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Tribeca FF 2014 Films, On Your Radar: CHEF
by Kathryn Loggins

It's an amazing experience to go to a film festival, especially an established festival like TriBeCa. But let's be honest, sometimes the independent films are lacking in character and tend to be so overly dramatic or serious, that it can be hard to enjoy them. This is not the case with Jon Favreau's film Chef, which he wrote, directed and stars in. I was delightfully surprised by how fun and engaging this film is. It has a great message and is enjoyable for any person that has a passion in life - which is to say, everyone!

The story follows Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), an established chef in Los Angeles. He is struggling with keeping his menu fresh while placating his overbearing boss (Dustin Hoffmann). After a revered food critic (Oliver Platt) dines at his restaurant and rips into his food and his person, the chef loses his cool and accosts the food critic in the middle of his restaurant. This lands him a one-way ticket to YouTube fame and loses him his job in the process. He is at the end of his rope. His ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) suggests he start a food truck in order to regain focus and work on his relationship with their estranged son (Emjay Anthony). The journey that unfolds is both hilarious and heartwarming. All characters in the film end up finding themselves through the common bonds of love, friendship, loyalty and a passion for food. Not only are the characters engaging and real, but the cinematography is so accurate it's actually mouth-watering. Favreau does a great job of making the restaurant industry come alive, while providing a compelling story that speaks to the human heart.