Geeks logo

A Breakdown of Hallmark’s Gourmet Detective

Hallspark and Spirits Breaks Down Gourmet Detective

By The Green ShoesPublished 6 days ago 8 min read

“A chef-turned-culinary sleuth partners with a detective to unravel the clue surrounding the death of a guest at a prestigious dinner party.” – Peacock’s words, not mine.

Starring: Dylan Neal, Brook Burns, and Matthew Anderson

What the Heck is Happening Here?

I’ll be honest, this week’s breakdown was born from the absurdity of the picture, the title, and the description of this particular movie. It was the trifecta of nonsense and I’m here for it. Armed with my first — and strong — drink of the night, I’m ready to find out just what in the world a gourmet detective is supposed to be.


I’m just going to tell you this right now. This breakdown was a true breakdown. It’s going to be a lot of me just blurting out random things that excite me. Just go with it. Just go with it…

The Starter Course

We begin this interesting tale at the Duquette Restaurant with a very suspish saboteur releasing all manner of ungodly rodents into the kitchen. Ewe.

Then we get to see both Henry and Maggie live their lives, where Henry is the Gourmet and Maggie is the Detective… See what I did there? I crack myself up…

Henry seems successful. Good for him. He’s gonna teach a cooking class. Sounds fun.

Maggie is a single mom living with her mom and her teenage daughter. And Maggie’s got a daaaaattteeeeee.

“What about your red dress?”

HAHAHA Oh, Hallmark. How I love you.

AH! Maggie and date are attending said cooking class. How adorably predictable.

The Gourmet Detective Himself

Maggie wants to know what a gourmet detective is, and hunny… same.

He’s super observant and saves restaurants from disaster. How very Gordon Ramsey of you. Minus the cussing. This is PG Hallmark after all.

Let me blurt out “dead bodies” in the middle of a dinner date where we’re cooking steak. I love this movie so much already!

Maggie can’t cook. Of course. But Henry saves the day and serves her a delicious meal while showing off how awesome he is at being awesome. But, he puts his foot in his mouth when he tells Maggie that she’s not over her divorce. Aka-awkward.

What’s with the Tree?

I had to. The kid’s got a dead tree hanging over her bed. It’s creepy AF. Not a fan. Zero out of ten. Do not recommend.

YUM! Fish Tacos! We get to meet the owner, Daddy Duquette himself, as he tells Henry how worried he is about his safety after the sabotage. Duquette wants to hire Henry to get to the bottom of this mystery. Fun!

Oo! A gala!

Fillmore Bistro is the Enemy

At the gala, we get to meet Raymond, the owner of Fillmore Bistro, public enemy number one, which means that he’s the prime suspect for whatever is about to happen, which also means it’s not going to be him.

Henry thinks it’s an inside job because the saboteur knows too much about the kitchen and their schedule and habits.

But wait! What is this? Fillmore Bistro is also being sabotaged? Hmm. Fishy, fishy.

Oooo and a flash drive is changing hands between two men. Remember this because it’ll definitely be important later.

Raymond and his own head chef don’t get along. That’s interesting…

Ah, Ian Jenkin, an investigative reporter – who is the one receiving the flash drive – has just uncovered something and is going to announce it to the entire dinner party.


But he dies before he can tell everyone whatever it was that he found out. Oh no!

Yes, by all means, let’s all just stare at each other doing nothing while we wait for the scene to change.

The Eel Did It!

Apparently, a Lamprey eel, if not handled correctly, can kill a person quickly and the chef just happened to be serving eel to his guests that night. Ewe.

Because Henry is so observant and knows literally everyone, the Captain wants Maggie and Henry to team up to solve this case and Maggie is not happy about it.

But Henry brought coffee! Covered in monkey spit? Or something? That was weird. But whatever.

Icky, Icky Dead Body

We get to find out that Ian was killed by a heavy, heavy dose of botulism. Like, a lot, a lot of fish poison.

“Your body is a temple, but you treat yours like a dumpster.” – Henry to Maggie. I’M CRYING! HAHA!

Oliver and Ian

At the TV network headquarters we get to find out that Oliver used to have a cooking show but Ian wanted a raise and the network didn’t have any money, so they canceled Oliver’s show in order to give Ian the raise.


We get to see the murder board, but have no idea what it could mean because… Ian had no oversight at that network. He did what he wanted and it was fine. It was fine. It’s fine. It’s. Fine.

They decide to head to Oliver’s house and… WHAT?! Oliver’s dead?!

Just kidding. He’s fine. He just drank too much. Hunny… same…

The flash drive is gone though. Remember that one? At the gaaaala? When Oliver gave it to Ian? Yeah, it’s gone. GONE.

But Pauline (the niece of Daddy Duquette) had a moooooment with Oliver. Oops.

Pauline wants to expand Chez Duquette into a franchise and wants to hire Oliver to be the chef of her cooking school. Neat.

Raymond is a suspect yet again…


Honestly, I’m here for this! I love that Daddy Duquette (Peter? I guess? But I’m never going to call him that) and Raymond Fillmore are besties and have been this entire time! I’m here for it, hunny!

YUM! Now I want ribs! Drool! Life lessons were learned. People were vulnerable. We were brought closer together. It was a beautiful moment.

Moving on.

Henry comes home to the most cliche of threats EVER. It’s a knife stuck in a butcher block with magazine cut out letters saying “Drop the case or you’re next.” Ugh…

And then!

Miss Cookbook

Oliver gets around… he’s with Sally now too? Sally is Miss Cookbook Author. I didn’t mention her because I didn’t think she was important. My bad. I might go back and add her in up there, but probably not. She’s a gum chewer.

But we get to see Maggie looking gorgeous in a white dress for Miss Cookbook’s party.

It is at this party that we find out that the Fillmore Bistro chef — who is named Leyton, btw — is about to come into a ton of money. Hmm, suspish…

You tell him, Maggie! Family first. Always. You lay down the law for single bachelor Henry.

To make it up to her, Henry shows up at her house in the morning? Weird… But. I mean. Breakfast. Nuff said.

Suspect Number Seventeen

We have shifted to Leyton as the new prime suspect. The working theory is now that Leyton sabotaged Fillmore so that he could buy it out from under Raymond in disgrace, but needed to throw the suspicion off him, so he sabotaged Duquette also, just for funsies.

But Wait…

Leyton left a suicide voicemail — conveniently AFTER they’ve made him suspect number one — on Henry’s phone apologizing for everything.

Maggie and Henry rush to Leyton’s house and find that he’s poisoned himself with the same fish poison he used to kill Ian. The suicide note explains everything. Maggie reads it all, while Henry pays absolutely no attention. He’s too busy staring at a picture of Leyton’s boat on his mantle like it’s his child.

But there are still 20 minutes left of this movie, so me thinks there’s more to this than meets the eye. This is too easy. Too clean.

YES! SEE! They agree with me!

The Bell in the Background

I would just like to point out that I also noticed the bell in the background of the suicide message. Just saying…

We find out that the message was edited. It’s a bunch of different messages spliced together. Leyton was muuuuuurdered.

Naughty, Naughty Pauline was with Leyton too. Geeze. These people need to expand their friendship circles a bit. There’s a lot of cross contamination going on. Ewe. Forget I said that. Ewe. Erase that.

Moving on…

The Big Reveal

This is the last three minutes of the movie, so we get to find out everything all at once.

Ready? Are you ready? Are you sure?

Deep breath…

Here we go.

It was an inside job, like everyone knew right from the start. Pauline was the inside man. She pulls a gun on Maggie, forces her to give her her own gun — props to Maggie for keeping her sassy face on the whole time — then makes her cuff herself to the radiator. Pauline kidnaps Henry, but never you fear! Maggie’s got a gun in her boot and she shoots off her handcuff and chases after Pauline and Henry.

Henry appeals to Pauline’s better nature and it works. He makes her feel bad for… killing two people… I guess?

“It just got out of hand.” – Poor, Poor Pauline the Serial Killer

Okay, hunny… you’re one murder away from being considered a serial killer. Hunny… Yes. It got out of hand. Just a bit.

Chess, Chess Baby

Dad can’t make it to beebee’s chess match, but never you fear! Henry’s here!

And we get to end the movie as friends.

Serial killers…

Fish poison…

Boot pistols…


I need another drink…


Three stars

Yes, you heard me. Three stars. Do I need to defend myself? No. I think not.

Okay, but seriously… A gourmet detective? Like, is he gonna be on retainer for the San Francisco PD anytime someone gets murdered by a food product? Sure. Let’s go with it. Sure. Sure… Sure.

tvsatirereviewpop culturemovie

About the Creator

The Green Shoes

Writer of words I hope to someday share with the world. Transcriber of words other people say.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.