like Road Trip, meets Wedding Crashes but bottled in the good stuff. Learning and understand the grape is the wonderful undertone of this Oscar winning adventure. Gets an adventurous 8 out of ten.

Beerfest scratched the surface of being gross – so we didn’t rank it. However the hospitality business of Oktoberfest is another story altogether. Also Waiting - an offbeat comedy providing a strong interpretation of the workings of an American restaurant. Though it stars Ryan Reynolds – we didn’t rate it because its not that inspiring but rather grossly entertaining, hence the mention!

Image source and credit - Copyright: ©Disney/Pixar.  All rights reserved, Aldamisa Entertainment

The yummy magic of Ratatouille* Image source and credit - Copyright: ©Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved

The cartoon that actually made us hungry! Ratatouille, is a charming story about a Rat that loves to cook – and how his adventures in a French kitchen turns everything upside down. It is one of the best examples of an entertaining culinary production and gets a nicely rounded 8 out of ten by us!

Culinary Food Festivals

Yes there are film festivals that only focus on the topic of food - and if you get hungry whilst watching, it is acceptable to be eating popcorn...

Food Film Festival - - a Dutch festival celebrating all things yummy!

Kulinarisches Kino  or Culinary Cinema - This is Berlins way of paying homage to the combination of food and film.

These film and television shows are examples that can help inspire individuals with their career and education paths. If you want to find out more about movies, well then keep track of the industry on, Yahoo! Movies and Empire Magazine!

Image source and credit - Copyright: ©Disney/Pixar.  All rights reserved, Aldamisa Entertainment movie and television ranking criteria

10 out of ten entertaining, informative and inspiring
9 out of ten informative and inspiring
8 out of ten entertaining and informative
7 out of ten entertaining and inspiring
6 out of ten informative
5 out of ten inspiring
4 out of ten entertaining
3 out of ten worth a reference
2 out of ten it could have been better
1 out of ten it sparked an interest


Inspiring - did the production provide motivation to pursue a career or education in this industry?

Informative – did the production provide industry insight?

Entertaining – did the production capture the audience with a dramatic or comedic theme?

Reference – there is some merit to watching this production as it provides some form of inspiration, information or entertainment towards the relevant industry.

Could have been better – had potential but lacked in-depth entertainment, information and inspirational value.

Sparked an interest – the production was related to the industry but had no entertainment, information and inspirational value.