Food, Families and the Silver Screen

Love is in the air and on the silver screen in THE BIG SICK. Produced by Judd Apatow and based on the actual (and unusual) courtship of comedian Kumail Nanjiani(SILICON VALLEY) and Emily Gordon (author, SUPER YOU). 

To celebrate its cross cultural roots, chef Brad Sorenson worked with Kumail and Emily to create a menu that reflected the meals the two shared while dating and the rich, tasty and traditional dishes that would be served at the Nanjiani family dinner table.

“For THE BIG SICK menu, my inspiration was really the writers of the film and their true-life experiences,” explains Alamo Drafthouse Chef Brad Sorenson. “Through conversations with Kumail and Emily and extensive menu testing we were able to find a menu that really represented what Kumail ate growing up around the family table and what is reflected in key moments of the film.  I love this movie, and I’m very proud of the menu that compliments it.”

Kumail and Emily further describe the huge role food plays in their film: “When we got together, we realized that the biggest thing our families had in common was food: big sprawling meals that required an extra table just to get every dish on the table. As we were writing THE BIG SICK, we wanted to make sure it communicated the importance of food in the lives of our families."

What a fun way to celebrate family bonding!

Aloo Chaap
Gold Potatoes Mixed With Onions, Garlic, and Spiced Beef then Pan Roasted. Served With Seasoned Yogurt and Herbs “Aloo Chaap is top 3. If I got good grades, this is what my mom would make - and she still makes it for me when I visit her in Jersey to this day,” says Kumail. 

Seekh Kebab
All Beef Kebab Made With Chili, Garlic and Spices. Served With Yogurt and Fresh Vegetables on Warm Naan.  Served with Fries. “When we first started dating, Kumail would take me to Pakistani restaurants in Chicago. I fell in love with Kumail and Seekh Kebab at the same time," recalls Emily.

Potato Stuffed Naan
Gold Potato Stuffing With Red Onion, Green Peas and Chili. With Salted Butter Brushed Naan. Served With Herb Chutney. “My grandmother would make these for us every week. When she wasn’t looking, I’d sneak over and grab handfuls of the potato filling and stuff it into my mouth,”  Kumail says.

Biryani With Extra Potatoes
Yogurt Marinated Potatoes Roasted In Butter. Basmati Rice Cooked With Garam Masala, Tomato and Turmeric. Emily says, “This dish has a starring role in the movie and is a great example of how food can be used to show love.” (pictured top)

Gajar Ka Halwa With Kheer
Sweet Carrot Dessert on top of Rice Pudding made with Coconut Milk and Golden Raisins. Garnished with Cashews and Toasted Almonds. Emily explains: ”The closest dish to Southern-American cooking and my favorite. You may be stuffed but leave room for dessert as this is one of the most amazing dishes your tastebuds will ever experience.” 


THE BIG SICK opens in Austin, Brooklyn and San Francisco on June 30th, and expands to more Alamo Drafthouse locations on July 7th and 14th, 2017.

Menu specials available right now in Austin, Brooklyn and San Francisco locations, and beginning June 27th, 2017, in Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Yonkers, Houston, Kansas City, Lubbock, and Phoenix. 

Images and quotes courtesy of Alamo Draft House. You can read the full story here.