If you had to invent a food themed after a favorite movie, what would it be? You can taste the inventive answers by some of San Antonio’s top chefs at Cocktails for Cinema II this Saturday, April 4. This clever twist on dinner and a movie benefits the San Antonio Film Festival (SAFilm), which is now in its 21st season.
“We are representing South Texas. We have a lot of great filmmakers coming up, and we showcase San Antonio filmmakers alongside filmmakers from Los Angeles, New York, and all over the world,” said SAFilm Executive Director Adam Rocha, who founded the festival in 1994.
This year’s film festival takes place August 5-9, and further details will be announced in June.
Edible San Antonio, local bartenders, and the chefs from the San Antonio Chef Cooperatives are raising the bar high above buttered popcorn and soda in order to support independent cinema in South Texas. For $55, guests can enjoy eight chef-driven food stations and craft cocktail bars, as well as beer and wine tastings.
“Chefs are the new rock stars,” Rocha said in praise of the lineup.
The poetically phrased “Subtly Roasted Wild Hen with Poblanos, Rose Water, Toasted Walnut Sauce, and Chihuahuan Pesto,” is easy to match with the sensually arousing movie, “Like Water for Chocolate.” Chef Chuck Hernandez will be preparing this dish. Hernandez will open his new restaurant, O’liva, in the historic Plaza de Armas building located downtown near City Hall this fall.
Inspired by the Cubanito in the movie “Chef,” Chef Jeff White of Boiler House is preparing “House-made Corned Beef Cubans with JW’s World Famous Butter Pickles, Beer Cheese, and Bone Marrow Dijonnaise.” Chef Tobias Soto presents “Humo’s Medianoche & Open-Face Braised Pork Waffle Slider with Charred Pepper Fondue,” in reference to the “pig burger” that everybody wants in “Better off Dead.”
It’s hard to imagine “Deliverance” as a candidate, until reading the quote, “Squeal like a pig!” For that notorious scene, chef Kathy Pullin, of Pullin Premium BBQ, is preparing the sure to-be-renowned “Candied Pork Belly Cubes.” You can wash these down with a “Blood Moon Float,” a blood orange sorbet in a Blue Moon beer, inspired by the movie, “From Dusk Till Dawn,” prepared by Chef James Whitson of Brindles Awesome Ice Creams.
Chef Stephen Paprocki’s dish sounds like an action adventure. “Blow Torched Gulf Oysters with Local Sprout Kale & Texas Black Gold Garlic,” is inspired from a risqué scene in the 1960 classic, “Spartacus.”
“This event’s exciting to us,” said Paprocki, who heads the nonprofit San Antonio Chef Cooperatives, the group of chefs who is cooking for the event. “They lost their funding from the city, that’s why it intrigued us,” said Paprocki, who is also personally contributing all of the ingredients for his dish. “To hear another part of the arts losing their funding, we wanted to help out.”
Paprocki, who works as a chef at NuStar Energy LP headquarters said the SA Chef Cooperative started off by helping local farmers.
“(A group of 14 chefs) started out wanting to help the local farms. You want to keep the money in the state, so every three months, we give back to a local farm.” But in addition to helping local farmers add to and repair their facilities, these chefs also give their time, money, and skills to raise funds for other non-profits, including the San Antonio Aids Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas.
“Even in the events that we do, we only buy from local farms, so the biggest thing is that we’re still supporting local, we’re still supporting farmers, showcasing their bounty and still helping another 501(c)3. We don’t take it back,” he said.
In keeping with the locally sourced food, bartender Johnny Yumol, of The Paramour bar, says they will feature “home-grown” beer cocktails with beer from San Antonio breweries such as Alamo Beer Company. Other bartenders include Derik Cortez of George’s Keep, Hilary Woodhouse of The Brooklynite, Andy Hack of H&C Ice Co., Josh Brock of TBA, David Naylor of Park Social, and Nick Kenna of Dorćol Distilling Company.
The bartenders will also work with Texas Prickly Pear Cactus and Texas Jalapeno Moonshine from Hill Country Distillers.
“These are exciting, new cocktails that have never been made before, made especially for this event,” said Angela Covo, editor-in-chief of Edible. “You won’t be able to taste them anywhere else.”
Live music will be played by the Parallelephants. “They’re a funk and R&B trio who are about to explode on the scene,” Rocha said.
Musical stylings will be provided by DJ Smartypants. Other sponsors include Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Alamo Beer Company, and Kuhlman Cellars. Rocha promises a list of silent auction items and appearances by local celebrities such Jesse Borrego of “Blood In, Blood Out.”
The event takes place from 7-10 p.m. on April 4 in the Great Ballroom at the new Holiday Inn, 5535 University Heights and Silicon Road, near the University of Texas at San Antonio. Tickets can be purchased here for $55.
*Featured/top image: Huge vat of Rakia with SAFILM logo in the background at Cocktails for Cinema held at Dorćol Distilling Co. Photo by Adam Rocha.