The pair's friendship first blossomed when they were working on Chef in 2014.
The boys are back.
Jon Favreau and Los Angeles-based chef Roy Choi are reuniting for the upcoming Netflix series The Chef Show, an extension of their 2014 movie Chef. The series came about after some time had passed following the film’s debut, and Favreau was missing his time cooking with Choi, who consulted and co-produced the movie about an aspiring food truck owner.
“The movie was in theaters for a long time, and I felt like it was a part of our lives for a long time, and then that ended,” the Lion King director told PEOPLE last month at Netflix’s FYSEE Food Day. “Our friendship lived on, but the relationship of cooking together and doing those things, that wasn’t a part of our friendship any longer, because that was his job and I was making movies.”
Instead of sidelining what he jokes were the “little movies” he was working on at the time (like Spider-Man: Far From Home) to cook with Choi, Favreau had the idea of combining his passions. “I was like, ‘Let’s bring a camera crew and cook for some of the people that are working on that show, and some restaurants and some chefs in Atlanta.’ And then I took that footage and I started working on it like a documentary,” he said. “We filmed in our kitchens, whether in our homes or his restaurant, other people’s homes, other cities, and it started to take form.”
What they came to create three years later is a star-studded food show that is bound to be a hit. Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland all make appearances, along with chef David Chang, who had Favreau “geeking out a lot” when he first met him.
Though Choi is clearly the culinary powerhouse behind the series, Favreau, he says, has own impressive set of skills in the kitchen.
“His strengths are his dexterity, his honesty, his passion, his ability to process the information, his palate, his love for food, and the ability to be thorough and honest with the process of learning a new skill and a new thing,” says Choi. “He doesn’t take it lightly, and it is not like he is checking his phone when I am teaching him a new knife cut. He is fully immersed and engaged in that moment.”
Choi—who also recently launched his own show Broken Bread—says he was particularly impressed with just how fast Favreau picked up on certain techniques.
“I have seen Jon go from not knowing anything in that specific criteria to being proficient at it in literally five minutes,” says Choi. “That is superhero level.”
The Chef Show premieres June 7 on Netflix.