SARASOTA, FL — 2020 was a hard year for all of us, but for Sarasota’s Chef Gordon Gregory, it was harder than most. After years helping to run popular Sarasota spot Nancy’s Bar-B-Q, he had finally opened his own culinary venture, a soul food restaurant, at Sarasota’s city-owned Bobby Jones Golf Club. But less than a year after opening, he found out that the golf course would indefinitely close because of the pandemic and impending renovations.
A new documentary — G’s Southern Kitchen — premiering at the Sarasota Film Festival sheds light on 41-year-old Chef G’s experiences as a Black restaurant owner in one of Sarasota’s most traditionally white spaces. But it is also a reflection on how to live one’s life.
“Chef G is someone you feel like you already know when you first meet,” said filmmaker Colin Reid. “Despite everything he’s gone through with the pandemic and the golf course closure, he’s been able to maintain a positive attitude, look to the future and continue on with G’s Southern Kitchen.”
“G’s Southern Kitchen” is an exploration of Chef G’s life, his cooking and one of his most important relationships — with his wife. It is a character study of a man who has achieved great success despite great obstacles. And it’s a testament to his positive demeanor in the face of those struggles.
“I used to be the guy that when something would happen, I would look at the worst of it, I would look at the problem,” says Chef G in the film. “Through the course of my marriage and my career, I pivoted to looking at the positive outcome of everything. Because you know what the problem is, but what is the solution?”
Reid is a Sarasota native who ate at both Nancy’s Bar-B-Q and G’s Southern Kitchen while Chef G was in charge. His original idea focused on the restaurant’s unique space and diverse clientele, but through his interviews, the filmmaker became more interested in G’s outlook on life.
“I hope people watch this and see how complex life can be and how Chef G’s love of cooking was built around his relationship with his wife,” Reid said. “Each step with his wife was building up his career and his cooking at the same time.”
G’s Southern Kitchen will premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival as part of the virtual catalog, and can be viewed throughout the festival at Sarasotafilmfestival.com
For press film screener, contact: Colin@waevy.com