Culinary Legend Diana Kennedy Is Getting a Documentary Thanks to Kickstarter
She’s a culinary legend you may not have heard of before: Her name is Diana Kennedy, and she’s considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Mexican cuisine. A documentary about her life, called Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy, is currently in the works, but the producers have turned to Kickstarter to fund the rest of the project.
Now 94, Kennedy has won multiple James Beard Awards, was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Mexican government and is a member of the prestigious Order of the British Empire. She first started visiting Mexico in the fifties with her late husband, eventually deciding to move there full-time. She now lives in the mountains of Michoacán on her own. Kennedy is an environmental activist, too: At her home, she uses solar power, almost no electricity, produces very little trash, and grows her own food in her gardens and orchard.
The producers of the film call Kennedy more of a “culinary anthropologist,” than a chef on their Kickstarter page, writing that she prefers the nickname “the Mick Jagger of Mexican Food,” probably the coolest name you could give anyone in the food industry.
The filmmakers say that they have been given unhindered access to Kennedy’s files, archives, and photos, and have secured interviews with other cooking legends such as Alice Waters and José Andrés. The crew has been filming Kennedy for four years and have gathered around one hundred hours of footage, making this a comprehensive look at her later years. The funds they hope to raise on Kickstarter will “allow us to film final interviews with our crew, hire a full-time editor, pay our composer to score, and hire a sound editor to mix the film.”
Since launching, the team has raised more than $17,000 of their $45,000 goal—there are 20 days left to contribute to the project. The filmmakers give this compelling reason for why this documentary deserves to be made: “Diana Kennedy is a precious piece of culinary and cultural history—she's a fierce advocate of sustainability, a feminist, and a true lover and defender of Mexico.”