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Lakeith Stanfield to Star in Adaptation of Kwame Onwuachi’s ‘Notes From a Young Black Chef’

The A24-produced movie has the potential to be a Hollywood game changer

Lakeith Stanfield and Kwame Onwuachi
Lakeith Stanfield photo: Getty/Gilbert Carrasquillo; Kwame Onwuachi photo: R. Lopez/Eater DC

One of Hollywood’s rising stars is going to play one of the food world’s most acclaimed young chefs in a feature film. Lakeith Stanfield, of Sorry to Bother You and Atlanta fame, has signed on to play the lead role in Notes From a Young Black Chef, based on the 2019 memoir by Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein.

Notes from a Young Black Chef chronicles Onwuachi’s upbringing in the Bronx, his adolescent journey to Nigeria to live with his grandfather, his rocky rise through the ranks of the fine dining world, his appearance on Season 13 of Top Chef, and the opening and abrupt closure his ambitious Washington D.C. tasting menu restaurant, Shaw Bijou. Throughout the book, Onwuachi notably details the racism that he experienced working in some of America’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Per Se and Eleven Madison Park. One month after the book was released, Onwuachi received the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation for his work at Kith and Kin in Washington D.C.’s InterContinental Hotel.

In addition to starring in the lead role, Stanfield is also on board this film as an executive producer. The book is being adapted for the screen by Chambers veteran Randy McKinnon, and Stephen “Dr” Love, one of the producers of Netflix’s upcoming thriller They Cloned Tyrone, is producing the adaption. Film production/distribution company A24 — which brought hits Midsommar, Lady Bird, and The Favourite to movie theaters — is financing the movie. Stanfield is the only confirmed cast member so far, and there’s still no word yet on who will direct the film or when it will be released.

While Hollywood has produced many movies about chefs over the last few decades — some of them good, most of them bad — there has never been a major motion picture adapted from a memoir like Notes from a Young Black Chef before. Stay tuned for any and all updates on the production as they become available.

Lakeith Stanfield to Star in Kwame Onwuachi’s ‘Notes From a Young Black Chef’ Adaptation for A24 [Variety]
‘The Kitchen at Per Se Was a Clean Place but Hard and Heartless Too’ [E]
Big Ex-Eleven Madison Park Chef Accused of Racist Behavior in New Memoir [ENY]