“Chefs are the most impatient perfectionists I’ve ever met and people love them for it. That’s what leads to perfection and pride.” – Jon Favreau
“Chefs are the most impatient perfectionists I’ve ever met and people love them for it. That’s what leads to perfection and pride.” – Jon Favreau
“The thing that draws a chef to open a food truck is what drew me to doing a film like this. You have to answer to nobody, you are making everything yourself by hand, you have limited space, resources, but it’s a small enough scale that you can express your voice purely, and if you succeed or fail is completely reliant on what you’re putting out that window.” – Jon Favreau
LOS ANGELES, CA – Most successful filmmakers don’t go back to school in the midst of their careers. But at 47, Jon Favreau decided that if he was going to get the smallest details right in “Chef” — and as any cook knows, the best dishes are defined by the littlest things — he had to learn a thing or two. So he called food truck maven Roy Choi, who enrolled Favreau in culinary school and then brought him in to work in Choi’s kitchens.
Before long, the “Iron Man” director was handling knives and plating dishes as if he had worn a chef’s coat for years.
Opening May 9, “Chef” is Favreau’s love letter to food and, more forcefully, the people who cook it. A foodie who is now prone to smoke his own briskets for 14 hours and is installing a wood-fired pizza oven in his remodeled kitchen, Favreau was forever trying to work a chef into one of his movies but couldn’t make the fit. “There’s something really authentic and sincere about cooking,” Favreau said. “And it looks really good on film.”
In “Chef,” which he wrote, directed and stars in, Favreau plays Carl Casper, a talented cook who has settled into turning out mediocre food that is no more daring than French onion soup, lobster risotto, frisée salad and chocolate lava cake. After Casper has a very public falling-out with the restaurant’s owner (Dustin Hoffman), he tries to reinvent himself not only as a chef but also as a parent, taking his young son on a culinary road trip as Casper teams with a loyal assistant (John Leguizamo) to launch a food truck specializing in pressed Cuban pork sandwiches.
As many chefs will tell you, when Hollywood tries to dish up a restaurant movie, the results are often about as appetizing as curdled custard: The few food movies that get it right — “Mostly Martha,” “Big Night,” “Eat Drink Man Woman” and even “Ratatouille” top most lists — are dwarfed by those that get it wrong, typically by making food preparation look too pretty.
After writing the script but before filming commenced, Favreau hired Choi — best known for his Kogi taco truck — as his food consultant. “And I told him, ‘If I’m going to do this, we really need to honor the craft and the code of cooking,'” Choi said.
They soon started talking about how a kitchen is run: It’s not as strict as the army, but there’s a military precision to its organization and chain of command. More important, chefs typically pursue cooking less as a career than as a calling. What matters most is the satisfaction on a diner’s face, and the joy of working with great ingredients. “When a chef sees a big bag of shallots, he’s excited that he gets to peel them and use them,” Favreau said. “That’s something I never thought of.”
After honing his knife and saucing skills in a weeklong culinary school crash-course — “You’re not coming into my kitchen until you’re trained,” Choi told him — Favreau spent a couple of months working alongside his mentor, starting with the most menial tasks. “I had him work an eight-hour shift, just prepping,” Choi said of an underling’s work preparing ingredients. “You can’t make a movie about a chef if you don’t understand what it is to be a cook.”
Find the entire article at the LA Times <here>
Reuters – Actor, director and screenwriter Jon Favreau traded the high-flying super hero antics of his “Iron Man” movies for a quieter new film about a celebrated chef who quits his job at a top-flight restaurant and takes to the road in a food truck.
“Chef,” a small-budget, independent comedy with a big-name cast, including Iron Man veterans Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, made its premiere at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin this weekend.
It will open nationwide in the United States on May 9.
For Favreau, “Chef” helped cleanse his palate after directing the first two of the three Iron Man films, which have a combined world box office of more than $1 billion. The movie also comes ahead of what will likely be his next expensive project, an adaption of “The Jungle Book.”
“If you are spending in excess of $100 million on something, you better make sure that you make that money back,” Favreau told Reuters.
“When you are doing something for a fraction of that, the smaller you make the movie, the smaller the risk, and the more specific the audience can be.”
His new movie is more of a personal story about a chef named Carl Casper pushed out of his kitchen due social media gaffes that spiral out of control and conflicts with the restaurant owner, played by Dustin Hoffman.
At the heart of the film is the troubled relationship between Casper and his son, who has been living with his mother after a divorce.
“This movie deals with issues that coincide with the stage in life where I am, specifically fatherhood and the prioritization of family over career,” Favreau said.
To keep costs down, the A-list actors were paid the bare minimum and the special effects of his previous films have been traded for close-ups of the knife work used in preparing food for the kitchen.
Gratuitous shots of mouth-watering dishes take the place of massive explosions.
To get the feel of the movie right, Favreau enlisted the help of Roy Choi, who rose to fame by starting up a food truck that served Korean influenced tacos.
“Maybe the food truck does not have as much money as being a big chef, but you never have to compromise your visions,” Choi said.
Choi helped Favreau learn the tricks of the trade and said by the end of the film, the star was cooking all the food for the scenes in the movie.
Favreau said putting the script together for this movie brought back memories of “Swingers,” the 1996 comedy he wrote about unemployed actors and a swing dance revival that helped propel him and co-star Vince Vaughn to prominence.
“I have a lot of really, really good eight-page scripts and then you forget what you are doing,” he said.
On both films, Favreau kept going – plugging away for about two weeks each and coming away with an entire story.
“The big movies have to appeal to everybody, young or old, male or female, every market around the world to get their money back,” Favreau said.
“But little ones like this you can make for you and an audience that can connect with it more personally,” he said.
Find original article by Reuters <here>
LOS ANGELES, CA – Jon Favreau tweeted out some behind the scene footage of his upcoming movie Chef which is about a chef who opens up his own mobile food business after he is fired from the restaurant he is working at (sound familiar?). The tweets included the name of the truck, El Jefe Cubanos.
The Daily Mail also has photos of Sofia Vergara wearing an El Jefe t-shirt; Vergara plays Favreau’s ex-wife in the film. Below, a Vine of the truck (featuring a Kogi truck cameo).
Robert Downey Jr.’s future in the Marvel Universe may be in doubt, but that’s not stopping him from starting work on a new project. And for his next movie, he’ll be teaming up with Jon Favreau, his colleague on the three “Iron Man” pictures.
Downey has signed on for the lead role in “Chef,” an independent comedy to be directed by Favreau, who has also written the screenplay and will co-star. In the movie, Downey will play a chef at an upscale restaurant who loses his job and has a falling out with his family. The chef starts over by starting a food truck, and tries to heal his relationship with his family as he puts his career back on track.
Downey has expressed an interest in doing smaller, independent projects in between superhero vehicles, and “Chef” will give him a chance to do just that. It should also give him a fun way to occupy himself while he continues negotiations with Marvel Studios; Downey’s contact with Marvel was concluded with “Iron Man 3,” and gossip has it that Downey is willing to return to play Tony Stark in future projects, but only if the money is right. Given Marvel’s well-documented reluctance to part with a dollar, it’s an open question if he’ll be in “The Avengers 2″ or “Iron Man 4.” (Though since “Iron Man 3″ is currently on track to a worldwide gross of over a billion dollars within the next few weeks, giving Downey another few million would seem like a safe investment.)
“Chef” will also star Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Bobby Cannavale, and is being financed by Aldamisa Entertainment in partnership with Kilburn Media. No studio is currently attached to release the picture, but given the talent on board, getting someone to pick up the picture should be no problem at all.
“Setting a film in the culinary world of Los Angeles offers wonderful opportunities for a character driven comedy.” – Jon Favreau
Production will begin July 8 in Los Angeles. Chef comes to theaters in 2015
What could be better than ice cream? How about free ice cream? Or how about an interview and an exclusive trailer from the indie film “Free Samples“? “Free Samples” tells the story of Jillian (Jess Weixler) who, after dropping out of law school, spends one eventful day handing out some tasty teases for soft-serve ice cream.
The film also stars Jesse Eisenberg as the guy Jillian can’t remember from the night before but who is determined to go on a date with her.
“Free Samples” also stars Halley Feiffer, Jason Ritter and Tippi Hedren. It was written by Jim Beggarly and directed by Jay Gammill.
We sat down with director Jay Gammill and the movie’s lead actor Jess Weixler who plays Jillian.
Mobile Cuisine: Jim Beggarly wrote the original script, how were you introduced to the project and what was it that made you choose to direct it?
Jay Gammill: I met Jim Beggarly coming out of film school (USC) in 2007 and we wanted to work together on a project. He pitched me on the idea of “Free Samples” and I thought it was fantastic, especially for the fact that it took place on a single set.
MC: What drew you to a script that centered on an ice cream truck as the primary set?
JG: As an independent film maker, you are always looking for something you can do with limited funding. It was really fun to do.
MC: How does a first time movie director come with a cast which includes Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter and Tippy Hedren?
JG: We were very fortunate to have Jesse Eisenberg attached early on and we always wanted Jess Wiexler. Both of them really responded to the script, that was really the key. We couldn’t have planned it if we tried.
MC: So why did you choose to work on a project with a first time full length movie director?
Jess Weixler: I’ve worked with a lot of first time directors. I feel that you make choices just because you’d have a good time playing a character Jillian was a character who had a journey’s to take and she wasn’t a character I’ve played before.
MC: What was it like to work with Jay?
JW: Jay was great and super open to discussing scenes and figuring out together what they needed. It was a really fun set, kinda like a summer camp set.
MC: Your character Jillian agrees to operate her friend’s ice cream truck while she attends an intervention for her bother. By agreeing to give out free samples of ice cream from the truck, Jillian stumbles into a working therapy session where the customers help her realize what her real problems are and how she can fix them. Why do you think in certain situations it takes listening to a stranger’s view or advice of someone else’s life to break through their psychological issues?
JW: That’s an interesting question. I think that often times when people that your close to sometimes your stuck in your habits and how you act around them it’s strangers that enlighten you or who you open up to. I think this is true for Jillian especially with the little girl and the older woman.
MC: How was it to work with Tippy Hedren?
JW: She is a total pleasure, she is really caring.
MC: Do you have any memories about ice cream trucks from your youth?
JG: When I was young lad in the 80’s growing up in Louisiana, the ice cream truck was a weekly event, and my treat of choice was the orange-like Flintstone Push Up Pops. What I remember most was the initial sound of the ice cream jingle which set into motion a course of events that could not be stopped until I was peeling back the top of that push pop and licking my tongue into a hue of orange not found in nature. It was very satisfying.
MC: With the idea of mobile food going gourmet starting in LA back in 2008, have either of you frequented any of the hundreds of gourmet food trucks that cruise the streets of Southern California?
JG: Food Trucks to me are like a dessert. I always want to eat at one but allow myself to indulge every so often, but yes I do, often when I’m with friends. I also have a hard time waiting in lines, but once I started bringing lawn chairs, I was fine.
MC: Do you have any favorites?
JG: While we were filming FREE SAMPLES, Cafe Con Leche visited our set a few times, and the coffee was divine. Right now, I’m dying to try the Clean Street Food Truck! It’s on the top of my list.
Find the full trailer for Free Samples below.
Here is a Mobile Cuisine exclusive clip where Jillian (Jess Weixler) gets directions on how to prepare the free samples.
You can visit the “Free Samples” official Facebook page here.
“Free Samples” will be available on demand and for digital download starting on May 21 and in theaters on May 31.
BURBANK, CA – To get a head start on the spirit of holiday giving and celebrate the November 4th theatrical release of New Line Cinema’s “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” college students will vote for their school and the chance to have the “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” Munchies Truck Tour visit their campus.
To launch Harold and Kumar’s own version of the twelve days of Christmas, students in twelve cities will select their college/university via Twitter (using specific hashtags for their schools — details can be found at http://www.twitter.com/wbpictures and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HaroldandKumarMovie starting Wednesday, October 12th. The campus with the most votes/highest volume of activity in each participating market will earn a visit from the Munchies Truck.
The Munchies truck will feature a special “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” menu and/or signature item. Students will enjoy free munchies and have the chance to get fun prizes, including advance screening passes (while supplies last). Cities and schools participating in the twelve-day tour include:
Free food and a free movie. Sounds like a plan.