Thanks to pony girl J for the initial idea. I take credit for everything else.
Setting: Pierre Cheval is a rock star in the culinary world, known both for his wildly experimental dishes and flamboyant showmanship that exudes of his raw sexuality. He has his own TV cooking reality show (titled “Are You <expletive>-ing Kidding Me?”), owns several Michelin-starred restaurants, and caters for the parties of the top movie stars, heads of state, industry moguls, and on occasion, the 5 year-old children of Russian oligarchs. However, after a disastrous event where he misunderstood the theme of a sheik’s 15th birthday and horrifies the culinary world, he is disgraced and loses everything except for a small diner that he once bought as a joke. Now, he has been offered a new TV show from an ailing TV network. Will it help him get back on top?
The movie starts off with the highlights of Pierre’s life so far (all increasingly ridiculous), including such moments as the time he got into a swearing match with Gordon Ramsay, his various Michelin stars, his rat-shaped ratatouille for the movie Ratatouille that he set on fire in protest of a rat getting more screen time than him, his birthday feast for Saddam Hussein in 2002, his “Mission Accomplished” feast for the US troops in 2003, his various sexual exploits (including all the lady hosts on the Food Network. All of them.), and his general bombastic flair. It depicts him at the height of his career, when he’s hitting on movie stars at their own movie premieres, arguing with TV personalities on their own shows, and being utterly unpredictable. It’s awesome for him. He is untouchable.
The next seen shows Pierre in action as he is showing off his culinary skills at the birthday feast of a 15 year-old sheik who recently bought the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees along with half the teams on both leagues. This is a highly publicized event, as many members of the press want to see what he what he’s planning as his greatest dish yet. We are introduced to James, Pierre’s assistant/sous chef, whom Pierre calls Sue (because sous sounds like “Sue”), who shows utter devotion and loyalty to Pierre despite his constant abuse. We are shown several dishes of unidentified meat, which the sheik and his entourage are delighted to consume. Pierre is showered with compliments which he accepts as the obvious. Then, he brings out the main dish with a display of fireworks and showgirls in burkas. It is veiled, but he sets fire to it and in a flash of smoke, a golden horse appears. As in, it is literally gilded in gold. Pierre makes a speech about how the Bedouins had a wedding dish called the stuffed camel, which consisted of a camel stuffed with other animals stuffed with other animals. Well, since the theme of the feast is the sheik’s love of horse, he decided to alter the recipe to create a stuffed horse, within which is a donkey stuffed with a lamb which is stuffed with chickens stuffed with snakes. He brings out a sword and chops the golden horse in half to show that this is indeed a stuffed horse. The attendants of the feast are horrified, and we are shown that the feast is taking place at a horse ranch. The assistant of the sheik goes to Pierre and tells him that the sheik loves horses as pets, not as a dish. When he meant horse-themed, he was expecting a cake in the shape of a horse, not a stuffed horse dish. Pierre tells him to wait till he tries it, which of course, the sheik doesn’t. He is infuriated and says that he’ll make sure Pierre never desecrates a horse again. Pierre gets into a shouting match with the sheik, at the end of which he proclaims himself as the Horse Gilder.
Unfortunately, the press mishears this and the next day’s headlines decry Pierre as a “horse gelder” who offended the sheik (who owns half the press). Pierre is indignant at this, but not as indignant as he is when Sue tells him that his show and restaurants have slipped out of his grasp due to the sheik’s massive wealth. and he is effectively shut out of the top echelon of the culinary world. He has no culinary connections left, except for a small diner that he bought to prove a point to Sue (enter flashback). Plus he’s called the Horse Gelder. So he decides to go there and bide his time.
6 months later, he is the head chef of the diner, but business isn’t going well. The regular customers have been alienated by Pierre’s antics, and it is only by the virtue of Sue’s hard work that the diner stays open. Life continues like this, with Pierre hitting on mildly attractive customers while trying increasingly bizarre recipes and being depressed and getting drunk and confessing that his real name isn’t Pierre Cheval, until Amy comes to the diner. She is a TV show producer who wants to start a new celebrity cooking show with Pierre as the host. Pierre wonders if the sheik would allow this, but Amy says that the network is already tanking, so one sheik doesn’t really matter. As Pierre sees this as an opportunity to regain his fame and glory, he naturally jumps on it.
The show starts off rather slow, with focus groups being rather unimpressed with Pierre’s wild stunts. However, on the pilot episode, Pierre somehow manages to set fire to the guest celebrity (a B-list douchebag) and is completely unapologetic about it, a scene that makes its way online and makes a show a runaway hit. Amy is delighted with the success and so is Pierre, while Sue is subject to more humiliation as usual. Pierre starts rebuilding his reputation, when he gets a hold of news that there is an international competition for the greatest chef with a number of world-class judges (including the sheik), a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restart his career by making amends with the sheik. He tells Amy that he’s quitting the show to prepare for this competition. Naturally, Amy is shocked and tries to convince him to reconsider, but Pierre crassly says that she could try to seduce him, but honestly, he’s had better. She is shocked that he’d use her TV show as a stepping stone for his revival. Sue is disappointed by Pierre and tells him off, resigning from his position as sous chef and revealing that his name is James Crandell, not Sue. Despite this, Pierre still leaves.
Pierre starts planning the most outrageous dish for the competition, while Sue becomes the new host of Pierre’s show and isn’t quite as popular and keeps Amy worried. However, Pierre finds that things aren’t quite as easy without Sue and Amy, but he blames it on a lack of his culinary vision and pushes on. We are shown how soulless he has become in his quest for regained glory in some manner. However, he manages to concoct On the eve of the competition, he is flipping through the channels in his hotel room and sees his old show with Sue at the helm. Sue makes some heartfelt remark and Pierre realizes how much he misses them, and decides to hell with the competition and devises a last minute new dish. On the day of the competition, we are shown several of the world’s top class chefs, and there is tension during the competition, with all the chefs being all intense while Pierre is relaxed and seemingly dicking around. As the results are shown, we see several amazing dishes, and then Pierre gives a speech about how he’s been in the dumps since the press called him the Horse Gelder, and then he makes some touching comments about how that made him appreciate the people in his life, and how he has decided to give the press what they wanted: a dish worthy of the “Horse Gelder”. It is revealed that the judges are dining on…erm…male horse parts, which shocks all of the judges except for the sheik. It is revealed that he lost interest in his horses and had them liquidated. Interpret that as you will. Pierre is declared the shock winner of the competition, and the sheik offers to give him back his previous glory, as he has found a new target to destroy: Gordon Ramsay. However, Pierre declines, saying that he’d like a fresh start instead, returning to the show with Amy and Sue. After the credits, a scene with Pierre having a meltdown a la Christian Bale is shown, just for kicks.
Will Arnett as Pierre “The Horse Gelder” Cheval. I was thinking Will Ferrell initially, but Will Ferrell’s done plenty of these types of movies, and I thought that Will Arnett needed a real opportunity to display is abilities to portray a cocky, obnoxiously over-the-top character with a gorgeous voice. See GOB Bluth from Arrested Development for reference.
Jack McBrayer as “Sue” the Sous Chef/ James Crandell. I was thinking Jonah Hill at first for the underling type, but Jack McBrayer (Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock) is SO MUCH BETTER! Plus, his chemistry with Will Arnett is absolutely hilarious.
Tina Fey as Amy. Yeah, it’s kind of like her role on 30 Rock. So what?
And Jonah Hill as the sheik? I don’t know. Either him or Will Farrell. Even though he’s supposed to be 15.
Gee, I just really want an excuse to make an alternate reality with 30 Rock people, don’t I?