“I’m not as good as I am in the movie, but I’m pretty good for just a casual cook,” Favreau told PEOPLE. “I can definitely put together a good meal.” But the one thing that the actor-writer-director loves more than cooking on his own, is cooking with other chefs. “You learn so much,” explained Favreau, 50, who recruited LA-based chef, Roy Choi, as a consultant and producer for the movie.
“I love working and cooking with Roy, and we’re doing that a bit now again,” added Favreau.
In fact, the pair currently has something in the works. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk about something we’re working on where we’re cooking together. It’s sort of a small project,” revealed Favreau, who hosted a panel called Los Angeles Times Food Bowl Chef’s Fable with Choi in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theatre on Sunday, along with chefs Niki Nakayama and Magnus Nilsson, and director-producer, David Gelb.
“Roy was the guy who really indoctrinated me into this culinary world and trained me for the film Chef, and then they’re screening the film Chef, which is really fun because you don’t really get a chance to see it in the theater,” shared Favreau. “So it’s a big treat for me.”
Since first-meeting Choi, Favreau has learned “a lot” of dishes, but one of the star’s all-time favorites is kimchi fried rice. “I learned [how to make it] from Roy and he’s a master at that,” shared Favreau. “If you have the right flavors, it doesn’t take a lot of skill.”
“Now my [15-year-old] son [Max] is able to do it on his own,” continued Favreau. “He used to cook it with me. So Roy passed it down to me [and] I’m passing it down to my kids.”
The best part about the dish is “if you know the secret flavor combinations from traditional Korean cooking, it makes a really satisfying meal,” said Favreau. Plus, “it doesn’t take too much time” to whip up and “everybody loves it.”
Teased Choi: “He was on that for a while. He would call me all the time, and he was making that every day for like three months, almost a year. Him and his family.”
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Aside from cooking, Favreau has also recently starting dabbling in baking. “Since I saw Chef’s Table [on Netflix] I started doing sourdough bread, which is really kind of fun,” shared Favreau. “Baking is something I never thought I’d be able to do,” he added.
Now, Favreau has his “starter going” and a “little baking station at home.”
“[Baking’s] one of the things I enjoy and it’s very relaxing,” said Favreau. “And everybody is happy when you bring a fresh baked loaf of sourdough wherever you go. You make a lot of friends fast.”
Echoed Choi: “He keeps learning. He does a lot on his own now too. He’s baking bread lately. He’s making briskets. He bought a smoker, so he’s cooking stuff beyond just me now.”