“Chef” Director Jon Favreau Gets Bitten With Culinary Bug

Iron Man filmmaker Jon Favreau writes, directs, produces and stars in the comedy Chef, a feature which also stars Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson. The storyline centers on Carl Casper (Favreau), a chef who quits his job at a respected Los Angeles restaurant after having disagreements with the owner (Dustin Hoffman) over his menu.

Casper’s rash decision is a definite gamble, as he heads to Miami to launch a food truck with the assistance and emotional support of his buddy (Leguizamo), ex-wife (Vergara) and his son (Emjay Anthony). The food truck specializes in pressed Cuban pork sandwiches which, though seemingly simple, can only achieve excellence with a certain level of nuance.

Chef – John Leguizamo, Emjay Anthony, Jon Favreau (Open Road Films)

Although cooking is a passion for Favreau, he needed experts in the field to give his comedy a realistic feel. Enter Roy Choi, the creator of the famed Kogi BBQ Taco Truck as well as the man behind the praised establishments Chego and A-Frame. “To really represent a chef on the movie screen, you’ve got to what it feels like to be a cook,” said Choi, as quoted in the film’s production notes. “You’ve got to know how it feels to stand on your feet and work and sit down on a milk rate and drink out of a deli cup.”

Click on the media bar and listen to Jon Favreau talk about how Roy Choi, who’s also a producer on Chef and also launched the new Koreatown restaurant Pot (located at The Line Hotel) helped sharpen the filmmaker’s culinary skills.

Chef, which opens in select theaters in May 9, is just part of Favreau’s culinary journey. “The bug bit me and I’m still doing it,” said Favreau, who shot Chef in just a month. “It’s my hobby. I’m ripping apart my kitchen at home and putting commercial equipment and the family loves doing it with me. It’s a nice thing – it’s a hobby that ages gracefully.”