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    A Tasty Time Among the Redwoods with Rock Star Chef & Filmmaker Elizabeth Falkner

    By Liam P. Mayclem–

    Bucolic Boon Hotel + Spa  in Guerneville on the Russian River was the setting for two recent special events featuring Chef Elizabeth Falkner (formerly of Citizen Cake & Orson SF), who in 2020, right before the pandemic hit, moved from New York back home to Southern California.

    The rock star chef was on hand for a Q&A following an outdoor screening of her recently finished documentary Sorry We’re Closed. The restaurant A 16 provided the pizza and Chef Falkner made chocolate chip cookies for the 150 attendees.

    On the second night, Chef Falkner was joined by an impressive lineup of female chefs for a feast under the stars. Allow me to drop a few of the chefs’ names: Shirley Chung, Duskie Estes, Domenica Catelli, and our host Crista Luedtke of Boon. Bay Area bar stars Greg Lindgren, Scott Beattie, and Laura Sanfilippo provided heavenly shaken & stirred Bombay Gin craft cocktails to go with each course.

    For this Bombay-loving gin imbiber, this was the stuff dreams are made of: an entire five-course feast paired with gin cocktails and each one unique and tied perfectly to a dish.

    I recently spoke with Chef Falkner for the San Francisco Bay Times, first asking about how she feels being back in her home state.

    Chef Elizabeth Falkner: I am so happy to be back here and to have access to ingredients I love: Meyer lemons, all things citrus, and avocados. I love these things and I hope that shone through in my ceviche dish tonight.

    Liam P. Mayclem: What was it like to view your film with others?

    Chef Elizabeth Falkner: It was so wonderful to watch the film with friends and our community. The feedback was really positive. That felt good.”

    Liam P. Mayclem: What motivated you to make the film?

    Chef Elizabeth Falkner: The documentary was initially about mental wellness in the hospitality industry, but as the pandemic hit, the focus shifted quickly. It became a film about the biggest crisis chefs and our industry have ever experienced. There was also the backdrop of BLM and wildfires. A storm of events all at once.

    Liam P. Mayclem: Which chefs did you talk with for the film?

    Chef Elizabeth Falkner: We filmed in LA first and talked to Nyesha Arrington, Nancy Silverton, Niki Nakayama, and Lincoln Carson. Then in the Bay Area: Alice Waters, Tanya Holland, Chris Cosentino, and Brandon Jew, among others. They were all in it, dealing with being a chef and struggling in these tough times. Alice Waters had the best line in the film, saying, “This is a dress rehearsal for climate change!”

    It made me think about how we do things as chefs & restaurateurs, our food supply, staffing, and food waste. The collective voices cried out for one thing: legislative help and tax incentives to support us, America’s second biggest industry, food and hospitality, and ensure we survive and thrive.

    Liam P. Mayclem: For this event in Guerneville, what was it like collaborating with so many other talented chefs?

    Chef Elizabeth Falkner: Cooking with my fellow chefs, my amazing talented friends, is always wonderful. They are all so inspiring.

    Liam P. Mayclem: Thank you, Chef Falkner, for the conversation! And thank you to the other chefs & mixologists for the dreamy dinner. Partial proceeds benefited the organization Farm to Pantry. And special kudos to Crista and the Boon team for the glamping experience that was second to none. The morning breakfast of egg, parfait, warm croissants, and coffee was the morning-after treat I needed. I can’t wait to return. I also can’t wait for one and all to see Sorry We’re Closed, coming to a streaming service or movie theatre near you soon.

    Sorry We’re Closed trailer: https://tinyurl.com/ycy8ndj6
    Boon Hotel + Spa: https://boonhotels.com
    Farm to Pantry: https://www.farmtopantry.org/

    Emmy Award-winning radio and television personality Liam Mayclem is regularly featured on KPIX as well as KCBS, where he is the popular Foodie Chap. Born in London, Mayclem is now at home in the Bay Area, where he lives with his husband, photographer Rick Camargo. For more information: https://www.bookliam.com/

    Published on July 28, 2022