The Obamas’ White House Chef Sam Kass Opens Devour! The Food Film Fest


October 23 – 28 Wolfville, Kings County, NS

– First round of tickets are on sale now at

Wolfville, NS (August 28, 2018) – The world’s largest culinary film festival, Devour! The Food Film Fest (Devour!) is pleased to announce Sam Kass, White House Chef for the Obama family and healthy food advocate, as the guest curator for the 2018 Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, October 24 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.The Chicago-born chef is a natural fit with the festival’s 2018 themes: “The Power of Food and Film to Transform” and the regional focus of “Chicago,” spotlighting some of the city’s best chefs and culinary films. Kass, who also served at the White House as President Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition, Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, and co-creator of the White House’s first major vegetable garden released his first cookbook in 2018: Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World, promoting healthy and sustainable eating.

“Sam Kass is a change-maker who has tackled the issue of childhood obesity, helping to dramatically improve the nutritional value of school lunches America-wide and has challenged the way people think about food,” said Devour! Executive Director Michael Howell. “It’s only fitting that he help open this year’s festival as our guest curator as festival goers discover the ‘Power of Food and Film to Transform.’”

To highlight the Chicago sub-theme, Devour! is showcasing the full depth of the iconic city’s food scene. The Food Film Fest is going beyond the drool-worthy deep-dish pizza and welcoming culinary guests ranging from Michelin Star Chefs to BBQ aficionados.

Limited tickets to the highly anticipated eighth edition of Devour! The Food Film Fest are on-sale now and range in price from $10 to $999 (plus applicable taxes). Devour! also offers a round-trip shuttle from Halifax to Wolfville for $20. For more information or to purchase tickets visit

Devour! is digitally enhancing the guest experience with a newly launched festival app, Devour! The Food Film Fest App, powered by Greencopper.  The app makes it easy for attendees to plan their experience, purchase tickets and dig into all the event has to offer. Devour! The App will be available for free download on iTunes and Google Play mid-September.

Further underscoring the festival’s 2018 theme, Devour! will present a series of films that explore ground-breaking chefs and issues facing the culinary industry that inspire, challenge the status quo and promote impactful change.

The feature-length documentary Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story from director Phillip Baribeau will screen at the Spotlight Gala on Friday, October 26. The film profiles Chef Garcia’s inspiring recovery and rehabilitation following a freak electrical accident while hiking in Montana’s backcountry. Garcia will be attending the festival as a featured chef and will participate in the Celebrity Chef Dinner, alongside other top chefs still to be announced, on Friday evening following the screening.

Devour! is proud to be closing the festival with a feature drama from a prominent Nova Scotia director. Splinters is an intimate drama about sexual identity, family and life in small-town Nova Scotia, filmed on an apple farm in the Annapolis Valley, mere minutes from the film fest’s location.

“We’re thrilled to finally present a feature drama filmed right here at home that marries well with the festival’s niche, and by a venerated director and our friend, Thom Fitzgerald, no less,” says Managing Director Lia Rinaldo. “This year’s film program is one of our most diverse to date and we’re looking forward to revealing much more in the weeks to come.”

Stay tuned for additional programming announcements featuring a complete list of participating chefs, Devour!’s entire film program, industry workshops and more in the coming weeks.


About Devour!

Combining cinematic talent with extraordinary gastronomic activities, Devour! The Food Film Fest is the world’s largest film festival focused on food and drink. The annual six-day festival hosts 100+ events, high profile chefs and celebrated filmmakers from around the world and, in 2017, attracted almost 11,000 food and film lovers to Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. The festival has become a destination and attracted celebrities and notable chefs including Jason Priestley, Anthony Bourdain, Jacques Pépin, Dominique Crenn, Chuck Hughes, Michael Städtlander, Normand Laprise, Michael Smith, John Higgins, Gordon Pinsent and Bill Pullman to name a few. Each year, a major icon kicks off the festivities and top chefs from across Canada and around the world collaborate on a special Gala Dinner.


Only one hour from Halifax and Stanfield International Airport, Devour! takes place in the culinary epicenter of Nova Scotia. Wolfville, Kings County is home to a thriving wine industry, fertile farmland and is known as the agricultural heartland of the province. A rich cultural landscape infuses the region and its people with a respect for the surrounding riches. No scene could be more fitting for Devour!


“Everything about it was as promised; from beginning to end. It was special in every way: the housing; hosts; the chefs and their presentations, and – without fail – the ever-present flow of street life, and new friendships everywhere we turned. There was not a wrong step in any of it. I thought I was home.”

– Gordon Pinsent, 2017 Devour! The Food Film Fest Guest Curator

Devour! The Food Film Fest recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

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