Matthew Rhys reveals his 'culinary undoing' while learning to play a chef in 'Burnt'

Mario Batali and Matthew Rhys on "Burnt"
Mario Batali and Matthew Rhys on "Burnt"

By Lisa Bonarrigo

Matthew Rhys plays rival chef to Bradley Cooper's character in 'Burnt,' a film about a chef who gets a second chance at success in the culinary world. Contrary to what you may think after seeing the film, Rhys doesn't cook all the time, and he says getting a glimpse into the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen put him in awe of the profession and gave him enormous appreciation for what chefs do.

"What I learned was how little I know," he shares. "It's not like cooking -- it's an art or a science. It's like a combination of art, science and insanity. Because I've never seen it at that level ... There [are] so many elements. My head wanted to explode on set, so God knows what they go through in a kitchen when the orders come in."

SEE ALSO:Matthew Rhys gets all hot and bothered in 'Burnt'

The trickiest dish for him to learn how to make while preparing for the film was a French omelette. It may sound easy, and when Rhys saw it in the script, he thought it would be too -- until one of Marcus Wareing's cooks told him how important it was to learn as a cook in a Michelin-starred restaurant. (Wareing served as a chief consultant to the film, alongside Mario Batali.) The cook showed Rhys how it should be done, and when he tasted it, he says it was like "a cloud."

When it was his turn to try his hand at the omelette, it wasn't exactly executed as it had been demonstrated. "I must've tried about 18 different omelettes," Rhys shares. Eventually, the cook Rhys was working with suggested she cook the final product for the scene, and simply hand it to him before the take, which he gladly agreed to. "It was the omelette that was my culinary undoing," he jokes.

That's not to say Rhys hasn't tried his hand at cooking before. Growing up in Wales, he had a number of uncles who were sheep farmers, so lamb was a frequently cooked dish at home. When he moved to Los Angeles, he and his Welsh friends would gather to roast a whole lamb with rosemary, garlic and salt and serve it alongside roasted potatoes.

If Rhys' food stories aren't making you hungry yet, it's likely you will be ready to eat after seeing 'Burnt.' "I know it's a sort of obvious thing to say, but everyone comes out of the film going, 'I just want to eat now' -- because it's like watching food porn, it's so good," Rhys shares.

See photos of Matthew Rhys:

More on
'Star Wars' actress Carrie Fisher warns Daisy Ridley: 'Don't be a slave like I was'

Keira Knightley: Motherhood puts everything in perspective
'Fuller House' to bring back Stephanie's childhood friend Harry in recast role (Exclusive)

Originally published