“Chef” Gets the Scene and Story Right …But Bring Your Own Food

Chef, movie

Ever since the movie Swingers I’ve loved Jon Favreau.   I haven’t agreed with his movie choices lately with blockbusters such as the Iron Man films, but I enjoy his Dinner for Five Series and now Chef brings him back to sharing food, friends and stories.  He’s written a film about a self-absorbed chef who gives up his safe restaurant job after a bad review, for creative integrity, and ends up searching for a new way to express himself and discover happiness on a food truck.  While food is everything to him, Chef Casper is forced to explore his relationship with his 10 year old son, himself, ex-wife, friends, and the ways of the Internet.   His journey is an enjoyable one to watch.


I went to see Chef at a matinee with my foodie friend.  Unfortunately I was late for our planned lunch and the theater café was closed.  The thought of eating concession popcorn for lunch was unthinkable, so we snuck in some food from neighboring Japantown.  No.  I’m not above sneaking in food.  Although my friend wasn’t pleased.  However I won’t be forced to eat junk from the theatre.  Plus I cleaned up after myself, which is more than I can say for many theatre goers. You’d never know where I ate my tea noodles.


Chef was big with food and personalities.  In addition to Favreau (Chef Casper), there’s Sophia Vergara (the ex-wife), Scarlett Johansson (the hostess), Dustin Hoffman (the restaurateur), Oliver Platt (food blogger/critic) John Leguizamo (the sous chef),  and even Robert Downey Jr. (Sophia’s other ex) .  The 10 year old son, Percy , is played by Emjay Anthony.  He’s got an old soul  and can hold his own with Favreau beautifully.


While watching this film my friend and I were very pleased to eat our contraband lunch. Food itself is one of the main stars in Chef.   It all looks amazing and delicious and you wish you could taste every dish.  Everything from caviar eggs to grilled meats to chocolate lava cake to cubano sandwiches are on screen – sizzling and tempting you for two hours.  In addition to the beautiful food is the carefully chosen soundtrack to help transport you as the food truck travels from Miami to Los Angeles and has the rhythms and beats to match.


Chef is one for the time capsule.  The backdrop is the foodie scene as we know, live and eat it today.  Learning via Twitter where a certain food truck will be during your lunch break.  Reading the latest food blog that can make or break a chef.  Kids knowing more than their parents about the ins and outs of videos and the Internet.  Teaching kids the importance of cooking, sharing and eating good, real food.   There’s even a reminder of one of my favorite other food movies, Ratatouille (see past review) in the feel good ending.  Stay past the credits and watch famous Korean taco truck chef Roy Choi, who consulted on Chef, teach Jon Favreau how to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  For all these reasons I really enjoyed the film.  So go …but not hungry.


Do you know your taste? Find Out and Earn $1 for the Food Bank.

Do you know your taste?  Want to answer a few foodie questions  to earn $1 for the San Francisco Food Bank?  Please say yes.  For every person who takes the taste test, Dave’s Gourmet will give $1 to the SF Food Bank.   Check out the taste test here.  Because giving back is always good in taste.

I was at the Food Bank a few weeks ago helping Leah’s Pantry with a food smarts community training program.  The food bank is amazing.  First it’s massive which is always impressive.  How they get all of the pallates of food stacked, sorted, delivered, and set up for shopping is such a site.  It takes many, many dedicated workers and volunteers to provide thousands of children, families and seniors in the community with food.

Anyways…I took the Food Bank challenge and discovered I am umami.  Who knew?  Here’s what I got (so fun)….

You’re umami! Subtle, savory, and a little mysterious – that’s you, umami. You seek out those rich, complex foods with a certain special something: seafood, cheese, mushrooms. You’re not showy, and you get along well with others – so when you team up with one of your sour or salty comrades, people find you irresistible.

Find out what you are and the food bank gets $1.  Take a few minutes to answer a few food questions and provide your first name and email address, and Dave’s Gourmet gives $1 to the food bank.  Take the test and blog back here to share your taste.  Salty, sweet?  Let’s hear it.


Fun Find: Hungry Bunny Store and Website

I love discovering new things…restaurants, books, hotels, foods, activities, shops.  So when I walked into a new (new to me, it’s been there about 6 months) store in San Francisco called Hungrybunny, I fell in love.  This store has unique and fun gifts and products all having to do with food.  Everything from stationery, toys, books, gadgets, crafts, aprons and games.  Want to play a game about food?  Get Wasabi! or Food Fight.  Need a fun baby gift?  I couldn’t resist a soft , plush roast chicken with removable drumsticks.(see above – hysterical right?)  Then there’s felt food sandwich and sushi making kits for toddlers.  Aprons and cooking sets for helpers in your kitchen.  And food craft kits for older kids who want to create their own cupcake pillow.  And even well designed kitchen tools, funny notecards (below)and interesting reusable water bottles and food carryers for yourself.


This is my new go to place for gifts for people of all ages.  There’s also a carefully chosen selection of local condiments, confections, teas and spices – great for housewarming presents.  If you’re not in the Bay Area, luckily you can shop Hungrybunny online.