Carl Casper (Favreau) is a chef who 10 years ago, was the toast of Miami with his edgy new cuisine. Today he is just another chef, cooking someone else’s menu…….and he hates it. Any attempts to update the menu with the restaurant’s owner Riva (Hoffman) are ignored.
Recently separated from his wife Inez (Vergara) he is also struggling to help his son Percy (Anthony) navigate their new family reality. So when Carl has a very public run in with a food critic Ramsey Michel (Platt), it’s the final straw and he quits his job.
Left with nothing but his passion for good food, he embarks on a new adventure and opens a food truck.
This movie is that wonderful mix of indie and mainstream. There is nothing fancy or particularly outstanding about it, but it’s solid script and fantastic cast bring it to life. I must say I was really impressed with Vergara’s understated Inez. I have only ever seen her play over the top vixen (ish) and this quiet, loving, supportive mum and ex wife was quite the treat.
Favreau does an exceptional job as Director and lead actor. Although he is in almost every scene, the movie doesn’t seem to be about him at all, its about everything around him. His relationship with his son, his ex wife, his staff, his passion for great food. He is pivotal but manages to sink back into the scenes and let it wash over him. I loved it.
After a few close up ‘making the delicious meal’ scenes, I was worried I would be watching an extended MasterChef or something equally as painful ( yeah so what if I like my reality TV trashy 😉 ) But these were simply used to set up the movie. Phew.
I loved that as Carl, Percy and Martin (Leguizamo), who also threw in his job at the restaurant to follow Carl’s dream with him, traveled from Miami, to Los Angeles, they incorporated local cuisine into their menu. In one scene, Carl is explains to his son how you find out what to cook by looking at the fresh food that is on offer. I loved the simple message of this scene, as a chef and as a father. Always be open and flexible….
The sights, sounds and smells of each new city were brought to the screen with gorgeous efficiency. I am now desperate to try that slow cooked Texas meat. YUMM!
You really should go and see this movie. There is no great plot twist or special effects. It wont set the world on fire. There are no queues and 100’s of reviews waiting the moment you google Chef.
What there is though is a great story about love, life and food. As I mentioned earlier, solid script and solid cast. Absolutely worth making time to see this little gem.
You might also pick up some marketing ideas for your Twitter account…
Love Flick xx
Director : Jon Favreau
Starring : Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris, Robert Downey Jr
Running Time : 115 minutes
Release Date : 8 May 2014