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The Goddesses of Food
The Goddesses of Food

The sixth edition of Devour! The Food Film Fest returns from November 2 to 6, in the culinary epicenter of the province–Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Highlighting one the most anticipated lineups yet, women chefs, filmmakers and industry guests infuse the entire festival program leading up to the Spotlight Gala celebrating the Power of Women in Gastronomy on Saturday, November 5.

On November 5, Devour! will screen the world premiere of Vérane Frédiani’s highly-anticipated feature, The Goddesses of Food. Featuring stories from some of the greats like Barbara Lynch and Dominique Crenn, the film explores the unique world of women and cuisine, from the trials to the triumphs. The screening, taking place at Acadia University’s Denton Hall, will be followed by a Q&A with Frédiani.

“I am absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to come back to Devour! The Food Film Fest and Nova Scotia for the premiere of my documentary about women in gastronomy,” says Frédiani. “The last time I attended with Steak (R)evolution, a film I produced and co-wrote. I met the passionate team and audience in Wolfville and ended up discussing gastronomy with everybody while sharing wonderful dinners. I’m looking forward to having the same kind of experience again with a gala dinner promoting female chefs.”

Saturday’s Spotlight Gala dinner will be a clash of the culinary titans, with six legendary female chefs working together to create a decadent dinner inspired by the film. Three visiting chefs, Boston’s Barbara Lynch (No 9 Park), Los Angeles’ Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill) and Toronto’s Christine Flynn (Chef Jacques La Merde), will join three local chefs, The Canteen’s Renée Lavallée, The Prince George’s Bee Choo Char and The Old Apothecary’s Laura MacLeod to create the ultimate feast for the senses. Long-time festival partner, Bishop’s Cellar, will pair each course with a selection from all-female winemakers.

The Women in Gastronomy theme continues throughout the festival program, with each visiting chef leading her own culinary workshop, a panel workshop highlighting the successes and challenges facing women in the industry and more. Once again, the festival looks forward to increasing the number of titles screened throughout their five-day festival. Of these films, 39% of the titles are directed by women.

“This theme is near and dear to our hearts on a number of levels,” says Lia Rinaldo, managing director of Devour! “It is no secret that there is a gender imbalance in the food and film industries. But the tide is changing and we are proud to highlight some of the leading women in both of these sectors.”
Guests at today’s announcement enjoyed Renée Lavallée’s signature sandwiches at her downtown Dartmouth-based hotspot, The Canteen. Chef Lavallée continues to enrich the culinary game in Nova Scotia through her bold flavours and big ideas, and truly exemplifies the power of women in the culinary sector.

“As a female chef who’s been in the industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of highs and lows for women in this field,” says Chef Lavallée. “I’m so excited to see how many women are now in the roles of chef or sous chef, owners, operators. It’s an exciting time in the culinary world and I feel very fortunate to be in the thick of things. I’m looking forward to cooking with some great chefs at Devour! this year and to collaborating with them. It’s going to be a very exciting year.”

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