Natalie Abbott, Rachel Griffiths, Wayne Blair on the menu for ‘Aftertaste’

Erik Thomson and Natalie Abbott.

Muriel’s Wedding The Musical lead Natalie Abbott will star opposite Erik Thomson in ABC/Closer Productions’ comedy Aftertaste (formerly Yes, Chef!), which has just started shooting in Adelaide and Adelaide Hills following COVID-19 delays.

Abbott has been cast as the pastry-chef niece of Thomson’s Easton West, who helps her uncle, an internationally-renowned yet volatile celebrity chef, rebuild his career and reputation after a spectacular fall from grace.

The comedy, created by Julie De Fina and Matthew Bate, has also attracted a stacked ensemble cast, including Rachel Griffiths, Wayne Blair, Susan Prior, Peter Carroll, Remy Hii, Kavitha Anandasivam and Justin Amankwah.

Bate produces with Thomson and Rebecca Summerton, and he and de Fina wrote the scripts with Matt Vesely. De Fina and Griffiths are the executive producers with Rebecca Anderson from the ABC. Director Jonathan Brough (The End, Rosehaven, The Family Law) will helm all six episodes.

Thomson said: “I am thrilled to be finally donning the chef whites and working with such an exciting cast and crew. The Adelaide Hills is the perfect backdrop for our irreverent take on food culture, and the notion of the notorious celebrity chef.”

The production, supported by Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), has employed 110 SA-based crew, 34 cast, and 200 local extras. The 10 interstate-based cast and crew have had to comply with SA Health regulations and quarantine requirements.

As IF has reported, Aftertaste is a test case for a new COVID-19 risk assessment tool developed by Deloitte Risk Advisory for the SAFC.

“The Risk Assessment Tool has been instrumental in navigating the path back to production, and providing the framework and structure needed to get this production up and running within COVID-Safe guidelines,” said SAFC CEO Kate Croser.

“We congratulate Closer Productions on this home-grown ABC primetime comedy commission, the first for a South Australian company, and their determination to get this great new series on screen. They are paving the way for other productions to start shooting in South Australia.”