Women chefs honored at this year’s Ridgefield Independent Film Festival


Ridgefield resident Joanna James is the director of “A Fine Line”, a critically acclaimed film about women in the culinary industry. The film “explores why less than 7% of chefs and restaurateurs are women, while traditionally women have always held the central role in the kitchen,” according to the description.

April Bloomfield, chef-in-residence at the Mayflower Inn in Washington, appears in the film, alongside star chefs Cat Cora, Dominique Crenn and Lidia Bastianich. Also in attendance is James’ mother Valerie, owner of Val’s restaurant in central Massachusetts since 1991.

The Ridgefield International Film Festival (RIFF) opening event on October 7 will feature a screening of the film as well as a cocktail party at the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center.

Cocktail hour will be rounded off with tastings from Fairfield County’s top female chefs: Jes Bengtson from Terrain and Amis, Silvia Baldini from Strawberry & Sage and Grace Farms Foods, Sarah Bouissou from Bernard’s & Sarah’s Wine Bar, Barbara Nevins from Southwest Cafe, Anna Llanos from Mothership Bakery & Itadakimas, and more.

James will be available for a post-screening Q&A with participating chefs and restaurateurs. She is also the founder of MAPP (Mentorship, Advocacy, Pandemic Relief, and the Power of women), a non-profit organization that supports the growth and scale of food organizations led by women.

“The film is so personal to me, not only because it tells the story of my mother who succeeded through thick and thin while raising two children, but because it also highlights all the personal and professional challenges. that women still face today, “James said in a statement. “And we’re excited to showcase the culinary talents and female restaurant owners of Ridgefield and Fairfield County at the cocktail party of the evening.”

Reception starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $ 35; available on the RIFF website. For all in-person screenings, the RIFF requires proof of vaccination with a corresponding photo ID and face shield. For more information, visit riffct.org/film-guide-2021/a-fine-line.


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