As Deadline revealed last month when Lindo started negotiations for the role, his interest in the ABC pilot led to his decision to leave the CBS All Access legal drama The Good Fight as a series regular after the upcoming fourth season when his contract is up.
Written by McGhee and to be directed by Stephen Williams, Harlem’s Kitchen is set in a fine dining restaurant in Harlem and centers on Ellis Rice (Lindo), Executive Chef and patriarch, who runs a successful restaurant with his wife and three daughters. But an unexpected death thrusts the family into turmoil and puts the restaurant’s future in jeopardy as long-buried secrets are revealed.
Lindo’s Ellis Rice is renowned African American chef who adds his infinite swag to fine dining at his iconic Harlem restaurant, Rice. Ellis’s Kitchen is Harlem’s Kitchen, and everyone who walks through those doors is family — as long as they play by Ellis’s rules.
A native of Alabama, Ellis landed in Harlem with nothing, and worked his way up through some of the toughest and most grueling kitchens in New York City. Through the tough times Ellis has always has his wife CC by his side. A true family man, Ellis is a devoted father to his three daughters — Zadie, Nina and Eden. But he knows only one of them has what it takes to fill his shoes, and carry on his legacy.
Lindo, who loved the premise of Harlem’s Kitchen, committed to the pilot after meeting with showrunner McGhee and director Williams who spoke of the project’s commitment to parity and inclusivity on set. He felt this was an important project and one he wanted to support. Lindo also loosely knows Marcus Samuelsson, famed head chef of Harlem’s Red Rooster, who informs the Ellis Rice character and who executive produces Harlem’s Kitchen alongside McGhee and Mandeville’s Laurie Zaks, Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman.
Lindo next stars opposite Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee’s movie for Netflix. The Tony-nominated actor is repped by APA.