THE AUTOMAT–Recipes, In The Movies & More

Assembled by Gary Meyer

April 4, 2022

The theatrical release of a new documentary by Lisa Hurwitz, The Automat, has taken me back in time with its wonderful clips from classic movies and discussions of food favorites of our youth from Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie to Custard Cups and Pumpkin Pie. It is essential viewing for those interested in the history of restaurants in the 20th Century, the combining of technology and home-cooked meals and a trip down memory lane even if you were born too late to actually visit one. But we also cover contemporary attempts at automated food. We have included many photos, film clips, recipes, music, and related links to supplement your enjoyment of The Automat now playing in theaters and at film festivals—only on the big screen. 

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Devour! Chefs & Shorts: Food, Film & Wine

By Geneva Anderson

Jetting out of Halifax is rarely simple for Devour! The Film Food Fest co-founders, Lia Rinaldo and Chef Michael Howell.  As they headed for the 25th edition of the Sonoma International Film Festival, they were schlepping 400 Sober Island Oysters and several bottles of Domaine de Grand Pré’s prized sparkling Champlain Brut.  The special cargo was for Chef Howell as he organized his own appetizer while juggling the details of numerous other participants in the eagerly-awaited SIFF | Devour! “Chefs & Shorts Culinary” Event Honoring Chef Jacques Pépin.

Michael Howell and Lia Renaldo. Photo courtesy Devour!

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Interview: Sonoma International Film Festival’s Kevin McNeely on SIFF’s 25th Edition—March 23-27, 2022

By Geneva Anderson

Long before “festing” was a trend, Sonoma International Film Festival’s Executive Director, Kevin McNeely, and his team began holding lively soirees in a tent pitched on Sonoma Plaza.  High-level passholders, filmmakers and celebrities made a beeline to this little hub to mingle and enjoy the crème of Sonoma Valley’s wine, spirits and food.  The concept evolved and the tent became the legendary “backlot.”  With its roaring theme parties, live music, dancing, food and wine, SIFF sealed its reputation as the high-end/good time festival.

This year, SIFF celebrates its 25th anniversary March 23-28, and film programming that challenges its wonderful parties.  It all unfolds within the radius of Sonoma’s historic town square or “SONOMAWOOD.”

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BREAKING BREAD ACROSS BORDERS + Recipes

By Joyce Goldstein

A-Sham celebrates the food of the Levant (Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) in a three-day event where Arab and Jewish chefs cook their traditional foods together, sharing family recipes and culture.

 

BREAKING BREAD, a new documentary by Beth Elise Hawk focuses on the annual A- Sham Arabic Food Festival in Haifa, a city with a healthy cultural life enjoyed by both Arabs and Jews.

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