"" What's She Eating Now?: Food, Films & Fun

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Food, Films & Fun

I went to one of my favorite events of the year last night, the NYC Food Film Festival. The concept is brilliant: the festival accepts submissions for films about food then shows the best ones outside in a cool venue while passing around FREE samples of the food from the movies. Oh, and did I mention that thanks to generous sponsors admission and food are FREE?

I live for clams so chose the first night I would attend partially based on the fact that they were screening a movie called Clam Pie and in celebration of the film there would be a dish of the same name on offer. I had no idea what that meant but I knew I wanted some. As it turned out I chose well. It was sort of a quahog (stuffed clam for those who haven’t spent much time in New England), meets chowder, meets, well, a pie. It was delicious and got me wondering whether instead of Europe my next vacation should be to Yarmouth, Massachusetts which boasts the bakery that concocted this wonderful delicacy.

Shortly after Clam Pie came one of the film highlights of the evening, Celeriac, a cleverly-titled 3-minute horror movie about a guy chopping some celery. This was by far my favorite horror movie of all time. The whole audience sat on the edge of their seats and a crescendo of nervous laughter erupted when spurting blood and guts was preempted by a cell phone call. With the crowd’s energy up it was perfect timing to show Eat Your Fill, a 13-minute documentary about a guy who tries to eat one of everything either deep fried or on a stick at the Wisconsin State Fair, which in Wisconsin means one of everything. The movie was hilarious and I felt like I was right there with him as I enjoyed scrumptious fried cheese curds and a corn dog courtesy of the festival.

The last film of the night was a bit more serious, 24 Hours, 24 Million Meals: Feeding NYC. This film was a fascinating lens into the inner workings of how your food actually makes it to the table for each meal. There are armies of men behind the curtain that make the entire New York City food ecosystem possible and they traffic massive amounts of food daily, much of it done while most of New York is sleeping. The movie examines the whole food spectrum and features a broad range of characters from a City Harvest worker at the Hunts Point Market collecting edible but not saleable produce, to renowned Chef Daniel Boulud in his kitchen, bargaining down the $2,300 per pound price of some white truffles (unfortunately there were no free samples going around for this one).

I love this festival because it celebrates food and celebrates film and brings people together. Everyone is having a great time and there is Peroni on tap at the bar, what more could you want? There are two nights left so I suggest you brave the weather and check it out: nycfoodfilmfestival.com. Maybe you'll see me there, I’ll be the one strategically positioning myself near where the food comes out and jotting down clever ideas for a film entry for next year's festival.


  1. Uh, YEEEAH, you should go to yarmouth. Bring me and Quentin along, we can stay with the swartzes and then go drop by holly hill for a quick ride. Ok the last part was a joke but the rest wasn't. I love cape cod! It is wicked awesome. And so is its food. We should do a driving trip based around eating delicious new england fair up the coast from p-town to Bar Harbor (perhaps in reverse order). saaaweet.

  2. i vote you come to Massachusetts and hit Boston on your way to Yarmouth! -Lee