“Chef” – A flick about love, relationships & the power of social networking

Chef and the Power of Social NetworkingThis summer, forget about sci-fi and wild west adventures. Do yourself a favor and head to the theatre for “Chef.” I loved, loved, loved this flick and the messages it delivered.

It’s about passion and love – love of life, career, family relationships, best friends. And, beautifully interwoven throughout, it’s about the power of social networking and branding.

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a chef, passionate about his art. He loves to cook and as the movie begins, the prominent L.A. restaurant where he works is expecting a famous food critic (Oliver Platt) that evening.

Excitement abounds. Chef Carl has a creative, new menu planned, but his plans are squashed by the restaurant’s owner (Dustin Hoffman). Exclaiming, “Be an artist on your time, it’s my restaurant,” he insists that Carl stick with the “tried and true” menu.

Disappointed, Carl caves in to the owner’s demand. The result? The food critic slams him with a hellish review and the critique hits the Twitter-verse.

Having no knowledge of Twitter, Carl’s 11-year old son – who is desperate to just hang out with his dad – gives him a lesson and sets him up with a Twitter account. Unfamiliar with the protocol, Carl thinks he’s sending a private message, but tweets out a nasty reply to the critic. And, voila! Overnight he lands 1600 followers. . .

Controversy can certainly capture an audience and it did in Carl’s case.

And so the power of social networking begins. Carl eventually invites the critic to a do-over and once again the restaurant owner puts a kibosh on Carl’s creativity. He walks out on his job and the food critic tweets that Chef Carl “chickened out.”

When Carl sees the tweet, irate and hurt, he returns to the restaurant and verbally assaults the critic in the midst of a full restaurant.

What he does is actually share his true nature, his authentic self. He’s flaming mad, but also conveys how he’s hurt by the critic and how the critic hurt the restaurant’s business.

You may have guessed what happens next. You got it – while Carl is throwing a tirade, customers have their smartphones in hand. The scene goes viral and Carl lands 20K followers (without even trying).

Embarrassed, Carl just wants the dust to settle while he seeks a job. However, he finds himself on a trip to Miami with his ex-wife and son. Unbeknownst to him she has set up a meeting for Carl to meet with her first ex-husband who offers Carl a beat up old food truck.

And the adventure begins . . .

Here’s where the relationships part develops more deeply. Carl gets time with his son rebuilding the truck together, his best friend (John Leguizamo) flies from LA to pitch in and help, and together they launch “El Jefe”- the Cuban food truck.

Carl’s passion for cooking is reignited, his love for his son is heightened, his friendship with his buddy is cemented and the three take to the road driving from Miami to Los Angeles.

Carl’s son starts tweeting their journey and each time they land in a new city, prospects are anxiously lined up to order. This 11-year “marketing director” understands the power of social networking. That, combined with Carl’s delicious food and commitment to customer service, launches Carl on the road to success.

Here are a few of the messages I valued in this movie:

  • Carl teaches his son the importance of passion for his job as well as good customer service (i.e. don’t serve a burned sandwich). “I get to touch people’s lives with what I do and I love it. And I want to share this with you,
  • Carl learns about the power of relationships not only with his son, but with his best friend who quits his job at the L.A. restaurant and flies to Carl’s side to help saying, “I was so jazzed [that Carl was starting the business] . . . I said ‘ that’s what I want to do.”
  • Despite being divorced, Carl’s ex-wife knows Carl only too well and supports him in finding his bliss saying, “You’ll never be happy cooking for someone else.”
  • And of course, with his 11-year old son acting as marketing director, they build their brand, simply by being social online and off. The power of social networking (Twitter in particular) successfully skyrocket’s the business to success.

Oh, did I say there’s also great salsa music? An uplifting movie, you’ll leave the theatre with a big smile on your face.

If you have seen it, do you agree? Please share your comments below because I’d love to hear from you. Muchas gracias!

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. This sounds funny and super cute. I hadn’t heard of it yet, but you’ve piqued my interest now 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    Catherine recently posted…Want a Free Nutrition Plan? You Could Win One!My Profile

    • Hi Catherine, I hadn’t heard about the movie either until a friend suggested it to me. It’s definitely worth seeing, especially if you appreciate messages along the lines of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

  2. Sounds like a great movie. I hope it arrives in the UK soon (they can be weeks later) Going to movies is one of my favorite things to do, so we have a monthly subscription to go as often as we like. Just have to avoid the popcorn, nachos and hot dogs or I would be the size of a house.
    Ana recently posted…If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play OnMy Profile

  3. This movie was not on my must-see list but you have changed my mind. Especially since Twitter is where I “hang out”.
    Melodieann Whiteley recently posted…Mar 23, How To Use Trade AssociationsMy Profile

  4. Looks good! It’s on the summer viewing list. 🙂 Thanks Deb!
    Larry Hochman recently posted…The Most Important Job In The WorldMy Profile

  5. Debra you definitely got my interest and I want to check this one out.

    Great article

  6. Debra, a great post full of enthusiasm, not only for the movie but for the relationships and how they all evolved. The marketing genius of his son seems to have really put “the power of the internet” on stage. I thoroughly enjoyed the way you presented the whole blog. Did you really enjoy the movie? Just kidding. I look forward to seeing it with my wife. Thanks for a warm feeling blog.
    John Logan recently posted…Failure – Is This Part Of Your Makeup?My Profile

    • Thanks John. By the sound of the applause in the audience at the end of the film, I’d say I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the movie. We all left with a joyful feeling. You will too!

  7. You’re as hot as the salsa music in your re-telling
    Debra – I love it!
    Thanks for sharing your heart space….. we know what
    gets you fired up & what your values are. Nice tie-in
    to social media and your copy writing talent – Rock on!

    ps – can’t wait to see the movie now!
    Paula D’Andrea recently posted…Motivation Monday: A Phenomenal WomanMy Profile

  8. Great review Deborah…had one other friend mention it as well so putting it on my ‘must see’ list. Thanks.

  9. GREAT blog post and I couldn’t agree more Debra!!

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