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SXSW Movie Review: Jon Favreau's foodie road trip comedy 'Chef' serves up laughs

Jon Favreau in Chef
Jon Favreau in Chef
Courtesy of Open Road

Chef

Rating:
Star5
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Writer-director Jon Favreau rolled into Austin, Texas tonight with his new indie road trip comedy “Chef" in which he stars as Carl Casper a divorced chef who loses his high-profile position at a fancy restaurant and must bond with his estranged son while returning to his culinary roots by starting a Cubano food truck.

“Chef" delivers with a combination of mouth-watering foodie sequences and authentic characters in funny but believable situations that elicit genuine laughter.

The film also capitalizes on a great ensemble of Hollywood A-listers in various supporting roles, including Sophia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale and Oliver Platt, along with youngster Emjay Anthony, who is wonderfully cast as Carl’s son Percy.

Favreau’s return to low-budget filmmaking also succeeds thanks to a strong emotional journey between the father and son, which gives the film its heart and soul.

Visually “Chef” benefits from veteran Cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau’s warm sun-splashed images, which combined with Editor Robert Leighton’s keen eye for pacing and a lively music soundtrack, help to keep the dramedy moving briskly along without bogging down into melodrama.

Celebrity chef and Kogi gourmet food truck founder Roy Choi also deserves a huge shout out for his help in training Favreau and consulting on the film’s kitchen and food truck scenes.

Much like his character in the film, Favreau mixes together all the right ingredients to create a colorful foodie road trip experience that takes audiences along for an enjoyable ride from Miami to New Orleans to Austin and Los Angeles.

It's a trip worth taking for the food, fun and laughs.