When wildfires devastated Napa and Sonoma in October 2017, chef Tyler Florence’s first instinct was to put his skills as a veteran Food Network emcee and kitchen whiz to use by throwing a benefit bash to raise money for relief efforts. But the star of The Great Food Truck Race and Bite Club quickly realized that the event he organized would be part of a much bigger story.
Florence's "The Grateful Table" last November seated 500 first responders, winemakers, chefs and more, but the North Bay local felt “there [was] no real, thorough documentation of what happened” as communities grappled, and rallied, in the fires' aftermath, he told Unfiltered. Hence, Florence's new documentary film Uncrushable, a compilation of interviews with more than 50 residents, emergency personnel, vintners and more, shot in just three weeks, “while the fires were still burning," he said.
"The entire story just started to unfold in front of us; it was thoughtful, and it was scary, and it was human, and it was real,” Florence said. “I think it’s my best work.”
The 72-minute documentary debuted at the New York City Wine & Food Festival and screened in Toronto earlier this week; a first-look trailer also dropped last week. The film now comes home, with a showing in partnership with Visit California and Sonoma County Tourism on Oct. 19 in Santa Rosa, Calif. Then on Nov. 9, the Napa Valley Film Festival is partnering with Robert Mondavi Winery for a fundraising dinner and screening of the film.
“There’s been an unbelievable amount of progress,” Florence reflected on the year that has passed. “The big question I’ve got [for wine]," he added, "is, ‘What’s the 2018 vintage going to taste like?' I think the interest in the 2018 vintage is going to be very special.”
Champagne is like Lenny Kravitz: a little fresh and a little tart, by turns smooth and mellow, then exuberant and effervescent. So it's a natural fit that Kravitz is the latest artist to collaborate with Champagne Dom Pérignon, on a new photo and film series with the rocker behind and in front of the camera.
“I’ve long been a fan of Dom Pérignon—an avowed believer," the four-time Grammy winner for Best Male Rock Performance told Unfiltered via email. "My experience with Dom Pérignon has been over the last 10 or 11 years; I’ve become friends with chef de cave Richard Geoffroy. So our collaboration is a story of authentic friendship, mutual respect and love."
In May, Kravitz visited the maison and spent some hangtime in the vineyards, and last month, the fruits of his creative efforts were unveiled, footage of Lenny and his glamorous friends/progeny like Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel, Alexander Wang and Zoë Kravitz posing, doing artsy-type stuff and sipping Champagne. The exhibition now travels from New York to London, Milan, Tokyo and beyond, and the material will be used in ads rolling out this month. As Kravitz stays on in his role at Dom into 2019, we thought we might be able to help out with a few potential Pérignon jingles inspired by some of our favorite Kravitzms—gratis, LVMH:
"Let's go and taste the stars / at the Abbaye / pressure 6 bars …
I want to get away / I wanna Hautvilleeeers / Oui Ouiii Ouiiii"
"American sparkling / stay away from me
American sparkling / steal my AOC-eee" …
Superstars lit up the night last week, as artists and musicians gathered at Santa Monica, Calif.'s Barker Hangar for the Spirit of Life Gala, supporting the City of Hope nonprofit clinical research and treatment center. And wherever there's a celeb-studded charity event, you know a wine sponsor can't be too far away. This particular evening, The Prisoner Wine Company had its Prisoner red blend and Blindfold white blend on-pour for gala-goers including Tiffany Haddish, Dr. Dre, Rita Ora, special performer Beyoncé, and the evening's hosts, Pharrell Williams and Jay Z.
Honoring music executive Jon Platt for his dedication to City of Hope, the gala raised $6 million raised for the organization's efforts to fight cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.
“We were honored to support the City of Hope’s important efforts through our involvement in this year’s Spirit of Life gala," John Seethoff, VP of marketing at The Prisoner Wine Company, told Unfiltered via email. "It was a natural fit for The Prisoner Wine Company, whose wines of character and quality echo the luminaries from music, film and philanthropy who filled the room that evening.”
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