This is one of the better film festivals in Toronto, and that’s saying a lot in this city of nearly 100 different annual festivals taking place. Who needs popcorn and soda drinks, when you can have a chef-prepared meal and alcoholic beverages to go with your movie experience?

A provocative and evocative feast for the senses, the second annual Eatable Film Festival will bridge the divide between the cognitive and the culinary this October at the audience-favourite Royal Cinema. Running October 22 to 25, 2016, Eatable is a mirepoix made of film, food, and libation following the ethos of international food and film festivals such as Berlinale Culinary Cinema, Seoul International Food Film Festival, Norwegian International Film Festival Haugesund’s Culinary Screenings, Balkan Film Food Festival, and Nova Scotia’s Devour! The Food Film Fest.

Co-founded by Rachel Low, an award-winning television producer whose credits include the Gemini Award-winning Opening Soon and Chef School and the James Beard Award winner, Morimoto RAW, Eatable seeks to further connect viewers with feature films by way of inspired food and drink.

Eatable’s 2016 programming is a mélange of four screenings featuring some of the most renowned culinary-inspired films and featurettes. Each sensory screening pairs artistic culinary cinematic accomplishments with eclectic Toronto food and beverage purveyors, through whom the films are brought to life via edible experiences.

Cinephiles will get to dine on film-inspired dishes from Canoe’s Executive Chef John Horne, Pizzeria Libretto’s Executive Chef Rocco Agostino, Beast’s Chef Scott Vivian, Enoteca Sociale’s Chef James Stanton, CXBO’s Brandon Olsen, and more.

Eatable 2016 Schedule

Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 1pm
Coffee and Cigarettes, Jim Jarmusch’s 2003 anthology featuring Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Roberto Benigni, features 11 vignettes connected by the common theme of, not surprisingly, coffee and cigarettes. Blackbird Baking Co. will serve a classic Ham and Cheese Sammie alongside premium coffee from Sam James Coffee Bar, brews from Great Lakes Brewery, and a very special Smoky Chocolate by Chocolates X Brandon Olsen.

Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 5pm
Pizzeria Libretto’s Chef Rocco Agostino and Enoteca Sociale’s Chef James Santon will draw inspiration from the silver screen to infuse the viewing of the 1996 film Big Night, which stars Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub as restaurateur brothers, with Italian excellence. Pizzeria Libretto’s beloved Executive Chef Rocco Agostino has created a masterful Mortadella Hot Dog, topped with giardiniera and mostarda on a focaccia bun. The dish, inspired by a classic scene from the film about two restaurateur brothers trying to make it in the biz, is a show-stopper – especially when paired with a classic Negroni and Goose Island Beer. VIP ticket holders will be treated to a 4-course, film-inspired dinner at Pizzeria Libretto’s King Street location directly following the screening.

Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7pm
.Filmmaker Marijn Frank explores our obsession with carnivorous cravings in her documentary, Need for Meat (Vleesverlangen). Beast’s Chef Scott Vivian will explore his own need for meat by serving a hefty Meatball with Fennel Slaw. The dish is inspired by a critical scene in the acclaimed documentary. The cocktail pairing for the feature is, appropriately, The Butcher – a gin-heavy sipper that’s olfactory satisfaction. Stay tuned after the screening for an exclusive filmmaker and chef Q&A.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 7pm
To close out Eatable’s palatable programming, the documentary Portrait of a Garden will entrance the audience with its story of master and protégé set against the backdrop of a centuries-old Dutch walled vegetable and fruit garden. This screening opens with the Season 3 premiere of In the Weeds, a popular digital series about foraging, featuring Chef John Horne (Canoe) – who will also be preparing the evening’s edibles – as well as a chef and filmmaker Q&A. Canoe’s exemplary Executive Chef John Horne will delight the audience’s senses with his otherworldly Compost Heap, featuring anise carrots, chocolate twigs and rocks, spiced poached pear, birch caramel apple, butterscotch cotton candy and green sponge cake. Served with the Perfect Pear cocktail and Amsterdam Farm Series Beer, this screening is sure to be a tantalizing trip for the senses.

With a slate chock-full of thought-provoking films and scintillating flavours, Eatable is truly an immersive and otherworldly cinematic experience. As Eatable executive director Rachel Low says, “The frustrating part about being a food television producer was that the audiences never got to taste the food. Eatable is about creating a fully immersive experience that takes the audience from spectator to participant.”

Eatable runs October 22 to 25, 2016 at the Royal Cinema. Get your tickets here.
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.