NOTHING FANCY: DIANA KENNEDY
Revered doyenne of Mexican cuisine Diana Kennedy is the subject of this saucy doc, which spotlights the chef’s fiery devotion to traditional cooking and sustainability.
A quote at the beginning of this loving documentary portrait gets to the dichotomy essential to culinary legend Diana Kennedy: “If her enthusiasm were not beautiful, it would border on mania.” At 96, Kennedy is still a foul-mouthed, opinionated spitfire with the zestful energy of someone one-fifth her age. A British expatriate who’s been immersing herself in the cooking traditions of Mexico for over six decades, Kennedy is a reverent student of Mexican cuisine who has devoted her life to mastering and disseminating the country’s regional dishes and classic techniques. Also ahead of her time in the push for organic farming and sustainability, she remains as unapologetically, entertainingly browbeating about humanity’s dire need to change its wasteful ways as she is about the proper way to make guacamole (hint: no garlic). Despite her obvious vigor, Kennedy is remarkably open about her own mortality and acutely concerned with the legacy she’ll leave behind. From director Elizabeth Carroll, Nothing Fancy is a frank, funny, and inspiring examination of a woman for whom the way we eat and the way we live are inextricably entwined.
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