Posts filed under Food Trucks

CHEF is a Movie Even the CIA Could Love

There are foodie films and then there are movies that reach beyond Hollywood’s stereotypes about romantic soufflés into the art of heart of why professional cooks cook. One wonderfully different film that pulls no punches is Jon Favreau’s new film CHEF.

And, no, this film is not about the military CIA but rather the far more peace and creative CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in upstate New York, Texas and California.

The authenticity of this film is amazing from knife skills to how chefs create. The story begins as Chef Carl Casper (written and played by Jon Favreau) faces culinary boredom as a ‘successful’ high-end Los Angeles chef who has been cooking the same boring dishes for five long years. Mon dieu!


When Chef Casper learns that he is about to be reviewed by the famed critic Ramsey Michel (played to perfection by Oliver Platt) he decides to alter the long established menu and create something new and innovative.

His urge to create brings him into direct conflict with the restaurant’s owner (played as a cold hearted money man by Dustin Hoffman). The result is a disaster that literally goes viral thanks to the Internet and soon the Chef is unemployed, drifting without a compass professionally or personally.

The rest of the film follows the Chef with humor and pathos as he rediscovers thanks to a food truck, an insightful son and fine friends that cuisine to be authentic must reach beyond the kitchen and connect with life.

In the end there is laughter and music and joy for both the Chef and the audience lucky enough to catch this uniquely honest film that in the end does more than show the stress and strain of the back of the house. It captures as few films do the true reason cuisine is an art – when well done we can changes lives: including our own.

Your Culinary World Copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2014

Texas Food Trucks Go Big with Small

Forget about bratwurst, wurst and any other kinds of sausages -- döner kebaps (sometimes spelled with a final 'b') have overtaken all other traditional German fast food as that country’s favorite new on-the-go meal. Even such esteemed European leaders as Germany's very busy Chancellor Angela Merkel take time out to enjoy this legendary sandwich on a regular basis.

But less you think that Germany is having all the culinary fun, just look towards the US state of Texas where big is better and now even the small has a chance for success.

The Verts Kebap, a Berlin-style restaurant in Austin, Texas, is now offering these savory grilled meat snacks, first brought to Germany by Turkish immigrants during  the 1970s.

Each large sandwich features slow roasted meats wrapped in pita bread and topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions  and a wide variety of dressings.

As you might guess, döner kebaps are a great hit with both the penny-watching students from the University of Texas and the rushed legislators from the nearby state office buildings. 

But just when it seems that everything in Texas is about big-bigger-biggest, take a look at the unique food trucks this innovative restaurant is using.

When not serving their tasty sandwiches, the restaurant's owners have been working with a team of German engineers to modify a small e-car into the world’s smallest a food truck. Unbelievably, each mini food truck contains refrigerator units, food warmers and sinks – all to code!

But to be totally fair, it should be noticed that on arrival the staff sets up a tent, which gives them a little extra space (and some coverage from the mighty Texas sun).

The mini food trucks are such a hit around the city that extra drivers are currently being hired. All in all it just might be that the new big is small no matter what ‘state’of mind one is in. 

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011