A Tale of Two Characters
Henry (Dylan Neal) is not only an expert chef he is also a hugely observant man winning him the nickname of "Gourmet Detective". It is something which annoys real detective Maggie (Brooke Burns) when she shows up for a cooking class he is giving and his observations on her being a mother and recently divorced are spot on. So when there is a suspicious death at a major gathering of restaurateurs which Henry happens to be attending, Maggie is not overly happy to see him at the crime scene and even less enthusiastic when her superior orders Maggie to work with Henry to solve the crime.
When you look at TV movies there has been a long tradition of character based entertainment especially when it comes to light hearted thrillers; be it Dick Van Dyke in the "Murder 101" movies or Lori Loughlin in the "Garage Sale Mystery" movies. And "The Gourmet Detective" is another one of these movies which trades on the characters of Henry and Maggie and the antagonistic chemistry which they have going on where Henry is confident, Maggie is snappy but it is clear they like each other despite both being full of themselves.
As such it is fair to say that the casting in "The Gourmet Detective" is pivotal and the combination of Dylan Neal and Brooke Burns works. They are both good looking, can wear fashionable clothes and can deliver that look. What do I mean by that look? Well a sort of I'm sexy and I know it confidence but not in a conceited way. What this does mean is that their actual characters; who they are and what they do, is a lot less important and to be honest these characters are on the exceptionally light side and pretty forgettable as well.
What this also means is that in the case of "The Gourmet Detective" the actual crime they end up investigating is not the most important thing. Yes there is some entertainment from what at times is comically light sleuthing and of course there is some danger which things builds up to but it isn't really a crime mystery which you are going to try and work out for yourselves.
What this all boils down to is that in many ways "The Gourmet Detective" is just new clothes on some old themes which I know will come across as terrible for some audiences. But if you are a fan of light crime mysteries and watch a movie partly because you like the cast then "The Gourmet Detective" should entertain.