Toast is a funny and charming biopic about the popular British television personality and flamboyant chef Nigel Slater. The screenplay by Lee Hall, who wrote “Billy Elliot,” turns Mr. Slater’s story into a bittersweet comic fairy tale with an inspirational undertow.
The movie is as fussy about food as Nigel, who secrets cookbooks instead of girlie magazines under his bedcovers and who drools by flashlight over pictures of gourmet treats. Some of the funniest scenes show his mother’s serial culinary disasters, as one home-cooked meal after another is burned or spilled in spectacular mishaps after which that old reliable, toast, is served.
The movie shows how it felt for an unloved, neglected child to grow up different in 1960s England, and director S.J. Clarkson and screenwriter Lee Hall get all of the details in Nigel Slater’s memoir right, from the long-handled Hoover vacuums to the wretched home furnishings
Perfect pies, cakes and roasts are the film’s most beautiful objects. Let’s enjoy the movie with delicious Chicken and Mushroom pie.
- 4 cooked chicken breast fillets, chopped into chunks, or the meat from a roasted chicken, taken from the bone and roughly shredded
- 100 g button mushrooms, halved
- 600 ml Mushroom soup
- 50 g parsley, chopped
- freshly ground salt and black pepper
- 375 g ready-to-roll puff pastry
- eggs, beaten for glazing
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
2. Place the chicken and mushrooms in an ovenproof serving dish. Add in the mushroom soup and chopped parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Cover the chicken with the pastry, trimming the edges and pinching the pastry onto the dish.
4. Brush the pie with beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot from the oven.