Posts Tagged ‘Chef’


What to watch when you’ve already watched everything Part Four! Binge worthy, not cringe worthy recommendations from Isolation Studios in the eerily quiet downtown Toronto. Three movies to stream, rent or buy from the comfort of home isolation. Today, rogue cops, troubled troubadours, a chef and a story about a cat!

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

ICYMI POP LIFE: How chefs Break the rules in the culinary world.

The Pop Life panel, Constantine chef Craig Harding, NYC’s Dirt Candy chef Amanda Cohen and Carnival Eats and The Bachelorette Canada host Noah Cappeshare how they are breaking rules in the culinary industry and thriving.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

From Lucy to Guardians of the Galaxy: The must-see flicks of summer

GuardiansBy Richard Crouse & Mark Breslin – Reel Guys Metro Canada

When the Reel Guys aren’t at the movies, one of their favourite things to do is talk about going to the movies. This week Richard and Mark have a look at talking apes, a vengeful Scarlett Johansson, and a singer with a papier-mâché head and a talking raccoon. So throw some popcorn on the BBQ, crank up the air conditioning and enjoy the Reel Guys’ most anticipated films of the summer season.

Richard: Mark, I was a huge Planet of the Apes fan as a kid. Loved the rubber masks, the twisty endings and the “YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP!” scene still blows my mind. Saw them over and over, and even enjoyed the bad ones like Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Today, as an adult, I have a full-sized Cornelius bust with faux chimpanzee hair in my office. So, given my obsession with simian cinema, my inner 14-year-old goes a bit ape every time I see the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer. What’s got you excited this summer?

Mark: I’m a Planet of the Apes fan, too, Richard. The idea of animals acting like humans is a welcome change from my life in show business, where humans act like animals. I’m really looking forward to Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson in a Luc Besson revenge/action flick. This is Scarlett’s moment, and this is going to be the movie to make her a megastar. The trailer made me spill my popcorn!

RC: Johansson is doing interesting work these days, splitting her time between rock ’em, sock ’em movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and smaller movies like Chef and Under the Skin. Michael Fassbender has a similar career arc. We last saw him in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Next up he’s in Frank, a strange indie based on the life of Frank Sidebottom, a real-life English musician who wore a giant papier-mâché head complete with painted-on eyes, ruby red lips and slicked-back hair.

I love Fassbender for still taking chances on movies like this when he could easily cash big Hollywood paycheques time after time.

MB: Sounds like one strange biopic, Richard! A more commercial variant I’m looking forward to is Get On Up, the James Brown story starring Chadwick Boseman. The Godfather of Soul never wore a papier-mâché head, but he was big on ermine capes and tantrums, so this should be a lot of fun. And what a soundtrack it will be!

For life lessons and laughs, there’s And So It Goes, a mature rom-com starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. Bring your CARP card for discounts on soft-chew treats from the concession stand.

RC: I don’t have a CARP card …. yet. I do like soft chew candies, however. As far as movies go, I’m curious about Guardians of the Galaxy. So many of the summer’s blockbusters have been oh-so-serious affairs that I think this one promises some good laughs and action.

MB: The cast suggests it might be more than your typical sci-fi adventure. But it’s Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz in Sex Tape that gets me hot. Big laughs, lots of action, at least of the horizontal variety.

The New Southern Accent Cookbook! Twenty years in the making!

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 11.47.39 AMAlmost twenty years ago Southern Accent Restaurant owner Frances Wood and I went to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana to gather recipes for a new cookbook. We ate, drank and listened to some of the best music ever made… but never wrote the book. Until now.

Two decades in the making the brand-spanking new Southern Accent Cookbook: Our Cajun, Creole & Soul Experience is about to make Cajun cooks very happy! Frances wrote the book with Southern’s co-owner Thessavan Maniceavasakan and I contributed a story from our trip about meeting the man who makes the best étouffée in Louisiana, Earl “Two Bit” Patin. He was an amazing character, a true Cajun and a great chef.

Here’s an excerpt:

“What would make a directionally challenged navigator and one adventurous foodie travel deep into the heart of Cajun country?

“Rumors of Southern Louisiana’s best étouffée, that’s what.

“Étouffée, in case you don’t already know, is one of life’s great pleasures. It can be either Cajun or creole, can be spicy or not and can be served with any manner of shellfish or seafood. What makes it special, an ambrosia for lucky taste buds, is the sauce.

“The word literally means smothered, and figuratively refers to “suffocating” whatever protein you like in a sauce that is as deep, thick and rich as the history of the bayou itself.

“With mouths watering Frances and I left Lafayette and set out for the home of Earl “Two-Bit” Patin, the mayor of Henderson, a tiny town—only 1.7 square miles—in St. Martin Parish. Many wrong turns later, courtesy of my inability to read a map, we arrive at the Valhalla of Étouffée, a modest home with a pick up truck parked out front next to a fire pit…”

To read the whole story and get some great Southern Accent recipes call 416 536 3211 to preorder the book and check out the restaurant HERE!

Watch Richard’s CP24 weekend reviews! Edge of Tomorrow, Chef & Fault of Our Stars!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.58.16 PMRichard reviews “Edge of Tomorrow,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Chef” and “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” on CP24!

Watch the whole thing HERE!




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Richard’s weekend CTV NewsChannel movie reviews! Cruise, Woodley and more!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.59.47 AMRichards’s weekend CTV NewsChannel movie reviews for “The Edge of Tomorrow,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Chef!”!

Watch the whole thing HERE!

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CHEF: 3 ½ STARS. “The film is more ‘Iron Chef’ than ‘Iron Man.’”

Chef3Perhaps Jon Favreau is still stinging from the reviews he received for “Cowboys & Aliens” or maybe a critic kicked his dog when he was young. Either way judging by his outburst at a food critic in the new comedy “Chef,” he holds some serious animosity for those who sit in judgment of the creative class.

I’ll keep that in mind as I write this review.

Favreau (who also wrote, directed, produced and stars in the film) is Carl Casper, a former hot shot cook, now a divorced work-a-day chef who spends so much time pumping out his boss’s high-end but unimaginative menu, he has no time to spend with his son Percy (Emjay Anthony).

When a famous restaurant critic (Oliver Platt) comes in Carl finds himself stuck between Riva, a restaurant owner (Dustin Hoffman) who wants to play it safe, and his own instincts to push the envelope.

“If you bought Stones tickets and they didn’t play Satisfaction, would you be happy,” asks Riva. “Go with the favorites.”

The plan backfires and Carl is stung by a review that slaps him for a “lack of imagination” and suggests “his dramatic weight gain can only be explained by his eating all the food that is sent back to the kitchen.”

A confrontation with the critic leads sets him on a path to regaining his passion, a journey that begins behind the wheel of a food truck.

The new film is more “Iron Chef” than “Iron Man” and it’s nice to see Favreau shelve the CGI of his biggest hits and return to the human heartbeat of films like “Elf” and “Swingers.” “Chef” is a crowd pleaser that combines its ingredients in a familiar but still delicious way. It’s somewhat predictable, but like comfort food it’s warmly inviting.

Favreau and his sidekick, sous chef Martin (John Leguizamo) are a natural culinary comedy team, with an easy chemistry that gives the movie much of its charm. Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson, as Carl’s ex and current flame respectively, suggest that women find men who cook irresistible, or that Favreau is playing the Woody Allen card of casting slightly out of his league. Both hand in spirited performances and after a brief pasta seduction scene it’s clear Carl has figured out that the old saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” applies to women as well.

Robert Downey Jr lightens things up in a slick-talking role that was probably written for Vince Vaughn, and Russell Peters has a funny, but unrealistic cameo as a snap-happy cop.

Critic bashing aside, “Chef” is a lightweight, but enjoyable film; an amuse bouche that may leave you hungry for something more substantial but still manages to satisfy.

Jon Favreau says ‘Chef’ has all the cinematic excitement of Iron man

chefBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

The director who used elaborate special effects to make Iron Man soar through the night sky and a spaceship land in the Wild West says, “there is nothing more cinematic and exciting than watching food be prepared.”

Jon Favreau, helmer of blockbusters like Iron Man 1 and 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, adds, “Modestly budgeted films like Eat Drink Man Woman or Jiro Dreams of Sushi are as compelling as any big budgeted Hollywood movie.”

In his new film Chef (which he wrote, directed, produced and stars in), Favreau plays Carl Casper, a chef set on a new culinary path after an influential food critic gives his restaurant a savage review.

The nugget of inspiration for the movie came two decades ago when Swingers, another film Favreau wrote and starred in, became a hit.

“The Big Night came out the year Swingers did,” he says, “and I remember seeing that film and feeling like they had really accomplished so much. With Swingers we had certain modest accomplishments. I was satisfied with it, but Big Night felt like a movie and felt like they had captured something larger.

“Maybe that was in the back of my head for the last 20 years. There was an envy that I had of what they were able to accomplish with the music, the culture, the performances, the food and how delightful it was. So I finally got to make my food movie.”

In those 20 years, Favreau has been in the Hollywood trenches as a producer, director, actor and writer and is quick to note the similarities and differences between the story of Chef and his real-life work in the movie business.

“The archetypes of the players on the stage in the food world and the movie world are very similar,” he says.

“The stakes are a bit higher in the food world, which is why it is dramatically appealing. One bad review can shut you down. Right now, the way reviews work in movies is that you’re reading 90 reviews. It’s all on Rotten Tomatoes, a compilation of numbers and you don’t really have that personal relationship with a specific critic as you do in the theatre world or the food world. In the food world you are eye-to-eye with that critic and you are eye-to-eye with the customer and when that food gets sent back to the kitchen you are looking at that plate. It’s a lot different.”

Favreau’s next film is a live-action remake of The Jungle Book, but he says he’ll likely flip-flop between big- and small-budget films in future.

“If I knew I could come up with a small story that I’d be excited about, next year I’d do this again but honestly, it hasn’t been since Swingers that I’ve been able to sit down and write something so fully formed so quickly.

“I somewhat envy the filmmakers who can come up with a small story each year because this was the best experience I’ve ever had.”

Metro In Focus: Foodie movies: From Ratatouille to Chef

chefBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Chefs are the Food Network’s stock in trade. From Bobby Flay to Giada De Laurentiis, and Iron Chef to Top Chef, the delicious channel has created a cult of celebrity around the people who make our food.

A new film, Chef, takes a celebrity, actor Jon Favreau, and casts him as a restaurateur who has lost his way and desperately wants to reclaim his cooking cred.

In the film, he plays Carl Casper, a Los Angeles chef who hightails it to his Miami hometown when his fancy restaurant gets a scathing review from an online food critic (Oliver Platt). There he buys El Jefe Cubanos, a food truck he plans on driving across the country with his son (Emjay Anthony).

High on food porn — there’s even a shrimp scampi seduction scene — and Cuban sandwich recipes, Chef is a movie that may whet audience appetites for other movies about the people that make our food.

In The Big Night, Stanley Tucci plays Secondo, owner of an Italian restaurant called Paradise. The place is slowly going broke but may get a boost from a visit by singer Louis Prima. If Prima shows up, the restaurant will have a big night and be saved from bankruptcy.

It’s not only one of the greatest food movies ever made (you’ll want to go for risotto afterward) but it also features what Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers called “an unforgettable acting duet” between Tucci and Tony Shalhoub, who plays his temperamental chef brother, “that is as richly authentic as the food.”

Ratatouille takes a different approach. An unusual cross between America’s Next Top Chef and Willard, the Pixar movie does something no other film has been able to (not that a lot have tried): It makes rats cute. Lovable, even.

The story of a cooking rat is chef and TV presenter Anthony Bourdain’s favourite food film. “They got the food, the reactions to food, and tiny details to food really right,” said The Taste host, “down to the barely noticeable pink burns on one of the character’s forearms. I really thought it captured a passionate love of food in a way that very few other films have.”

Real chefs are featured in the documentary Spinning Plates. Weaving together three stories from a trio of very different restaurateurs, the film shows the personal and professional side of the food biz as well as the connection to the community that’s so important for success.

It cuts through the Food Network’s simplistic food-family-and-feelings approach with a tagline that sums up its philosophy: “It’s not what you cook. It’s why.”