Adele Wong
by Adele Wong

September school holidays are upon us again! If you are looking for a change from yet another CGI extravaganza and wish to expose your child to independent films (small on budget but big on story and heart), we have just the film for you!

Chef is a highly-praised comedy-drama about food starring Jon Favreau, the writer and director behind the Iron Man films. Favreau plays an acclaimed though stifled chef at a high-end restaurant whose meltdown after a less than favorable review costs him his job. Invited to return home to Miami by his ex-wife, the chef decides to make delicious food on his own terms by starting a food truck. As he embarks on this venture, his family, friends, and his young son come along for the fun ride, which culminates in a yummy road trip across the United States. With a budget of $11 million (Iron Man 2 cost $200 million), Favreau also wrote, produced and directed Chef – this is as indie as it gets!
So here are reasons to watch Chef with the family now!

1) Food Porn
Is your child a fussy eater? Films help to widen our knowledge of the world. Chef introduces us to the spicy Latin flavors of Miami and the food truck culture that is taking the US by storm. The film features wonderful scenes of food preparation guaranteed to make everyone, especially meat lovers, salivate. Real-life food truck owner and chef Roy Choi served as co-producer and oversaw the menu and cooking, so everything you see is chef-approved! Whether it is the plating of beef cheeks in red wine sauce at a fine dining restaurant or the assembling of a delicious Cuban sandwich dripping with cheese in a food truck, let’s just say we hope you already have a hearty lunch or dinner lined up after this movie!

2) Responsible Social Media Usage
Writer-Director Jon Favreau stars in Chef as Carl, the head chef at a trendy four-star LA restaurant. Carl, unknowingly, gets into a Twitter war with a famous food critic. To top it all off, a video of Carl losing his temper in a Gordon Ramsey-like rant goes viral, and consequently Carl loses his job and reputation. This anecdote can be a good opener to a modern parenting topic: responsible social media usage.

3) Family
Chef portrays the extended modern family, which includes exes, their families and old friends, in a wonderfully warm way. Although divorced, Carl’s ex-wife, Inez, played by the hilarious Sofia Vergara, supports and encourages him not only to start a food truck after he loses his restaurant job but also to take the opportunity to spend quality time with their son. The food truck endeavor brings Carl and his son, Percy, together as Carl teaches him about cooking and hard work. In return, Percy teaches Carl all about social media marketing! In one memorable scene, Carl’s ex-father-in-law helps him rediscover his love for Cuban-inspired cuisine. Chef shows that familial love can take on many shapes and forms in this modern day and age.

4 Back to Basics
One of Chef’s themes is returning to one’s roots. Carl does this by leaving the bustling Los Angeles for the slower pace of his hometown Miami. But more important than the geographic change is Carl’s culinary and spiritual journey back to where he comes from. Inez and his return home helps Carl remember what made him want to be a chef in the first place, which wasn’t about running high-profile kitchens in fancy restaurants. His first culinary dream was to cook good food for real people. By returning to his roots, Carl discovers the meaning behind soul food.

5) Father-and-Son and Road Trip Fun
Chef is full of lovely father-and-son moments as Carl imparts culinary knowledge to Percy, from taking his son to the market to giving him cleaning duties. We can’t help but share a sense of pride when Carl eventually rewards Percy with his very own chef’s knife. After the initial success in Miami, Carl wants to take the food truck to his former turf: Los Angeles. He takes Percy on a road trip in the truck, cooking and eating their way across the United States. What a great way to expand a child’s palate!


What are you waiting for? Watch Chef with the whole family and enjoy a heart (and tummy)-warming time together!