I ferried over to Anderson Island -- in Washington State's South Puget Sound -- a few years ago with friends. It was a quintessentially dark and stormy Pacific Northwest autumn night, with waves slapping against the sides of the ferry and just a few island lights visible as we approached the dock, the air whipping our hair around before we jumped back into the car.
That’s why I love the idea of a 1,000-person island (the population “swells” in the summer to 4,000 - 5,000) mounting an ambitious film festival, complete with directors, actors, and others answering questions after some of the films. Not to speak of a red carpet gala opening!
The second annual Anderson Island Film Festival just wrapped in September; and, though I didn’t quite make it to the island this time, I can’t wait to attend next year.
The gala and festival kick-off was an unqualified success, with 134 tickets sold this year, said Sean Griffin, film fest publicist and emcee. An actual red carpet was rented.
“To get the equivalent of 10 percent of the population there is pretty amazing,” he said. Some short films were screened during the gala, and attendees could feel sought-after and well photographed in a “paparazzi booth.”
Catered by Anderson Island’s own Riviera Lakeshore Restaurant, the gala menu included white fish ceviche, crusted Ahi tuna with wasabi mousse, charcuterie meats and gourmet cheese, jumbo pan-seared scallops topped with sumac yogurt sauce and salmon roe, lamb Adana skewers with cranberry chutney, and crab-stuffed prawns with lemon hollandaise.
Before I delve into one aspect of this menu -- the sumac yogurt sauce -- let me assure you that I will talk about the actual films in the festival, and more about Anderson Island itself -- in subsequent posts, so keep reading!
Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice with the color of a deep cabernet sauvignon laced with red pepper flakes, and it has a tart, lemony taste. It is available, of course, in specialty spice markets — such as Seattle’s World Spice. I just picked some up at Whole Foods.
Sumac in yogurt tastes best when the lemony tang rubs up against something breaded or otherwise spicy and/or meaty. I'll work on a recipe to share.
Stay tuned for more about the Anderson Island Film Festival and related gluten free food info!
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