a24 by Raf Stitt July 31, 2019
There aren’t a lot of great food biopics out there. There also aren’t a lot of noticeable great Black chefs. These should both be changing very, very soon.
A memoir you’ve probably never heard of, about a dude who you also probably never heard, got picked up by a movie studio you probably have heard of and will be made into a feature-length film with a dude that you definitely have heard of.
Lakeith Stanfield, star of Atlanta, Sorry to Bother You, and Get Out will play Chef Kwame Onwuachi in an upcoming film adaptation of his memoirs Notes from a Young Black Chef. Not much else information is out about the film at this point, but it’s more than enough to get us super hype about the project.
The film will star Stanfield, who is also onboard as a producer. A24, the indie production company behind movies like Moonlight, Hereditary, and Mid90s, is set to finance the movie. Randy McKinnon will adapt the screenplay from the powerhouse memoir.
The film is bound to be a hit, as Stanfield has proved to be one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood and Chef Kwame’s story is a wild one.
Onwuachi is one of the hottest young chefs in the world right now and is probably most famous for his attempt at opening a high-end tasting restaurant in Washington DC. The Shaw Bijou, Onwuachi’s first restaurant, which he opened at the age of 26, closed within three months of opening is doors.
The restaurant featured cuisine that told the story of Kwame’s life in an upscale and exclusive fashion and cost guests $185 per person before tax, tips, or wine pairing. Many thought the move was too bold for such a young chef, but as Kwame outlines in his book, it made perfect sense considering everything leading up to that moment.
Raised in the Bronx, Onwuachi’s upbringing included an abusive father, drug dealing, and time spent living in Nigeria with his grandfather. One thing was always consistent though – the importance of the kitchen.
Whether it was his own house, a friend’s house, grandpa’s house in Nigeria, or his college ‘trap’ house, food always managed to play a major role in Kwame’s life.
From these humble beginnings, Onwauchi managed to find his passion for cooking. Starting off as a line cook down in Louisiana, he worked his way through cheffing on a boat for a crew working the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, starting his own catering company, working in Michelin star kitchens like Per Se and Eleven Madison Park, and eventually graduating from the Culinary Institute of America.
His hustler spirit was apparent throughout. His grind never stopped and hard work always paid off. Of course, he had the balls to make his first restaurant venture a wildly ambitious one.
Onwuachi’s story should be more than enough to entice movie-goers to see this film. Pair that with the star power of Stanfield, and you’re sure to have a hit.