"Chef" is, for the most part, your typical feel-good movie, but its culturally current subject matter modernizes the genre. The "rockstar" chef, food as art, social networking, and food trucks are all very trendy these days and have been brought to the forefront of this movie. Of course, trendy isn't going to work on its own. The script is charming and witty without being pretentious. In addition, there is a great soundtrack and amazing cinematography (the food presentation is mouthwatering).
The Sunday matinee crowd was an equal mix of men and women spanning the adult age range. There were no little kids squirming in their seats (which is a rarity these days as some parents seem to think it's appropriate to bring their kids to non-kid-friendly movies), but then again it's not a movie for kids. At the end of the film, the almost packed house gave it a round of applause. I've found clapping at the end of a movie usually happens after the hero has saved the day in an action movie. In this case, the crowd simply enjoyed the film. I'm not really a movie clapper, but I too liked "Chef" very much and joined in on the clapping.
This review does come with a warning... DON'T GO HUNGRY! The food shots are very appealing so your snack of popcorn, candy, or brought-from-home carrots will simply not satisfy compared to the food in the movie. My friends and I had plans to eat at one of our favorite down and dirty Mexican restaurants when it was over. After the movie however, nothing we ate was really quite as satisfying as the food in the movie seemed to be. Other than that...two thumbs up!