We are fortunate that so many talented and experienced individuals have agreed to speak at our Festival. Expert speakers introduced all of our feature films for the 2019 Flatirons Food Film Festival. Speakers also participated in our panel discussions or moderated them. Some have been known to give cooking demonstrations or guide culinary tours for us.
|Sue Anderson is co-founder of People and Pollinators Action Network, a Colorado nonprofit organization working to protect pollinator and human health by protecting habitat, changing land management practices and policies, and reducing and eliminating pesticide use. She now grows on a small organic farm in east Boulder County after working in the non-profit sector for 35 years. She will participate in a panel discussion after The Pollinators screening.
|Gregory Bair-Caruso is a Culinary R&D Technologist, specializing in frozen food. He is also one of the Festival’s emcees and a Flatirons Food Film Festival board member.
|Sara Brito is a food lover with a zest for life. She’s also the co-founder of the Good Food Media Network, publisher of the Good Food 100 Restaurants™, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to cultivate a conversation and community around the people and businesses changing the food system for good. She will discuss sexism in the restaurant industry with Beth Gruitch during A #MeToo Look at the Restaurant Industry.
|Tim Brod is the owner and operator of Highland Honey, a Boulder commercial bee keeper, and an educator and advocate for honey bees and pollinators. Tim has worked with honey bees and agricultural development concerns all over the world. He will deliver a talk on cultivating pollinators in gardens and farms, introduce The Pollinators, and participate on a panel discussion after the film.
|Megan Bucholz is the founding foodie of Local Table Tours, which provides culinary tours in Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins. Megan will guide the Downtown Boulder Tacos and Tequila Tour, is one of the Festival’s emcees, and is a former Flatirons Food Film Festival board member.
|Stef Ferrari is a three-time Emmy-winning, James Beard Award-nominated producer of The Migrant Kitchen series as well as Senior Editor of Life & Thyme. She is also the author of an ice cream cookbook as well as A Woman’s Place, which explores overlooked women in culinary history. Today, Stef specializes in Italian food history and culture. She will introduce the Omotenashi and The Jewish Deli episodes of The Migrant Kitchen series and discuss immigrant culinary contributions to our culture and producing series.
|Reel Kids faculty member Peter Garland is the owner and creative force behind Brave Knight Media. He has over 25 years of experience as a visual effects artist and filmmaker. He will participate in the Filmmaking for Kids program.
|Beth Gruitch is a partner in the Crafted Concepts restaurant group. A Colorado native, she has a degree in hospitality from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. After managing some of the high-end concepts of Levy Restaurants in Chicago, a move to Panzano in Colorado led to her partnership with Jennifer Jasinski and their flagship restaurant Rioja followed by Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall, Stoic & Genuine, and Ultreia. She will discuss sexism in the restaurant industry with Sara Brito during A #MeToo Look at the Restaurant Industry.
|Reel Kids faculty member Jocelyn Leroux is a lifelong dancer, actress and choreographer. Her choreography has been seen in dozens of film, television, and theatrical projects, ranging from One Tree Hill to Cape Fear to Shakespeare productions. Jocelyn is also a filmmaker who is working on a documentary on the rare genetic disorder Wolfram syndrome. She will participate in the Filmmaking for Kids program.
|Reel Kids faculty member Kelly McAllister is a playwright, screenwriter, actor, and director. He has written numerous plays that have been produced locally and internationally, some of which have won awards. He will participate in the Filmmaking for Kids program.
|Sole Mingo-Ordóñez works for Peggy Markel’s Culinary Adventures, helping create food and culture-centered trips in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and India. A world traveler and foodie, she joined the company in 2014 after taking a culinary trip to Morocco that was a feast for the senses.
|Douglas Mpondi is an Associate Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado where he teaches Continental Africa courses. He received his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, an MA in African Studies at Ohio University, and an MA in African Languages and Literature at the University of Zimbabwe. His main areas of research include identity politics and cultural struggles, and social media and cultural change in Zimbabwe. He will introduce Cook Off.
|In addition to being the fifth bald Master Sommelier in the US, Sabato Sagaria has helped run some of the leading restaurant and wine programs around the country, including those at The Greenbrier, Inn at Little Washington, The Little Nell, and Union Square Hospitality Group where he most recently served as the company’s first-ever Chief Restaurant Officer. In his current role as President of bartaco, Sabato oversees the concept’s overall vision and growth. When not eating tacos and tasting tequila (a.k.a., his day job), he can be found drinking really, really delicious wine. Sabato has appeared in all three films in the SOMM film series. He will participate in a Q&A after the SOMM 3 screening.
|Madison Santamaria is a third-year film student attending the University of Colorado Denver. Her passion drives her to share the stories left too often untold, showcasing minorities of gender and race at the heart of each of her films. As a female Asian-American director, she stands proudly as part of the movement towards equal representation, proving that regardless of who you are or what you look like, your story deserves to be told. She will introduce Yubikiri, the winner of our Colorado Student Film Contest.
|Sophia Schelle hails from rural Colorado and is graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Media Production. She has extensive experience in marketing and media creation. Sophia is a filmmaker, hustler, and nature lover. She will introduce Control, a winner of our Colorado Student Film Contest, with her co-director, Aabriti Shrestha.
|Aabriti Shrestha considers herself a multimedia artist and a passionate female filmmaker. She recently graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Media Production. She grew up in Longmont, Colorado and has a love for hard work, puppies, and bad puns. She will introduce Control, a winner of our Colorado Student Film Contest, with her co-director, Sophia Schelle.
|A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Jesusio Silva is primarily known as a leading local sushi chef. What many do not know is his ramen-making expertise. Jesusio has worked at some of the most respected Denver Japanese restaurants, such as Sushi Sasa, Osaka Ramen, and his own Misaki Sushi restaurants. He will introduce Tampopo.
|Eric Skokan owns and operates the largest full-scale farm and restaurant operation in the US with his wife Jill. They run two award-winning Boulder restaurants, Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro and Bramble and Hare, and a 425-acre certified organic and biodynamic farm with more than 300 sheep,120 pigs, and 250 vegetable and grain varieties. Eric is also the chef of the restaurants. He will introduce Biggest Little Farm with Jill. They will participate in a discussion about their own biggest little farm after the screening.
|Jill Skokan owns and operates the largest full-scale farm and restaurant operation in the country with her husband Eric. They run two award-winning Boulder restaurants, Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro and Bramble and Hare, and a 425-acre certified organic and biodynamic farm with more than 300 sheep, 120 pigs, and 250 vegetable and grain varieties. He will introduce Biggest Little Farm with Jill. They will participate in a discussion about their own biggest little farm after the screening.
|Raymond Snead is the founder and owner of Cocktailpunk, a Boulder-based bitters company. A serial enthusiast, his cocktail obsession followed a lifelong interest in wine. He was Employee #1 at the original Boulder Wine Merchant in 1980, later a wine consultant, and has managed a bipolar career veering between drinking and computer science ever since. He will moderate the Q&A after the SOMM 3 screening.
|Bobby Stuckey is a Master Sommelier and a leader of the hospitality industry. He has worked at some of the leading restaurants in the US, such as The French Laundry and The Little Nell, but reached the apex of his profession as the co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine. In 2008, Bobby was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional award. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Frasca Food and Wine was nominated for the Outstanding Wine Service award, winning the prestigious award in 2013. He is also co-owner of Tavernetta, Pizzeria Locale Boulder, Pizzeria Locale Denver, Cincinnati & Kansas City, Scarpetta Wines, and Squadra Wines. He will participate in a Q&A after the SOMM 3 screening.
|Tom Theobald has been a leading beekeeper in Boulder County for over 40 years. He owns the Niwot Honey Farm in Niwot, Colorado. He was one of the founders of the Boulder County Beekeepers’ Association in 1975 and served as their president for 30 years. Tom has been active in beekeeping issues locally, nationally and internationally throughout his career as a beekeeper. He will participate in a panel discussion after The Pollinators screening.
|Dustin Wilson is a Master Sommelier based in New York City and co-founder of Verve Wine. His career spans some of the top restaurants across the US – Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, The Little Nell in Aspen, and RN74 in San Francisco. Dustin is best-known for his position as Wine Director of the 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. This expertise led him to have a leading role in the critically acclaimed wine documentary, SOMM. He was later featured in the film’s sequels, SOMM: Into the Bottle and SOMM 3. Dustin will introduce SOMM 3 and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
|James Beard Best Chef West semi-finalist Claudette Zepeda is a San Diego-based chef most recently known for her time as the executive chef and partner behind El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in San Diego. During her tenure, El Jardín received a glowing review from the New York Times, inclusion on Esquire Magazine’s 2018 Best New Restaurants, and recognition from Michelin on their 2019 Bib Gourmand list. Known for her fearless culinary style and bold approach to regional Mexican cuisine, Claudette was a former Top Chef Season 15 competitor in Denver. She will introduce Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy and participate in a discussion after the film screening.
|A native Romanian who moved to Denver in 2001, Andra Zeppelin transitioned from being a lawyer to a writing career focused on food, art, and travel. She currently serves as art editor at Colorado Homes & Lifestyles while always surveying the local, national, and international scene for the best new restaurants. She will moderate the discussion after the Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy screening.