Saturday, 12 July 2014

Food Truck Fun

Chef stars Jon Favreau (centre) who resorts to making Cubanos in a food truck
Just came back from watching Chef with YTSL at Palace IFC, starring Jon Favreau in a fun comedy with lots of yummy food on film.

OK the food part isn't as mouthwatering as the opening scene of Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, but it also gives an interesting insight into the restaurant industry and why chefs are fanatic about what they give their guests to eat.

Favreau is Carl Casper, the chef who works in a fine dining restaurant owned by Dustin Hoffman's character. When a top food blogger has made reservations to review the restaurant, Carl puts out all the stops ready to present a creative menu.

But this is vetoed by the owner and having lost all interest, it seems Carl's food only gets a two-star review that goes viral.

Carl tries to hit back, but in a very public way that climaxes into a rant that also goes viral.

The El Jefe goes on a road trip from Miami to Los Angeles
He has to start all over again and his ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) takes pity on him and invites him to Miami where her other ex-husband (Robert Downey Jr), a wealthy narcissist gives Carl an old dirty food truck.

This gives an opportunity for Carl to bond with his 10-year-old son Percy, who seems to shuttle back and forth between parents. Martin (John Leguizamo) from the restaurant comes by to help out, and the trio go on a road trip driving the food truck back to Los Angeles.

As Carl teaches Percy how to make Cubanos, a type of Cuban sandwich, we also get some cooking tips and watch how they prepare these delicious-looking bites.

The scenes are spiced with lots of humour, physical and verbal. Now we know what chefs do during a hot summer nights...!

However there are a few holes in the story -- what kind of job does Inez have that requires a publicist? And there's not indication of how she grew up in Miami and then has lots of staff tending to her household. She also seems too young to be Carl's wife...

A scene from the movie showing a mouth-watering steak
Also, would an ex-husband help another by giving him a food truck? Seems like there were some favours made behind the scenes that we are not privy too, but are expected to accept.

Nevertheless we enjoyed the foodie road trip and how social media can make or break a restaurant. The posting of messages on the screen, allowing us to read them was fun and entertaining, and Chef is also a lesson in what not to do on Twitter.

I won't be looking at cornstarch the same way again.


  1. to answer your questions, ex-trophy-wife and the wife calling a favor from the wealthy narcissist for the old food truck.

    Generally Rich(er) Miami people have servants (maids, cooks, drivers, etc.) Not that unusual, you won't get it unless you lived in the Americas concept.

  2. Re your query re Inez's job: Considering how good Inez looked and that she lived in LA, I'm thinking -- actress? ;)

    "Chef"'s a schmaltzy but entertaining feel good foodie movie. But in terms of making one hungry, it's hard to beat "Babette's Feast". Also, it's not primarily a food movie but "Still Walking" was the film that had me craving corn tempura, among other things. :)