It’s almost a given that a love for Indian cinema will eventually lead to a love of Indian food – so it’s no surprise that the TIFF Bell Lightbox has chosen to open their Food on Film series – a six-film event exploring food through film — with Ritesh Batra’s delightful 2013 film The Lunchbox. The film is lovely and funny and incredibly touching, and shows how a mis-delivered tiffin (lunchbox) brings together two seemingly disparate people — a neglected housewife (Nimrat Kaur) and a gruff widower (Irrfan Khan) on the verge of retirement from his civil service job — together.
Added to the joy of seeing a film is the fact that the series features a line-up of culinary experts who will engage in discussion of the films culinary themes, led by Toronto CBC morning host Matt Galloway.
Indian-born chefs, cookbook authors and restaurateurs Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala will be on hand to explore the art behind crafting Indian dishes and the popular rise of integrating home-style cooking into restaurant cuisine.
Vij and Dhalwala are husband and wife co-owners of Vij’s Restaurant and Rangoli Restaurant in Vancouver. Vij is a television personality on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, and Dhalwala has worked with various international non-profit organizations on human rights and economic development projects.
Visiting their Vancouver restaurant has long been on my wishlist, and their cookbook, Vij’s at Home, with its wealth of information and its emphasis on easy, healthy meals, is one I reach for often. They are a perfect pairing for The Lunchbox!
The Lunchbox will be screened on Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West in Toronto).
Other films in the series include:
April 1st — The Gleaners and I (dir. Agnès Varda | France 2000 | 82 min. | G) with James Beard Award-winning travel writer and culinary anthropologist Naomi Duguid.
April 22 – Somm (dir. Jason Wise | France/Germany/Italy/USA 2012 | 103 min. | G) with Momofuku’s beverage director and Master Sommelier candidate Jordan Salcito.
May 13 – Delicatessen (dirs. Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro | France 1991 | 99 min. | 14A) with Wylie Dufresne, James Beard Award-winning chef and the leading American proponent of molecular gastronomy.
June 13 — The Grain Divide (dir. JD McLelland | USA 2015 | 120 min. | G) with Chad Robertson, James Beard Award-winning baker and co-owner of San Francisco’s legendary Tartine Bakery.
June 24 – Meatballs (dir. Ivan Reitman | Canada 1979 | 99 min. | PG) with California cuisine pioneer Jonathan Waxman.
For more information on the Food on Film series, check out the TIFF Bell Lightbox website.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of TIFF Film Reference Library )