South by Southwest 2014: ‘Chef’ and Foodies Take Over

Instagram/Jon Favreau
Instagram/Jon Favreau

Though traditionally known as a mecca for techies and music-lovers, Austin’s annual South By Southwest (SXSW) festival is now becoming a top draw for foodies as well. So much so, that this year’s SXSW film festival opened with Jon Favreau’s new film, “Chef.”

The movie, which opens in theaters nationwide on May 9, stars Favreau as a down-on-his-luck divorced chef from Los Angeles who decides to jump-start his career by starting a food truck. Favreau, who also wrote and directed the comedy, was on hand to introduce his film to the SXSW audience Friday night, telling the opening night crowd that the film was a return to his “indie” roots. “I wanted to do something [set] in the culinary world because it seemed like a very cinematic way to talk about the creative process,” he told red-carpet reporters.

Also on hand for the “Chef” premiere was LA restaurateur Roy Choi, of Kogi Taco Truck fame, who advised Favreau on the film and co-judged with him on an episode of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Paul Qui, an Austin native and past winner of “Top Chef” was also in attendance. Actually, Qui seemed to be a frequent pop-up at SXSW: He co-curated the SouthBites food trailer park with fiance Deana Saukam, and was a speaker during Saturday’s SXSW Food Track talk on “DIY: The New Culinary Movement.”

Other foodie moments SXSW attendees should watch out for this year: 3-D printed food, a food truck powered by IBM’s supercomputer Watson, culinary star sightings, cronuts, and of course, lots and lots of free food.

(Picture courtesy of @chefthefilm Twitter feed)

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