News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau knows a good meal when he sees one, but this week he turned his attention away from the table and toward the screen to review the new film from Jon Favreau, “Chef.”
In his review, Galarneau says the film “aims to be a real crowd pleaser, and mostly succeeds. The more you know about the reality of working a food truck, the more likely it’ll give you indigestion. Most people will cheer at the ending, though, even though it’s more straight-up pandering.” He gave the film 3 stars out of 4.
Here is what two other critics had to say:
Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, likewise gave it 3 stars or a grade of B: “Chef” has adorable, PG-13-worthy father-son bonding, with Favreau really clicking with the kid. It has a wonderful supporting cast, with fellow cooks played by John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale, the restaurant manager / hostess played by Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara as Carl’s party-planner ex-wife and Robert Downey Jr., leaning into the sort of eccentric word play that only Favreau brings out in him (he’s another ex-husband of Vergara’s party planner). All of it comes off thanks to wonderful early scenes that establish Favreau’s comfort in the kitchen, his steady hand with a knife. He seems at home in this world and relishes explaining what makes it special.”
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, called it “authentic cuisine”: “It’s 115 minutes long, and while the time goes quickly, the movie feels richer than its length, as though someone’s whole life were being experienced and illuminated. It’s an American film with a languorous European flavor – full of colorful incidents, as in a Hollywood movie, but seemingly just floating along, not heading toward some fixed point. With most American movies, you know exactly where they’re going within 20 minutes and even know how they’re getting there. But two-thirds into ‘Chef,’ the movie is still revealing itself and presenting surprises, not earth-shaking turns of story, but rich little moments between people.