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Robin Williams, in Life and Food

Rachel Tepper Paley
August 12, 2014

Robin Williams, in Life and Food

Following the news of comic Robin Williams’s sudden and tragic passing on Monday, the internet exploded with memories of the late actor and his films, which touched so many. (Who can forget the O Captain, My Captain scene from “Dead Poets Society”?)

For food-minded folk, though, few pop culture moments bring a smile to the face like the epic meal scene in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 comedy “Hook.” Peter Banning (a.k.a. Peter Pan) “imagines” up a feast for himself and The Lost Boys that devolves into a colorful food fight of epic proportions: bowls heaped high with neon-hued frosting end up covering most of the cast from head to toe.

The scene is entertaining, sure, but there’s a deeper message here—not only about the value of imagination, but how we think about food. The gorgeous dishes that magically materialize on the table by the scene’s end are brilliantly colorful and whimsically plated, the result of an open mind and playful heart. As Williams says, they’re totally “bangerang.”

Sure, sometimes whatever you’re cooking explodes into flames, like in “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Sometimes you forget to make an entrée, like in “The Birdcage.” And yeah, sometimes all you have to eat is spinach. (“Popeye,” anyone?)

But making food as bangerang as possible isn’t a bad way to approach the palate. And we’ll be thinking of Robin at dinner tonight.