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Movie Review: Chef

Chef is a 2014 American comedy film written, produced, directed by, and starring Jon Favreau. The film co-stars Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr. and
07 Sep 2014 12:23
Movie Review: Chef

Chef is a 2014 American comedy film written, produced, directed by, and starring Jon Favreau. The film co-stars Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr. and Oliver Platt. Favreau plays a professional chef who, after a public altercation with a food critic, quits his job at a popular Los Angeles restaurant and returns to his home town of Miami to fix up a food truck. He reconnects with his ex-wife and invites their young son to join him in driving the truck back to L.A. while selling Cubanos in various cities along the way.

Favreau wrote the script after directing several big-budget films, wanting to go “back to basics” and to create a film about cooking.[3] Food truck owner and chef Roy Choi served as a co-producer and oversaw all of the menus and food prepared for the film. Principal photography took place in July 2013 in Los Angeles, Miami, Austin and New Orleans. Chef premiered at South by Southwest on March 7, 2014 and was released theatrically on May 9, 2014 by Open Road Films. It grossed over US$40 million at the box office and was well received by critics.

Miami-born chef Carl Casper has a chance to prove himself in a restaurant in Los Angeles, when prestigious critic and blogger Ramsey Michel comes to dine in his restaurant. Popular with hostess Molly and his assistant chefs, Carl is working his creative side and dabbling in a new tasting menu, but the owner intervenes and tells Carl to serve the menu’s old classics. The critic gives the restaurant an unfavorable review. In his anger, Carl berates him on Twitter, then publicly yells at him in the restaurant before quitting.

The negative publicity turns Carl into a social media sensation, since videos featuring his meltdown have gone viral. His credibility and job possibilities evaporate due to the furor over his rant. Carl’s ex-wife Inez invites him to Miami and he reluctantly returns there with her. This gives him a chance to establish a better relationship with Percy, his young son. He also connects with Inez when they dine on Cuban food and attend a club where her father sings with a band. Inez’s ex-husband Marvin offers him a food truck, and Carl accepts.

In an effort to rediscover his culinary passion, Carl restores the broken-down food truck, names it El Jefe, and serves Cubanos, a form of Cuban sandwich.

Joining him as a cook is Martin, his friend from the Los Angeles restaurant, recently promoted there to sous chef. They work alongside Percy and decide to drive the food truck across the country, back to Los Angeles. On the trip across the country Percy finds ways to promote the food truck on social media websites, and the food truck becomes successful in cities along the way, in New Orleans and then Austin, Texas.

Back in Los Angeles, Carl realizes the importance of having a relationship with his son and offers him a job in the truck, working after school and on weekends. His ex-wife Inez soon joins the team and Ramsey Michel visits Carl again, this time offering to bankroll a new restaurant based on the concept of El Jefe. Six months later, the new restaurant is busy and closed for a private event: Carl and Inez’s remarriage.

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