'Chef' Director Jon Favreau, Roy Choi Reunite: "Now We Get to Make a Real Restaurant"
Favreau and the Korean taco-truck king — featured in THR's Rule Breakers 2014 issue — were so inspired by the movie's surprise box-office success that they are opening a Los Angeles eatery together
This story first appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
It turns out that portraying a struggling L.A. chef in the May release Chef wasn't far afield from Jon Favreau's day job. "Being a chef and a director actually aren't that different," says the 48-year-old filmmaker. "Chefs are also very aware they are leading a team. They are teachers and leaders. The word comes from 'chief' — there's a military tradition in the culinary culture! It's definitely present in Roy's food trucks and kitchens."
Read more Deauville: Jon Favreau Talks Creative Freedom on 'Chef,' Highly Technical 'Jungle Book'
After helming such tentpoles as Iron Man (which earned $585.2 million worldwide) and its sequel Iron Man 2 ($623.9 million), the star bucked industry expectations by returning to his roots with a microbudget indie. Enter his friend and famed Korean taco-truck king Roy Choi, 44, who served as a producer and as Favreau's on-set food guru. The movie about a divorced dad desperate to ditch the Brentwood dining scene for a back-to-basics, street-food approach was such a surprise hit — released by Open Road, it earned $31.4 million domestically — it inspired the two to open a Los Angeles eatery that serves cuisine inspired by the onscreen fare.
"Jon breaks rules because he takes known genres and makes them his own, makes them real," says Choi. "Now we get to make a real restaurant with real Cubano sandwiches. For food fans, it's kind of like the lightsaber from Star Wars coming to life."
Read below for the full Rule Breakers 2014 list: