Chef is a comically entertaining movie that touches on the value of friends and family while also effectively displaying the impact social media can have on a business in today’s climate. The movie takes place at Brentwood, California hotspot “Gauloise” where Miami native Carl Casper is the head chef. The tension begins almost immediately when the restaurant staff hears of an upcoming visit from renowned food critic and blogger Ramsey Michel. This tension is then further exaggerated as a struggle develops between Casper and Gauloise owner Riva. In preparation for Michel’s visit Casper decides to craft a new menu, however Riva thwarts this plan and compels Casper to stick with the unimaginative traditional menu. Casper is then forced to go into the review with a menu he does not believe in and suffers accordingly as Michel writes a scathing review in which he attacks Casper for his lack of imagination. Michel’s review goes viral on Twitter which prompts Casper to seek the help of his 10 year old son Percy to create his own Twitter account. Once on Twitter Casper sees all of the negative backlash to his food and immediately challenges Michel to a “rematch” where he plans to serve a more imaginative menu he curated himself. However, confrontation reemerges as Riva again refuses to let Casper serve his personalized menu at which point Casper quits the restaurant entirely. Despite the conflict in the kitchen, Michel visits as planned and is subsequently served the same menu which he previously critiqued. Michel then delivers another poor review and specifically calls out Casper for not being there. Enraged with this Michel’s review Casper goes back to the restaurant where he personally confronts Michel in a verbal altercation that is captured on video and goes viral.
After the outburst episode Casper decides to heed the advice of ex-wife Inez and move to Miami for a fresh start. Once in Miami Casper is given an old dilapidated food truck which he then decides to refurbish. Shortly after arriving back home in Miami Casper rediscovers his love for cuban cooking which offers him inspiration for the theme of his food truck. The underlying value of family is clearly displayed throughout Casper’s time in Miami while he,Inez and Percy bond as they repair the truck and establish their new family business. The father son duo is then joined by Casper’s longtime cook friend Martin and together the group embarks on a cross country adventure taking the truck from Miami to Los Angeles. Along the way Percy finds creative ways to market the food truck as they hop between different major cities. These social media marketing efforts proved especially beneficial during their stops in both New Orleans, La and Austin, Tx where, at each respective stop, Casper added a unique local flare to his already imaginative menu. The adventure ultimately culminates in Los Angeles where Casper again encounters Michel, however this time Michel comes to explain that his critic was more about the stale menu holding Casper back from his true potential. Michel then offer to financially back a new restaurant in which Casper would have full control over the menu. The restaurant becomes an instant success and six months after being opened it becomes the wedding site for Casper and Inez’s second marriage.
All in all I think this movie does a great job of entertaining its audience while also emphasizing the relevance of social media in today’s business climate. I would rate this movie 8/10 and would recommend it to a friend.