Wednesday, July 9, 2014


by Maria Geraci

Movies have always inspired my writing. Good movies, that is. And this summer's inspiration comes in the form of a quirky little film called CHEF. If you haven't seen it yet, then you're in for a treat. If you have seen it, then you probably know what I'm talking about.

The premise is simple: Chef Carl (played by the film's star, writer, and director Jon Favreau) is one of LA's most famous chefs. He works in a fancy restaurant (owned by Dustin Hoffman) and has control of his kitchen and his band of rowdy kitchen staff.  When a famous LA food critic comes to review the restaurant, Chef Carl is ready to wow him with a new and eclectic menu he's been chopping up. But the restaurant's owner demands he stick to the true and tried (and tired) menu he's been doing for years. Chef Carl caves in and the result is a scathing review that Chef Carl takes personally.

Way too personally.

The two of them (Chef Carl and the restaurant critic) begin to attack each other on Twitter (okay, these scenes were just hysterically funny) and Chef Carl ends up losing his job, along with his self-esteem. With nothing left to lose, he ends up back in Miami (the city where he first became famous as a chef) and buys a run down food truck. Along with his young son and his best friend, they begin a road trip across the country, selling food wherever they stop, and of course, learning life lessons that make him not just a better chef, but a better father, friend and potential love interest.

In case you think I'm spoiling the movie for you, everything I've told you is found in the movie's trailer. What makes Chef so special isn't the story, it's the way its told. It's the movie's voice (yes, directors, like authors have a distinct voice). It's warm, funny, and makes you feel good. I left the movie theater dancing (because the sound track is just so good!) and despite the fact I'd eaten before the movie, I left hungry (for both food and for more of the movie!).

You don't have to be a foodie to enjoy Chef. You just have to like a good story.

Maria Geraci writes fun, romantic women's fiction. You can connect with her by visiting her website.


  1. I'm all about voice. May have to see this one!

  2. I've been wanting to see this one! Thanks for the great review.

  3. Maria, I saw this movie a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it too. It's definitely feel-good, if not completely realistic, but I know that's not the purpose. I'm always comparing novels to movies and wonder how this would have worked as a book. We probably would have been much more into the chef's head and it would probably would have dug a little deeper. In the film there's a lot we don't know about this guy and his motivations. At any rate, it's a really fun movie and, yes, will make you hungry!

  4. One thing that did bug me was you never saw any arroz con pollo! Despite the fact they advertised that on the side of truck. Otherwise, I thought the Cubanos were right on!

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    1. Now I know where to hide when our temperatures spike (in Seattle) this week -- in a theater. Nice blog Maria!

  6. Love a good movie recommendation! Look forward to seeing this!