Food and film go hand in hand this weekend
Dinner and a movie are often times the ingredients for dates worldwide.
For the past four years, the Park City Film Series has taken that concept one step further with its annual Food and Film Weekend, which pairs thought-provoking films on cuisine with food demonstrations and panel discussions.
The nonprofit is teaming with EATS Park City this year for the screenings to be held at the Jim Santy Auditorium from Friday to Sunday, Oct. 28-30.
EATS, an acronym for Eat Awesome Things at School, is a nonprofit dedicated to improving school food in Park City.
“This is our fourth school year and we’re thrilled to be able to expand beyond our niche in school nutrition to the broader community,” Executive Director Ann Bloomquist Bloomquist said during a joint interview with Park City Film Series Executive Director Katharine Wang. “Yes, we’re about what the kids are eating in school, but we’re also about the whole foundation of what kids eat on an everyday basis. So, it’s also not just about eating, but also about the social aspect.”
The films set to screen this weekend are:
“With these screenings, we want to get to the core of the love of food,” Wang said. “We wanted to get to the expression of love of food and how it creates community or why everyone watches those cooking shows or why Anthony Bourdain has this huge following.”
Bloomquist and Wang, foodie film lovers, want to use the films as a catalyst to start a community discussion on why Park City parents should want their children to eat traditional foods and why is it important to dine at the table with family and friends.
“It’s not simply only about the nutritional value of food, but also about the community that food creates and the culture that’s imbued through that,” Wang said.
This is the first year Park City Film Series is partnering with EATS Park City.
“In the past, we’ve partnered with Slow Food Park City and that had been a great partnership that had evolved over the years,” she said. “This year, Slow Food didn’t have the capacity to do this, but we knew that it was an important event and that we wanted to move forward with it.”
Bloomquist was excited Wang reached out to her.
“We loved the idea that this weekend’s screenings would be something that was both inspiring and entertaining,” she said. “Because anything we can do to educate our community about all the aspects of food sourcing and eating and community is part of our mission.”
Wang feels the films this weekend will speak to audiences in different ways.
“Theater of Life” takes another look at sustainable cooking.
“It’s an amazing story about Michelin Star Chef Massimo Bottura, who cooks from his heart and it’s all about community,” Wang said. “He and his friends created a soup kitchen in Italy that is of the quality of a Michelin Star Restaurant.”
Bottura and 40 of the of the world’s best chefs created dishes from the food waste of Expo Milano 2015, a global event that explored technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet.
“By food waste we mean old bread, an apple that doesn’t look perfect or a bruised tomato, and things like that,” Wang said.
The dishes were served to the area’s homeless, Bloomquist said.
“One of the quotes from one of the chefs was, ‘There is a billon pounds of food waste in the world and a billion hungry people. How do we put them together?’” she said.
A panel discussion featuring Dr. Adrienne Cachelin from the University of Utah, Grace Henley of the International Rescue Committee New Roots Program and Summit Community Gardens Executive Director Ken Kullack, and moderated Lynn Ware Peek, KPCW’s Mountain Life Host, will follow the screening.
Saturday’s film “For Grace” is a different food documentary than any Wang has seen.
Unlike having all of those overblown, in-your-face and domineering characters that are in all of these cooking shows, “For Grace” is a beautiful documentary about renowned chef Curtis Duffy, she said.
“He is obsessed to be a Michelin Star Chef, and I think you have to have some level of obsession to do that, but it’s clear that it takes a community to make that happen,” Wang said. “It takes everyone from the wait staff to the line cooks to do that and this. And this film is about the community that he surrounds himself, including his home economics teacher who taught him how to cook.”
Wrapping up the weekend will be “East Side Sushi,” a narrative feature film that won a slew of audience awards in the film-festival circuit.
“This is Anthony Lucero’s first film and a lot of the actors are new, as well, so even though it’s not a documentary, there is a rawness that makes it more believable,” Wang said. “It’s the story of a Latina woman who works in the kitchen of a sushi restaurant and has this moment where she would like to be a sushi chef in the front of the house. But she comes up the barrier of the perception that you have to be Asian in this male dominant job.”
Bloomquist used the premise of this film to reach out to kids in the Park City School District.
“We want to inspire some girls, especially Latina girls, to come to this movie to see how this woman overcame some heavy obstacles to do what she wanted to do,” Bloomquist said.
The idea spread like wildfire.
“The Park City Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Fund, who hosts girls power lunches at Ecker Hill Middle School, stepped up and bought tickets and offered them to the girls who attend the lunches,” Bloomquist said. “Then Molina Health Care also purchased some tickets and gave them to the Park City High School’s Latinos In Action coordinators to hand out.”
The evening will also have something for the adults, Wang said.
“We are offering a special ticket for $30, and the price will include admission to the screening, two glasses of wine and a sushi demo and tasting,” Wang said. “The tasting is limited to 200 people.”
The sushi demo will be handled by Peggi Ince-Whiting, a non-Asian female sushi chef who is the former owner of Ichiban Sushi in Park City and current sushi chef for Kyoto Restaurant in Salt Lake City.
“In the late 1980s, she was one of five women who was allowed to study sushi making in Japan,” Wang said. “We’re bringing her in to do the sushi demo and tell her story during a reception that will start an hour before the screening.”
Those who don’t want to attend the reception can just purchase screening tickets that are $8 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens.
The Park City Film Series and EATS Park City’s Food & Film Weekend is sponsored by Kyoto Restaurant, Molina Heathcare, Rutherford Ranch, Nicholas and Company, Escala Provisions and Park City Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Fund.
“The hope is for all of these films to spark people’s imagination and think about food in a different way, and how food can also feed your soul,” Wang said.
The Park City Film Series and EATS Park City present the Food and Film Weekend from Friday, Oct. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
Author Edward Massey will present a reading and book signing of his new historic novel “Fugitive Sheriff” at the Kamas Valley Branch on Friday.