Other Side Drive

In Reel Life: Chef

todayMay 1, 2015 61

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by Roslyn Barrutia
KTSW Other Side Drive

Chef movie
Chef film. Photo cocurtesy http://www.nerdlocker.com

This week features the movie Chef. Chef is an independent film directed, produced, and written by Jon Favreau, who has worked on movies such as Swingers, Elf, Couples Retreat, and Iron Man, just to name a few. Not only did Favreau produce, direct, and write Chef, but he also acted as the main character, Carl Casper.

Casper is a talented food chef at a restaurant that restricts his creative passion. When a major food critic comes to eat at the restaurant one night, the owner, played by Dustin Hoffman, gives Casper a choice:  Stick with the food he chooses, or leave.

Out of fear of losing his job, Casper prepares the food that is demanded from him.

The food critic points out the fact that his lackluster meal needs more creativity. As he desired to be more adventurous with the food he prepared in the first place, this left Casper more distraught than before his regretful decision to stick with the owner’s idea of a meal. That night,  the food critic bashes Casper on Twitter, leaving Casper provoted to cook him a Casper original meal the next day. The next day, Favreau’s character leaves his position as Head Chef and realizes that there is something more he can do with his talent to make people happy than making food a boss tells him to make.

Later on, jobless and unknowing of the future of his career, is the point where Casper recreates himself.  His ex-wife, played by Sofia Vergara, convinces him to go to Miami with her and Percy, his son played by Emjay Anthony, to spend time with him while she does some business. She casually mentions that he should open a food trailer and he reacts as if that is the last option he would ever consider. Little did know, that the food trailer he later agrees to is the job that leads him to happiness. As Chef Casper says, “I get to touch people’s lives with what I do,” indulging in the characters aspiration to create food from the heart.

Chef is more than Casper’s adventure in rebuilding his reputation but  is about the father and son relationship Casper and Percy create on the road. Casper transforms into the father that Percy never got to have since Casper was always too focused on his job than his son. The film revolves around a road trip from Miami to Los Angeles where you see the hype ignite as people start to recognize Casper’s food trailer. They even makes a pit stop in Austin at Home Slice Pizza on South Congress as Casper and Percy enjoy a father-son moment. This film brings a heart warming sensation when you see his 10-year-old son tag along with Casper as he begins his own food trailer business selling Cubanos, Cuban sandwiches.

Chef deals with how social media can affect businesses, especially the food industry. Since Casper isn’t the best with social media, his son, Percy has taken upon him to spread the word of his father’s trailer and he does.   You see the trailer get popular by word of mouth and social media. Percy documents videos along the way as they travel back home, but also captures memories between the him and Casper later shared with Casper.

Twitter plays a big part of the movie because it contributed to Casper insulting the critic and destroying his career at the restaurant, but the social network also helped him recreate himself.

Chef will make you want to have a love for cooking but most of all, it makes you want to eat food immediately after you watch it.
In an interview with Eric Walkuski, he said that the movie is more than just about food and movie stars, it’s about a dad and a son, which imitated personal experiences that Favraeu went through as a kid.

Favreau came out of his big-screen directing from the Iron Man franchise, and brought himself back to his indie roots. Favraeu enjoyed producing the film because it was a film that came to him, like his movie Swingers in the 90s’, which was his first indie film that made big hits.

Roy Choy, the chef on-set, not only made the food appear appetizing but it actually was appetizing. Choy took on a need-not-waste-not approach to the meals used on set and did not put inedible aesthetics such as glisten to the food to make it more appealing, but kept it natural so the food could still be eaten. The food in the film was treated with reverence and everyone ate everything that was made.
This movie will have you laugh, appreciate the passion that life has to offer, and make your stomach growl as you watch the memorable moments between father and son on the road to a better tomorrow.

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Other Side Drive

In Reel Life: Skeleton Twins

Hosted by Roslyn Barrutia KTSW Other Side Drive What happens when you put Kristen Wigg and Bill Hader in a film? You get two extremely talented and funny people joking around. What else would you expect? Not only does their comical sense shine through in their latest film together, Skeleton Twins, but they give great performances in their more serious roles, roles that they both don’t usually play. Skeleton Twins […]

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