Hallmark’s Countdown to Valentine’s Day has been filled with heartfelt, romantic, feel-good movies leading up to everyone’s favorite chocolate eating, flower giving day. Valentine’s Day! A Dash of Love stars Jen Lilley as Nikki Turner and Brendan Penny who plays Paul Dellucci. Both are chefs who find themselves in different places in their career. Nikki is an aspiring chef with a quirky style of cooking. After losing her job at a local diner, she finds herself as an office assistant at her idol’s restaurant. However, she quickly finds out that the woman who inspired her to cook all those years was not who she thought she was. Paul is the executive chef at this restaurant and quickly forms a bond with Nikki. After discovering her recipes are being stolen, Nikki and Paul set out to start their own restaurant to show the truth about who the actual chef is behind those recipes. This movie has the perfect mix of romance, perseverance, and conflict!
There was one major point that really stuck with me that I thought this movie did a great job of addressing. As Nikki goes through the interviewing process, she faces hurdles due to the fact that she didn’t go to culinary school. Instead, she was a self taught chef with an incredible talent. However, since she lacked that requirement, employers turned her down. I find this to be a hurdle many people face in reality on a daily basis. There are so many people out there with incredible talents and passions, but may face a harder time pursing these dreams if they lack proper certifications. Society has somehow taken it upon themselves to make it necessary for an individual to have a piece of paper saying that they’re capable of something. Without that proof, it’s assumed that they’re unqualified. Today, there are certification programs people have to go through for just about everything. I think this is wrong, and A Dash of Love does a great job of proving that. Of course some experience is a must, but an individual should always be given the chance to show what they’re capable of. Maybe they found their passion later in life, so they weren’t able to study it in school for example. Or maybe it’s always been their secret hobby, but didn’t fully believe in themselves. A person with true passion towards something should not be overlooked simply due to lack of a certificate or other proof stating they’re capable.
This is what I really loved about this movie. Nikki did not go to culinary school like many executive chefs do, but that didn’t stop her. She had an incredible talent of putting flavors together that even the most decorated chefs applauded. Her humility and passion drove her to fulfill her dream, even when others tried to push her down. I found this storyline to be very inspirational and a great message to share. Even if you don’t have all the necessary “requirements” for something you are trying to purse, don’t allow that to block your path. Continue to perfect your craft and follow your dream. At times, it’s those who may lack the proper resources that are truly the most gifted.
A Dash of Love was an inspirational, heartwarming story with a great message. The actors do an amazing job portraying these characters, and the chemistry between Jen Lilley and Brendan Penny is undeniable. The movie oozes with that feel-good, sweet love story. Get ready for Valentine’s Day and check out this movie on the Hallmark Channel!