Chef, the Movie

Accidental Locavore ChefJust for fun, the other night the Accidental Locavore cruised over to the Culinary Institute of America for a screening of Chef, Jon Favreau’s new movie. In these parts the Culinary Institute is known as the CIA, so if you’re ever in the Hudson Valley and hear people talking about the CIA, they’re not paranoid, probably just hungry. But I digress…

It was the first time I’ve been in the Marriott Pavilion, a huge new space with an equally big auditorium. Surprisingly, since it was the CIA, no food or drink was allowed in the space. Jon Favreau was beamed up via Skype to answer questions. He worked closely with Roy Choi (a CIA grad who famously started the Korean Taco truck in LA) and talked at length about their relationship. Since the story of Chef mirrors Roy’s story, he was a natural to be both technical advisor and culinary muse.

Essentially, the story is about a well-known chef working in a fancy LA restaurant who gets panned by one of the leading critics. He quits and is urged (then backed) to start a food truck. He does and with the help of social media ends up with a huge hit on his hands. Part food porn, part buddy movie, it’s enjoyable, if a little predictable. Like a classic Mickey Rooney movie, where he and Judy Garland decide to put on a show, Chef does the same thing but with this generation’s icon — a food truck.

Accidental Locavore Molten CakeThe funniest part of sitting in an audience of budding chefs was a scene at a BBQ joint in Austin, Texas. The owner pulls a gorgeous hunk of brisket out and when Jon Favreau cuts a chunk of it, the entire audience collectively gasped. This is not a movie to be seen on an empty stomach (take my word for it!); there’s nothing in the film, including the much-maligned chocolate lava cake, that you wouldn’t want to devour, and I’m sure the sale of Cubanos will be on the rise beginning this week (I’m going to say “I told you so” when the Internet is full of recipes). Enjoy!


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