Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Emjay Anthony, Sophia Vergara
Directed by Jon Favreau
Rating: A

Criticism hurts. When an esteemed food blogger gives a two-star rating to a respected chef, his reaction goes viral on the internet.

Carl Casper (Favreau) has been in a food funk. The restaurant he cooks for has been serving the same food for five years because the owner won’t allow him to change the menu. The menu they’ve currently got is attracting customers, so why mess with the formula? It takes a harsh review for Carl to quit his job and rediscover how cooking good food makes him happy.

On a road trip in a food truck from Florida to California, Carl has the help of his son and a loyal sous chef. The three gain popularity from state to state as their food truck builds an online presence through Twitter and Facebook. Not only does Carl find his passion in cooking again, but he also rebuilds his relationship with a family he has hardly spent time with.

It’s hard not to get hungry while watching Chef, because as Carl throws himself into his work, the food he makes looks delicious. Carl shares with his son, Percy, how becoming a chef changed his life as they tour across the country. He’s excited to make Percy try new foods from a Cuban sandwich to a beignet, and Percy is excited to bond with his dad in these moments.

Chef is the kind of movie people who watch cooking shows (like Top Chef, or Masterchef, or even The Next Food Network Star) because it integrates cooking with a plot about finding passion in food. It took a bad review to shake things up in Carl’s life and it turns out to have been a good thing. He found happiness in cooking for himself, and not just trying to please people with the same boring food.

These characters bring a lot of heart to the movie and this is a story to inspire in those a drive to find their passion in life.


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