Lakeith Stanfield has been cast in the starring role.

By Bridget Hallinan
July 16, 2019
Ramona Rosales

It was only last month that Kwame Onwuachithe Food & Wine Best New Chef behind Washington D.C.’s critically acclaimed Kith/Kin—appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to promote his new memoir, Notes from a Young Black Chef. Onwuachi explained that the book covers his path to becoming a chef, from spending two years in Nigeria when he was growing up, to getting involved with a gang, and then moving to Louisiana to focus on food. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to compete on Top Chef—this past spring, he was named “Rising Star Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. And the momentum doesn’t stop there. On Monday, Variety reported that Notes from a Young Black Chef will be adapted into a feature film.

A24 will be financing the film, according to Variety, while Randy McKinnon will adapt the script—as for the starring role? Lakeith Stanfield, who also starred in Sorry to Bother You and plays Darius Epps on Atlanta, has been cast as Onwuachi. The actor posted about the news on Instagram, writing, “One of the top young chefs on the planet is Black. So very excited to help bring his story to life, and to inspire all those who feel like the only thing they can be is the lie they were fed.” Onwuachi also posted about the project, saying that Stanfield has been his favorite actor for years and knowing that he’ll be bringing his life to the big screen is “unreal.”

“Thank you @a24 for this amazing opportunity. Thank you @randy.mckinnon and @doctalove12 for bringing this story to life,” he wrote. “Love seeing the universe constantly do these amazing things. Please if you take anything away from this know that it doesn’t matter where you are from or what you are going through. Push through the hard times and out work everyone around you. So excited for this next chapter!!!!!!!!”

The film’s director hasn’t been announced yet, and there’s no set release date either—Stephen “Dr” Love will produce and Colin Stark and Stanfield are on as executive producers. While we wait for more news, you can hear Onwuachi on our Communal Table podcast with Food & Wine senior editor Kat Kinsman—take a listen on our podcast page, or find it on YouTube, iTunes, Sticher, Player FM, and Spotify.

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