Why did Remy (the rat from Ratatouille) cook Ratatouille for the critic at the end of the movie?

He couldn't have possibly known that the food critic had an emotional connection with the dish itself?

It just seems so random for Remy, and so coincidental for the food critic.

  • 5
    This question appears to be off-topic because it does not appear to be about Science-Fiction or Fantasy.
    – Moogle
    Oct 11 '14 at 19:13
  • 10
    @moogle - I disagree. The main characters are sentient rats living in an otherwise unremarkable world. This is definitely fantastical.
    – Valorum
    Oct 11 '14 at 19:36
  • 3
    @3Doubloons - It's a plot element from a fantasy movie. I'm inclined to allow it since the answer may (or may not) rest on the fact that he's a talking rat.
    – Valorum
    Oct 11 '14 at 20:00
  • 5
    By the above logic we should move all plot questions about fantastical stories like Star Wars or The Hobbit to movies.stackexchange.com. This seems a ridiculous proposition.
    – zxq9
    Oct 12 '14 at 0:19
  • 4
    If instead of a Pixar (or Disney) movie it had been a book, there would be no doubt that it would fall under the fantasy category.
    – user32191
    Oct 12 '14 at 1:39

The ratatouille is a traditional French dish. It is safe to assume that the critic had had it when he was a kid (like a paella if you are Spanish, apple pie for an American kid, tagliatelle alla bolognese for an Italian... and my list of cliché dishes goes on and on).

The Epic Win for Remy is to offer the critic a dish that is popular in their cuisine (thus, odds are that the critic guy had had that before), do it offering something new (those instructions about cutting ingredients and preparing the plate in a different way) and fancy (fancy enough to be successful and interesting for the menu of the restaurant) and yet, get a flavor that triggers an emotional reaction in the critic, thus making him enjoy food, something he had long forgotten.

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Remy's version of the dish is actually called confit byaldi.

  • 8
    Bolognese is only the ragù (the "sauce"). Spaghetti are not traditionally used with that ragù. The traditional dish is tagliatelle alla bolognese. The spaghetti bolognese are an US invention. That's a particularly awful example in this particular answer, since offering such a dish to a critic from Bologna would have exactly the opposite result then the one described.
    – Bakuriu
    Oct 11 '14 at 16:32
  • 1
    @Bakuriu, sorry if that was offensive. I spend too much time among american-italians... As I pointed, that was a list of clichés. I didn't mean it to be accurate or representative, but neither offensive. Sorry again.
    – Kreann
    Oct 11 '14 at 17:03
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    @Bakuriu: Eh? No, the Americans did not invent it. Contrary to apparent popular belief on the internet, the US did not invent everything. It was predominantly European Allied soldiers during WW2. Oct 11 '14 at 17:03
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    @Bakuriu - I think you'll find that if the dish was prepared as well as the one above, the critic would put aside his prejudices and congratulate the chef. In fact, that's the plot of the film.
    – Valorum
    Oct 11 '14 at 19:39
  • 1
    The key point in this answer is "a flavor that triggers an emotional reaction" and Remmy knew that a nostalgic dish would achieve that.
    – TecBrat
    Oct 12 '14 at 4:22

Integrity is a central premise of Ratatouille. All of the "bad" characters use cooking as a means to deceive and all of the "good" characters use food as an expression of their personal integrity. The major plot-line revolves around the tension between integrity and easy but undeserved success.

Given this theme, we can see that Remy offers the critic a dish made with integrity. It is simple food, simply prepared, but with the uncompromising attention of one who genuinely cares about the food and the person eating it.

When Ego tastes the dish, the integrity recalls his experience of his mother's expression of love through food. He is reminded of the true power of food and he realizes how jaded he has become.

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