The Menu's Amuse Bouche Was Inspired By A Thomas Keller Dish

Fine dining meets satire in the movie "The Menu," which centers around rich folks who are invited to a remote island to dine at one of the best restaurants in the world: Hawthorn, run by chef Julian Slowik, per IMDb. One of these "lucky" people is Margot, who seems unimpressed with the lavish offerings from Slowik and his team.

Throughout the film, many courses are served with meticulous attention to detail and a backstory that takes aim at individuals who choose to critique and scoff at dishes rather than appreciate them. For instance, the third course, revolving around the theme of "Taco Tuesday," is a chicken thigh with a pair of scissors in it, accompanied by large personalized tortillas that are meant to bring each diner's hidden, true nature to light, per Screen Rant.

What some might not know is that many of the dishes in the film were inspired by the real-life fare from celebrity chefs and restaurants. As The New York Times explains, a raw scallop course is essentially a menu item that's served at Atelier Crenn, helmed by Dominique Crenn, who was actually a culinary advisor for "The Menu." And the gift-bag granola is a reference to Eleven Madison Park.

Chef Thomas Keller, who contributed to the film "Ratatouille," also gets a nod through the first dish that Margot and Tyler consume. Here's what that is.

Oysters meet lemon caviar

The first dish shown in the film is an amuse bouche (different from appetizers and hors d'oeuvres), consisting of lemon caviar on top of a raw oyster with mignonette (via Film Fugitives). Mignonette is a sauce that's usually a combination of black pepper, shallots, and red or white vinegar, per MasterClass.

A similar version of this bite can be seen at Keller's restaurant in northern California – The French Laundry. The fine-dining establishment boasts three Michelin stars and offers a new French-focused menu every day. But one fixture is, you guessed it, an oyster dish, per A Life Worth Eating. Dubbed "Oysters and Pearls," as seen on one of the restaurant's recent tasting menus, the menu item includes pearl tapioca, Island Creek oysters, and Regiis Ova Ossetra caviar. A Life Worth Eating also adds that the dish has a sauce that resembles hollandaise, which aesthetically contrasts the oysters and caviar with a bright yellow hue.

Granted, the oysters in "The Menu" don't look like what's served at The French Laundry, but they're a reference to Keller's signature dish, per The New York Times. Other celebrity chefs that (sort of) made a cameo through the dishes in the film were René Redzepi of Noma, Grant Achatz of Alinea, and Hugh Acheson of Empire State South (via Uproxx).