Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy
Directed by: Elizabeth Carroll
USA/Mexico, 2019, 74m
Feisty and fearless, demanding and unsentimental, outspoken yet old-fashioned, a teacher, an advocate, and a culinary anthropologist who self-identifies as an “ethno-gastronomer,” the 97-year-old British-born Diana Kennedy knows more about Mexican food than anyone else. She has been called “a prophet for Mexican food” and “an Indiana Jones of food.” “If her enthusiasm were not beautiful, it would border on mania,” says Craig Claiborne. Mrs. Kennedy has spent most of her life researching and documenting the local dishes from every corner of Mexico. The recipes in her many cookbooks are not interpreted or adjusted. She simply chronicles, preserving and sharing an indigenous food culture by writing it down, often for the first time. Following her daily routine, Elizabeth Carroll has created a terrific portrait of a real character complete with the nonagenarian’s wit, wisdom, and relish for life. Still crossing Mexico in a beat-up pickup with a standard transmission, this independent and influential woman is an inspiration and a delight.
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