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.
Andra Zeppelin is a food and lifestyle writer in Denver. A Romanian native, Andra completed a law degree at the University of Colorado, but phased out the practice of law in favor of food writing when she became the editor at Eater Denver. In her free time, she makes butter from scratch, devours food magazines, and scouts the city for the best desserts. She will moderate the post-film discussion and Q&A for James Beard: America’s First Foodie.
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.
Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association since 2001, found his true calling working with farmers and ranchers when he went to work for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union in 1978. Wendell Berry’s Unsettling of America was one of the first books he read, and it helped shape his approach to farming and ranching over the past 39 years. Over time, he has met and spent time with Berry, always finding Berry’s work relevant and contemporary. He will introduce Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry and participate on a panel discussion after the film.
Edwin Zoe grew up in a restaurant family after immigrating to the U.S. In 2010, after starting and running a local software company, he started the Zoe Ma Ma restaurant for and in honor of his mother. Zoe will open a new restaurant, Chimera, focusing on the food and flavors of the Pacific Rim, next door to the Boulder Zoe Ma Ma this October. He will introduce What’s for Dinner, Mom?
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.
Izabela Wojcik is Director of Beard House Programming at the James Beard Foundation. A chef wrangler, she oversees 200+ culinary events each year at the historic James Beard House where James Beard lived, cooked, taught, and wrote. Isabela is a frequent moderator, guest judge, storyteller, and good eater. She will introduce James Beard: America’s First Foodie and participate in a discussion and Q&A session with Beth Federici, director of the film, after the screening. (Photo courtesy Ken Goodman)
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.
Kayann Short is the author of A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography. She grows, cooks, and eats organic food at Stonebridge Farm, Boulder County’s first CSA. She will participate on a panel discussion after Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.
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.
Matt Collier, the chef and general manager of Boulder County Farmers Markets’ Seeds Café, entered into the culinary world over 15 years ago when he took a job at the Chautauqua Dining Hall. Since then, he has worked at several prominent restaurants in Boulder, including the Kitchen, Full Moon Grill, and OAK at Fourteenth. He has also worked in some of Chicago’s most acclaimed restaurants, such as the Publican and Big Star. He will lead the Children’s Farmers Market Walk and Cooking Demo event.
Philip Taylor is the founder of Mad Agriculture and a fellow at the University of Colorado and Duke University who has a Ph.D in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He has published in Nature, Nature Climate Change, and Ecology and has a diverse international experience in both the private and public sectors. He will participate on a panel discussion after Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.