From Scratch: Everything to know about the tear-jerking Netflix series

Get your tissues ready

Eugenio Mastrandrea and Zoe Saldana in From Scratch

From Scratch is the new Netflix series many can’t stop raving about.

The eight-part series, starring Zoe Saldana, has touched the hearts of every viewer (and even we were in tears for numerous episodes). 

The romantic series hit the streaming platform on 21st October and is based on Tembi Locke’s book of the same name, which was released in 2019.

Many viewers have already taken to social media to gush about the show, which took them through all the emotions, and we think it is an absolute must watch.

For those who are in need of something new to watch on these dark, cold and dreary autumn nights, From Scratch is for you - but brace yourself for tears and heartache, as well as lighter moments, lusting over stunning landscapes, and salivating over tasty Italian cuisine. 

From the impressive cast, to the storyline, how to watch, and where it was set, we have all the details you need to know. 

Who stars in From Scratch?

Eugenio Mastrandrea and Zoe Saldana in From Scratch


From Scratch features Zoe Saldana, who takes on the lead role of budding artist Amy Wheeler, while Eugenio Mastrandrea plays her on-screen husband chef Lino Ortolano. 

Keith David takes on the role of Zoe’s on-screen father, Hershel Wheeler, Danielle Deadwyler as Zoe’s on-screen sister Maxine.

Isla Colbert takes on the role as Amy and Lino’s daughter, Idalia. 

The series also stars Judith Scott, Kellita Smith, Paride Benassai, Lucia Sardo, Roberta Rigano, and many more. 

Who produced From Scratch?

From Scratch is based on Tembi Locke’s 2019 book of the same name which became Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick, as well as a New York Times bestseller. 

After reading the book, Reese met with Zoe and they spoke about producing the Netflix series together.

Reese’s production company, Hello Sunshine, took on the job while Zoe was on hand to executive produce, alongside her siblings Cisely and Mariel Saldana and Attica and Tembi Locke. 

Nzingha Stewart and Dennie Gordon directed the eight-part series.

The From Scratch storyline

Zoe Saldana in From Scratch


IMDB has described the From Scratch mini-series as "an American woman falls in love with a Sicilian man while studying abroad in Italy."

But it is so much more than just a love story as it is entwined with plenty of subplots, including culture clashes, history, art, love, loss and family feuds.

For those who have yet to read the book by Tembi Locke and don’t want any spoilers - stop reading now. 


The series documents the everlasting love of Amy Wheeler and Lino Ortolano.

Amy leaves her home in Texas and halts her law degree to pursue her passion for art, which takes her to Florence, Italy for a semester. 

Conscious to make a life of her own and not rely on her parents to fund her dream, she works in a bar. Along the way Amy bumps into Lino in the cobbled streets of Florence and they instantly click - but she strikes up a romance with art gallery owner Giancarlo, much to Lino’s upset. 

Lino declares his love for Amy just before she leaves Italy for LA, and the couple become inseparable.

Lino gives up his restaurant and life in Italy for California, but struggles to feel at home in America. 

The move leaves him disheartened as he is struggling with his career and has no friends or family nearby, but Amy is doing fantastically well as she lands a job working at an art gallery. 

Giacomo Gianniotti and Zoe Saldana in From Scratch


Running alongside this is both Amy and Lino’s fraught relationships with their families; Lino has fallen out with his father ever since he left his motherland of Sicily to pursue his dreams of being a chef instead of a farmer, while Amy quit law school, much to her lawyer father’s disappointment. However, Amy also has to deal with the fractured relationship between her mother and father, who has since remarried. 

Despite the bumps in the road, Amy and Lino are more in love than ever. 

Amy finds a group of Sicilian men that Lino can befriend and to watch football together and bond over their longing for Italian coffee. 

Amy proposes to Lino and they plan to marry where they met in Florence, but Lino’s father makes a point of not coming and forbids Lino’s mother, sister and niece from attending. 

The couple head to Sicily for their honeymoon, so Lino can introduce his family to his new wife and show Amy his beloved home, but his father tells him not to bother visiting. 

However, the father and son bump into each other at a market, but the rift remains as his father drives off. 

In secret, Amy manages to convince Lino’s sister to bring his mother and niece to meet them before they fly back to America, and they do. 

Lino is then hit with another bout of bad luck as the restaurant he is working at is forced to close, but he sees this as a chance to turn things around and prove his skill as a chef. After a successful evening creating tasty dishes, he is able to take on the restaurant. 

Amy pursues her dream of working with children at an art school, which also gives her time to practice her own art work.

Zoe Saldana in From Scratch


However, after struggling with a knee injury, Lino is diagnosed with a rare tissue cancer, leiomyosarcoma. 

After chemotherapy and an operation to remove the tumour, he is then put on a new medication study to minimise the chances of cancer returning. 

It is in these heartbreaking moments Lino’s family come to his aide, and all families are united to support Lino, as well as Amy. 

Lino is unable to return to work and becomes a stay at home dad, while Amy is working long hours to provide for their family, including their adopted daughter Idalia. 

Despite seven years being cancer-free, the disease returns and Lino then suffers liver failure. They decide to send Lino home to spend his last moments in the comfort of his own home surrounded by his loved ones. 

Over the years, Lino writes his recipes and precious moments in a notebook which he can pass on to his daughter, like his mother did for him. 

When Lino passes, Amy and Idalia visit Sicily to see Lino’s mother and scatter his ashes. Despite some tension at first, Amy warms to Lino’s hometown, and vows to return as she feels her late husband everywhere she goes there. 

The plot takes even more twists and turns along the way, from Amy’s sister’s personal journey, as well as other losses in the family. 

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.