Dining is a feast of the eyes, nose, mouth and now ears. Toronto’s Mary Luz Mejia along with her husband Mario Stojanac and business partners have created Reel Eats, a monthly movie-themed dining event that is enhanced by story-telling related to the movie’s theme. The inaugural Reel Eats event was held on January 29, 2012 at Aphrodite Cooks and included the screening of Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman. The Academy-Award-nominated film provided the inspiration for an Asian-themed dinner prepared by Chef Vanessa Yeung, as well as story-telling related to the movie’s theme of ‘food as love.’
Co-creator and co-host Mejia revealed the motivation behind Reel Eats: “I have been a fan of food, films and community around food and this event gives me the opportunity to create an environment where other like-minded people can enjoy the same.” Participants, who at the first event ranged from twenty-somethings to seniors, sit at communal tables and enjoy a gourmet dinner while a culinary-themed movie plays in the background. (Guests are encouraged to watch the movie beforehand since dinner conversation and story-telling by Toronto playwrights, actors and writers are interspersed throughout the evening.) Writer Carol Devine shared stories at the January inaugural event. In addition, raffle prizes are drawn throughout the evening.
The next Reel Eats event will take place at The Big Ragu at 1338 Lansdowne Avenue (at St. Clair Ave. W.) with a showing of Campbell Scott’s and Stanley Tucci’s The Big Night, the story of two Italian brothers who want to open an authentic Italian restaurant in America. The Big Ragu’s Juno-award-winning chef Carmine Accogli will offer an Italian menu that includes:
- Brodo di tacchino – turkey broth with aromatic vegetables
- Risotto all’Italiano – three risottos including spinach, cream and tomato
- Timpano – a layered pasta drum with meats, cheeses, pastas and greens
- Cognillio alla cacciatora – local rabbit braised in a red wine sofritto
- Porchetta che birone – roasted suckling pig with rosemary and other ingredients
- Cannoli – made by Barbara Accogli of Cake Star
Tickets for each Reel Eats event are $75, which includes tax. Wine pairings are an additional $25; however, wine may also be purchased by the glass. There are only 40 tickets available for the second Reel Eats event (the first event sold out). Purchase tickets by e-mailing Mary Luz at email@example.com or by calling 416-992-2644.