September 7, 2023, Wolfville, NS – From ratatouille, foie gras, rappie pie to jambalaya, the 13th Annual Devour! The Food Film Fest brings the best French, Acadian, Québecois, Cajun and Creole cuisine and culture together in a transformative food and film experience. From October 23-29, Michelin-starred Alsatian Chef Gabriel Kreuther from New York, legend of New Orleans’ Cajun cuisine Chef Megan “Meg” Bickford of The Commander’s Palace, the rising stars of Acadian cuisine Chef Gene Cormier of Euston Park Social from Moncton and Chef Shane Robicheau from Nova Scotia, and world-renowned filmmakers, will come together in person to explore the roots and future of French cuisine on screen and the plate.
Devour! The Food Film Festival takes place in Wolfville, Nova Scotia’s agricultural and wine heartland and home to the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. This year’s festival includes 58 events, 45 films, 24 screenings, Celebrity Chef gala dinners, 16 culinary workshops, experiential foraging and farming tours, and live music events, including a zydeco band straight from Lafayette, Louisiana, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, and so much more.
Acadian director Phil Comeau will open this year’s festival with his film Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart. In this film, world-renowned singer Zachary Richard is on a quest to understand the trials and tribulations of his ancestors, why Acadians and Cajuns are such resilient people and the pertinence of the Acadian identity today. This year’s closing film, Food and Country, is a post-COVID documentary on the restaurant business created by celebrated NY Times food critic Ruth Reichl.
Working with key French partners, Consulat général de France à Moncton et Halifax, the Government of the French Republic, represented by the Prefecture of Saint-Pierre & Miquelon, Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage – Office of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, Bureau du Québec dans les Provinces Atlantiques, Centre de la francophonie des Amériques, United States Consulate General – Halifax, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, Le Congrès Mondial Acadien, Alliance Française Halifax, and the Landscape of Grand Pré, this year’s festival will also have three themed days including Fête du Québec (Thursday, Oct. 26) France Day, (Friday, Oct. 27), Le Congrès Mondial Acadien Day Celebrating Acadian and Cajun Culture and Food, (Saturday, Oct. 28).
A delegation of Québec’s best food producers, chefs, food experts, and manufacturers will help us uncover the gastronomy of Québec alongside longtime festival favourite Chef Renée Lavallée, who originally hails from Québec. The rising stars of Acadian cuisine, Chefs Shane Robicheau (NS), Paul
Thimot (NS) and Gene Cormier (NB), will go head to head with Chef Patrick Mould from Lafayette to host the Saturday Acadian-Cajun food showdown at the Devour! Fais do-do and later that evening, Joe Martin (NS), Max Daigle (NB), and Robert Pendergast (PEI), will create a gigantic Acadian Flag out of fresh seafood at the Acadian Cajun Zydeco party.
Esteemed French chefs from Lyon, France and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon – Pierre Michael Martin of the celebrated Le Pimousse in Lyon, award-winning pastry Chef Christophe Measson, now the resident Executive Pastry Chef at the Shaw Ottawa Convention Centre, and Chef Nathalie Goupilliere from Saint-Pierre & Miquelon will bring their passion and mouth-watering creations to this year’s Festival.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring together both Michelin Star Chefs and rising stars of global gastronomy to explore the influences and impact of Acadian, Cajun, Creole and Québecois cuisine on French food and culture,” says Chef Michael Howell, Executive Director of Devour! “How the permutations of French cuisine have peppered the international culinary scene shows the depth of importance that French cooking has had on the world, from simple bistro to bayou cuisine from Louisiana to the Michelin Star experience.”
“This year’s program offers our Devour! guests a true chance to explore food and film, from major French film dramas to fascinating documentaries about striving for Michelin stars as a female chef in a male-dominated universe to the unique culture and tastes of Creole and Cajun cuisine in Louisiana, a true ethnic melting pot,” says Managing Director Lia Rinaldo.
- Devour! Opening Gala Reception presented by Taste of Nova Scotia (Oct. 25)- Twenty-three of Nova Scotia’s finest restaurants and beverage purveyors are coming together to create a sensory exploration to celebrate French Cuisine et Culture.
- North American premieres of She Chef, directed by Melanie Liebheit and Gereon Wetzel, tells the story of twentysomething Chef Agne’s ambitious journey in the world’s male-dominated restaurant scene and The Most Remote Restaurant in the World, directed by Ole Juncker, takes us on an epic adventure when Chef Poul Andrias Ziska and the team behind the Michelin two-starred Faroese restaurant KOK decide to move the entire restaurant to a remote settlement in Greenland.
- The world premiere of Moncton filmmakers René Savoie and Louis-Philippe Chiasson’s Treasures of the Bayous (Trésors des bayous) followed by a Panel Discussion on Acadian & Cajun Food Culture hosted by Dr. Sylvain Charlebois.
- The Atlantic Premiere of The Pot au Feu (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant), a French love story set in 1885 featuring Juliette Binoche, joins a number of other strong dramas from France, including Hard Shell, Soft Shell (Fragile) directed by Emma Benestan, Sugar and Stars (À la belle étoile) directed by Tran Anh Hung.
- Spotlight on Québec Gala Film: The Dishwasher (Le Plongeur) (Oct. 26)- The culmination of Québec Day has Chefs pulling their inspiration from Francis Leclerc’s gritty new drama from the streets of Montréal, Le Plongeur. Chefs: Gabriel Kreuther, Renée Lavallée, Natalie Goupilliere & Christophe Measson will create a dinner based on the film.
- Devour! Chefs & Shorts Gala Dinner (Oct. 27)- At our signature event, each dish in this five-course dinner is inspired by a corresponding short film screened in the Studios with the diners created by chefs Shane Robicheau, Gene Cormier, Stephen Stryjewski, Meg Bickford & Pierre Michael Martin. This year’s films include: Pane directed by Odveig Klyve; Pomological directed by Sebastian Ko; The Castro Family Recipe: Pozole Rojo, directed by Daniel Klein; Chef de Partie directed by Ágúst Þór Hafsteinsson; Oh Sirop directed by Marie Côté
- The Big Picture Program: Youth Screenings & Culinary Master Classes with Nourish NS (Oct 23-24) will inspire grade 7-12 students to think differently about food and provide hands-on cooking classes led by NSCC Chef Peter Dewar and Chef Paul Thimot. This year’s films include The Orchard, which follows the lifecycle of an apple from May to September and features the Valley’s own Bishop Family (Noggins Corner Farm and Taproot Farm). Cafétéria is a story of how a primary school in Cocagne in Southeastern New Brunswick rallies a community to improve the cafeteria menu.
- Two Bourbon Brunches at Le Caveau Restaurant at Domaine de Grand Pré Winery with different chef line-ups
- Nightly ticketed parties with live music from Lousianna, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Québec at Devour! Studios from Thursday-Saturday
Festival favourites like the Devour! Chowder Smackdown; Le Marché de Blomidon hosted by Canadian Culinary Students (formerly the Street Food Rally); Le Tour de l’Acadie (bike ride), the Great Devour! Cajun Chicken Community Supper, in support of regional food banks, will be back and offer a family and budget-friendly way to experience this year’s Festival.
The full program, ticket information, and VIP and Weekend getaway packages with the Old Orchard Inn are available at www.devourfest.com.