Traditional recipes

Amy Sedaris Cast in Jon Favreau's 'Chef'

Amy Sedaris Cast in Jon Favreau's 'Chef'

The actress joins Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Favreau himself

The actress joins the already star-filled cast.

Excellent; another favorite comedy-stalwart Amy Sedaris has joined the cast of Jon Favreau's upcoming film Chef, announced once more through Vine.

The actress was shot in her makeup chair, with the caption "New cast member. #Chef." Sedaris will join the already A-list cast, including Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Favreau himself, in a film about a disgraced chef who opens a food truck. The latest reports say Chef is slated for a May 2014 release.

This isn't to be confused with John Wells-directed movie, Chef, which stars Bradley Cooper and has signed on Gordon Ramsay as a culinary adviser. Favreau's film is most likely a lighter, humor-focused movie (the cast helps), while Cooper's most recent acting experience suggests a slightly darker turn, as Cooper stars as a chef who lost his Michelin star and is working to earn it back.

Check out Favreau's latest Vine videos below, including a video of Los Angeles chef Roy Choi prepping the food.


Recipes from the movie “Chef”

“The Official Chef Movie Cookbook: Recipes From El Jefe,” is available as a free e-book or iPad app. Find the e-book at bakespace.com/cookbooks/CHEFmovie. The iPad app version of the cookbook can be downloaded on iTunes. This recipe by Roy Choi serves 6.

6 ounces thinly sliced boiled ham

Softened butter, for brushing

Six 6-inch-long soft baguettes or heros, split lengthwise

Yellow mustard, for brushing

¾ pound thinly sliced Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder (recipe follows)

½ pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese

3 half-sour dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise

Heat a large cast-iron griddle or panini press. Add the ham slices to the griddle and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer the ham to a plate.

Generously butter the cut sides of each baguette and toast on the griddle over moderate heat until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the baguettes to a work surface and generously brush the cut sides with mustard. Layer the ham, pork, Swiss cheese and pickles on the baguette and close the sandwiches.

Generously brush the outside of the sandwiches with butter and set them on the griddle or press if using a griddle, top the sandwiches with a large baking sheet and weigh it down with heavy cans or a cast-iron skillet. Cook the sandwiches over moderate heat until they’re browned and crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, 3 minutes per side on a griddle or 3 minutes total in a press.

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder

This recipe works for small pork tenderloins, too. Just cut the marinade ingredients in half and cook the tenderloin 30-40 minutes at 350. By Roy Choi, from the movie “Chef,” serves 6 to 8.

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup lightly packed cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced oregano

3½ pounds boneless pork shoulder, in one piece

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except salt, pepper and the pork. Whisk in 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable plastic bag and add the pork. Seal the bag and turn to coat set in a baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the pork to a work surface discard the marinade. Fold the pork under itself, into thirds if necessary, and tie with string to form a neat roll. Season all over with salt and pepper and set it on the rack.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160 degrees transfer to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard the string before slicing across the grain.

This is the “garlic and oil” pasta dish Jon Favreau’s character Carl Casper makes for Scarlett Johansson’s Molly in “Chef.” By Roy Choi, serves 6 to 8.

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

12 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup fresh parsley, minced

½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti, cooking until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir frequently until the garlic is golden brown. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Add the drained spaghetti directly to the pan. Toss until spaghetti is thoroughly coated with the garlic oil.

Remove pan from heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Check for flavor and adjust the salt if necessary. Squeeze lemons to taste. Garnish with more Parmesan.


Amy Sedaris Cast in Jon Favreau's 'Chef' - Recipes

Carnivores, prepare to salivate. "Chef," an affable and affectionate celebration of food, friendship and familial love, may feature two of the most photogenic ladies in Hollywood but even such dishy visions as Sofia Vergara (using her indoor voice for once) and Scarlett Johansson (with boho bangs and hipster tattoos) can’t hope to compete with the sight of a sizzling slab of Texas-style brisket that’s been grilled to crusty blackened perfection.

Just as audiences were compelled to clap after Jennifer Hudson got through decimating the Broadway showstopper "And I Am Telling You" in "Dreamgirls," many filmgoers may be moved to audibly share their appreciation of the succulent slices of barbecued heaven. That is in addition to being able to ogle scrumptious portions of Cuban sandwiches, beef cheeks, Cornish game hen and a glistening, gluttonous mound of fresh-off-the pig bacon. Not that there aren’t an occasional bunch of carrots and a couple yucca roots lying around the kitchen. But no one will ever mistake " Chef" of being vegan-friendly.

The script, alas, is somewhat less dramatically meaty than the entrees. Let’s just say the final outcome is as almost-as-expected as the bill at the end of an evening of dining out. But it is a pleasure to sit back and enjoy the goings-on as performed by an engaging troupe of actors and to savor the efforts of "Chef"’s star and writer/director Jon Favreau, whose warm and down-to-earth personality flavors every scene. This is comfort comedy, pure and simple.

"Chef" is being hailed as a return of sorts to Favreau low-budget indie roots as a filmmaker with "Swingers" and "Made." That was before he was recruited for summer tentpole duty with "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2," along with the roundly panned outer-space Western "Cowboys & Aliens." Although this re-embrace of a more modest approach—a palate cleanser, as it were—probably has most in common with the good-natured spirit and emotional highs of "Elf" than those early bro-capades with pal Vince Vaughn.

However, it is not hard to make a connection between Favreau’s motivations behind making "Chef" and those of his of Carl Casper, a respected head cook at a fancy Los Angeles eatery who feels stymied by the creative restrictions placed upon him by his more conservative boss (Dustin Hoffman, in testy terrier mode). “Be an artist on your own time,” shouts Hoffman, himself an infamous perfectionist who has probably been the recipient of such advice back in the day.

When Carl is forced to serve an influential restaurant critic (Oliver Platt) the same old tried-and-true menu instead stretching beyond the expected, the result is a scathing review that not only tears into his “needy aunt” recipes but also insults his girth, suggesting that the chef has been consuming all the meals sent back to the kitchen. It’s a blow to his very soul.

What blogging was to "Julie & Julia," tweeting is to " Chef." Carl gets a first-hand lesson in the dangers of social media when his 10-year-old tech-whiz son, Percy (admirably real-kid-like Emjay Anthony), shows him how to set up a Twitter account so he can follow the reaction to the nasty write-up. When Carl accidentally replies to the critic publically, it sets off a flame war as well as results in a viral smart-phone video of him losing his temper that ultimately gets him canned.

Carl’s well-off ex-wife Inez (Vegara) decides to play fairy godmother—rarely has a former partner in a movie been this mature and supportive—pays his way to Miami so he can share more time with their son while she works. Her ulterior motive is for him to get his juices flowing again by revisiting where he got his start in the food business. She also recruits her first ex-husband, the wealthy owner of a local construction firm, to provide a food truck so Carl can get back to basics and start fresh.

At this point, " Chef" briefly becomes "The Robert Downey Jr. Show" as Favreau allows his Iron Man to amusingly turn his character into an attention-deficit poster boy who is capable of discussing five different subjects at the same time in a single conversation.

Once Carl, Percy and line-cook buddy Martin (John Leguizamo, who adds welcome spice) remodel the beat-up vehicle into a spiffy Cubano sandwich emporium, " Chef" hits the road and becomes part food-fueled travelogue, part father-and-son reunion as the trio travels to such feasting meccas as New Orleans (beignets at Café Du Monde) and Austin (the aforementioned brisket at Franklin Barbecue) before returning home to L.A.

If the Food Network ever decided to add a soap opera to its lineup, it could do worse than borrow from Favreau’s stripped-down yet satisfying recipe. I, for one, would add it to my DVR queue, even if they recast Carl with Guy Fieri.

Susan Wloszczyna

Susan Wloszczyna spent much of her nearly thirty years at USA TODAY as a senior entertainment reporter. Now unchained from the grind of daily journalism, she is ready to view the world of movies with fresh eyes.


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'Chef': An Appetite for Life

by Bill Newcott, AARP | Comments: 0

RunningTime: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Stars: Emjay Anthony, Bobby Cannavale, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris, Sofia Vergara

Director: Jon Favreau

A friendly word of advice before you see Chef, the delicious new film from Jon Favreau: Eat before the movie.

Otherwise, as you feast your eyes on the procession of mouthwatering dishes that play important supporting roles in Chef, your stomach may growl to the annoyance of your seatmates.

Also, even if you go to a four-star restaurant later, the masterly presentations you've just watched on-screen will make your own dinner seem like uncooked hot dogs on a paper plate.

Jon Favreau (left) and John Leguziamo star in "Chef."

Favreau — who wrote, directed and stars — plays Carl Casper, a middle-aged chef at a high-end Los Angeles restaurant who finds himself choking creatively. His boss (Dustin Hoffman), obsessed with the bottom line, insists that chef Carl cook the same tired dishes he's been preparing for years, even when the city's toughest restaurant critic (Oliver Platt) announces he's dropping by.

Of course, the night is a disaster, prompting Carl to return to his roots: He heads for Miami, where, through the good graces of his ex-wife (Modern Family's Sofia Vergara) and another of her ex-husbands (Robert Downey Jr., in a hilariously quirky cameo), Carl opens a food truck and starts making the same Cuban sandwiches that hooked him on the chef biz in the first place.

Crucially, Carl also reconnects with his young son, Percy (adorable, wide-eyed Emjay Anthony of TV's Rake). Father, son and assistant chef Martin (John Leguizamo) embark on a cross-country odyssey to relocate the food truck to the West Coast.

Tasty gastronomical pit stops punctuate the journey, enabling the lads to round out the food truck's menu with New Orleans beignets and Austin barbecue. Thanks to Carl's culinary genius and Percy's Twitter skills, the truck has a national following by the time they hit L.A.

Did I just ladle up the entire plot? No matter the story, charming as it is, serves largely as a buffet table on which Favreau spreads a feast of dishes, the preparation of which we witness from first chop to final garnish. Much of the credit for Chef's success must go to cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, who finds ways to transform even a Cuban sandwich into a Bon Appétit magazine cover come to life.

In fact, Chef can take its place at the table alongside the great movies about food, among them Big Night, Babette's Feast and Chocolat.

For Favreau (Swingers, Elf, Iron Man), Chef is a labor of love. His large cast — which also includes Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson and Amy Sedaris — clearly shares his passion for the subject, but none more so than one real-life chef, who's shown during the film's closing credits coaching Favreau on how to make the best grilled-cheese sandwich you've ever seen.

"None of this is here," he tells Favreau, gesturing to the rest of the kitchen — and, perhaps, to the outside world. Forming blinders with his hands, the chef focuses his eyes on the sizzling sandwich: "This is all there is."

Ironically, in the course of Chef our hero discovers there's more to life than food. And we, in turn, learn there's a lot more to a grilled-cheese sandwich than two slices of Wonder Bread and a Kraft single.


Amy Sedaris Stars in Indie Comedy ‘Chef’

Greek-American actress Amy Sedaris is part of the ensemble cast in the upcoming food-related indie comedy, “Chef.”

Directed by and starring Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Swingers”), the film centers on talented and dynamic chef Carl Casper who isn’t given the space he needs to shine at his L.A. restaurant due to the owner’s rigid traditional ways. Chef Casper launches on a social media-fueled tirade against his nemesis food critic, which lands him without any job prospects. With a new lease on life, Casper takes to the road with his son and his sous chef to build a brand new food truck business.

“Chef” had its premiere at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas earlier this month, and will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC this April before it officially hits theaters in May.

Sedaris is of half-Greek descent her father is Greek Orthodox and her mother was Protestant. She remains Greek Orthodox.

Best known for her roles in films like “Elf” and “Puss in Boots,” Sedaris also has a lengthy resume in television, having appeared on shows like 󈬎 Rock,” “Raising Hope,” “The Good Wife,” and “Hot in Cleveland.”


Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson in Jon Favreau's Chef - trailer

Robert Downey Jr has featured in the first full trailer for Jon Favreau's upcoming comedy Chef.

Scarlett Johansson and Dustin Hoffman also star in the project, which stars Favreau as a chef in a trendy Los Angeles restaurant who goes rogue after the owner demands a safe menu.

After a spat with a critic goes viral, Favreau's character decides to start a food truck and heads across LA with his son and former co-worker (John Leguizamo).

Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Sedaris, Emjay Anthony and chef Roy Choi also star in the drama.

Jon Favreau also wrote and directed the film, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last month.


Know Who’s Voicing Which Character in Jon Favreau's The Lion King

Director Jon Favreau is all set to release his next animated movie The Lion King. Ahead of its release on July 17, the stars who gave their voice to the iconic movie characters had a world premiere on Tuesday, July 9 in Los Angeles.

The premiere saw the presence of the entire cast, along with the crew members. The starry event saw Donald Glover, Billy Eichner and others discussing about re-imagining the 1994 classic.

Few days ahead of its official release, it seems necessary to know the entire cast who will be voicing characters of the iconic animated movie. As per the information, revealed by Disney and the cast itself, here’s a list of who will voice which character.

While actor Donald Grover will give the voice to Simba, James Earl Jones have voiced for Simba’s dad and The Lion King Mufasa. In addition, JD McCrary will be giving his voice as young Simba. Another major star to join the cast is Beyoncé, who have given voice to Nala, while Shahadi Wright Joseph has voiced as young Nala.

Other major characters in the movie are Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, John Oliver as Zazu and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. The cast also includes John Kani as Rafiki, Billy Eichner as Timon, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Florence Kasumba as Shenzi, Amy Sedaris as Elephant Shrew and Eric André as Azizi.

While the screenplay of the movie is written by Jeff Nathanson, The Lion King is being produced by Walt Disney Pictures.


'Chef' serves up comfort food about family, second chances — and food

The quality of food-themed films is feast or famine. Too often, they use food as an excuse to explore something else.

And while that is true of "Chef" as well, food never strays from the center of the frame, and there are generous portions of it.

With "Chef," Jon Favreau returns to his "Swingers"-style indie film roots for an emotionally nourishing and music-filled labor of love about food, family and a man's quest to restore and refresh his reputation with both.

It's not a stretch to see it as a metaphor &mdash maybe even apology &mdash for the empty calories dished out in his "Iron Man" blockbusters.

Favreau, who wrote and directed, also stars as a talented Los Angeles chef who runs afoul of a powerful food critic and blogger, played by Oliver Platt, after he relents, against his better judgment, to pressure from his restaurant owner boss, played by Dustin Hoffman, to play it safe.

And when Favreau's social media newbie throws down the gauntlet on Twitter, the dispute goes viral and he finds himself unemployable.

He ends up on the road in a food truck, with the big-eyed, tousle-haired son he's been neglecting, appealingly played by 10-year-old Emjay Anthony his irreverent sous chef, played by John Leguizamo and with a ska-, salsa- and brass-driven funk soundtrack in its trunk.

In the process, he reinvents himself as a chef and father, by returning to the basics for both.

As a chef, he serves up Cuban sandwiches with Mojo marinated pork and yucca fries, and his renewed enthusiasm for his craft is the best example a father can pass on to a child.

The recipes, available for free online from BakeSpace and as an app, were created by food truck operator Roy Choi.

The film even makes the melting cheese in a grilled sandwich into food porn.

Perhaps because I've visited Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, and Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, I was predisposed to the loving portraits of both during the trio's cross-country road trip.

But the film's let's-put-on-a-show energy and heartfelt father-son scenes also hit the spot. Particularly affecting is a sequence with father and son bonding atop the truck as Gary Clark Jr. plays the blues outside Guero's taqueria on Austin's S. Congress Ave. The only false note(s) may be that Favreau's chef counts both Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson among his romantic attachments.

Apparently in a world where charisma and dedication to craft are aphrodisiacs, chefs really are the new rock stars.

Email: [email protected]

Keep up with movies on film critic Duane Dudek's blog, The Dudek Abides: jsonline.com/dudek.

Twitter: @TheDudekAbides

Cast: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Sofia Vergara, Amy Sedaris, Robert Downey Jr.

Behind the scenes: Produced by Sergei Bespalov, Jon Favreau and Karen Gilchrist. Written and directed by Jon Favreau.

Rated: R language, mildly suggestive

Approximate running time: 115 minutes

About Duane Dudek

Duane Dudek is a reporter and columnist covering radio and television. He also reviews movies.


The Tattooed Kitchen Samurai’s Revenge: Jon Favreau's CHEF

Photo courtesy of Merrick Morton

Near the beginning of the new film Chef, Jon Favreau's character, the executive chef at a swank L.A. restaurant, unwraps a whole pig in the kitchen. In a sequence choreographed for close-up, visceral detail, the chef butchers the hog. The camera does not spare us the decapitation. Soon, we're makin' bacon.

It's a moment calculated to explain the modern chef to the modern cinemagoer. This is our subculture, writer/director/star Favreau wants to impart. This is our offering in the hushed temple to Epicurus (the kitchen, that is). A real chef sources the ingredients himself, and knows how to work with them. The old way is the true way.

Chef is clearly a movie that chefs will love.

Favreau (above) plays Carl Casper, an executive chef locked in an endless battle with his restaurant's owner, played by Dustin Hoffman. The chef has visions of wild menus starring sweetbreads, carne asada and various other random dishes that scratch his creative itches. The owner demands that Casper stick to the menu: the soft-boiled egg topped with caviar, the frisee salad, a traffic light of three scallops in a row, looking just as the veteran fine-diner expects them to, served on a rectangular plate.

Casper finally reaches the breaking point in a confrontation with a prestigious food critic/blogger played by Oliver Platt. The chef is fired, and in his liberation, he finds himself carrying the first film that salutes the modern, tattooed, pot-smoking, follow-your-own-star, post-Food Network chef – and the first film to chronicle the food-truck revolution.

Chefs and other restaurant-niks will adore Chef. In an interview about the film, Favreau said that it had to have an "R" rating because he had to depict chefs and cooks using the F-word liberally. Cursing is part of the culture, he explained.

(Still, said Favreau, this is a "soft R." There is no nudity, and the plot leans heavily on the strained relationship between the chef and his adorable, tousle-haired son (below). The movie has a lot more cuteness – and sentimentality – than raunch.)

Casper has a full-sleeve tattoo. There are hook-ups between the restaurant's staff members. Multiple trips to farmers’ markets are treated as serious pilgrimages. When our man is fired, he limps out the door with his knives like an itinerant samurai, noble and damaged, doomed to walk his rough road yet again. This is the modern, urban, romantic view of cheffing.

But you don't have to be a chef to love the liberal number of food-porn sequences in the flick. Bacon and eggs fry sensually in a cast-iron pan. Casper chops veggies with the rapid-fire machine precision of a Gatling gun. A perfectly browned grilled cheese made for a chef's son is not so much grilled as coaxed from the immortal plane down to a less rarefied dimension.

The second half of the film is basically a food travelogue. Casper, his son, and a sous chef sidekick played by John Leguizamo enjoy Cuban sandwiches in Miami, smoked brisket enrobed in a drool-worthy bark at Austin's Franklin Barbecue, beignets at New Orleans' Cafe DuMonde, and other treats.

The gang gets to taste America because they're driving their new food truck cross-country, back from Miami to L.A. Casper's story, of a chef disillusioned with common tastes who's fired and decides to hang his own shingle from a glorified lunch wagon, was directly inspired by the real-life story of Roy Choi, Favreau has said. Choi's Kogi Korean taco truck brilliantly joined fusion food, food trucks, and social media to jump start a revolution in the L.A. of 2008. Choi trained Favreau, Leguizamo and co. on the finer points of cooking for the film.

When Favreau, director of the mega-successful Iron Man series, makes a movie about a food truck, you know the food-truck renaissance has hit some kind of noteworthy plateau.

Watch for the never-not-hilarious Amy Sedaris as a bronze-skinned, fast-talking publicist, and Robert Downey, Jr. as a slick Miami businessman. The voluptuous Sofia Vergara (below) and Scarlett Johansson distract with their scene-stealing curves like Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita.

Chef wears its heart on its sleeve (tattoo), but for all its unsubtle emotional tugging, it is destined to join the ranks of Films Foodies Must See. Like Eat Drink Man Woman, Tampopo, Babette's Feast and so on, Chef is a paean to great, soul-satisfying food prepared with great care.

It also includes a scene of Chef Casper freaking out that does for chocolate lava cake what Paul Giamatti's character did for merlot in Sideways.

Chef opens Friday, May 9 at select cinemas.

Relish enjoyed a sneak preview of Chef at a New York Film Critics Screening at the Chase Park Plaza Cinema, featuring a live simulcast of interviews with the filmmakers afterward.