I have to admit that I’m rather easy to please; give me a movie, any movie that has to do with cooking and I’m happy; especially if it involves French cuisine – and in that case I just go ecstatic. The only thing that really bothers me with this kind of picture is the fact that I have to settle with just watching each dish instead of actually tasting.
The Chef is exactly that type of film; based on two main characters, both chefs with very different career paths. One is Alexandre Lagarde, played by Jean Reno, a well-known chef who finds himself at a turning point in his career. In order to remain in charge of his restaurant’s kitchen, he has to maintain his stars award on his upcoming food review regarding his spring menu. In any other situation, this would be a piece of cake for him — only this time the new CEO comes with his own agenda, which doesn’t seem to include him. Besides this, his main problem seems to be a major lack of inspiration. The critics are raving about a certain “molecular gastronomy”, a type of cooking which leaves Alexandre clueless and out of ideas.
On the other hand, there is Jacky Bonnot, played by Michaël Youn, a young and very motivated chef. He is truly passionate about his job. So much so, in fact, that he can’t help getting himself into trouble. His perfectionism and know-it-all attitude doesn’t seem to help him with first impressions, but he is absolutely certain of his talent and is not willing to give up. In a few words he is exactly what Alexandre Lagarde needs at this point — a driven and inspired person in his kitchen.
So, when the latter is hired by the former, a really interesting relationship starts to develop. They might not get along, they might have a difference of opinion but it becomes clear that they both need each other desperately.
The Chef is written and directed by Daniel Cohen and it is a film that, despite its predictable straightforwardness, doesn’t disappoint. Full of dishes, sauces and food that can make you drool from the start, this light-spirited comedy delivers what it promises. With a distinct French humour reigning throughout and a beautiful Paris as its backdrop, there is no way a film like this can go unnoticed.