CIA Students Get Preview Screenings of Chef Before Theatrical Release


Writer, Director, and Star Jon Favreau Chats Live via Skype

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – The new Hollywood feature film Chef, written and directed by and starring Jon Favreau, is shaping up to be a box office success this summer. Before it premiered nationally, more than 1,500 students at all three U.S. campuses of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) took advantage of a rare opportunity to see the film during special previews. And for one of those previews, on Wednesday, May 7, Favreau spoke with the students live via Skype.

To prepare for his role, Favreau was trained to be an on-screen chef by CIA graduate Roy Choi '98. "He was hoping to send me to upstate New York to study for, like, six months. But that's not the way the movie business works," Favreau told students at the Hyde Park, NY campus. "But it shows you how highly he thinks of the CIA, and I'm really honored to be showing the movie here."

Choi, a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef and pioneer in the food truck movement, also acted as a technical adviser for the movie's cooking scenes.

"Following (Chef Choi's) footsteps and doing the preparation exactly as he teaches me, I get insight into his mind," Favreau said. "I love the discipline of (being a chef). I love the organization of it. I love the culture of it. Most Hollywood movies get it wrong...I really took some time to show what the cooking is."

After learning how to cook from an alumnus, Favreau told students that his character, Carl Casper, is a CIA graduate in the off-camera "back story" he created to get into the role.

The movie opened in select cities on May 9. In addition to Favreau, it stars Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, and Robert Downey Jr.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Image

Photo 1: Students at The Culinary Institute of America were excited to screen the feature film Chef before its release date. (Photo credits: CIA/Hogan Popkiss)
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Photo 2: The Culinary Institute of America's new Marriott Pavilion filled with students and guests for a preview screening of Chef on the college's Hyde Park, NY campus. (Photo credits: CIA/Hogan Popkiss)
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Photo 3 (top photo): Hollywood actor and director Jon Favreau talks with CIA students via Skype prior to a screening of his new film Chef. (Photo credits: CIA/Hogan Popkiss)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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