The Lost Taste is a film about a young chef named Ueda who is running a noodle bar that was passed down from his deceased father. Ueda is an excellent cook who always satisfies his customers with his secret family recipe. However, in recent years he has been having a hard time running his business, since fast-food chain restaurants are booming and one across the street is stealing his customers. Recently, only a few old loyal customers have come to visit. Worst of all, he has completely forgotten that this very day is the deadline to pay off his debt to a group of fearsome loan sharks. As soon as the mobsters learn that he is unable to pay off his debt, they immediately subdue Ueda and plan to brand him (literally) as a slave to pay his debt. Things are about to get ugly when the boss of the group suddenly feels hungry. Realizing he cannot work without lunch, the mob boss decides to command Ueda to cook for him since he has a distaste for those overselling chain restaurants that don’t put any effort into quality of service. Unfortunately, the immense pressure weighs too heavily on Ueda, and he is too nervous to perform even the simplest ingredient preparation. On the verge of utter failure, his eyes just so happen to glance upon the photo of his father on the cooking table. At that moment, he feels like his soul goes back to the time of his childhood, when his father was still in charge. In the memory, Ueda looks on as his father prepares the family’s soup recipe with incredible grace. When Ueda snaps back to reality, the famous chef’s special Udon soup has already been made by his hand. Though not outwardly very impressive to look at, the boss is still enticed to sample the bowl, and is shocked by its heavenly taste. The noodles are so good that it feels as though his soul ascends into outer space, filled with joy. Gratified by such an excellent dining experience—like he had never had before—the boss decides to spare Ueda from being enslaved. Unfortunately, the matter of repaying his debt is more complicated. No matter how unwilling he is, Ueda has no choice but to give up the real estate of the restaurant to the mob boss as payment. Afterward, Ueda gets a job as an entry-level employee in one of the fast-food chain restaurants. Ueda is free from all his past problems, but what had remained of his chef spirit slowly dies inside him as he’s forced into assembly-line food preparation.
Film and Animation (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CAD)
Mari Jaye Blanchard
Chen, Wei-En, "The Lost Taste" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus