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You’re just too good to be true. Can’t take my eyes off of you. You’d be like heaven to touch. I wanna hold you so much… Every time I hear these lyrics by Frankie Valli, I’m instantly transported back to 1987. A dorky, 4 year old in velcro Transformer’s sneakers creeping to my Nana’s kitchen table, eagerly awaiting a taste of her homemade lasagna or freshly baked biscotti.

However, that kitchen in Logan Square was more than just a safe, tasty haven for food sampling. It was also the place where the majority of my families’ greatest and most devastating moments occurred. I witnessed many a fight, sat through many a funeral, and sulked after falling in and out of love. But no matter what occasion prompted our gathering there, it was all squashed by what I have come to learn as the “Great Equalizer”: that FOOD!

Fast forward to 2013, I’m living in NYC and I was invited by my friend Jack C. Newell to join OPEN TABLES, a film he was directing that would track the stories of people who had fallen in or out of love amongst some of the hippest bars and restaurants in Chicago. The film would be mostly improvised and if that wasn’t enticing enough, TJ & Dave (the greatest improv duo Chicago has ever scene) had already agreed to be a part of it. These guys had a Jedi non-verbal mind game going on and it would be hard work to keep up.

The morning before we starting shooting, I went to Bang Bang Pie Shop because A: Those biscuits are the BOMB!! And B: I was desperately searching for a safe haven. I needed to gather myself, and find something tangible that would help me instantly bond with these improvising sharpshooters. As I sat there waiting for my order (2 fresh baked biscuits with homemade chive butter and blackberry jam) my mind was racing, my stomach was growling, and then it happened … With my very first bite of that biscuit I was taken back to 1987 (Velcro Tansformer sneaks and all): I love you baby. And if it’s quite alright, I need you baby to warm the lonely nights… I could hear my Nana, “a la the style of Lauryn Hill”, humming the words as the sweet deliciousness of that biscuit soothed my soul. I knew EXACTLY what I could do to bring people who were falling in and out of fake love together…Yup: that FOOD!

So I brought a couple dozen of these biscuits with homemade chive butter and blackberry jam to set that day, and everything just clicked. We had an absolute blast, and we were firing on all cylinders.

Come see OPEN TABLES at the Chicago International Film Festival on:

10/20/2015 – 6:15

10/24/2015 – 3:15

10/27/2015 – 3:00


And join us for dinner at Trencherman and screening of Open Tables by clicking here!

And don’t forget to check out FXX’s hit romantic comedy YOU’RE THE WORST, starring Desmin Borges, Wednesday nights at 10:30pm.


Twitter & Instagram: @desminborges

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