Tis the season for heartwarming holiday flicks, and Lifetime’s newest Christmas confection, “Yes Chef Christmas,” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the sugar, spice, and everything nice that goes into a scrumptious production.
Directed by Max McGuire from a script of Carley Smale, the movie follows an aspiring chef Alicia who competes in a Christmas bake-off, mentored by a rival and empowered by a family secret that could make her dreams come true.
The rom-com is from Fireside Pictures and is produced by Josie Fitzgerald, with Andrew C Erin and Timothy O Johnson as executive producers. After getting naughty with A Cowboy Christmas Romance, Lifetime is bringing some holiday dishes on plate.
Yes Chef Christmas Filming Locations
Yes Chef Christmas was filmed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada during summer 2023.
Principal shooting of the movie began on April 17, 2023 and wrapped on May 5, 2023 as per Actra shooting reports.
Even though, the movie sets in a Chicago town, the entire filming was done in the capital city of Canada. Numerous storefronts were covered in the snow, especially the ones located in ByWard Market Area, the #1 tourist hotspot of Ottawa.
The capital city of Canada played host for the April and early May filming of Yes Chef Christmas movie, as the production crew cooked up some cinematic comfort food.
Ottawa provides a picturesque plate upon which to serve this tasty tidbit, with its pedestrian malls, historic buildings, and cozy cafes.
The Ottawa Film Office tweeted after the shooting began in April 2023, with Tia Mowry as lead and Maxwell McGuire as director.
Thank you to Fireside Pictures and local director @maxwellmcguire for having us on set today! 🎬 We can't wait to watch 𝐘𝐞𝐬, 𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐦𝐚𝐬 when it airs later this year #FilmOttawa pic.twitter.com/2GUKktZBGC— Ottawa Film Office | Bureau du cinéma d'Ottawa (@OttawaFilmTV) April 18, 2023
Sparks Street, Ottawa
Filming took place on the bustling Sparks Street, a pedestrian-only promenade in the heart of downtown Ottawa.
Imagine cozy Christmas markets, twinkling lights, and happy shoppers strolling by as the cast filmed their scenes. It’s enough to make anyone feel festive!
Villa Marconi Long Term Care Center
The crew of Yes Chef Christmas also spent some time at the Villa Marconi, a 128-bed Long Term Care Center, bringing some holiday cheer to the residents and staff. See the image from CTV.
Who knows, maybe we’ll even see some heartwarming scenes involving the residents in the movie!
Mowry has given a perfect overview to many of the iconic shooting locations of Yes Chef Christmas.
ByWard Market Area
The centerpiece Byward Market area, always bustling with European flair, is the number 1 tourist attraction in Ottawa and famous for dining and shopping. It hosted two restaurants for filming.
Oz Kafe, on York Street, with its spirited three-level space, brought cast and crew in to capture the essence of its menu and ambiance.
Joy on Sussex restaurant also hosted shooting. Unfortunately, this Sussex Drive eatery is now permanently closed, but Oz Kafe remains a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Family Table Ottawa
Food plays a big role in “Yes Chef Christmas,” so it’s no surprise that the production team filmed at Family Table Ottawa, an environmentally-conscious meal delivery business.
We can only imagine the delicious smells that filled the air during filming!
Ottawa City Hall
The majestic Ottawa City Hall, with its blend of 19th-century and contemporary architecture, also served as a filming location.
We’re curious to see what important scenes unfolded within its walls. Comment if you notice Ottawa city hall in a scene!
Behind The Scenes
Actor Christopher Omari shared some bts photos in November. He wrote a very long caption to talk about his filming experience with lead actress, Tia Mowry. He said, the role was much larger than the first one.
The actor also revealed that he spend 5 days on the set. First picture was taken, when the shooting was ongoing for the Christmas market scene.
Yes Chef Christmas Lifetime Cast
Tia Mowry as Alicia
Many remember Mowry from her iconic role as Tia Landry in the 90s sitcom “Sister, Sister.” Since then, she’s built a successful career in film and television, starring in projects like “The Game” and “Instant Mom.”
In “Yes Chef Christmas,” Tia tackles the role of Alicia, a culinary instructor aiming for culinary stardom. Gellar is a passionate baker and co-founded “Foodstirs,” a baking subscription box company.
Buddy Valastro as Bobby
Valastro gained fame as the star of “Cake Boss. With a successful bakery empire and a popular TV show, Buddy is no stranger to the spotlight.
In “Yes Chef Christmas,” he plays Bobby, a seasoned chef and mentor who guides Alicia on her culinary journey.
Luke Humphrey as Logan
With appearances in “Falling for Christmas” and “The Good Doctor,” Luke has showcased his acting prowess in diverse roles.
In “Yes Chef Christmas,” he steps into the shoes of Logan, a charming competitor and potential love interest for Alicia.
Other cast members include:
- Mekdes Teshome as Kemi Kringle
- Max McGuire as Contractor
- Scott Gibson as Rick Kringle
- Anas Hasan as Mike Koy
- Rothaford Gray as William Faison
- Raven Dauda as Viola Kringle
- John Koensgen as Ken Gellar
- Sean Meldrum as Waiter
- Christopher Omari as Michael Kringle
- Simon Phillips as Joe Pinkney
- Rebecca Amzallag as Kate McCartney
What is the plot?
Alicia is a cooking teacher who has put her dreams of being a famous chef on hold.
This Christmas, she gets invited to a big holiday baking competition called the Kringle Cook-Off.
She finds out a family secret – her old boss Bobby is actually her uncle! This could help her become a real chef.
Meanwhile, Alicia gets cooking lessons from Logan, another competitor. At first they don’t get along, but then they become good friends.
Alicia wonders if she can win the competition and prove to Logan and the Kringle family that she has talent. She has to decide whether to share the family secret.
She puts everything on the line to see if she can make her dreams come true this Christmas.
Where to watch Yes, Chef! Christmas?
Yes Chef Christmas premieres on Lifetime Channel on Dec 10, 2023 at 8 PM ET inside the United States.
If you have missed the premiere, you can stream it on Lifetime Movie Club app, with an active subscription to the streaming application.
You can also watch it on-demand via Philo, DirecTV, or any other liveTV streaming network which has included Lifetime Channel in their subscription.
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