Really, though, all that stuff comes in second to the way Favreau shoots and focuses on food. Chef is food porn in the extreme, beyond even I Am Love in its attention to preparation and devouring. Ostensibly, Carl's whole "suffering artist/struggling parent" story is the key narrative, but really - artistic process be damned, this is a movie about sandwiches. There's a majesty to the way even the most mundane, unattractive meals are filmed here that makes every little crumb look like a Platonic ideal. Cubanos, slow-smoked Texas barbecued brisket, carne asada, pasta, Cafe Du Monde beignets, and don't even get me started on the beauty of that grilled cheese sandwich. While judging something based on how delicious looking the food is is probably a better criteria for a menu or a Pinterest board, there's something tremendously satisfying about the attention Favreau relishes on the meals at the heart of Chef. The construction of a grilled cheese, for instance, gets thrown over a beat and treated like a slick action scene would be in Iron Man. Instead of seeing Tony Stark mingle at a party or work on building something, we watch Carl pile up cheese, artfully squeeze sauces, and delicately plate food in a way that's as visually appealing as it is hunger-inducing. It may not be the most original object, but it's satisfying in the way the best meals are.