The setting is Brooklyn, NY, where 12-year-old Abe, played by Noah Schnapp, (best known as Will Byers in “Stranger Things”), lives with endless family conflict. His father, (Arian Moayed) is Muslim, and atheist and his mother (Dagmara Dominczyk) are Jewish, while religious. All of Abe’s grandparents come over every night and argue over which religion is better, and what Abe’s heritage is, and what he should be.
Abe decides the only way to ease the tension is by learning to cook the foods of both cultures. A Brazilian street-fair cook becomes his mentor. out Chico (Seu Jorge, of “City of God,” “The Life Aquatic.”
When he meets the cook in his kitchen, he’s greeted with, “Does this look like a summer camp for rich kids?” Abe’s learning and is determined to continue his mission, even though he’s “mixing up fusion with confusion.” What we do sense, is that his new friend will take him under his wing — after making him clean the co-op kitchen where he does his prep.
The director is Fernando Grostien Andrade, who was born in Brazil and attended college in southern California.
I’m a big fan of this movie; the story feels so right for what’s happening now with the Covid-19 virus and images we see of New York. As Abe wanders around Brooklyn, we see the diverse cultures, sights, smells, and sounds that give us hope that this robust city will return to normalcy soon.
The cinematography is so beautiful, and the food looks so delicious, just don’t watch this on an empty stomach. Be warned; Abe may win your heart and inspire you to try new cooking recipes. He learns not only to cook but special life lessons.
Sarah Knight Adamson© April 26, 2020