Jon Favreau Dishes on His New Film 'Chef'

Jon Favreau Dishes on His New Film 'Chef'
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Jon Favreau Dishes on His New Film 'Chef'

Jon Favreau takes his acting and directing career in a new direction with Chef, the story of a restaurant chef who opens a food truck.

Image Courtesy of Chef

Q: What sparked your interest in food and food truck culture?

A: I’ve always liked to eat, but I think it was reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain that sparked my interest in kitchen culture.

Image Credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Q: How did you research the role?

A: Chef Roy Choi was nice enough to oversee my training and every aspect of food in the movie. When I asked cooks that I was working with during my training "Is there anything I shouldn’t miss when making a movie about a chef?" they said, “Burns.” When I asked them to explain what they meant, they pointed to their forearms and showed me that they all had lots of scars from pot and oven burns.

Image Credit: Joe Kohen/FilmMagic

Q: How did you connect up with Roy Choi?

A: I had tasted his food from the Kogi taco truck while filming Iron Man 2. Gwyneth Paltrow had somehow arranged to have his food served as a thank you to the crew. Years later, my producers were researching chefs who might be appropriate as technical advisors and they recommended Roy Choi because his story and food truck pedigree seemed perfectly appropriate. I met with him and we hit it off right away.

Image Credit: Bravo/NBCUniversal

Q: What most surprised you about the restaurant business?

A: I was impressed with how much pride everyone in the kitchen staff took with regards to the most minute detail.

Image Courtesy of Chef

Q: What inspired the story of Chef?

A: I had become fascinated over the years by the emergence of chefs in pop culture. They struck me as both flawed and romantic figures that were balancing passion with the realities and compromises in the real world.

Image Courtesy of Chef

Q: Are you a good cook?

A: I am now. I’ve become pretty good at duplicating the food that I prepare in the movie. At the time we filmed it, I was able to fake it pretty well for the camera but at this point, I’ve become good at actually executing that menu for guests.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Q: How did you select the cast?

A: Some of the cast members were people that jumped to mind as I wrote the script. Others were people that I’ve always wanted to work with. Some were actors who I’ve worked with before and I asked for a favor.

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Q: Who was most excited about the subject matter?

A: Scarlett Johansson was impressive because she actually finished the pasta dish that I served to her after the cameras stopped rolling. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after Roy Choi doctored the seasoning of what I had prepared that she said, “Now this is amazing.”

Image Credit: Gregg DeGuire/Wire Image

Q: What did you eat on set? Was the filmed food truck actually producing food?

A: The truck was, for the most part, operational. We ate a tremendous amount of food on this shoot. Everything you saw tasted better than it looked. The last day of shooting featured an Aaron Franklin barbeque brisket. When we yelled, "cut," on the last shot of that scene, the cast and crew transformed into a school of ravenous piranhas.

Image Courtesy of Chef

Q: Is there any food you're skeptical of (might not eat) now that you've really experienced the other side?

A: I’ve actually become more adventurous if I know the food has been made with care and passion. When I first met Roy, I was a picky eater and he said I ate like a 9 year old. Thanks to working on Chef and my months of training, I’m proud to say that I now eat like a 13 year old.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Jon Favreau's latest film is what most would call a passion project. The star wrote, directed, produced and acted in the film. Cheffollows restaurant chef Carl Casper (Favreau) as he quits his job and launches a food truck to revive his passion for the culinary arts.

Jon sat down with Kitchen Daily to discuss his interest in food, what star chef he worked closely with on the film and what celebrity was the biggest eater on set.

Check out the slideshow above for 10 questions with the star and catch Chef in theaters May 9.

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