© Photo courtesy of Chef Abraham Salum
Source: USA Film Festival | 3/30/16 | Dallas
The title of one of our favorite films from the 1960s inspired the name for the USA Film Festival's annual fundraiser - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? The annual event will be held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 6:30pm, at Salum restaurant, 4152 Cole Avenue, Dallas, and will serve as the kick-off event for the 46th Annual USA Film Festival, April 20-24, 2016.
The evening will feature visiting guest chef Vivian Howard, star of the award-winning PBS food series A Chef's Life. Chef Vivian will prepare a multi-course meal featuring locally-sourced ingredients provided by event sponsor Whole Foods Market and featuring wine pairings. Chef Vivian will introduce each course and a guest sommelier will introduce the wine pairings.
The event will be hosted by USA Film Festival Board Member and restaurateur Chef Abraham Salum who will close his eponymous restaurant for the evening. "This is now the third year we have hosted this tasty event which celebrates great food and the media arts," said Chef Abraham. "We can't wait to introduce Chef Vivian to Dallas!" Co-Chairs for the event are USA Film Festival Board members Kristen Schor, Laura Fox Williamson and Susan Haddad.
About Chef Vivian -- Born in Deep Run, NC, to tobacco and hog farming parents, Vivian Howard learned early on to appreciate the ebb and flow of eating with the seasons. Still, it took 23 years and a start in the advertising business to convince her a career in food was feasible. After college, Vivian moved to New York for work, but found the City's food and restaurant scene far more intriguing. A server position at Greenwich Village's, Voyage, made it possible for her to begin trailing under the restaurant's Chef, Scott Barton. She went on to learn from creative, cutting edge Chef's Wylie Dufresne and Sam Mason at WD50 and later, was a member of the opening team at JeanGeorges Vongerichten's Spice Market.
In 2005, Vivian, and her now husband, Ben Knight decided to return to Vivian's roots to open a farm to fork restaurant in the small town of Kinston, NC. They opened Chef & the Farmer in the summer of 2006 serving local, seasonal, creative cuisine. Nine years in, Vivian and her restaurant have won numerous accolades, including her selection as a 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 James Beard semifinalist. She has also opened a second restaurant right across the street from Chef & the Farmer, called The Boiler Room.
In 2012 Vivian approached her childhood neighbor turned filmmaker, Cynthia Hill, about directing a documentary film series about Eastern North Carolina's food traditions. Three years later, the two women have produced 3 seasons of "A Chef's Life," a PBS series that celebrates family, work and food. In its first two seasons, "A Chef's Life" won a Peabody Award, a Daytime Emmy and was nominated for 4 James Beard Awards (more than any other television series). Season 3 began in September 2015.
Vivian is currently at work on the first of two cookbooks to be published by Little, Brown in October of 2016 as well as the 4th Season of "A Chef's Life." Vivian's book "Deep Run Roots" will be published by Little Brown in Fall 2016.
Tickets to the fundraising event are $150 each and include dinner and wine pairings and are available by contacting the USA Film Festival at 214-821-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions are tax-deductible. Proceeds benefit the programs and operations of the USA Film Festival.
ABOUT THE USA FILM FESTIVAL -- Now celebrating its 46th year, the USA Film Festival is a Dallas-based 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in the film and video arts. The Festival's year-round programs and events include KidFilm®, monthly programs and premieres, and the USA Film Festival held each spring. The USA Film Festival is supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.
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