The very first Food Film Festival, South Walton edition is right around the corner. Some of you may be thinking, “Food? Film? I like both of those things! Sign me up!” Go with your gut instinct on this one, and reserve your tickets ASAP for this one of a kind culinary cinematic mash-up. The Food Film Festival is celebrating their 10th Year in New York City this October, and is SOLD OUT in Chicago so the Florida Panhandle might be the only place you can get your name on the list. Keep reading for more information on the Food Film Festival and what you can expect!
- There will be AMAZING Chefs
The chef list for the South Walton Food Film Festival is a veritable who’s who of cuisine artists in the Southeastern US. (See here for the complete list). Along with some local South Walton favorites (Chris Holbrook Signature Catering of 30A, Phil McDonald Bud + Alley’s Pizza Bar, Kevin Korman Caliza at Alys Beach, Jack McGuckin Bijoux, Jim Shirley Great Southern Café & The Bay Restaurant, Camille Withall George’s at Alys Beach, and Dan Vargo Seagar’s), the Emerald Coast will be welcoming a host of award winning chefs for the festival. Chef Justin Devillier from La Petit Grocery in New Orleans is a 2016 James Beard Nominee and Top Chef Contestant and will be at the Friday evening VIP event at Caliza in Alys Beach, so make sure not to miss it. Kevin Gillespie, Chef/Owner of Gunsmoke in Atlanta and Revival in Decatur, GA will be at the Friday evening VIP event as well. A Top Chef Contestant and Top Chef Fan Favorite Winner, Kevin is also a James Beard Nominee and James Beard Rising Star Chef. The Saturday day event at the Hub on 30A will host several outstanding food artists, but we definitely need to highlight Hugo Ortega (Chef/Owner of Caracol, Hugo’s and Backstreet Café in Houston, TX) and Ryan Prewitt (Chef/Owner of Peche in New Orleans and winner of the James Beard Award for Best New Chef and Best New Restaurant). And you absolutely must see Chef Karl Palma at the Saturday evening event at the Hub on 30A. Palma is the Chef and Owner of Karl’s Balls in New York City and is the star of the Food Film Documentary Tako NY and has been featured on the Cooking Channel. So the moral of the story is, don’t miss this. It’s going to be awesome.
- The creator, George Motz, is pretty groovy
The man with the dream to make this happen is George Motz, Filmmaker, DP, Writer, TV Host and “Hamburger Expert.” Motz is the visionary behind Hamburger America the documentary/book/blog/social media phenomenon and “Burger GPS” app. When George is not busy being a hamburger aficionado, he enjoys being an award-winning freelance Director of Photography in New York City, and has worked on numerous television commercials, films, music videos, documentaries and promos over the course of his 25-year career. George’s vision to bring film and food together into one explosive sensory bonanza has been wildly successful in New York and Chicago and we are super lucky to welcome the festival to South Walton.
- The FOOD will be out of this world.
Okay, duh, the food is going to be great. With an all-star cast of chefs how could it not be? But let me whet your appetite a little bit more. Three words: Bacon, wrapped, steak. I mean, c’mon. Or how about this, Saturday’s Day-time event at the Hub on 30A will feature a Springer Mountain Farm Fried Chicken Cook Off. A Fried. Chicken. Cook Off. Maybe I’m hungry because it’s almost lunch time, or maybe that’s just the greatest idea I’ve ever heard of in my entire life, but sign me up to be a judge (no seriously, can I do that?) Local Chef Jack McGuckin will be joined by Tom Catherall, Thomas Marlowe, Robert Grace and Drew Dodd to go head to head to see who can make the most delicious fried chicken. Pair that with other delicious Southern staples like biscuits, fried green tomatoes and banana pudding in a fun road-trip style set up and it sounds like my diet is going to be on hold for the day.
- Booze. (Need I say more?)
Friday night’s VIP event at Caliza will kick off the festival, and one of the featured films is Rosemary Gin Smash, Directed by James Mann. The film (which you can find on vimeo.com) is not only visually stunning, the titular Rosemary Gin smash also looks delicious. Any fan of inventive, thoughtful cocktails will not be disappointed. Along with a selection of local spirits and craft beers, the entire festival is not only going to highlight food but also drink. Local brewery Grayton Beer Company has also signed on as the beer sponsor for the Food Film Festival South Walton. For those who are unfamiliar with Grayton Beer, founded in 2011, offers a variety of beers and ales to satisfy any pallet. Our team’s favorite (21 and up team members that is,) is the 30A Beach Blonde Ale. The Beach Blonde is crisp and refreshing with a light-bodied fruity sweetness that matches the whole “South Walton” vibe pretty perfectly.
- The Food Film Festival is benefiting two amazing local charities.
It’s not just all fun and food – there’s a lot of heart behind the festival that must be mentioned. Portions of the festival sales will benefit two local charities; Food for Thought Outreach and the Emerald Coast Theatre Company. Food for Thought Outreach is a not-for-profit organization based in Santa Rosa Beach, FL that provides backpacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare food for students who are dependent on free or reduced school meals. Their goal is to support a child’s development and educational experience by bridging the gap between school meals during weekends and holiday breaks. Their mission is to remove the negative impacts of hunger, and to empower children to get the most out of their education and development by providing them with weekly access to healthy, easy to prepare meals. The Emerald Coast Theatre Company is a not-for-profit company based in Miramar Beach, FL. Their mission is to enrich and entertain the Emerald coast community through professional and educational theatre.
So make sure to join us on Friday, April 8th for the VIP Welcome Event at Caliza; Saturday, April 9th for the Road Trip Experience event at the Hub on 30A during the day and Saturday night for the Feature Film night at the Hub also; and Sunday, April 10th at Bud + Alley’s in Seaside for an amazing farewell brunch and film event. The Food Film Festival is guaranteed to be a unique experience for South Walton residents and visitors. For more information, visit http://www.foodfilmsowal.com.