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Feast the Senses

By Jade Arroyo and Ruth Milikin

Among the cultural initiatives supported by La Biblioteca, a special event about the great pleasure of gastronomy took place last February 15—18, the Food Films Festival. All proceeds were to benefit the scholarship program of La Biblioteca.

Gastronomy and cinematography make another form of art, an art of duality. To really know a culture, you must immerse yourself in it: smell it, appreciate its visual originality, savor it, and eat it.

The festival format was the screening of a renowned film, followed by a lunch, drinks, and beverage tasting by sponsoring restaurant, following the theme of the film. As an example, Like Water for Chocolate was followed by a delicious gourmet mole served to the attendees. Six movies were shown in their original languages with English subtitles.
All screenings were held at Teatro Santa Ana in La Biblioteca. Daytime post-film receptions held in La Biblioteca’s courtyard were lively, sunny affairs with patrons sharing tables and conversationand making new friendships. Evening post-film receptions were more intimate affairs as candles glowed and laughter and conversation prevailed.

Following a year of planning by co-producers Eva Eliscu, Kirsten West, Rhonda Hiebert Lerner, and Ruth Milikin, patrons sampled the best of classic food films, including Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate, Tampopo, Babette’s Feast, Woman on Top, and The Big Night. There were sold-out and near sold-out showings over the course of the festival.

The Biblioteca’s General Manager Sandra Suaste Soria and several festival attendees surprised the co-producers on stage before the final screening with flowers, small gifts, and words of appreciation for their efforts and for the funds raised for La Biblioteca’s Scholarship Fund to aid local students.

High praise from festival goers has encouraged the co-producers to begin planning for next year’s Food Films Festival. Please send film suggestions to with suggestions for next year’s Food Films Festival.

Thank you to those who purchased tickets, bid on silent auction items, and got into the spirit of giving. We’ll look forward to seeing you next year.

The festival committee wants to give thanks to their sponsors, Penzi weddings, Camino Silvestre, Dos Búhos, Sushiitto, Vivali Ristorante, Mente Cacao, El Manantial, 2 Suecos catering, Blime, Cha-cha-cha, and Tomate Diseño.


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