SXSW Review: Chef

A food truck and a Favreau the perfect blend for a life rediscovering journey, road-trip comedy.

Chef focuses on culinary master Carl Casper, portrayed by Jon Favreau, whose life as an over worked Los Angeles chef takes an unfortunate turn after an argument with his boss played by Dustin Hoffman which leads his anger to burst out at a critic.

After his confrontation with the restaurant critic goes viral online he very quickly finds himself unemployable in the food business. After the the incident Carl’s ex-wife Vergara brought to life by Sofia Vergara attempts to get him to accompany her and his 11-year-old son on a journey back to where he begun his passion for cooking Miami. All with the hope of reigniting his recently shatter spark for creating different sensational food. Casper reluctantly agrees to come on the trip, which leads him on a journey of self-discovery back to his homeland of Miami where he also sees an opportunity to reconnect with his past roots which first lead him to become a Chef.

However with his recently found internet celebrity and with dwindling finances he hits a dead end until his out of nowhere encounter with Vergara’s first ex-husband played by Robert Downey Jr who provides Casper with a little financial assistance, Carl then decides to buy and refurbish an old crummy food truck that he names ‘El Jefe Cubanos’. The experience also unexpectedly begins to help Carl reconnect with his son, over the road trip where Carl takes the food truck back to LA.

As well as being a drastic directorial diversion from his usual brand of films, Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens and Zathura, Favreau has triumphantly returned to the style of his 1996 debut screenplay Swingers. By writing, directing, producing and lead starring in the Swingers style comedy Favreau has managed to create s truly superb comedy demonstrating his cinematic ability when left untouched by studios hanging the script around his neck. Favreau is no newcomer to any of these titles especially with his acting talent which is terrific. This feature also surprisingly marks the first non-Iron Man collaboration between Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau.

Alongside the one man comedy crew that is Jon Favreau the film also hosts the performances of Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale, Sofía Vergara, and Robert Downey Jr.

Jon Favreau’s Chef held its world premiere on the festival scene, here at the 2014 South By Southwest Film Festival with a selection of members from the cast and crew in attendance to support the films debut screening all alongside Favreau. As well as the crowds of eagerly awaiting fans outside the screening, inside the film was extremely well received with its base of new age comedy, bringing laughter to the fest however not to all of the critics with most undervaluing the film mainly based on its lengthy runtime.

Audiences should expect a good laugh and a brilliantly layered story. This is certain to be one of the key comedies of the year and is a must watch for anyone visiting the cinema this May.


A clip was also released recently of the film after its premiere here at SXSW which you can watch below.


About the Author


James Rush is the Founding, News & Chief Editor for TFM.