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Farm & Film Series - "Nothing Fancy" The Legacy of Diana Kennedy

  • Stone Acres Farm 393 North Main Street Stonington, CT 06378 USA (map)

In partnership with The United Theatre in Westerly, RI, we present a story you don’t know, food you’ve never tasted, a rare look into the incredible legacy of Diana Kennedy, a chef regarded as the foremost expert on Mexican cuisine. Renowned chefs joining us from all over the world will present a dinner featuring Mexican cuisine, and movie screening of “Nothing Fancy” the Diana Kennedy documentary, with 100% of profits going to Una Mano Para Oaxaca, a non-profit organization that provides relief to those affected by the 2018 earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico.

SATURDAY, JULY 13, 5:30PM
$150 plus gratuity, all ticket proceeds go to charity.

Special Guests & Chefs
Elizabeth Carrol, Director and Producer, “Nothing Fancy”
Gabe Erales, Comedor Austin, TX
Susanna Trilling, Seasons of My Heart Cooking School Oaxaca, Oax
Matt Wick, Charlie Negaro, Atticus, Chabaso Bakery, New Haven, CT
Jake Rojas, Tallulahs Taqueria, Providence, RI
David Vargas, Vida Cantina, Portsmouth NH
Daniel Bojorquez, La Brasa, Boston, MA
Sponsored by Montelobos Mezcal

About the Film

Reflecting on her life’s work as one of the globe’s authorities on Mexican cuisine, 96-year-old Diana Kennedy says, “Always get a recipe.” Whether hosting cooking classes in her Michoacan home (“If anyone says they don’t like cilantro, please don’t invite them”), driving back roads in her weathered Nissan, or providing a noteworthy example of sustainable living, Kennedy and her reminiscences and irascible persona show how passion and appetite made a career. Though the film remains focused indelibly on Kennedy, Bay Area food luminaries Alice Waters and Gabriela Cámara offer penetrating insights of their own. 

About the Chefs

James Wayman Executive Chef and Partner at 85th Day Group, Mystic CT
Born and raised on a farm just outside of Greensboro, North Carolina, eating with the seasons was a way of life in the Wayman home. From an early age, James spent afternoons cooking with his grandmother, foraging and fishing. James was introduced to New England coastal cuisine while studying at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. Upon graduating, he helped to open and cook at Water Street Café in the historic Connecticut fishing village of Stonington. There James cooked a menu that changed daily, with a focus on the clean, simple flavors honoring the ingredients of the New England coastline. He then took the Executive Chef position at The River Tavern in Chester, CT, working there with chef-owner Jonathan Rapp for seven years. Following his tenure in Chester, he became Executive Chef at Oyster Club in Mystic, Connecticut, a seaside town offering some of the finest bounty from farm and sea. James’ philosophy at Oyster Club is to source superior local ingredients, keeping things simple and letting the food speak for itself. He approaches the daily changing menu seasonally, utilizing everything from “tail to snout,” and developing lasting relationships with area artisans, farmers, and fishermen. 

While anchored in comfort food from farm and sea, James’ cooking style is heavily influenced by other cultures. His cuisine has evolved over the years after traveling through Europe, but was more recently impacted by his time in Thailand and Oaxaca, Mexico, the inspiration for his most recent dinner at the James Beard House. He has been featured in the New York Times, Saveur Magazine, and named Best Chef by the Connecticut Restaurant Association. Oyster Club has been named one of the 101 Best Restaurants in America by The Daily Meal, and has been featured in Travel + Leisure Magazine, Town & Country Magazine, and on NPR. 

David Vargas Chef/Owner, Vida Cantina, Portsmouth, NH
David brings his Mexican heritage and appreciation for local seasonal New England product to every plate at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH. David grew up in Southern CA and spent time in Mexico as an exchange student. His mother and father are both from Jalisco, and it was important to his family that David appreciate his heritage. Appreciate it he does indeed at Vida Cantina, his first restaurant, where with each dish he is “elevating our understanding of what Mexican food is or should be, while elevating our understanding of what New England cuisine is or should be” according to the December 2015 review by The Portsmouth Herald.

David first learned his craft in his family’s Mexican restaurant, and then in the kitchens of Chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier at Arrows and MC Perkins Cove. David chose to stay in New England, and became Chef/Owner of Vida Cantina in 2014. A 2019 James Beard nominee, known for his pigs head platters, daily seasonal menus, tasty array of tacos and for co-founding The Chefs After Dark Series, David is one of Portsmouth’s talented chefs creating a vibrant restaurant revolution catching the attention of the national food scene. 

Daniel Bojorquez Chef/Owner, La Brasa and Fat Hen, Somerville, MA
Daniel is a native of Hermosillo in the state of Sonora, Mexico. He attended culinary school in Puebla and has spent over a dozen years in fine dining at Boston's L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre.  Daniel went back to his passion of cooking with fire which is a popular cooking method in Sonora and opened La Brasa in 2014.  La Brasa is where he pays homage to his culinary Mexican cooking  background and celebrates his present living in  New England. Shortly thereafter opening La Brasa's sister restaurant Fat Hen. He lives in Dorchester with his wife Emily and dog Ammo. 

Matt Wick Culinary Director, Atticus Cafe, New Haven, CT

Charlie Negaro CEO & President, Atticus Cafe, Chabaso Bakery, New Haven, CT
Charlie Negaro Jr. joined Atticus Bookstore and Cafe in June of 2016 with the belief businesses play a crucial role in shaping a regenerative, equitable future.  By implementing sustainable purchasing practices and fostering collaborative relationships with local organizations Charlie has been able to showcase the role food and literature play in bringing communities together. Before his position at Atticus, Charlie was the Chief Operating Officer of Chabaso Bakery. At Chabaso Charlie oversaw the production and delivery of fresh artisan bread to over 300 locations daily and the distribution of frozen bread to the retail partners across the East Coast. 

Jake Rojas Chef/Owner, Tallulah’s Taqueria, Providence, RI
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Jake is a graduate of the Culinary Art Institute of Dallas. Some of his earlier career tours was Sous Chef at Joel Robuchon at the Mansion MGM, Chef de Partie at Alain Ducasse’s Mix, and the Four Seasons resort in West Palm beach. Jake owns and operates Tallulah’s Taqueria & Tallulah’s Tacos at The Shack in RI with his wife Kellyann. Along with Mobile taco carts around the state. Jake’s restaurants embody the flavors from his childhood & technique from his experiences working with the best culinary leaders in the country.

Gabe Erales Comedor, Austin, TX
Hailing from the beautiful border town of El Paso, TX. Gabe was raised influenced by the Mexican culture around him. He was especially impacted by the food he grew up eating cooked by his Mother and Father within a family that moved to the US from the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He began working in kitchens at the age of 16 before moving to Austin to attend college where he graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in Mechanical Engineering . During this time in Austin Gabe realized his true passion remained in the kitchen. He later concurrently completed culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu Austin and won the prestigious state-wide Stephen Pyles Culinary School Cooking Competition. As the soul of his cooking lies in Mexican cuisine he spent time working for the late Miguel Ravago at The Fonda San Miguel and Rene Ortiz at La Condesa. Gabe’s most influential kitchen experiences came from working with Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due where he felt he learned the true meaning of maximizing local resources as well as head to tail for both animals and vegetables. In addition, Gabe also draws inspiration and motivation from his time in the kitchen at Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen and Mexico where he was working as a Test Kitchen Chef to help develop the menu in Tulum for their Mexico residency. Gabe recently opened Dai Due Taqueria in Austin, Texas as the Executive Chef where his food focuses on an intricate menu based around Mexican Heirloom corn that is cooked and ground daily. The menu is also heavily concentrated on Texas wild game such as wild boar, venison, gulf coast seafood and hyperlocal seasonal vegetables. He was recently crowned the “Prince of Pork” after winning the Cochon555 Culinary Competition in Austin. He was also invited to participate in the 2018 Starchefs International Congress Vitamix Challenge where he placed 2nd amongst 4 other chefs selected from across the nation. He is currently in the process of planning and R&D for his next project.

Susana Trilling Seasons of My Heart Cooking School
Susana is a chef, teacher, caterer, author, TV hostess, food consultant and directora of Seasons of My Heart Cooking School and Sazon de Mi Corazon S.A. de C.V., producing gourmet Mexican products. She owned 2 NYC restaurants, a restaurant in Fremantle, Western Australia and has lived in Oaxaca since 1988, where her two sons were born and raised on her ranch outside of the city. She wrote My Search for the Seventh Mole and Seasons of My Heart; A Culinary Journey through Oaxaca, Mexico to accompany her 13 part PBS series, that ran for 6 years. She holds classes, hosts TV filming, and special events at her cooking school, a large handmade kitchen under a majestic dome. Susana was the Culinary Director and Culinary Advisor for Rosa Mexicano Restaurants for 4 years. A renowned authority on Oaxacan cuisine, Susana has filmed and hosted numerous TV programs in addition to her own series including: Two Hot Tamales, Mexico – One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless A Cooks Tour with Chef Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern ‘s Bizarre FoodsThe Diary of a Foodie, and Jeff Corwin’s series Extreme Cuisine. She has also been featured on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, BBC,TNZ, and PBS. Her biography was presented on Food Network Canada’s At the Table With…. Magazine include Travel and Leisure, Gourmet, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Eating Well, Cooking Light, Food Arts, Texas Monthly, and Fortune and various international newspapers. Susana has presented in various Mexican Embassies. In addition to teaching at her own school, she has taught at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone and Instituto Universitario de Oaxaca. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oaxacan International Food and Wine Festival in 2002 and in 2012 was presented with the Espiga de Oro Award for her work promoting Oaxacan cuisine internationally. She has been featured at many Food and Wine and Cacao Festivals and been a celebrity chef at CIA San Antonio’s annual Paella Challenge.

Please note before completing your purchase!

FARM ATTIRE - This event will be held outside at the farm so please dress accordingly!

WEATHER POLICY - This event will be held outside and is weather dependent. In the event of cancellation due to weather, full refunds will be issued.

REFUNDS - Refunds offered up to 7 days prior to the event.

DIETARY RESTRICTIONS - Please alert us of any dietary restrictions or food allergies in advance by emailing events@85thdaygroup.com

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