When Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner, he is left to figure out what's next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen -- and zest for life and love.
I have a vested interest in this culinary line of work. Leave it to Hollywood to sap away its allure, all too often between this and drivel like 2021's Boiling Point. Chef is way too formulaic and frequently heavy-handed to be all that enjoyable of a plebeian chef's career study. Favreau has to go and shoehorn things in like a beyond cliched subplot with Dustin Hoffman (bleating lousy dialogue) as a blowhard, risk-averse restauranteur that leads to his own main character being fired and it bogs everything down for the worse. The Latino presence is also needless, token and off-putting, I bet nobody was remotely counting against Puente's Oye Como Va to turn up. And then there's Scarlett Johanssen slumming it up again in a tacked-on part.
Favreau shows the right amount of spirit and zest in the lead role, he should have settled for a far better final cut screenplay. Could have used far more cooking or at least more easygoing inspired moments such as when Carl and his pals are karaokeing to Marvin Gaye's renowned Sexual Healing.