Chef is an American comedy about workaholic chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), who is fired from his job in Los Angeles. Carl has worked in restaurants for years. His passionate dedication and strong work ethic have caused him to neglect his relationship with his son, Percy (Emjay Anthony), as well as his marriage to now ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara).
After being fired, Carl reassesses his life and decides to start a mobile food service with home-style cooking. Inez’s ex-husband Marvin (Robert Downey Jr) offers Carl an old truck, which Carl and his son work together to renovate. When the truck is ready, Carl and Percy join forces with Martin (John Legizamo) and begin a road trip across the United States. As they go, Percy updates social media websites to advertise the truck, which they have named El Jefe Cubanos.
Work-life balance; family and parenthood; friendship and loyalty; cooking and food critics; social media
None of concern
Chef has several sexual references. For example:
- Carl’s colleagues talk about Twitter being useful to organise sexual encounters.
- Carl’s two chefs have drinks with him in a bar. One says, ‘Let’s have a three-way right now’.
- Inez talks about getting drunk with her ex-husband and says that they almost had sex.
- Martin puts corn starch down his pants, as does Carl. They tell Percy that it is like baby powder and helps them deal with the humidity.
- Martin makes suggestive movements with a baguette he is about to use in cooking.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Chef shows some use of substances. For example:
- Carl and colleagues do shots in a bar, while also smoking cigarettes. Later on they drink beer out of bottles in the bar.
- Percy takes a sip of beer with his father and Martin. Carl encourages him to have it because Carl knows Percy will hate the taste.
Nudity and sexual activity
Chef shows some characters kissing.
There is a lot of product placement in Chef. For example:
- There are continual references to and depictions of Twitter. Many characters use Twitter and send tweets.
- There are many verbal and visual references to Facebook, YouTube and the Vine.
- Percy uses an Apple iPad, with a background picture from a game called Team Fortress 2.
Chef has a lot of strong coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Chef is the story of one man’s journey as he discovers more about his family, his life, and what he can achieve. The movie promotes the idea of taking chances, even when the odds are stacked against you.
Chef is also about parenting, and how important it is for parents to prioritise a good relationship with their children over other things that might be less important in the long term.
Children might be interested in Chef if they’re interested in cooking and TV shows about cooking. But it’s worth noting that Chef deserves its M rating. It has frequent and quite strong coarse language, and its themes and story make it more suitable for an adult audience.
If you have older children and teenagers who see the movie, you could talk with them about:
- how people use technology – for example, smartphones and tablets
- whether it’s appropriate for young children to work
- how complex adultery can be
- why people might lie about paternity, contraception and pregnancy.