Big Night (1996): The French Omelette

Mastering the Art of Cooking: The French Omelette Scene in Big Night (1996)

Big Night is a critically acclaimed independent film that explores the struggles and triumphs of two Italian immigrant brothers, Primo and Secondo, as they attempt to run a successful restaurant in 1950s New Jersey. One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Secondo, played by Stanley Tucci, prepares a French omelette for his brother Primo, played by Tony Shalhoub.

The scene is a masterclass in the art of cooking and highlights the passion and attention to detail that Primo and Secondo bring to their culinary creations. As Secondo carefully folds the eggs and delicately seasons the dish, we see the love and care that goes into each and every dish that the brothers prepare.

But the French omelette scene is about more than just cooking. It’s a symbol of the relationship between the two brothers and the love and respect they have for each other. As Secondo presents the omelette to Primo, we see a look of pride and satisfaction on his face, as he knows that he has created something truly special for his brother.

The scene also highlights the importance of tradition and culture in the world of food. Primo and Secondo are fiercely proud of their Italian heritage and are determined to share their culinary traditions with the world. The French omelette, while not strictly Italian, is a testament to the brothers’ willingness to experiment and learn from other cultures while still remaining true to their own roots.

Overall, the French omelette scene in “Big Night” is a beautiful and poignant moment in the film that perfectly captures the essence of the art of cooking. It’s a celebration of the importance of passion, attention to detail, and the love that goes into each and every dish. Whether you’re a fan of the film or simply looking to improve your own culinary skills, the French omelette is a classic dish that’s sure to impress.

How to make a delicious French Omelette

Course: StarterDifficulty: *

In this homage to traditional Italian food, two immigrant brothers struggle to keep their restaurant afloat with a feast fit for Louis Primo. But in the end, it’s a plate of simply cooked eggs that reunites the men after their failed “Big Night.” You can honour the good egg with our French omelette recipe.


  • 3 large best-quality eggs, preferably room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, half cut into small cubes

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mixed herbs, such as tarragon, chervil, flat-leaf parsley, and chives, plus more for garnish

  • Freshly ground pepper


  • The most practical tool for making an omelette is a table fork. Combine eggs, water, and salt in a bowl and briskly whisk with a fork just until yolks and whites are thoroughly blended.
  • One secret to a light, the fluffy omelette is not overmixing. Stop whisking when eggs drip smoothly and cohesively from fork tines. If eggs are at room temperature, yolks and whites will combine more readily.
  • Whisk in cubed butter and herbs. The combination complements the flavour of the eggs instead of overpowering it: Unsalted butter adds a creamy richness, while tender herbs add freshness.
  • Place a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add remaining butter and melt, swirling to coat the pan. Add egg mixture and cook, undisturbed, until edges begin to set, about 10 seconds.
  • Holding the fork flat, stir eggs thoroughly in a figure-eight pattern with one hand while shaking the skillet back and forth with the other. Keep incorporating set edges into the runny centre. This takes just 25 to 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the heat while the eggs still look slightly wet. Tilt the skillet away from you until the omelette slides up the far edge. Loosen the side of the omelette nearest you and roll with the fork 2 or 3 times toward the centre.
  • After folding the far edge of the omelette into the centre as well, press down gently to seal with a fork. Invert, seam side down, onto a warm plate. The residual heat in the omelette will cook it a bit more.
  • The added value of a warm plate: If you want to serve two, your first effort will keep nicely while you make another. Then season with pepper, sprinkle with remaining herbs and serve immediately.

Recipe Video


  • Omelette cooks in a matter of seconds, so have your ingredients ready to go. Tarragon, chives, parsley, and chervil make up the classic quartet known as fines herbes.