Cook Off (Movie)

Title — Cook Off
Available on — The Roku Channel, Tubi TV, Freevee, Apple TV, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store
Production Country — Zimbabwe
Release Date — 2017
Yearning for a better life, a single mother with a passion for cooking gets a shot at greatness when her son enters her into a top reality cooking show.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

The long-awaited comedy film “Cook Off!” finally hit the screens on November 17, 2017, after being shelved for a decade. Directed by Cathryn Michon and Guy Shalem, this American mockumentary takes a humorous dive into the world of a renowned cooking contest where a motley crew of contestants competes for the grand prize of one million dollars.

Set at the Van Rookle Farms Cooking Contest, the film follows a group of eccentric participants as they cook up a storm in hopes of winning the coveted prize. As the competition heats up, the foodie media and celebrity judges gather at a hotel convention area to witness the culinary showdown. From rising stars to unexpected falls, the film captures the true essence of the contestants as they navigate through the challenges, unveil their true selves, and even find love amidst the chaos, all under the watchful eye of the contest’s whimsical Muffin Man mascot.

With a runtime of 98 minutes, “Cook Off!” promises a delightful blend of comedy, drama, and heartwarming moments as it serves up a feast of laughter and entertainment for the audience. Packed with quirky characters, unexpected twists, and culinary creativity, this film is a flavorful treat for all comedy enthusiasts.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Tendaiishe Chitima, Tendai Nguni, Jesese Mungoshi, Eddie Sandifolo, Charmaine Mujeri, Kudzai Sevenzo, Fungai Majaya, Eugene Zimbudzi, Chimwemwe Chipidza, Kevin Hanssen, Zihlo, Michael Kudakwashe

Actor Role
Cathryn Michon Sharon Solfest
Melissa McCarthy Amber Strang
Wendi McLendon-Covey Pauline Solfest
Ben Falcone Cameron Strang
Gary Anthony Williams Lars Hagerbakke
Stephen Root Morty Van Rookle
Diedrich Bader Del Crawford
Niecy Nash Ladybug Briggs
Louie Anderson Mayor Doug Halverson
Marcia Wallace Herself
Gavin MacLeod Himself
Markie Post Christine Merriweather
Jordan Black Markus Briggs
Steve Little Muffin Man
Sam Pancake David Lord
Paul Willson Mike Sweazy
Jack Plotnick Timothy Whims
Cristine Rose Victoria Dougherty
Phil LaMarr Reverend Thaddeus Briggs, Esq.
Jennifer Elise Cox Cassandra Dougherty
Cedric Yarbrough Jericho
Romy Rosemont Patty Pasternak
Roy Jenkins Richard Pasternak
Jim Rash Beauregard St. Pompadeux
Karen Maruyama Lee Nguyen
S.A. Griffin Dave Carriere
Melissa Peterman Nancy Shmaedeke
Mindy Sterling Mrs. Burris
Mo Collins Van Rookle Farms Housewife
Annie Mumolo Moonlight Girl
Tara Subkoff Mayor’s Assistant
W. Bruce Cameron EMT

💬 Reviews and feedback

Hey there, movie buffs! Ready to dive into the flavorful world of “Cook Off!”? This movie is like a delicious dish that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who appreciate dry, dumb humor sprinkled with a dash of quirkiness, it’s a delectable treat.

Picture this: a mockumentary that follows contestants in a corporate cook-off challenge where each character brings their own unique story to the table. Remind you of any other mockumentary gems like “Drop Dead Gorgeous”? Well, “Cook Off!” serves up subtle and clever humor without relying on cheap gags.

Plot and Themes:

The storyline may seem stretched out and slow-paced at times, but hey, that’s the quirky charm of mockumentaries, right? The film delves into the lives of the contestants, unraveling their tales amidst the chaos of a baking competition. It’s like peeling back layers of an onion to reveal unexpected flavors.

Acting and Characters:

With a stellar cast led by Melissa McCarthy, the actors bring life to their quirky characters with finesse. Each contestant adds their own spice to the mix, creating a delightful ensemble that keeps you entertained throughout.

Direction and Cinematography:

The direction captures the essence of a chaotic cooking competition with flair. The cinematography adds to the mockumentary style, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes peek into the culinary madness unfolding on screen.

Score and Production Design:

The score complements the comedic moments perfectly, enhancing the overall viewing experience. The production design immerses you in the colorful world of competitive cooking, from bustling kitchens to flamboyant costumes.

Special Effects and Editing:

While “Cook Off!” may not rely heavily on special effects, its editing keeps the narrative engaging. Seamless transitions between scenes maintain the momentum, ensuring you stay hooked till the final bake-off.

Pace and Dialog:

Yes, the pace might feel leisurely at times, but it allows for character development and adds depth to the storyline. The dialogues are witty and sharp, serving up laughter alongside culinary chaos.

Binge-watching Tips:

  • If you enjoy quirky mockumentaries like “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” give “Cook Off!” a shot for its offbeat humor.
  • Sit back with some popcorn (or maybe some freshly baked treats) and savor each character’s unique journey through this culinary comedy.

So, should you add “Cook Off!” to your watchlist? If you’re in the mood for something light-hearted with a side of eccentricity, this film might just be your cup of tea (or should I say soup?). Just remember not to go in expecting Michelin-starred perfection; sometimes all you need is a good laugh served with a dollop of silliness!

Rating: 7/10

Dive into this quirky culinary world with “Cook Off!” and let its blend of humor and heartwarming moments whisk you away on an entertaining adventure!

Pros Cons
Great cast with recognizable actors Slow pacing, feels stretched out
Delivers subtle and clever humor Not suitable for those expecting more
Rooted in reality, based on a baking competition Some underused performers
Mockumentary style adds to the humor Lacks rhythm in scenes and overall structure
Each contestant has a story to tell, resulting in hilarity Plodding forward narrative


  • Cook Off! (2007) - IMDb

    Cook Off!4/10 – disappointing mockumentary that wasted its stars’ (two of my faves: Melissa and Niecy) potentialhelpful•33

    • JoBloTheMovieCritic
    • Jul 20, 2019
    • How long is Cook Off!?Powered by Alexa


    • Runtime1 hour 38 minutes
    • Color

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  • Cook Off! - Wikipedia

    • February 13, 2007US Comedy Arts Festival) (
    • November 17, 2017 (United States)

    Running time

    98 minutes Country United States Language English

    Cook Off!is a 2007 American mockumentary comedy film directed by Cathryn Michon and Guy Shalem. The film was released on November 17, 2017, after being shelved for 10 years.


    A group of quirky people is competing in a famed cooking contest for the grand prize of one million dollars.

    This section

  • COOK OFF! (2017 Movie) - Official Trailer - YouTube

  • Cook Off! (2007) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb

    Cook Off! (2007)Full Cast & CrewDirected by

    Cathryn Michon
    Guy Shalem

    Writing Credits (WGA)

    Cathryn Michon (written by) &
    Wendi McLendon-Covey (written by) &
    W. Bruce Cameron (written by)

    CastProduced by

    Derek Anderson executive producer / producer
    James Armstrong producer in charge of production
    W. Bruce Cameron producer
    Bruce Dickson associate producer
    Rainer Filthaut co-executive producer
    Kurt Hamilton co-executive producer
    Oscar Johanson-Thor Holm co-executive producer
    Sheri Kelton executive producer
    Bob Krakower co-producer
    Victor Kubicek executive producer / producer
    Petr Lukes co-executive producer
    Wendi McLendon-Covey co-executive producer / co-producer
    Randy Mendelsohn executive producer
    Cathryn Michon co-executive producer / producer
    Ilia Nitsenko co-executive producer
    Jason Pachomski associate producer
    Seth Renov executive producer
    Danny Schmitz associate producer
    Jana Sobotova co-executive producer

    Music by

    Joel Beckerman

    Cinematography by

    Bruce Dickson
    Michael Franks (opening title sequence)

    Editing by

    Mallory Gottlieb
    Michael Mees
    Cathryn Michon

    Casting By

    Bob Krakower

    Production Design by

    Brian O’Hara

    Art Direction by

    Natalie Sanfilippo

    Costume Design by

    Patricia Peppard

    Makeup Department

    Jenna Keller makeup artist
    Helena Amanda Lambert assistant hair stylist
    Michelle Mungcal makeup artist
    Linda Whang makeup hair supervisor

    Production Management

    Brad Birkeland unit production manager

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

    Thomas Kuk first assistant director
    Alexa Sheehan second assistant director (as Alexa Motley)
    Kimberly Stuckwisch second second assistant director

    Art Department

    Wayne Barker art production assistant
    Robert Benedict art production assistant
    Victoria Blake property master
    Judy Chan art production assistant
    Melissa Corrado set construction
    Krista Pelen art production assistant
    Doug Prinzivalli assistant art director / set dresser
    Rich Staib set constructor

    Sound Department

    Dawn Cooper boom operator
    Noelle DiMarco a.d.r. mixer (as Joseph DiMarco) / additional rerecording mixer (as Joseph DiMarco)
    Angelina Faulkner assistant sound editor
    Klint Macro sound mixer
    James Scullion foley editor
    Jennifer Seip assistant sound editor
    Andrew Twite sound effects editor
    Karol Urban re-recording mixer
    Steve Urban re-recording mixer
    Matt Walsh sound mixer

    Camera and Electrical Department

    Hassan Abdul Wahid first assistant camera
    Matt Ardine digital imaging technician
    Ryan Bradley grip
    Cory Brandon Clay camera operator (as Cory Clay)
    Bruce Dickson “a” camera operator
    Jim Firios camera operator: “b” camera / first assistant camera
    Grant Goza grip
    S.A. Griffin camera operator
    Brent Hansen additional gaffer
    David Kagen chief lighting technician
    Ama MacDonald gaffer
    Yordi Martinez assistant camera
    Jaime R. Mejia jib operator
    Nathan Morris best boy
    Joe Roach grip
    Jason Sachse electrician
    Andrew Takeuchi camera operator

    Casting Department

    LaVonne Rae Andrews extras casting
    Carmen Betancourt extras casting

    Costume and Wardrobe Department

    Barbie Hatch costume supervisor
    Faye McAuliffe set costumer
    Bernadette Vela costume assistant

    Editorial Department

    Steve Bannerman digital intermediate executive producer
    Melissa Lawson Cheung post consultant (as Melissa Lawson)
    Jessica Clarke digital intermediate senior producer
    Andrew Dale conform artist
    Michael DeMirjian additional editor
    Rebecca Erbe digital intermediate assistant producer
    Lee Hultman colorist
    Leandro Marini supervising colorist
    Jason Pachomski associate editor
    Borja Ribes Blanquer digital intermediate mastering artist
    Kimberly Stuckwisch second second assistant editor

    Location Management

    Angela Carroll location manager
    William Langlois location manager (as Bill Monroe)
    Miguel Tapia assistant location manager (as Carlos Tapia)

    Music Department

    Tristan Clopet composer: additional music
    Joel C. High music supervisor
    Adele Ho music coordinator
    Greg Pliska orchestrator

    Script and Continuity Department

    Eva Zelder script supervisor

    Transportation Department

    Richard ‘Bongo’ Mitchell transportation coordinator

    Additional Crew

    Dorit Avganim production assistant
    Wayne Barker art production assistant
    Chris Calderon production assistant
    Danny Deraney publicist
    David Grauberger production coordinator
    Katie A. King production assistant (as Katie King)
    Jean McDowell head of marketing: Lionsgate Premiere
    Jade McQueen production intern
    Amy Roberts craft service
    Mic Rogers production coordinator: The Halcyon Company
    Michael Saleman pro
  • Cook Off! | Rotten Tomatoes

    Cook Off!Where to WatchCook Off!

    Rent Cook Off! on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

    Critics ReviewsAudience ReviewsMy RatingCast & Crew

    Guy ShalemDirectorCathryn MichonDirectorCathryn MichonSharon SolfestWendi McLendon-CoveyPauline SolfestMelissa McCarthyAmber StrangBen FalconeCameron Strang

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the mockumentary comedy film “Cook Off!”, directed by Cathryn Michon and Guy Shalem, a group of eccentric individuals compete in a prestigious cooking competition with a grand prize of one million dollars up for grabs. The film was initially completed in 2007 but was unexpectedly shelved for ten years before finally being released in 2017.

The star-studded cast includes Cathryn Michon as Sharon Solfest, Melissa McCarthy as Amber Strang, Wendi McLendon-Covey as Pauline Solfest, Ben Falcone as Cameron Strang, and a plethora of other talented actors like Gary Anthony Williams, Niecy Nash, and Louie Anderson.

The plot revolves around the various contestants showcasing their culinary skills and quirky personalities as they vie for the top prize. The characters bring humor and drama to the cooking competition, making for an entertaining and engaging watch.

Despite the delayed release, “Cook Off!” managed to make its debut at the US Comedy Arts Festival in 2007 before hitting theaters and VOD platforms in 2017. The film received mixed reviews, with critics noting its attempt to mimic the style of mockumentaries like “Best in Show” but falling short in terms of originality and comedic execution.

Overall, “Cook Off!” offers a lighthearted and humorous take on the world of competitive cooking, serving up a blend of laughter and culinary chaos for audiences to enjoy.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

The movie “Cook Off!” has been rated R, indicating that the content may not be suitable for viewers under 17 without parental guidance.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “Cook Off!” contains elements that may not be suitable for all audiences. Here is a detailed parental guide to help you make an informed decision:

  • Sex & Nudity:
    • The movie contains some sexual references and innuendos throughout.
    • There are no explicit sexual scenes or nudity shown.
  • Violence & Gore:
    • There are comedic elements of violence, but it is not graphic or intense.
    • No extreme gore or bloodshed is depicted in the movie.
  • Profanity:
    • There is moderate to strong language used, including profanities and crude humor.
  • Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:
    • There are no prominent depictions of alcohol, drugs, or smoking in the movie.
  • Frightening & Intense Scenes:
    • The movie is a comedy and does not contain genuinely frightening or intense scenes.

Overall, “Cook Off!” is a mockumentary comedy film with some adult themes and language, making it more suitable for mature audiences. Parents are advised to watch the movie first and then decide if it is appropriate for their children under 17.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
The Roku Channel Watch ‘Cook Off!’ for free with ads
Tubi TV Watch ‘Cook Off!’ for free with ads
Freevee Watch ‘Cook Off!’ for free with ads
Apple TV Buy or rent ‘Cook Off!’ online
Amazon Video Buy or rent ‘Cook Off!’ online
Microsoft Store Buy or rent ‘Cook Off!’ online

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
    Henry David Thoreau
  • Don't let the muggles get you down.
    J.K. Rowling

🤖Cook Off Reddit Talks

Cook Off: A Mockumentary with a Twist

“Cook Off,” a mockumentary starring Melissa McCarthy, has sparked discussions on Reddit, with viewers sharing their thoughts on the film’s humor, pacing, and underlying themes.

Dry Humor and Mockumentary Style

Many viewers praised the film’s dry, offbeat humor, which some likened to “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” The mockumentary format, with its intentionally awkward pacing and exaggerated characters, was also a hit with some viewers. However, others found the film’s slow pace and repetitive jokes to be a turn-off.

Rooted in Reality

Despite its comedic nature, “Cook Off” is loosely based on a real-life baking competition. This fact has intrigued some viewers, who appreciate the film’s blend of fiction and reality.

Character-Driven Comedy

The ensemble cast of “Cook Off” received high marks for their quirky and memorable performances. Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of the eccentric chef was particularly praised. Each character has their own unique backstory and motivations, adding depth to the film’s comedic moments.

Critical Reception

“Cook Off” has received mixed reviews from critics. Some have praised its originality and humor, while others have criticized its slow pacing and uneven tone. However, the film seems to have struck a chord with many viewers, who have enjoyed its offbeat charm.

Cultural Significance

“Cook Off” has also been noted for its cultural significance as the first film from Zimbabwe to be streamed on Netflix. This achievement has been celebrated by some viewers, who see it as a sign of progress for Zimbabwean cinema.

Overall, “Cook Off” is a divisive film that has both its fans and detractors. Its dry humor, mockumentary style, and quirky characters have appealed to some viewers, while others have found it too slow and uneven. However, the film’s unique blend of fiction and reality, as well as its cultural significance, have made it a topic of discussion on Reddit.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cook Off based on a true story?

Cook Off! is a 2007 American mockumentary comedy film directed by Cathryn Michon and Guy Shalem. The film was released on November 17, 2017, after being shelved for 10 years. Cook Off!

What is the meaning of a cook-off?

A cook-off is a cooking competition where the people taking part each prepare dishes in a particular amount of time. For example, the ten finalists will be taking part in a cook-off at the Live Theater.

What is the meaning of a chili cook-off?

A chili cook-off is a social event, similar to a barbecue, in which competitors prepare their own particular recipe for chili con carne and submit it for taste testing.

What is the great Cook Off movie about?

Cook Off! is a little gem of a movie, made with familiar faces and delivering subtle and clever humor without needing cheap gags. Created along the lines of “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” the story follows contestants in a corporate cook-off challenge where each person has a story to tell, resulting in hilarity.

What is the cooking show with Melissa McCarthy?

Cook Off! is a 2007 American mockumentary comedy film directed by Cathryn Michon and Guy Shalem. The story follows contestants in a corporate cook-off challenge where each person has a story to tell.

🔀 Recommended Movie and TV Show

  1. Cook Off! (2007) : A mockumentary following amateur “chefs” in a corporate cook off challenge, delivering subtle and clever humor.
  2. Today’s Special (2009) : A comedy-drama film centered around a young chef who takes over his family’s Indian restaurant.
  3. The Kitchen: World Chef Battle (2017) : A cooking competition movie showcasing culinary skills on a global scale.
  4. The BBQ (2018) : A comedy film about a man competing in a BBQ cook-off to save his family’s sauce recipe.
  5. Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle (2010) : A South Korean film focusing on a culinary competition centered around kimchi.
  6. Like Water for Chocolate : A romantic drama film based on a book, exploring magical realism through food and emotions.
  7. Ratatouille : An animated film about a rat with a passion for cooking who teams up with a young kitchen worker in Paris.

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