The Gleeful Gourmand: "Chef" Movie - On This Foodie's Must List

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Chef" Movie - On This Foodie's Must List

It isn't too often that a movie based around food comes out in theaters, but when they do, this foodie rejoices. Sure, I love reading about food tremendously, but seeing it in action on the big screen is incredible. Kitchens, professional and unprofessional, have enough drama to fuel a thousand plots: high stakes, stress, sexiness, and gorgeous imagery.

My favorites: "Big Night," "Julie & Julia," "Like Water for Chocolate," and yes, "Ratatouille."
Not-so-favorite: "No Reservations."

But one thing I've heard from chefs and professional cooks is that often movies about the restaurant world get it completely wrong. That's why I found it so fascinating the lengths that director and actor Jon Favreau went to in order to make his new film, "Chef," legit.

Favreau stars as a chef who is fired from his restaurant job and starts up a food truck to reclaim his passion and zeal for cooking while trying to put back the broken pieces of his estranged family. Sounds like a great concept, but Favreau wanted beyond great - he wanted authenticity. He teamed up with chef Roy Choi, who gained praise and prominence as the creator of the gourmet Korean taco truck, Kogi; and was a leader in the food truck movement.

For his part, Choi agreed to help Favreau as long as the movie "got it right," from the kitchens to the very food they were making. So he sent Favreau off to French culinary school, and then had him train in his own kitchens for months before filming started. That's exactly what makes me want to see this movie: Food that truly shines, and a premise that doesn't romanticize or patronize the world of restaurant kitchens and the chefs that work in them.

"Chef" is in limited release in theaters right now, and I can't wait to see it. Take a look at the trailer below:


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