Chef is a 2014 film about professional chef Carl Casper (played by Jon Favreau) that was once known for his edgy and exciting dishes. But when Casper gets a bad review from a critic that states he has become boring, unfortunately, the review went viral on Twitter. In an all too relevant theme, Casper makes a digital faux pas and tweets publicly what he thought was a private message. His mistake actually worked out in his favor and Carl gets the second chance he wanted with the critic, but the owner of the restaurant, Riva (played by Dustin Hoffman), is not budging on a new menu. Feeling like his creativity is being stifled by Riva, he quits his job and has to figure out his next move. We get a glimpse of his family life during this too. He has a young son, Percy, (played by Emjay Anthony) with ex-wife Inez (played by Sofia Vergara). His relationship with his son is a hard one to watch. Percy just wants to spend time with and learn from his dad, but Carl seems too busy to give him that time.
Carl quitting his job turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened. He finds himself in Miami, back where his culinary career all started, opening a food truck. Not only does he get to be his own boss and is in control of his creativity, he gets to learn more about his son. For the first time, we see Carl working and happy, something everyone should strive to be when at work.
I chose to watch this film because of the rating it received – I take Rotten Tomatoes reviews very seriously. Now that I’ve watched it, I can say the reviews are true. I absolutely loved this movie. It was funny, heartfelt, and relatable on some level to everyone. It really spoke to me about something that I think many adults battle with, their relationship with their career. Many working adults love what they studied and have knowledge in, but find themselves getting wrapped up in their career and losing that passion. You hear about the big executives giving up their careers to do what they love, but I feel like it doesn’t happen often enough. At SparkSouth this year, I had lunch with a marketing professional who gave me advice that I had never heard before. She told me to fit my career around my life, and not the other way around. With the pressure we receive right now about finding careers after graduation, we forget that an important part of that equation is enjoying our life. Carl is able to fit his career into his life because of the food truck and is finally happy as a result.