Monday, October 15 , 2018, 11:56 pm | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

Film Festival’s ‘Off The Menu’ Explores Food and Family

Jay Silverman Click to view larger
Jay Silverman

The new indie romantic comedy Off The Menu, made its world premiere at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, screening earlier this month at the Metro 4 Theater.

Jay Silverman, a Brooks graduate, executive-produced and directed Off the Menu. The film stars Dania Ramirez (Once Upon a Time); Santino Fontana (Frozen); Makenzie Moss (Steve Jobs) and Maria Conchita Alonso (Desperate Housewives).

The Off The Menu story follows an unlikely heir to a Mexican fast-food franchise (Fontana), who goes cuisine-hunting for the next “big culinary thing” to bring back to his family business.

He finds himself in a small, dusty New Mexico town, where foodies come from all over to delight in the culinary treats of an authentic, local and feisty chef (Ramirez), who uses her private green chilé garden to grow her secret ingredient.

Opposites attract in this romantic story about food, family and love.

“I’m proud that the character ‘Javiera’, that Dania Ramirez portrays, represents a single mother who is smart, self-driven, and successful. She has a strong voice, which I’m sure will resonate with today’s audiences,” Silverman said.

“When my team and I began developing Off The Menu, I was inspired by Michael Pollan’s novel The Omnivore’s Dilemma, to show the huge role that food plays in all of our lives," Silverman said.

"Our character Joel’s family owns one of America’s largest fast-food chains, while our character Chef Javiera takes a farm-to-table approach to her melt-in-your-mouth good cooking," he said.

"These cultural details were central to our story, and enabled the romantic journey which our characters then pursue to their happy conclusion,” Silverman said.

“We are very proud that the cast was over 50 percent female and Hispanic, which made for a more inclusive experience. This is a truly authentic story that we are sure audiences will fall in love with,” said producer Bethany Cerrona.

Off The Menu was written by Jennifer Goldson, and produced by William Newman, Cerrona, and Joe Gamache.

Off The Menu marks Silverman’s second original feature film. His first was the award-winning dramatic feature Girl on the Edge.

Previously, Silverman was executive producer and co-creator of the A&E TV series The Cleaner with Benjamin Bratt. He is currently developing a film, which tells a true story based on the book The Last Cemetery in Berlin.

Off The Menu was released to the public Feb. 6 and will be available via VOD/DVD. To view the trailer, visit https://youtu.be/fUnvHbmFYdw.

— Dan Harary for Off The Menu.

 

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