A Zimbabwean single mother and amateur cook competes in a televised cooking competition in the hopes of a better life for her son and in defiance of her own overbearing mom.
"The romantic and thrilling 110-minute feature contains a number of comical scenes that left the film enthusiasts in stitches." - The Herald
Take "Iron Chef" and saute it with a healthy dose of romantic comedy and you'd get Cook Off, Zimbabwe director Tomas L. Brickhill's first feature film. Anesu's life has come to a standstill with a dead-end cooking job, no romantic prospects, and a mother criticizing her every move. As a school dropout and single mother, she constantly feels the weight of her mother's judgment. But everyone in town loves her cooking, even if mom won't admit it. So much so her young son Tapiwa and grandmother enter her name in a competitive cooking TV show "Battle of the Chefs," based on an actual Zimbabwean program of the same name. Of all 16 competitors, Anesu is the only non-professional chef, a fact many are quick to remind her, but everything starts perking up as she cooks her way through round after round of elimination. Some chefs are upset with the amateur upstart with the exception of Prince, who begins to fall for her. With some devious external forces working against her, Anesu has the chance to change her life and Tapiwa's forever. This populist rom-com is sure to endear audiences and elicit some appetites.
Tomas L. Brickhill grew up in Zimbabwe, which serves as the setting for his debut directorial feature, COOK OFF. As one of the few white students at Prince Edward High School, his peers claim he was incredibly cheerful and could easily blend into any group of people, which they believe will speak to his success in filmmaking.
Sponsored by BECU, Tito's Handmade Vodka
- Director: Tomas L. Brickhill
- Principal Cast: Tendie Chitima, Tehn Diamond, Eddie Sandifolo, Jessesi Mungoshi, Eugene Zimbudzi.
- Premiere Status: North American
- Country: Zimbabwe
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 116 minutes
- Producer: Joe Njagu
- Screenplay: Tomas L. Brickhill
- Cinematographers: Sebastian lallemant
- Editors: Colt Wentworth
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Mufambanidzo Film Company