‘A Fine Line’ for female chefs

It was a feast for the eyes and the palate at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville last month.

The nonprofit hosted a special screening of “A Fine Line,” a documentary that follows filmmaker Joanna James as she explores why only 6 percent of head chefs and restaurant owners are women.

In the film, James juxtaposes recollections of her own single mother’s experiences as a small-town chef with interviews with women chefs, including April Bloomfield, Cat Cora and Maria Loi.
“I was inspired to make this movie, because I was raised seeing my mother do what she loves so well, yet many times facing such hard circumstances along her journey,” James said. “So all these years later, becoming a mother myself while my mother continued to be a success as a restaurateur and pillar in her community, I realized that what she did was no easy feat.”

James added that the film “sheds light on what has systematically prevented more women from getting into restaurant leadership” and that those issues “are many of the same obstacles that apply to industries across the board.”

Part of the theater’s “Film to Table” series, the event also included a question and answer session with the filmmaker, her mother and film subject Valerie James, and author and chef Maria Loi.
A tasting reception, “Celebrating Women Chefs and Greek Cuisine,” followed the panel.

For more information, visit afinelinemovie.com.

– Aleesia Forni

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