As foodies, we definitely like to watch shows about food. But the movie Chef is one of our family favorites for more than just the food – although the food is pretty extraordinary.
To sum up the film, Jon Favreau directs and plays Chef Carl Casper who quits his position at a prestigious Los Angeles restaurant when his overly controlling owner forbids him any artistic freedom, and when he is forced to take the fall for a review that slams the restaurant for its lack of creativity. At loose ends, his supportive ex-wife encourages him to open a food truck. And the adventure is on.
There are a large number of scenes in the film that pay homage to food – beautiful, creative, and authentic food – and in order to get that authenticity, Jon Favreau recruited legendary Kogi chef Roy Choi to consult with him. That partnership spilled over into The Chef Show, which just premiered on June 7th. The two partners travel to visit different locales, meet with famous and should-be-famous friends, and basically just have fun exploring food.
Whether they’re smoking brisket with Aaron Franklin, trashing Goop in the kitchen with Gwyneth Paltrow, jumping onto food trucks to whip up a meal or two, celebrating a renowned food critic, making cauliflower pizza with Roberto Rodriguez, or sitting around a table with the Avengers cast, it’s just a lot of fun.
If you’re trying to figure out what makes the movie Chef magic, it’s in the show. It’s just a genuine love-letter to good food. And it’s utterly refreshing.
Choi and Favreau have genuine chemistry and seem to have a ton of fun being in the kitchen together. Favreau isn’t along just for the ride, but as a ready contributor, and sometimes he teaches Choi a thing or two. They’re not afraid to share a gaffe or two – and admit it’s probably not great to use two year old beignet mix when they’re making beignets. And they totally play with mix.
But when they do go headfirst into creating original food, the recipes are worth taking the screenshot of the creative ingredient animations to recreate. They create some pretty amazing stuff, and they do it with an unflagging positive attitude and joy that is so utterly needed in today’s negative landscape.
The Chef Show is pretty much perfect food television, and you’ll definitely find us watching.