Cooking Up Acclaim

FREDONIA – The next feature film in the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series is the culinary comedy “Chef,” directed by and starring Jon Favreau. It will be screened on Saturday and Tuesday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) is an acclaimed chef with a family life that seems as decaying as his artistic freedom. When he suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next.

With his career ruined, Carl’s ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) offers an unorthodox solution in Miami – refit an old food truck to offer quality cooking on his own terms. Taking to the road with his young son and old friend (John Leguizamo), Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen – and zest for life and love. In doing so, Carl discovers he is serving up more than simply food, but also a deeper connection with his life and his family that is truly delicious in its own way.

Joel Williams, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, calls the film “a dish of right-sized comfort food.” Film critic Richard Roeper calls it “a colorful, great-looking film, with an infectious soundtrack.” Linda Barnard, in the Toronto Star, calls it “joyous and revelatory.” Peter Travers, in Rolling Stone, says “buoyed by a Latin-flavored score and Favreau’s knack for improv inspiration, ‘Chef’ is the perfect antidote to Hollywood junk food. Like the best meals and movies, this irresistible concoction feels good for the soul.” Rated R for language, including some suggestive references “Chef” runs 114 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors and Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The series continues with the true story sports drama “Million Dollar Arm,” on July 19 and 22; and the summer hit based on the Broadway musical, “Jersey Boys,” on July 26 and 29.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported, nonprofit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.