Fabulous Food Events at This Year’s Sonoma Film Fest

Noted chefs will prepare meals and treats to accompany a series of movies.

This year, there’s plenty of delicious dining fun at the Sonoma International Film Festival (March 23-27), including an all-star dinner with legendary French chef Jacques Pépin on Thursday, March 24 (sorry, it’s already sold out) and treats from TV personality and local chef Duskie Estes (of Zazu and Black Piglet), now the executive director for the nonprofit Farm to Pantry.

During the dinner event, noted chefs will prepare a five-course meal to accompany a series of movie shorts, and Pépin will be honored with the first Sonoma International Film Festival Culinary Excellence Award, which includes a $10,000 donation to the Jacques Pépin Foundation.

On Thursday and again on March 26, Estes will discuss Farm to Pantry, a gleaning powerhouse that harvests unwanted local farm produce to benefit underserved communities. She’ll talk before the screening of “The Kitchenistas” at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26.

KITCHENISTAS TRAILER SHORT – 2MIN – FEB 2021 from Mary Ann Beyster on Vimeo.

“The Kitchenistas” documents a Latina-led movement in southern California to improve their community’s health and well-being. Program graduates, called “kitchenistas,” are mentoring and developing a sisterhood to bring high-quality food and cooking to their homes, schools and neighborhoods.

Attendees at that screening also will be treated to Estes’ Black Pig gourmet bacon popcorn, and her Black Pig Meat Company food truck will be parked outside the Cogir Hospitality Tent.

Also as part of the film festival, chef and cookbook author Joanne Weir will host a “Plates & Places” lunch at 11 a.m. Friday, March 25 (special ticket and RSVP required). Weir will share some TV segments from her PBS show of the places she’s traveled to.

The festival worked with Sonoma vintner and filmmaker Robert Kamen, of “Karate Kid” fame, to make a collection of four commemorative plates featuring the festival’s 25th anniversary logo, along with quotes from some of Kamen’s best-loved movie lines like “Wax on, wax off.” The plates, which cost $100 each or $350 for four, can be purchased without attending the festival.

More information and tickets at sonomafilmfest.org.

Emily Charrier of the Sonoma Index-Tribune contributed to this story.