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ABC Drama Pilot ‘Harlem’s Kitchen’ Adds Three to Cast

Harlems Kitchen Casting
Ashitey: Matt Doyle; Mitchell: Lauren Toub; Sonuga: Braina Laviena & Andrew Echeverria

ABC’s drama pilot “Harlem’s Kitchen” has cast Clare-Hope Ashitey, Adrianna Mitchell, and Pepi Sonuga, Variety has learned.

The series is described as an ensemble family drama set in a fine dining restaurant in Harlem. They join previously announced cast member Delroy Lindo, who will play Ellis Rice, the head chef at the restaurant at the heart of the series.

Ashitey will play Zadie, the eldest Rice daughter. Ivy League educated, Zadie could work anywhere she wants but her perpetual sense of responsibility brought her back to Rice as the front-of-house manager. She never wants to disappoint her parents. But all of the pressure has led Zadie into a third-life crisis that could jeopardize everything she has achieved. It may also work to set her free.

Ashitey’s recently joined the upcoming third season of the Sky original “Riviera.” Her other TV credits include “Seven Seconds,” “Doctor Who,” “The Feed,” “Shots Fired,” and “Criminal.” She also starred in the 2006 film adaptation of “Children of Men.”

She is repped by Gersh in the U.S., Authentic Talent, and United Agents in the U.K.

Mitchell will play Eden, the middle daughter. Her dream is to be the first African American chef to earn a Michelin star. Eden’s work ethic as sous chef at Rice is unmatched, but her talent is slightly outpaced by her ambition. Engaged to the adoring, spiritual force and wunderkind master sommelier, Golda, Eden wants her father’s spot at RICE, and is willing to cross any line to get what she wants.

Mitchell will next be seen in the fourth season of “Snowfall.” Her other recent credits are “The Good Fight,” “Little America,” “Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector,” and “The Blacklist.”

She is repped by Artists & Representatives and Wright Entertainment, Inc.

Sonuga will play Nina, the youngest and most mercurial daughter. She’s stubborn, volatile and brilliant. Nina’s bond with her father, Ellis, is magnetic, but Nina has always steered clear of the family business, despite her natural talent in the kitchen. Instead, she found purpose and family in the Harlem streets. When we meet her, she’s fresh off of a three- year stint in prison. Now that she’s out, Nina finds herself at a crossroads that will make or break her.

Sonuga’s TV credits include “Famous in Love,” “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” “The Fosters,” “9-1-1,”  and “General Hospital.” She is repped by Stride Management.

“Harlem’s Kitchen” hails from writer and executive producer Zahir McGhee. David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, and Laurie Zaks of Mandeville Films will also executive produce along with Marcus Samuelsson, the head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem. ABC Studios will produce. Both McGhee and Mandeville are currently under overall deals with the studio.

(Pictured: Clare-Hope Ashitey, left; Adrianna Mitchell, center; Pepi Sonuga, right)