A Movie Review of “The Chef” Starring Jon Favreau

If you’re making a big soup with many different and seemingly contrasting ingredients, there’s a good chance it could go very wrong. Well “The Chef”, which was written by and starring Jon Favreau does throw together a plethora of genres and story lines into one big steaming pot but the result was a sort of inspirational culinary surprise.

Of course, at times “The Chef” requires some poetic license like suspending enough belief to accept that an overweight and at times incendiary chef, could have characters portrayed by both Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson smitten by him.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a movie with deep hidden meanings and heralded by the art house crowd you’re going to be as disappointed as the food critic in the movie is at the menu that the restaurant owner, earnestly played by Dustin Hoffman, refused to yield on is. But the gourmet delights in the movie are cooked up by Favreau himself as he begins to allow creativity and artistic freedom give him his soul back, albeit often maniacally in the middle of the night.

Some actors are lauded for performing their own stunts, similarly Jon Favreau’s slicing and dicing skills are extraordinary and by the way so is the cast. The chef is also a divorced dad in the movie with a 10 year old son portrayed by Emjay Anthony, who in many ways steals the show. In addition to his helpful Twitter and Vine tutorials, the kid can flat out act without acting and absolutely commands his scenes.

The relationship between he and his dad the chef really takes off during a great American road trip within a rollicking food truck where they are joined by a fellow crew member portrayed by John Leguizamo who was dynamite and perfectly cast.

The movie is also peppered with sights of Sofia Vergara in tight dresses and heels often while awesome traditional Cuban music is performed live. In fact, the entire soundtrack will keep you dancing in your chair.

Favreau has cooked up summer gold with “The Chef” aka el Jefe. It’s Rocky, Swingers, Hell’s Kitchen and the feel good movie of the summer all rolled into one.  Catch it while you can still find it on the big screen for maximum food and music impact, oh and don’t go hungry!

Darren Hunter is a Storyteller with SAP and also leader of vegetable believers Team DRN.

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Can You Really Get Whole Food Nutrition in a Capsule?

We enjoy the juicy burst of an orange, the sweet nectar of an apple, and the succulence of a red, ripened tomato. But, remove the H20 from fruits and vegetables and what do you have left? Nutrients – including healthful antioxidants in the form of juice powders that can be put into a capsule. Today capsules are available that contain juice powders from 25 fruits, vegetables and grains that offer whole food based nutrition right from the source.

Whole food based nutrition delivers powerful antioxidants that provide your body protection, because it relies on fruits and vegetables. According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants are “substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C and E and other substances. Many of these antioxidant substances come from fruits and vegetables.”

Whole food based nutrition starts in orchards, gardens and vineyards. A product called Juice Plus+ combines the latest dietary guidelines and clinical research findings to create convenient whole food based nutrition, while consistently emphasizing that people need to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve their chances of living long and healthy lives.

Eating fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging.  A diet rich in real foods contains other meaningful benefits as well:

 More complete nutrition from whole foods loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

  • Absence of preservatives from processed foods such as excess salt, fat and simple sugars. 
  • Lower cost by satisfying your hunger with less. Real foods are dense with fiber and filling nutrients, which is more likely to fill you up faster than junk food.

 Clinical research has showcased the benefits of adding whole food nutrition from a capsule to your diet. More than 20 research studies have been conducted in leading hospitals and universities around the world. 

In addition to fruit and vegetable nutrition, the Juice Plus+ Company offers whole food based nutritional products for an on-the-go with protein, balanced diet through the “Complete” line of products. The “Complete” shake mixes and nutrition bars have the nutrients, protein, and fibers of whole foods but with vegetable protein.  Learn more about “Complete shakes” and nutrition bars here.

Clearly, eating fruits and vegetables right from farm or ideally the vine of a Tower Garden is the ultimate way to get nutrition.  However, as the studies provided above have shown, you can get also whole food based nutrition in a capsule and chewable form, containing juice powder concentrates from 25 different fruits, vegetables and grains.

This helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat, and provides the starting point for a healthier way to live.

Stay tuned for upcoming stories describing my door-to-door adventures in wellness education! 


How Some Restaurants Are Taking Farm-to-Table to New Heights

Lately there has been a palpable and rapidly growing movement in sustainable agriculture towards “farm-to-table”

Farm-to-table can generally be defined as the certified traceability from production to consumption. It’s also associated with locally grown organic fruits and vegetables.

There are many reasons people today are identifying with this movement including universally acknowledged concerns about sustainability, nutritional quality and food safety to name just a few.

Well some restaurants are taking the concept of farm fresh to a whole new level. In fact your dinner may now be growing not just nearby but right next to your table!

Just how is this accomplished? With a unique and inexpensive growing system that uses “aeroponics” and a little sunlight.

Dozens of these Tower Gardens have found their way into area restaurants and restaurateurs are reporting that it’s drawing in new customers. One local chef told me that not only is the on the spot growing system attracting new business due to the desire for more reliable “farm-to-table” eating but her customers are getting involved.

“My customers are actually asking for specific, fresh vegetables direct from the vine, it’s making their dining experience not just more comfortable but also more fun.”

Chef Hannah also said that not a night goes by that customers don’t ask where they can get a Tower Garden. You can do your own due diligence and learn more about these same vertical growing systems that restaurants are employing by clicking here.

Chef Hannah also noted: “My indoor garden is attracting new customers and in fact so many customers were asking me where to get one that I became a distributor!”

(Information about becoming a distributor yourself can be found by clicking on the “Virtual Franchise” tab at the link above.)

My own personal journey towards helping make healthier eating and farm-to-table more accessible will find me in many restaurants across a multiplicity of fares in the coming days and months. That’s a good thing because visiting great restaurants is arguably one of the most enjoyable things we do am I right?

If you’re interested in discussing a Tower Garden in your home or place of business contact me.  As part of your due diligence, I can also put you in contact with others who already have a Tower Garden including Chef Hannah.

Additionally, some of my upcoming blogs will feature stories of meeting interesting restaurant owners and celebrating great food at their establishments with friends new and old.

Remember there are kaleidoscopic sources of inspiration all around us and putting a farmers market right ontower17 your porch should surely be one of them!



Darren Hunter Wellness Educator TeamDRN.com  darren.hunter1@gmx.com

Soil-free system means there is no weeding, kneeling, or getting dirty
. No gardening experience is necessary
. Fits easily on urban patios, decks, porches, balconies, terraces, or rooftop gardens
. Grows many fruits and almost any vegetable, herb, or flower
. With an extension kit you can grow up to 28 plants in one Tower
. Uses as little as 10% of traditional growing nutrients & water
. Can produce crops in less time than it takes to grow in soil

How Farm-to-Plate Just Got Personal

Well as you may know TeamDRN is part of a personal quest to inspire people to release their inner farmer and get healthier.  To achieve that we need to to be rigorous and insightful as well as present ideas that are as inspirational as they are transformative.

As a Story Teller with SAP I’m well aware of the power of data and the fact that if you can’t measure it you can’t improve it. Every single piece of data I’ve ever seen has shown that consuming more vegetables and less processed food will make you healthier and most likely happier.

Most of us aspire to be healthier and a little better off financially but perhaps just need a vehicle for getting there. I’m always honest to the source and can say without a doubt that the Tower Garden may just be that vehicle.

As a foundation, it’s good to become familiar with some of the benefits of the aeroponic Tower Garden. Let’s take a quick tour d’horizon.

 Soil-free system means there is no weeding, tilling, kneeling, or getting dirty
. No gardening experience is necessary
. Fits easily on urban patios, decks, porches, balconies, terraces, or rooftop gardens
. Grows many fruits and almost any vegetable, herb, or flower
. With an extension kit you can grow up to 28 plants in one Tower
. Uses as little as 10% of traditional growing nutrients & water
. Can produce crops in less time than it takes to grow in soil

Pretty cool huh? Well many people are discovering the power of not just vegetables but are also interested in releasing their “inner farmer”. Well the world moves and we must move with it!

Future blogs will journalize the day to day traverses of yours truly and as well as other members of TeamDRN as we  evangelize the benefits of getting one’s body and I dare say, in many cases wallet, healthier (Yes you can have your own virtual franchise for less than the cost of a few pizzas).

A story is often at its best when it’s not intrusive. However, we learn at an inverse proportion to the speed at which we travel, therefore we see far more walking than driving and so on and good inspiration will always come from that.

For example, yesterday undaunted by the midday sun, I visited a few neighbors. At a beautiful home lush with magnolia on the next street over, a woman named Meghan came to the door. Her husband Kyle joined the conversation soon thereafter and their 3 children ostensibly did too. We talked world peace, electric car stocks and ultimately farm-to-plate vegetables. Today they are the proud owners of a new aeroponic vegetable growing system. You can view a brief video demonstration here. 

Next week we will be visiting some local restaurants since our existing restaurateurs love them. We’ll be featuring some of them very soon replete with exciting photos!

Remember to eat your vegetables and stay tuned as we’ve got work to do!



Be sure to visit our team FB page which you can find here.