‘The Pickle Recipe’

Director Michael Manasseri

When a single dad and wedding deejay in Detroit asks his uncle for help, he’s suddenly trying to trick his Jewish deli-running grandmother into divulging her secret pickle recipe. That makes for good Jewish jokes, heartwarming discoveries, and plenty of indie-flick entertainment.



Do you have a pickle recipe from your past?

In early 2010, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Metro Detroit with Sheldon Cohn. Sheldon told me that his friend Gary Wolfson had mentioned to him that he would have killed for his late grandmother’s secret pickle recipe and they thought there could be a terrific, funny movie in that idea. I agreed. We started developing the idea and Sheldon and Gary must have written 80 drafts of the film over the next four years.

The film’s recipe is really a metaphor for life. One of our characters talks about how the people in our lives are the ingredients that make us who we are. When something like a recipe is passed down from one generation to the next it helps us remember people and places, those special moments that are dear to our hearts… and our stomachs!

For me personally, it was my grandmother’s marinara sauce and meatballs. My grandparents have passed on but just thinking about that sauce brings me back to the incredible Sunday dinners of my childhood. It’s one of the things that keeps them with me.

Why did you decide to set it in Detroit?

There was never a question of shooting the film anywhere but Detroit. The writers and producers are natives of Metro Detroit and I’ve lived in the area for the past six years (my immediate family has lived in the area for 12 years). Detroit also has such a gritty, cinematic feel to it. I’ve always loved shooting in Detroit.

We were also one of the last films to qualify for the Michigan Film Incentive, which made our investors happy. And even though the incentive is now a thing of the past, Detroit is very filmmaker friendly and it means a lot to us when we can keep the local film community working.

You had fun with some stereotypical Jewish scenes. Was it a joy to send up these traditions, or did you fear offering anyone?

We had a lot of fun shooting those scenes. Our writers, producers, and pretty much all of our investors are Jewish. Throughout the process we kept asking if we were going too far and everyone said no, keep going! Every family event has its moments of chaos and you need to be able to laugh and take it in stride when crazy things happen.

Do you have a favorite pickle?

Kosher dill all the way.

What projects are you working on next?

We have another family comedy in the works and my production company, Flux Capacitor Studios, has a number of features in development as well.

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