The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri joins the cast of Abbott Elementary

Ayo Edebiri
Ayo Edebiri

Ayo Edebiri, the award winning actor who plays sous chef, Sydney Adamu, on Hulu’s summer break out hit The Bear, will be joining ABC’s Abbott Elementary in a recurring role.

Edebiri will be introduced as Janine’s (Quinta Brunson) sister, Ayesha, in this week’s Valentine’s Day episode on Wednesday, February 8.

ABC’s synopsis for the episode reads: “On Valentine’s Day, the Abbott teachers discuss their relationships and plans for the holiday. Janine finds out one of her students has a crush on her and when turning to a colleague for advice, she inadvertently learns a secret about another teacher. Elsewhere, Ava (Janelle James) sits in on Jacob’s (Chris Perfetti) Black History class after receiving a complaint.”

Entertainment Weekly recently shared a sneak peak of the episode which shows Janine and Ayesha connecting through a FaceTime call when Janine calls to wish Ayesha a happy birthday, according to EW, she will be seen in a larger storyline later this season.

While Ayesha has never been shown, Janine has mentioned their strained relationship several times throughout the series.

Ironically, Brunson and Edebiri are real life friends and Edebiri shared with The Today Show about their friendship back on November:

Abbott Elementary is a workplace comedy following a group of dedicated, passionate teachers, and a slightly tone-deaf principal, as they navigate the Philadelphia public school system. Despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life, and though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do, even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.


Edebiri has steadily been building a name for herself as an actor, breaking out last summer on The Bear. The Bear is about a classically trained, world class chef, played by Shameless’ Jeremy Allen White, who takes over a small Chicago sandwich shop, left to him by his brother (Jon Bernthal) who died by suicide.

The character Sydney Adamu is a hard-working, talented and personable restaurant worker who is trying to bounce back from her failed catering business by taking a job working with Carmy (White) at The Original Beef of Chicagoland. Familiar with his previous work, she is a big fan of his and wants to learn all that he has to teach her.

Edebiri began her career as a writer on What We Do in the Shadows and Dickinson, before transitioning into an onscreen role as Hattie in Dickinson. She replaced Jenny Slate as the voice of Missy on the animated series Big Mouth after Slate stepped down from the role. She is also slated to appear in Marvel’s upcoming Thunderbolts film.

On Abbot Elementary, Brunson stars alongside Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, William Stanford Davis and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Brunson made history back in September as the third Black writer and the second Black female writer to win the Emmy Award for Best Writer for a comedy series. She is the creator, executive producer, writer, and star of Abbott Elementary.

Along with Brunson, executive producers include Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker of Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions, and Randall Einhorn.

Abbott Elementary airs at 9pm/8pm Central on ABC and then streams the next day on Hulu.