NYC Food Film Festival: It’s Grits!
This past weekend, I had the good fortune of attending the last day of the 4th annual NYC Food Film Festival, a popular event that draws a big crowd to the Brooklyn and Manhattan screening spots. The event I attended was a screening of the classic 1978 food film It’s Grits, which was followed by an epic grits “Takedown” led by Matt Timms, who leads these sort of takedowns for different food specialities (cookies, chili, etc). I will preface the following photos by saying that I went into the festival a true Yankee: a grits non-believer. I left thoroughly convinced of the brilliance of grits as a bona-fide breakfast food.
The opening film, before It’s Grits, was Robert Box – Perfect for the Kitchen, about food artist Robert Box. Not a super interesting movie, but his art was fun to look at.
It’s Grits was everything that was promised: the definitive film on grits, and beyond! A black and white short film (only about 45 minutes) directed by Stan Woodward, it was made to be documentary focused on the glory that is grits and their connection to Southern culture.
All of the interviews and “testimonials” about grits were fantastic, even the interview with a very Southern character, whose drawl was so thick that he was hard to understand, who claimed that grits were best with peanut butter (gross!). Click here for a full review of the film.
And then, the part I was looking forward to the most: we got to try the various grits from amateur and professional chefs around the city.
We lined up on one side and got our first portion. These included my favorite, the Tamale grits, as well as Sweet Potato Grits, deep-fried Miso grits, and cheesy veggie grits.
More photos and “gritty” (hee-haw) details after the jump. Unfortunately, my favorite didn’t win either the judges’ (Stan Woodward and other food “professionals” were on the panel) choice or the crowd choice: I loved the Tamale grits, which were fun little “pockets” of cornbread cheesy grits with kale. Lots of flavors all in one package. They did receive a judges “honorable mention,” though, which made me happy.
The second round included a deep-fried grits patty with roasted mushrooms, a lightly fried grits patty with red pepper jelly, “red white and blue” corn grits, and Roasted Red Pepper grits.
I could go on and on about how tasty the grits were. Believe me, fun was had.
And Bubby’s was there with pink lemonade!
If you have a chance to check out the festival, it is definitely recommended. A well run, well-informed, and thoroughly enjoyable event. And with a great view: