Foodies and film fans heading to Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on Sunday will find fare that's deliciously different from what's generally served up at your local multiplex -- both at the tables and on screen.
Don't expect hot dogs, Raisinets and cheesy nachos. The menu at the theater's Sky Room Cafe will consist of healthy food items like raw slaw and tempeh. Complementing those foods: short films (the longest is seven minutes) on subjects such as community gardens, fermentation and the slow food movement -- cooking meals with hand-picked, locally grown ingredients.
"It's a food feast, but it's also a feast of films," cinema co-director Dylan Skolnick says of the second annual celebration of organic and locally sourced cuisine and food-centric cinema. He says that the focus "is in favor of sustainability and eating local" at the event sponsored by Slow Food North Shore, a Long Island chapter of Slow Food USA.
The event is a sit-down dinner featuring a different nosh or liquid refreshment paired with each of the eight short films shown on the cafe's big screen. Like last year, a capacity crowd is expected, Skolnick says. The shorts and speakers were chosen by Bhavani Jaroff of Old Westbury, who runs Slow Food North Shore and is a chef with natural food company iEat Green.
"One of the things that slow food promotes is the conviviality and the pleasure that happens around the table when you share a meal," says Jaroff, who will be preparing most of the food.
The entrees include vegetarian shepherd's pie, paired with the film "Do We Need Industrial Agriculture to Feed the World?" and comments by Caroline Fanning of Restoration Farm. Jaroff will also make seafood chowder to go with "Community Supported Fisheries: The Basics," and comments by Angela Andre of Dock to Dish in Montauk and Brett Tolley of the Northeast Atlantic Marine Alliance.
Bread for Thought
Although the menu includes fish, "there will be a vegetarian option for everything," Jaroff says. Many items also will be gluten free, except for the onion rye bread that Jaroff will make from scratch, using freshly milled hard red winter wheat berries grown at Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett.
"We are trying to educate the public about the flavor of wheat, where their bread is coming from and what it takes to grow a local loaf of bread," says Katie Baldwin, co-founder of Amber Waves, a not-for-profit, organic community-supported agriculture program. Tear off a piece of bread while watching a clip from a TV show about harvesting wheat to make pizza.
Not full yet? Quaff a Brooklyn Brewery beer with the short film "GotBeer: Brooklyn Brewery Tour," and learn about the fermentation movement while sampling tempeh, raw slaw and kombucha, during the seven-minute "Ferment."
Barry Schwartz, owner of Barry's Tempeh of Brooklyn, will talk about how the soy-based protein substitute is made and will serve it slathered with "a barbecue sauce from a fourth-generation recipe from Kansas City."
And leave room for dessert and two more film courses. Have some Ethiopian coffee with "There is Only Coffee" and carrot cake with two cinematic side dishes, "Food + Data = Opportunities" and "Grow to Give Gardens."
And for the adventurous palate, the short "The Dumpster Diver" will be paired with a "surprise entree," Jaroff says: "The whole idea is to show people that you can get really good food that would otherwise end up in the garbage."
Long Island Food and Film Feast
WHEN | WHERE 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington.
INFO $60; 631-423-7611, cinemaartscentre.org