In this hilarious movie, Stephen Chow takes on the world of celebrity chefs, their sycophantic hangers-on and their ridiculous obsession with way out ingredients. All of this has to be ripe for parody, and Chow, the Asian comic genius with the soul of a Chaplin and the physicality of a Bruce Lee, doesn’t miss a beat.
The character he plays is called, oddly enough, Stephen Chow. He obviously adopted this name for his film career after making this movie in 1996. Chow as Chow is Hong Kong’s ‘God of Cookery’ who remains unchallenged in his status as Hong Kong’s kitchen supremo. But his arrogance and nastiness to his employees, friends and business associates leads to his downfall, toppling him off his lofty perch and into the less salubrious environs of Temple Street.
Here he meets Sister Turkey, played by Karen Mok, a woman so ugly she sours milk, and manages to invent a new dish to regain his former success. Somehow everyone in the street becomes involved, bringing Chow once more head to head with his nemesis, the new God of Cookery.
But that’s enough of the plot, because it gets thrown out of the studio early on as Chow takes us on a side splitting trip though martial arts, Buddhism, gang wars and TV shows like Iron Chef. This last is the most brilliant send up with a woman judge who might remind you of a regular member of the judging panel if you are a frequent viewer.
The God of cookery is gorgeous, irreverent, colorful and very funny. If the bronze Shaolin warriors don’t have you rolling on the floor, then the ‘pissing shrimp meatballs’ surely will. Like all Hong Kong comedy – and especially Stephen Chow’s – the humour is openly slapstick and infectiously rib tickling. Sometimes you will get the joke, sometimes you will just have to shrug and think you should have been born in Asia, but at no time will you doubt that this master of comedy knows exactly what he is doing.
Chow always surrounds himself with actors who ‘get it’ and give their all, a crowd of funny faces with great timing and well honed comedy skills. The lunatic cast in this movie revels in every off the wall moment. Sheer fun from start to finish, The God of Cookery is one tasty dish that will leave you feeling hungry again after fifteen minutes – for another Chow movie!