Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy Image

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy

By Alan Ng | May 22, 2020

It was important that Kennedy, record, and document the past, much like an anthropologist. This research turned into a lifestyle. So much so, that every morning, her coffee is ground from beans grown near her home of Zitácuaro. The fresh coffee beans are crushed in a stone grinder based on old traditions. It may take a while to get her morning cup, but the extra effort is worth it.

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy is a beautiful food documentary. Director Carroll captures the natural beauty of Kennedy’s eight-acre ranch. She grows all of her ingredients fresh from produce to herbs, and thanks to her ranch’s sustainability practices, anyone could survive there without ever leaving. The camera beautifully captures the vibrant colors of Kennedy’s garden and cooking artifacts. I know where I’m going during the next apocalypse.

“Dish to dish, it’s mouthwatering, and I need to it tonight!”

Then there’s the food. My stomach is aching now as I type. Dish to dish, it’s mouthwatering, and I need to it tonight! There’s a segment when Kennedy is making a standard dish, guacamole, and it’s edited together with an old guacamole episode of a PBS show she made decades ago. The early episode has Kennedy going through the step-by-step recipe, and the live footage features her footnotes, “No garlic and no kosher salt!”

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy perfectly captures this vital personality and expert of Mexican cuisine. “Feisty” is an understatement. Kennedy’s brash tongue can come off as abrasive, as she suffers no fools. There’s also no time for pleasantries, it’s about the food and preserving history and tradition. At the age of 95, she’s just as lively and spirited as ever, and all she eats is Mexican food. It’s about as perfect a food doc gets.

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (2020)

Directed and Written: Elizabeth Carroll

Starring: Diana Kennedy, Alice Waters, José Andrés, Rick Bayless, Gabriela Cámara, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy Image

"…about as perfect a food doc gets."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon