Ralph Fiennes Frightens as Master Chef in “The Menu”

Gordon Ramsay can step aside; Ralph Fiennes is about to introduce a new type of kitchen nightmare. The former Lord Voldemort actor appears as Chef Slowik in the dark horror comedy The Menu.

The Menu, which premiered September 10 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), follows affluent foodie Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and his girlfriend, Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), along with a number of other snobby personalities to Hawthorne, a high-end restaurant on a remote island. Slowik (Fiennes), a celebrity master chef, proceeds to feed his guests gourmet meals and soon after, a mounting sense of terror. It would appear that the promised luxury feast is not all that the wealthy visitors have in store.



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In the trailer, we see Fiennes commanding his kitchen with ease, sending out highly conceptual dishes while serving overall ominous vibes. At the Variety Studio presented by King’s Hawaiian at TIFF, the actor spoke about how he prepared to take on the role. One of the more pleasant methods, he said, was watching Chef’s Table on Netflix:

I love that series; every single character, every single chef is so brilliantly portrayed. They’re all so different. So that was very rewarding.

Fiennes clearly has a handle on playing the villain, given his success and commitment to the role of Voldemort in the Harry Potter movie series. He has considerable talent for isolating potentially problematic motivations and magnifying them to a disturbing level in his portrayals. Playing Chef Slowik, it seems, is no different. Speaking to ET Canada at TIFF, Fiennes expanded on his study of the Chef’s Table cast:

They have particular degrees of obsessiveness and control and endlessly wanting to perfect what they do.

Based on the movie poster alone, we’d say he nailed it.



Director Mark Mylod, who previously directed for Game of Thrones and Succession, contributed to Fiennes’s preparation as well, bringing in three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn as a reference. As a master chef, Slowik would not be shown doing much actual cooking, but as Fiennes affirms, there was still much to learn.

She gave me a lot of tips on how you behave, how you move, how you talk to people. The shorthand of communication in that level of kitchen. So that was great and also an excuse to try cooking at home, but don’t ask me to chop an onion.

The Menu will be released in theaters on November 18. Will you be reserving a seat at the table? Let us know in the comments below.


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