The Restaurant Industry According to Hollywood #13
If you are a lifer in our business, Chef (2014) is at least a little biographical. Jon Favereaux nails the role of bombastic, boorish, childish and brilliant -- all in one shot. The trailer really shows a chunk of the movie’s accurate portrayal of the life of a passionate chef.
This guy is a mess. Divorced, drinking too much, neglecting his key relationships, frustrated by the restaurant owner (Dustin Hoffman) he has partnered with and convinced there has to be a better way. That better way is presented by a friend (Robert Downey, Jr.) in the form a broken down food truck. Here, the chef finds his passion and becomes the version of himself he was destined to achieve.
It’s so true that most of us in the business aspire to be more, and this movie shows those aspirations along with all the damage they can cause. So many of our peers have failed relationships, aren’t happy in their exact circumstances or just can’t see a way out. The allegory of this movie is revealed by the chances he takes and the way his life transforms when he is finally doing what he loves.
The lesson? There are two conditions under which you should work in our business. First, you must realize it’s a job and do it professionally and accept that it may not fuel your passion. Second, stop being afraid of failure and fuel your passion. This can happen with a concept change, a career move or just getting back to basics. Our business should always be fun and when it isn’t any longer, it’s really time for a change.