The Florida Film Festival will kick off Friday with an opening night party called No Grits, No Glory. It’s all part of the “Flavors of the South” theme for the festival that promises “Grits, Grace and Gravy.” The highlight of the opening weekend will be a Tennessee Williams-themed dinner called Souther Gothic “Family” Reunion.
For several years now, the FFF has included food and wine events mixed in the movie watching. Sometimes there’s a tie-in, other times not. This year, apparently not. A quick look at the films that will be screened this year has nary a Tennessee Williams flick. Nor does there seem to be any movies that would reflect the three Gs listed above.
But the lack of a tie-in never stops everyone from having a good time. And it’s not like you really need an excuse to get people together for fun involving food and drink.
The Friday night party at 8:00, which follows a screening of the evening’s featured film, Paper Man, at 6:30, will offer tastes from some of the area’s top chefs, including: Josh Oakley (Enzian/Eden Bar); James and Julie Petrakis (The Ravenous Pig); Steven Rujak (Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress); Donna Moore (A Chateau Kitchen); Kevin Fonzo (K Restaurant); Brandon McGlamery (Luma on Park); and Jeff Palermo (4R Smokehouse). Special guests include celebrated masters of Southern cuisine Matt and Ted Lee and Chef Robert Stehling.
On Saturday, the Lee brothers will host a lunch and discussion titled Southern Comfort. Joining Matt and Ted will be chefs John Currence and Martha Foose. They’ll be talking while Josh Oakley, executive chef at the Enzian, does the cooking.
The Saturday evening Tennessee Williams dinner, to be held at a home whose address will be revealed only after the purchase of tickets, will put the chefs from the afternoon’s event to work preparing the food along with Michel Nischan and Robert Stehling.
The food portion of the festival will wrap up on Sunday with a brunch, again prepared by Oakly, called Dial B for Bacon.
For prices, exact times, ticket purchases -- and to find out what sort of house can hold all of Tennessee Williams’ characters -- visit the official site of the Florida Film Festival.