Devour! Food Film Fest: Wolfville, Nova Scotia

A whole film festival about food? Yes please! Films about growing food, making food, eating food? This is what the world is made of people. A few weeks ago, Adam and I drove out to Wolfville to attend the Devour Food Film Fest. I was pumped!

To start our day of DEVOURing, we decided to fuel up at The Naked Crepe Bistro on Main Street. Even though it was 11am, I decided that I had to try the French Onion Soup as a little appetizer before my crepe.

French Onion Soup

When it got to the table, I was like “where the heck is all the cheese?” until I realized that the little nugget floating near the side of the bowl was a delicious cheesy chip! It melted slowly in the flavourful broth and was a delightful little twist on a classic dish.

Adam chose The Parisian as his crepe du jour.

The Parisian

Filled with shaved black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and the perfect dollop of Dijon, The Parisian was delicious. Adam ate it in about one minute.

I chose the Nicolette.

Nicolette

This crepe was stuffed with Brie, spinach, strawberries, almonds, and drizzled with maple syrup. It was great balance of sweet and savoury, although there was a little too much spinach up in there if you ask me. Delicious nonetheless.

After lunch, Adam headed off to the library to study, and I headed off to the Library Pub to drink. The Merchant Wine Tavern and Library Pub was dubbed the Devour Lounge for the duration of the festival and in the evenings there were delicious food offerings available to ticket holders. When I got to the pub, there wasn’t a whole lot going on, but I helped myself to a pint of cider and perused the program.

Library Pub

Next, I headed off to the Acadia campus for an industry session for food bloggers. As chance would have it, I caught the tail end of the session going on just before, Nose to Tail Cuisine, which was given by Scott Vivian, chef of Beast Restaurant in Toronto, and Chris Velden, co-owner of The Flying Apron Cookery, located in Tantallon. The early birds from our session were even able to try some freshly made sausage with sauerkraut; it was wicked!

Nose to Tail Cuisine

The industry session I participated in was The Food Blogger: Food Photography. Bonjwing Lee of the amazing The Ulterior Epicure, a food and travel blog, gave this talk. Here he is being introduced by the lovely Lia Rinaldo, Managing Director of the festival:

Food Photography

Bonjwing’s session was really interesting. We got to look at amazing pictures of meals he has eaten all over the world, and I picked up some great tips about white balance and shooting in dark restaurants. His thirst for travel and food is relentless, and his work-to-eat mentality is very similar to my own. He is pretty much my new idol. This session made me want to walk out the door, head straight to the airport and take photos of awesome food all over the world (even more than I already did).

The main event of our day at Devour was Food Porn: a series of short films about, what else? Delicious looking food. Adam and I met up outside the Al Whittle Theatre on Main Street and headed inside, found our seats, and gobbled down some yummy popcorn donated by Pete’s.

The films were mouth watering, tear jerking, and just plain lovely. There was variation in theme and context, but all the films revolved around food. Some of my favourites were:

Nettle Fettuccine Alfredo by Aube Giroux

This film was so well shot and looked delicious! I don’t even know what nettles taste like, but this short was enough to make me start growing them on my tiny apartment patio. You can see more of Ms. Giroux’s recipe films on her website Kitchen Vignettes.

Risotto by James Ingram

James Ingram of Jive Photographic directed this mouth-watering short with the help of Kelly Neil, a fellow Halifax food blogger and photographer extraordinaire. The music and images of this film induced such desire, I could almost taste the risotto. AMAZING!

The next three films were done by the same documentarians, The Perennial Plate, who are truly inspiring. All their films are dedicated to the presentation of sustainable and adventurous eating; they are filmed beautifully, and make you think about food in so many different ways.

Tea for Two from The Perennial Plate.                                                                                             A super cute film about love and the making of tea. I cried a little.

A Time for Foie from The Perennial Plate.                                                                                  This film is about a man, his geese, and the ethical making of foie gras. So awe-inspiring.

My overall favourite from the selection of films at Food Porn was also by the Perennial Plate and made me want to jump on a plane to Italy. Immediately. And live there. Forever.

10 Things We Love About Italy from The Perennial Plate.

The films at Devour represent a way of looking at food that isn’t simply about making it big on the Food Network, or scoring the most hits on your blog. It is about the creation of sustenance, the creation of community, the creation of art. It brought people together from all over the world who are passionate about food because it is a universal unifier.

Everyone needs to eat.

Cultures across the world use food to communicate tradition, to celebrate, and to come together. I loved the films that I viewed at Devour because they made me remember why I wanted to write about food in the first place. Coming together over food is one of the most innate and revered events that there is, plus it all tastes so good. I encourage everyone to attend Devour Food Film Fest next November, and always remember to Explore.Eat.Repeat: You never know where the next food adventure will take you.
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