We are fortunate that so many talented and experienced individuals have agreed to speak at our festival. Expert speakers introduce all of our feature films. Speakers also participate in our panel discussions or moderate them. Some have been known to give cooking demonstrations or guide culinary tours for us.
Always caught between Eastern and Western culture, Dr. Allen Lim followed a circuitous path, following his love for cycling and his need to fulfill on his parent’s immigrant dreams, to become a world-class sports physiologist who literally changed the Tour de France with a rice cooker. Together with Chef Biju Thomas, he co-wrote the internationally renowned Feed Zone Cookbook series and is also the founder of Skratch Labs — a Boulder-based company helping to make people better with all natural sports nutrition alternatives. He will introduce Eat Drink Man Woman.
During her 20-year tenure at 5280 Magazine, writer Amanda M. Faison oversaw all of the food and beverage content for both print and digital. As food editor, Faison won multiple awards for her writing, published The 5280 Cookbook, and was named the 2016 Outstanding Media Professional of the Year by the Colorado Restaurant Association. Last November, she left the magazine to move to the mountains and pursue freelance writing full time. She will interview Jeremiah Tower after the Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent screening and moderate the Q&A session.
Antonio Laudisio grew up in the Italian restaurant business in Miami, Florida and lived in Italy and Spain and traveled throughout Europe. He owned and operated the Laudisio Restaurant in Boulder for over 25 years and started the Mediterranean Restaurant with the Romano family 21 years ago. Antonio now owns and operates Laudisio Mobile, a catering operation with a handcrafted, mobile, wood-fired oven.
Beth Federici is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and television producer, who directed and co-produced James Beard: America’s First Foodie. Most recently she co-directed and produced the feature documentary Space, Land and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm, and was awarded a 2010 Cine Golden Eagle Award. She will participate in a Q&A session after James Beard: America’s First Foodie.
Corie Brown is co-founder of Zester Media, a cooperative business representing food and drink writers. A former staffer with the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Premiere Magazine and BusinessWeek, Corie is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, with whom Zester recently released “Start Your Own Microbrewery, Distillery or Cidery.” A film participant, she will introduce Sour Grapes and participate in a Q&A session after the film.
Frank Bonanno is the chef and proprietor of Bonanno Concepts, a Denver restaurant group that’s the umbrella to some of the city’s most established restaurants and bars: Mizuna, Luca, Osteria Marco, Bones, Green Russell, Wednesday’s Pie, Russell’s Smokehouse, Vesper Lounge, Salt & Grinder and French 75. He has authored two cookbooks, received multiple James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist nominations, and hosts a PBS show called Chef Driven where he travels across the state visiting Colorado makers and cooking along the way. He will introduce Big Night.
Jeremiah Tower began his career at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1972. A pioneering figure in modern American cuisine, Tower went on to launch his own legendary Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. After several years, Tower mysteriously walked away from Stars and then disappeared from the scene for nearly two decades, only to resurface in the most unlikely of places: New York City’s fabled but troubled Tavern on the Green. He is the subject of Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent and will introduce the film and participate in an interview and Q&A session. (Photo courtesy Gary Duff)
As the Dean of Culinary Education at the Denver Campus of Johnson and Wales University since 2005, Jorge de la Torre oversees the College of Culinary Arts’ degree programs. He is a regular contributor on local Denver television stations and national media outlets, as well as on Spanish-language media outlets. He will introduce Ratatouille.
Mara King is a native of Hong Kong, a former chef, and co-founder and COO of Ozuké, where she nurtures good microbes all day long. She will introduce the A Journey through the People’s Republic of Fermentation film series and conduct a demo and tasting.