If you’ve recently heard the loud sobbing of women across social media, you can thank Netflix’s new romantic drama From Scratch for that. The series, based loosely on the memoir of the same name, which was written by Tembi Locke, centers on the story of a Black woman named Amy (Zoe Saldaña) who leaves behind her life and budding law career to move to Italy to study art. While there, she meets a local professional chef named Lino, and the two begin a romance that brings together two different cultures.
xoNecole has compiled a few key details about the real-life woman behind this beautiful story and how both the book and series came to fruition.
What motivated Tembi Locke to write the book that turned into a Netflix series?
In an interview on the Tamron Hall Show, Tembi speaks about her decision to turn her love story with her late husband Saro into a book. “I get to see his face again. I get to share him and relive the most beautiful moments of our lives together," she said. The New York Times best-selling author described the series as "the promise that love never dies" and she also revealed that they filmed a lot of those scenes in the exact places she shared in real life with her now-deceased former husband.
How did Tembi Locke's 'From Scratch' memoir become a series?
Tembi’s sister Attica Locke produced the series with the help of Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine after pitching the show to them without her sister's knowledge. “For a second [Hello Sunshine] were like — ‘your sister? I don’t know about all this’ — but they said yes. They were curious — Reese read it, everyone in the office read it and in like a week we were sitting there figuring out how we can make this into a show,” Attica tells CBS This Morning’s Gayle King.
How was Zoe Saldaña cast in 'From Scratch'?
Once the decision to turn the book into a miniseries got underway, all there was to do was cast the leading lady. It was at the suggestion of Attica that Reese approached Avatar actress Zoe Saldaña. The actress opened up about her decision to star in the series in an interview with Variety. “After Reese spoke with me about the book, I, obviously, was very curious and having experienced grief and loss, but from a child’s perspective — I was 9 when I lost a parent and that was very difficult,” Saldaña says.
“I can revisit those sensations from my child mind’s eye, but I never knew what it must have been like for my mother, losing a partner, losing her ride or die, and losing the love of her life — her lover, her best friend, her everything and then having to not just cater to her loss and her pain, but also then have to be this grown-up that had to still be joyful and be happy and be re-purposeful for the sake of these three little souls that were just looking at her like, ‘What now? What do we do?’ That was quite painful to revisit.”
What does Tembi Locke's life look like now?
For fans of both the series and book, they know that Tembi’s husband Saro Gullo died from his cancer in 2012. It would be a few years later in 2016 that she would meet and fall in love with her current husband, Robert. The couple married in 2020. The mother of one shared the news about their nuptials in a blog post on her website. “Amid a global pandemic and civil unrest, beautiful milestones can still be honored. Whether it is the love experienced with a new partner; the joy of a child maturing before your eyes; a friend who sends you spices in the mail; or merely the deepening understanding that your life is precious and a gift, we have much for which we can be grateful,” she wrote.
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Feature image by Leon Bennett/ Getty Images for Netflix