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Allons-y! No, not across time and space (Doctor Who returns later this year), but to Kabul, Afghanistan, the setting for the hit French comedy, Kaboul Kitchen.

Kabul Kitchen
Kabul Kitchen: Simon Abkarian as Député-Colonel Amanullah, Gilbert Melki as Jacky © Xavier Lahache / Canal+

Based on the experiences of Marc Victor, the French radio journalist-turned restaurateur-turned television series creator and writer, Kaboul Kitchen broke ratings records in France for a primetime comedy and won the Golden FIPA award for both Best TV Series and TV Screenplay at the 2012 Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming.

The series revolves around the life of the titular restaurant’s owner, Jacky, a French expatriate who opened Kaboul Kitchen (called L’Atmosphere in real life) as a central gathering place (with a pool!) for the expat community in the Afghan capital. Starring as Jacky is Gilbert Melki (The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch), a nominee for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2012 Monte-Carlo TV Festival.

When we meet Jacky in “The Girl with the Big Suitcase” (“La fille à la grosse valise“), it’s 2005 and he has problems: The restaurant is running out of booze, local suppliers aren’t supplying, and his estranged daughter, Sophie (Outstanding Actress nominee Stéphanie Pasterkamp, Second Chance), has resurfaced in his life after 20 years to do humanitarian work for the NGO run by Victor (Marc Citti, Braquo), one of Kaboul Kitchen’s regulars.

Meanwhile, Jacky’s best friend and partner, Axel (Benjamin Bellecour, Les invincibles), is being recruited for his advertising talents by Amanullah (Simon Abkarian, Pigalle, la nuit), a known drug trafficker running for Deputy in the local elections.

Created by Marc Victor, Allan Mauduit, and Jean-Patrick Benes, Kaboul Kitchen makes its US premiere on MHz Worldview (and online or via Roku at MHz Live) on Sunday, 26 April 2015, at 9 PM ET. “The Girl with the Big Suitcase” re-airs the following Sunday, 3 May, at the same time. Broadcasts are in French with English subtitles.

Note that, as of this writing, “The Girl with the Big Suitcase” is the only episode that MHz has scheduled through the end of May. Stay tuned for more information about Kaboul Kitchen‘s first season.


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Kaboul Kitchen: Award-Winning French Comedy to Screen in the US