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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Event: Program preview of the sixth DevourFest Film Festival (Nov 2 - 6)

The Date and Time: Monday September 12 2016  4PM to 6PM
The Event: Program preview of the sixth DevourFest Film Festival (Nov 2 - 6)
The Venue: George Brown College Atrium
The Target Audience: film and food and drink writers.
The Availability/Catalogue: Program becomes available Sept 16 at 9AM EDT.
The Quote/Background: There was a sampling of east coast eats in the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at George Brown College. Executive director Michael Howell [disclosure: my son-in-law] and managing director Lia Rinaldo served up a preview of what's on the menu for the 2016 festival. Coined "Canada's Secret Foodie Destination" by The Hollywood Reporter, Devour! The Food Film Fest is the largest festival in the world of its kind. The event will once again be in Wolfville, Nova Scotia with its largest program to date from November 2-6, 2016. Last year the festival saw more than 9,100 people; they expect than 11,000 this year.
The sixth edition of the festival will include 94 unique events over five days including 80 films in 30 screenings, 24 industry workshops, 20 tasting tours, three celebrity chef dinners expanded to 180 capacity and over 20 parties and events. New to the festival this year are three significant themes which will each be explored in depth over the course of the festival: the previously announced women in gastronomy theme, building community, and the celebration of slow food and Wolfville as Canada's newest Cittaslow Town. Devour will screen 27 features and 53 shorts from over 19 different countries; 30% of the film program is made up of Canadian content (up from 25% last year), 19% of which is from the four Atlantic provinces. In keeping with the women in gastronomy theme, 39% of the festival's film content is directed by women. Although Devour! is first and foremost a film festival, the list of visiting celebrity chefs unveiled at the preview includes Normand Laprise of the James Beard Award-winning Toqué in Montreal, Stephen Wall of Ottawa's Supply + Demand, John Sundstrum of Seattle's Lark and Food Network's John Higgins and Ned Bell. Three visiting chefs (Barbara Lynch of Boston's No 9 Park, Mary Sue Milliken of Los Angeles' Border Grill and Christine Flynn of Toronto's Chef Jacques La Merde) will play roles in the women in gastronomy festival theme. From Thursday to Saturday night, these chefs will pair up with local chefs to create three meals inspired by highlighted festival films.
The first round of tickets will be available on Friday, September 16 at 9AM online at and by phone through Ticketpro at 1-888-311-9090. Exclusive packages will also be available at this time.
The Wine: The wine accompanying the food below was Nova 7 from Benjamin Bridge, coming back to Vintages on October 29 [6% ABV, off-dry peachy Nova Scotia muscat-based sparkler, my rating 89]. Accompanying cocktails included Canadian Club, prepared as a punch as featured in Mad Men's "Canadian Clubhouse Punch", and Jim Beam's Apple Bourbon.
The Food: We were treated to culinary creations by the faculty and students of George Brown College's Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts lead by chefs John Higgins and Glen White as part of one of the festival's newest partnerships. Continuing this partnership on-site at Devour! later this year, Higgins and White will bring four students to Wolfville for a culinary and cultural exchange to work with side-by-side with students from NSCC Kingstec. Dishes were prepared using a bountiful selection of products from Clearwater Seafoods (who, as a new gold partner, provided their corporate chef Stefan Czapalay to lead a Nova Scotian seafood demonstration with the culinary students), Scotian Gold Apples, Sober Island Oysters, Acadian Seaplants, Taproot Farms and Dairy Farmers of Canada. We were treated to lobster rolls (dressed with chives), lemon zest and mayo), roasted golden beets from Taproot with goat cheese salad and pepitas, NS mussel and chorizo chowder, coldwater shrimp salad with roasted red pepper, Hana mixed tsunomata seaweed salad with sesame dressing, Hokkigai clam dressed in wasabi/ginger gastrique with Asian slaw and sour plum dressing (from Chef Czapalay), seviche scallops, oysters on the half shell – eight separate dishes in all.
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.


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