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Thursday, February 20

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Event Tue Nov 20 2012

Review: Food Film Festival

Tasting the food you watch on screen = a whimsical, fun and delicious experience.
The Food Film Festival came through Chicago for a third year in a row, and yours truly was one of 300 people in the audience for Fish Fry Friday and Edible Adventure #006 and the Avocado Takedown at Kendall College on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

food2.jpgThe films ranged from simple documentaries shot with basic equipment (Fish Fry Night Milwaukee) to more complex psychological films that wove together narration and animation (Bon Appetit). The sequence of movies shown on Friday was served like a full course meal, from appetizer to dessert. We started with Mickle's Pickles, a hysterical documentary about a small town pickle maker who makes national and international news after his pickle decoration goes missing, and ended with Mama Sugar's Sweet Potato Cobbler, a food-porn flick (there were groans in the audience) focused on the decadence of making a decadent double-crusted sweet potato pie.

Volunteers came by with trays of small portions of the food that were passed down the rows. While watching Perogy!, a documentary about Manitoba's link to its Ukrainian heritage through perogies, the audience ate a single potato perogi, made by Kasia's Deli, topped with caramelized onions and sour cream. If the food didn't come from the actual chef featured in the film, it was substituted for the next best, local alternative.

cooking.jpg
Mexican Cuisine, screened on Saturday, was the most powerful film I watched. It was also the only film served without food. The film is a commentary on California's immigrant Latino community working in restaurants across the state. The four-minute film shows scene after scene of Mexican chefs preparing a variety of dishes at ethnic restaurants. Simultaneously, a narrator talks elaborately about the unique characteristics of Mexican cuisine while the chefs prepare everything but their own traditional dishes.

The Avocado Takedown hosted by Matt Timms concluded Saturday's event. Fifteen local chefs set up in stations around a large ballroom and served their avocado creations, ranging from creamy avocado margaritas (okay) to luscious avocado cheesecake (amazing). The audience sampled and voted for their favorite treats while Timms' heavy metal music mix played in the background.

The festival was a well-curated, interactive event that brought together some of Chicago's biggest foodies. We're sure it's only going to be more popular and delicious next year.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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