When one thinks of food and film, it is usually a date night: either an early movie with post-viewing debate/discussion about the film’s finer and lesser moments over pasta and wine or, vice versa, letting your server know that you are catching a movie in a hour and to speed the plough.

Wouldn’t it be cool to just head to the theater hungry, knowing that food—and drinks, for that matter—will come to you while you watch?! I know! Enter the seventh annual NYC Food Film Festival benefiting the Food Bank for New York City. Held from Oct. 23-27 by a convivial band of souls, the festival pulled at all of our strings—the heart, the mind and the belly.

There were so many great events going on over the five-day festival that it was hard to choose which ones I wanted to attend. Thank goodness that choice was not mine, lest I’d be at every single one of them.

The festival opened with a sobering tribute to the men and women fighting oversees for our country and the food that most makes them think of home: barbecue. Directed by John Markus, “The Kings of BBQ: Barbecue Kuwait” documents the most legendary barbecue pitmasters in America as they travel to the Middle East and cook a memorable, home-style meal for thousands of stationed troops. For the viewers, a barbecue brisket dinner!

Next up was my sole event, “Edible Adventure #008: The Surprise Inside.” And an event it was! We were taken on a food journey before, during and after the films. I couldn’t have chosen better myself. We arrived to the AMC 66 to a live DJ, a glass of Frei Brothers wine and a few vendors to whet our appetite. Nuchas Empanadas had their assorted wares, Bamboo Bites served up sticky rice and then … there they were … Caracas (@CaracasArepaBar) with two of their delicious eats: “Though Love,” featuring pulled pork, and my new fave, “La del Gato,” with Guayanes cheese, fried sweet plantain and avocado slices in a white corn cake. I should have gotten another.

Then, after grabbing some IPA beers from the in-theater bar, the screening went a little something like this (film/food):

  • “Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada:” fish tacos from @PampanoNYC
  • Dumpling Tales:” dumplings from @RedFarmNYC and @TaldeBrooklyn (pretzel dumplings!)
  • Perogy!:” pierogi from @VeselkaNYC
  • JoJo’s Sriracha:” a sample of the homemade hot stuff
  • Prohibition Bakery:” @ProhibitionBake’s Pretzel & Beer cupcake made with pale ale, Nutella and white truffle (the freakin’ truth!)
  • One Macaron at a Time:” lemon macaron from @MacaronParlour
  • “Sweet Legacy:” banana with bruleed sugar from @DoughBrooklyn.

The after-party had even more food to be eaten, which only made me wonder what the other Food Film Festival events had in store, like “Untitled I,” about the art and craft of great food; “Cook, Pray, Eat,” about serving 100,000 meals at the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar; and then the signature events “The Food Porn Party” and “Farm to Film to Table.” It is always a fun and delicious time in New York City!

The festival is off to Chicago now, so Chicagoans, get the tickets while they are hot. New Yorkers, next year, do not sleep! Get your tickets early and have a date night for a good cause.

Thank you, @FoodFilmFest! See you next year!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl, her Facebook SCHOPnyc, or chat with her on Instant Messenger at AskSCHOP, Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. For even more recipes, tips and food musings, subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.