COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 44min
STARRING: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Emjay Anthony
Let them eat Cuban: from left, Leguizamo, Favreau and Vergara
Writer-director Favreau (Iron Man) has the knife moves and attitude lined up as Carl Casper, a Los Angeles star chef who has been around the culinary block. Carl’s food is edible art. (You’ll drool). But after 10 samey years, LA’s pre-eminent food critic (Oliver Platt) is sniping, Carl’s boss (Dustin Hoffman) is way too bossy and Carl has had enough. After he blows up in public and the internet likewise explodes, he finds himself jobless and, by his own admission, lost. How better to find himself than by slinging Cuban hash on a food truck, donated, in all its clapped-out glory, by the (other) ex-husband (Robert Downey Jr) of Carl’s ex-wife (Sofia Vergara)?
If by now you’re thinking Holy supporting cast! you’re spot on. Along with Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale and Anthony (as the solemn young son with whom Carl reconnects), who’s not to like? As a director, Favreau goes with an easy flow and as an actor, he couldn’t be more at home in feel-good foodie heaven. Chef might not cut the date-movie Dijon mustard, but it slides down a treat pre-dinner.