Helmed by Max McGuire, Lifetime’s ‘Yes, Chef! Christmas’ explores the culinary romance that Alicia Gellar encounters this holiday season. Keeping her true aspirations and personal life on the side, Alicia works as a culinary school instructor. When she gets an invitation to participate in the city’s annual Kringle Cook-Off this Christmas, she wants to seize this opportunity and fulfill her dreams of becoming a respected chef, just like her former boss Bobby.
Assuming the role of Alicia’s mentor is the Kringle protégé, Logan, who bonds with her, despite starting off on the wrong foot. In order to showcase her talent and prove herself in the eyes of others around her, she must give her everything and win the cook-off. The romantic comedy film unfolds in Chicago as the city is clad in snow and Christmas decorations, making the viewers wonder if the filming actually took place on location or not.
Where Was Yes, Chef! Christmas Filmed?
‘Yes, Chef! Christmas’ was taped entirely in the city of Ottawa in the Ontario province in the east-central part of the Great White North. According to reports, the shooting of the Christmas-themed movie commenced on April 17, 2023, and concluded its run in less than a month, specifically in the first week of May of the same year. While scouting locations for the Lifetime movie, the production team made use of various sites in the region that not only complement its narrative but also enhance the overall aesthetical appeal of the film.
For the purpose of filming, the team of ‘Yes Chef! Christmas’ moved to Ottawa, the country’s capital city in the southern portion of Ontario. The famous Sparks Street is also one of the shooting sites. Located just a few blocks south of Parliament Hill in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the pedestrian promenade runs from Elgin Street to Bronson Avenue and is a popular tourist destination. Ornamented with shops on either side and fests at regular intervals, the outdoor mall is packed with hustle and bustle throughout the year, offering not just entertainment but also multiple avenues to socialize with other individuals, satiate your appetite at, or shop from.
Sometime during the course of filming, the cast and crew also visited Villa Marconi Long Term Care Center at 1026 Baseline Road for taping a minor slice of the film. Around the time, many decorations were spotted in and around the 125-bed nursing care facility, with the production vehicles being parked nearby. The environmentally-conscious meal delivery business called Family Table Ottawa at 276 Preston Street is also where the taping of the Lifetime production took place. Taking into consideration the fact that the movie is driven by a culinary-themed narrative, it only makes sense that the team utilized the space to record some scenes.
A few scenes were shot at Ottawa City Hall at 110 Laurier Avenue West, a structure that is a blend of 19th-century and contemporary architecture. Several scenes of ‘Yes, Chef! Christmas’ were also lensed at Oz Kafe, a three-story complex at 10 York Street in the city. Known for its eclectic European-inspired menu, lively ambiance, and prompt service, the eatery is situated in the Former Geological Survey of Canada Building at 541 Sussex Drive in the center of the vibrant Byward Market area. Shooting was also conducted in another restaurant, Joy on Sussex, at 527 Sussex Drive in the same historic property. However, the aesthetic restaurant stands permanently closed as of writing.
Yes, Chef! Christmas Cast
Tia Dashon Mowry headlines the Lifetime production by essaying the character of Alicia Gellar, the culinary instructor. Best known for starring as Tia Landry in ‘Sister, Sister’ alongside her real-life twin Tamera Mowry, the actress and singer has also showcased her acting prowess in movies and shows such as ‘Seventeen Again,’ ‘The Hot Chick,’ ‘The Mistle-Tones,’ ‘Baggage Claim,’ ‘Indivisible,’ ‘The Game,’ and ‘Instant Mom.’ Joining Mowry as the co-lead is Luke Humphrey, who steps into the role of Logan Forest. You may recognize the actor from his performance as Vivian Mutchmur in ‘Chateau Laurier’ and Terry West in ‘Priscilla.’
The other credits of Luke Humphrey include ‘See’ as Kerrigan, ‘I Was Lorena Bobbitt’ as John Bobbitt, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ as V’Latak, ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ as Travis Quinn and ‘Frankie Drake Mysteries’ as Joe Perry. Rebecca Amzallag appears as Kate McCartney, while Raven Dauda stars as Viola Kringle. The Max McGuire directorial also features Scott Gibson as Rick Kringle and Rothaford Gray as William Faison in supporting roles. The cast also comprises Simon Phillips as Joe Pinkney, Christopher Omari as Michael Kringle, Buddy Valastro as Bobby, Mekdes Teshome as Kemi Kringle, John Koensgen as Ken Gellar, and Sean Meldrum as Waiter, and Anas Hasan as Mike Koy.