Last night my wife Jillian and I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the 47th annual Chicago International Film Festival, which included a screening of the locally shot indie drama The Last Rites of Joe May (starring everyone’s favorite real-life-Chicago-cop-turned-actor Dennis Farina) as well as a swanky after party at the Chicago Cultural Center. Although we are longtime CIFF attendees, this was the first time we’ve actually walked the red carpet on opening night. The reason? Jillian won a contest in which she created the festival’s official gelato. The assignment was to create a delectable flavor concoction from an array of possibilities and give it a movie-themed name. Her submission? A chocolate gelato with a banana mix-in named . . . Inglorious Bananas!
Out of the hundreds of submissions the CIFF received, they nominated five finalists and a taste-test was held at NoMi where local film and food critics convened to vote on the best flavor-and-name combination. I don’t know whether it was the clever Ben and Jerry’s-style name or the delicious simplicity of combining chocolate and banana but “Inglorious Bananas” prevailed over such other worthy contenders as “The Blues Berry Brothers” and “Red Velvet, Red Carpet.” In addition to winning two tickets to opening night of the festival, we will also receive 12 pints of Al Gelato (the official manufacturer) for six months and a private tour of the Al Gelato factory in Franklin Park where we will actually get to make the festival gelato. I could not be more proud of my wife.