Chef (2014)

“I may not do everything great in my life, but I'm good at this. I manage to touch people's lives with what I do and I want to share this with you.”“I may not do everything great in my life, but I'm good at this. I manage to touch people's lives with what I do and I want to share this with you.”

“I may not do everything great in my life, but I’m good at this. I manage to touch people’s lives with what I do and I want to share this with you.”

How is it a movie about a food truck can be one of the most underappreciated, underrated films of the 2010’s. It’s an absolute feast (haha more pun’s, I like to make jokes, okay) of a film. Chef is one of the most charming films I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of movies but also haven’t heard about a lot of movies as well. Chef first came on my radar last year (I know, that’s a 6 year period that I didn’t see or know about this incredible film) from a YouTube channel called Hyper RPG (which if you have never heard of them, check them out; they do awesome trailer reactions and have one of the best Avengers Infinity War trailer reactions). Thank you for bringing this film to my attention because I watched it not too long-ago during quarantine. With that being said, let’s dive in.

Head chef Carl Casper has a lot on his plate (again no pun intended) in dealing with an estranged ex-wife and taking care of his son to dealing with a restaurant owner who Micromanaged every aspect of the kitchen he runs at a famed Los Angeles restaurant. The stress levels are turned up incredibly high and the cherry on top is a world-renowned food critic is coming in for a meal. The conflict between Carl and Riva only escalates when Riva forces Carl to lose his creativity and put out a menu that isn’t as inspired. Carl wants to go all out for this critic and really impress him. Things don’t go as planned and Carl quits due to lack of creative freedom. To add to that Carl goes viral in a way he never imagined. His career, that he built up to the point of national recognition is gone and Inez has her publicist getting deals for a Hell’s Kitchen role.

A more unique solution is offered to Carl (Jon Favreau) by Inez (Sofia Vergara) to join her and Percy (Emjay Anthony) on a trip to Miami and buy a food truck. The food truck is the best option for Carl to be completely creative and call the shots. To add more gas to the stove (seriously, I’m not doing this on purpose, it writes itself) Carl finds out Inez met up with her ex Marvin (Robert Downey Jr.) in LA. Granted Carl and Inez we’re divorced but, Marvin is the one who set Carl up with the food truck. The one person Carl relies on most, Martin (John Leguizamo) shows up in Miami to become Carl’s sous chef and partner on their journey back to LA. It’s a food buddy road trip people, what’s not to like about it, I’m salivating just thinking about all the delicious food that was made. Unbeknownst to Carl, Percy is a tech and marketing genius and before the 3 of them even know it, the word about El Jefe has spread like wildfire. Carl has a new appreciation for food friendship and most importantly family.

I gotta say this movie blew me away the moment after the *fade in*. It’s incredibly charming and heartwarming. It’s a story about how one man’s passion and love for food brings him close to a son he barely knew. The best scenes in this film are when Carl and Percy are alone together. Percy teaches Carl about twitter and what a Dm means. It’s delightful to see their relationship grow as a Percy learns how to cook. Yes, there are some cracked eggs along the way (not even addressing that one) divorce is hardest on the children. New Orleans changed their relationship and the way Carl looks at his son. What I mean by that is, Carl sees something in Percy he never saw before because well, he was too busy dealing with a different child in Riva (Dustin Hoffman). Where this film shines is in the master crafted screenplay, every actor fits each role perfectly, nobody was out of place in this film. A second reason this film is just so perfect is the culture John was able to capture though the different cities. Miami, New Orleans, Texas, and even LA, the different food cultures, styles, influences really take center stage and are displayed for the world to see. Hell, one of my goals in life is to go on a cross country food road trip not just see it on screen and practically drool all over myself.

John Favreau along with Ben Affleck is another favorite actor / director combo. Both gentlemen understand each discipline and know how to use each as a compliment to each other when at the helm. Add in actors and actresses Favreau has directed and worked closely with before (Scarlett Johansson, I didn’t forget you) and you have an award-winning dish. Chef is a masterpiece in my eyes and absolutely one of my tops of the last decade. This film will leave you with a huge smile on your face and have your stomach grumbling for food. They even made a Netflix show based off this movie (I haven’t watched the show yet on Netflix). Discovering this film is perfect for the times we are all stuck inside. My recommendation – have some snacks handy when watching this movie, you will get hungry.

One of my favorite scenes is when Carl viciously verbally attacks Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) the level of anger that John portrays is just the thing to make a video go viral on the internet. To watch that Critic chef relationship come full circle when back in LA was satisfying to say the least. A second favorite scene is when the three (Casper, Percy, Martin) are driving and Martin brings out the cornstarch. I won’t go into too much detail but its one of the funnier moments on top of being a father son teachable moment. This film brought a lot of joy to me as I watched it, adds to the legendary resume of John Favreau and cements his place as one of my all-time favorite actors / directors working today. Chef has an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 68% on Metacritic.

So, guys, have you seen Chef, have you heard of it? If you saw it did you absolutely love it like me. Did you dislike it, I’d love to know, drop a comment down below or shoot me an email.

Chef is written and directed by John Favreau is rated R and has a 1 hour and 55-minute runtime. Chef was released of March 7th, 2014 and can be purchased digitally on retailers like Vudu or Itunes.

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*I do not own these photos used in this article; all rights reserved to the copyright holder*

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