10 foods to try from the movies – inspired by Jon Favreau’s culinary road trip film Chef

Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr. and Dustin Hoffman star in a saliva-inducing new movie. In celebration, we map out other iconic American dishes on screen, and where to try them


Written, produced and directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Avengers), the beautifully shot foodie movie Chef stars an A-list cast in relatively minor roles. The plot follows a Miami-born chef (Favreau) named Carl Casper, who falls in love with food all over again. After storming out of his safe, but boring, day job, he buys a food truck and sets off on a foodie road trip-style travelling adventure, with his best friend and son. 


Driving to Austin in Texas, the palm-fringed streets of Miami, and New Orleans – just to sample its deep fried pastry – the threesome discover how food, music and friendship (with extra dollops of cheese) intertwine. Warning: Don’t watch when hungry. 

To celebrate Chef’s UK release today, we remember some iconic American foodie moments on screen…

Pizza – Saturday Night Fever

Manhattan, NY

“Two, two, gimme two, that’s good.”

Scene: In the film’s intro Tony Manero walks around NYC to track of Stayin’ Alive, holding a can of paint. He stops off at Lenny’s Pizza where he buys two slices from the waitress (interestingly played by John Travolta’s sister Ann). Tony then walks down the street eating both at the same time.


50 eggs – Cool and Look

Deep South, USA

“Why you got to go and say fifty eggs for? Why not thirty-five or thirty-nine?” “I thought it was a nice round number.”

Scene: Luke, dissatisfied with the pecking order in prison, quickly learns to speak up. On the spur of the moment he bets that he can eat 50 eggs. The others prisoners quickly gain respect for him. 

Royale with Cheese – Pulp Fiction 

Los Angeles, CA

Scene: “Do you know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese, in France?”

“They don’t call it a quarter pound with cheese?”

“Na man they got the metric system, they don’t know why at the f**k a quarter pounder with cheese is.”

“What do they call it?”

“They call it a Royale with cheese.”

Visit the USA with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


Spaghetti and meatballs – Lady and the Tramp

Marceline, Mo

“Now here you are-a, the best-a spaghetti in-a town”

Scene: Tramp takes Lady to his usual spot for dinner, but today instead of the usual bones, the chef at the restaurant gives the dogs a plate of his finest spaghetti. 

Chocolate croissants – It’s Complicated 

Santa Barbara, CA

“Oh, what about a warm chocolate croissant?”

“It’s my specialty.”

Scene: When Adam and Jane leave a party, Adam asks Jane if they could have something to eat. The pair sneak into Jane’s bakery and make chocolate croissants together.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XOPZFhB3gE

Four fried chickens, a coke and a slice of dry toast – Blues Brothers

Chicago, IL

“Best dammed fried chicken in the state.”

Scene: The Blues Brothers head to a diner for dinner where the waitress is irritated by their order.

Visit the USA with Radio Times Travel, see here for more detail

Lobster – Annie Hall

New York

“We should’ve got steaks because they don’t have legs, they don’t run around.”

Scene: Annie and Alvy bring home lobsters to cook together. The two joke as lobsters escape in the kitchen.

A glass of raw eggs – Rocky 

Philadelphia, PA

Scene: Rocky indulges in a nutritious snack early in the morning before training. 

Steak – Raging Bull

The Bronx, NY

Scene: Jake is waiting impatiently for Irma to cook his steak, his impatience grows too great and he demands it. Then, in a fit of rage, he pushes over the table with the steak on it.

Cubanos sandwich – Chef

New Orleans/Miami

“There are chefs who make food that they believe in.”

Scene: Jon Favreau’s character in the movie is dissatisfied with working in a French restaurant and starts cooking Cuban food. The Cubanos sandwich becomes the first menu item for his food truck business. It’s made up of slow-roasted pork, ham, mustard, pickle and cheese on Cuban bread.


Visit the USA with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details