Restaurant Reviews DFW

‘A Fine Line’ Celebrates Women in the Kitchen

This past Saturday, Palace Arts Center held a limited screening of A Fine Line, a documentary celebrating women chefs and restauranteurs. A Fine Line features appearances from notable female chefs, including Lidia Bastianich, Dominique Crenn, and Cat Cora, who was in attendance at the screening.

A Fine Line was directed and produced by Joanna James, who had been working for five years to put the film together. While production of A Fine Line didn’t come without its roadblocks, James credits resurgence of the #MeToo social media movement and sexual assault allegations against high-profile chefs like Mario Batali as motivation to finish work on the film.

The film is centered mostly around restauranteur Valerie James, a single mom who struggles to secure a loan to build her restaurant. A Fine Line also brings to light sexism and misogyny female chefs and restauranteurs face while working in the hospitality industry. Currently, less than seven percent of head chefs and restauranteurs are women, despite many chefs of all genders citing women as their inspirations. James, Cora, and all of the chefs involved in A Fine Line hope the film helps create a more equal system in kitchens around the world.

Prior to the screening, Cat Cora and a group of children from the Come and Eat It program, a division of Independence Gardens, held a cooking demonstration, in which the children prepared a special dish for Cora.

Founded by Chonnie Richey, Independence Gardens aims to help the community build a relationship with the environment, both natural and man-made. The Come and Eat It program provides resources to children and teaches them how to select healthy ingredients and cook healthy meals.

A Fine Line is currently showing on select dates in select theaters across the country. For more information on how to attend a screening, visit


Restaurant Reviews DFW

And Cut: DIFF Wraps Up 12th Annual Film Showcase + List of Winners

After a successful eight-day run in Dallas’s West Village, The 12th annual Dallas International Film Festival has come to a close.

This year’s DIFF showcased hotly anticipated films, including Fred Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” the Rob Reiner-directed “Shock and Awe,” and the Chloë Grace Moretz-led “Miseducation of Cameron Post.”

Following his first year as the Executive Director of the film festival, Johnathan Brownlee is highly content with the turnout.

“The key is what your attendees and festival-goers are saying,” Brownlee says. ” You look at the smiles on their faces, the parties where they’re having fun, and seeing the same faces come back to enjoy more films. To me, I think that really says that these folks have had a great time.”

Although some slight changes were made to this year’s festival format, Brownlee believes they were for the better.

“I think the shorter format really worked out for us,” Brownlee says. “Plus, operating in West Village proved very well, logistically, and the family films at Studio Movie Grill made for a great addition.”

DIFF is set to return next year with a new set of films. Many of the films showcased at this year’s festival are set for wide release in the third and fourth quarters of 2018. Release dates will be shared via Best of Guide as they are announced.

In the meantime, check out the list of this year’s winners below!

Short  Films:

  • Special  Mention Short  (Comedy) – Allen  Anders – Live  at the Comedy Castle (circa  1987) directed  by Laura Moss
  • Special  Mention Short  (Late Night) –  Mobius  directed  by Sam Kuhn
  • Special  Mention Short  (Texas) – Uncertain  Future directed  by Chelsea  Hernandez and  Iliana Sosa
  • Animated  Short – Aqua  Vita directed  by Alex Lim  Haas
  • Documentary  Short – Adversary  directed  by Scott Cummings   
  • Narrative  Short – Krista  directed  by Danny Madden

Feature  Films:

  • Special  Mention Feature  (Narrative) – Madeline’s  Madeline  directed  by Josephine  Decker/starring  Helena Howard and  Miranda July
  • Special  Mention Feature  (Texas) – The  Iron Orchard directed  by Ty Roberts
  • Grand  Jury Prize  (Texas) – 1985 directed  by Yen Tan
  • Grand  Jury Prize  (Documentary)  – The  Blessing directed  by Jordan Fein  and Hunter Robert  Baker
  • Grand  Jury Prize  (Narrative) – Dead  Pigs  directed  by Cathy Yan

Audience  Awards:

  • Documentary  Short – tomnoddy  directed  by Charles  Poekel
  • Narrative  Short – Caroline directed  by Celine  Held and Logan  George
  • Narrative  Feature – Tejano directed  by David Garcia   
  • Documentary  Feature – Loud  Krazy Love  directed  by Scott Mayo  and Trey Hill