After barely finishing Cooked (it got a little bland at the end, but my review will still be mostly positive--come back tomorrow to read), Chef was a great movie to get me excited about food again. It doesn't take much to do that, but I appreciated Chef's understated humor and focus on the kitchen. The literary side of me also enjoyed the outside-the-kitchen parallels drawn between following orders vs following your heart.
Carl Casper, the titular chef (played by Jon Favreau, who also directs), just wants to do what he does: make good food. But not just good--edgy and new and fun too. His boss, owner of the restaurant where Casper works (Dustin Hoffman), just wants the (tired) food that sells. Add to that the pressures of a celebrity food blogger (Oliver Platt), and Chef Casper is out--he quits. He pretty quickly realizes what his next step should be, and with help from his ex-wife/current friend (Sofia Vergara), best friend (John Leguizamo), and son (a perfectly sweet Emjay Anthony), he sets out to be boss of his own kitchen--on a food truck.
Simply put, this was the perfect movie to watch yesterday. It's fun and funny, without being campy, cringy, or contrived. It's a light-hearted and food-filled journey that I'm glad I went on after a stress-filled day.