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June 2, 12:00 P.M. Screening and Brunch: Inside the James Beard Award–Winning Film Coldwater Kitchen

June 02, 2024 12:00 PM

A Screening and Conversation with the Chefs and Filmmakers Followed by Brunch with Down North Pizza.

25 11th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA

Immerse yourself in an afternoon of film and food with the teams behind the award-winning Coldwater Kitchen and Philadelphia’s Down North Pizza. Winner of the 2023 James Beard Foundation Award for best documentary, Coldwater Kitchen tells the story of chef Jimmy Lee Hill, who—for the past 30 years—has run a highly regarded culinary training program out of a prison in Coldwater, Michigan, offering incarcerated men a renewed sense of purpose through the craft of fine dining—from foie gras to lobster.
Platform by JBF is honored to welcome chef Jimmy Hill for a 30-minute screening of the film and a panel conversation. Moderated by Ashley Carter, director of Michigan Justice Fund, the panel will also include Coldwater Kitchen co-directors Mark Kurlyandchik and Brian Kaufman, executive producer Desire Vincent Levy, and Muhammad Abdul-Hadi, founder of Down North Pizza and a 2024 James Beard Leadership Award honoree.
Before the film, enjoy light bites and beverages prepared by Coldwater Kitchen chefs Jimmy Lee Hill, Dink Dawson, and Ernest Davis.

Following the screening and conversation, attendees will enjoy a brunch prepared by Mike Carter, executive chef of Down North Pizza, a mission-led restaurant in Philadelphia that exclusively employs formerly incarcerated individuals while providing culinary career opportunities at a fair wage and equitable workplace.

Guests will receive a link to watch the entire film following the event.

General Admission: $95

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Welcome Bites 

Lollipop Chicken 

Cauliflower Chickpea Bowls 

Ole Bay Salmon Cakes 

Maison Noir “New Noir” 2022


Philly-Style Pizza with Chicken Sausage, Lamb Fat–Whipped Ricotta, Four Cheese Blend, Candied Serrano Pepper, and Lemongrass Olive Oil
Contains dairy and gluten 

Lamb Scrapple Egg and Cheese > Halal Scrapple with Smoked Cheddar, Harissa Jam, and Everything Bun
Contains dairy

Guac Crustini with Guacamole, Housemade Lamb Pancetta, and Berbere Dust
Contains gluten 


Black Magic Cake
Contains dairy and gluten

Early Mountain Petite Manseng 2021 

Bacchus Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 

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About Muhammad Abdul-Hadi:
Muhammad Abdul-Hadi is the founder of Down North Pizza, a mission-driven restaurant that exclusively hires previously incarcerated employees. As an entrepreneur in property management, retail, and real estate development, Abdul-Hadi focuses on creating business models that offer both employment and housing to formerly incarcerated individuals.
In 2015, Abdul-Hadi bought property in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood—a predominantly Black and historically underserved area of Philadelphia marked by high recidivism rates. Abdul-Hadi’s aim was to use the property to offer subsidized housing to individuals negatively impacted by the criminal justice system but has expanded the building’s use with the opening of Down North Pizza. Abdul-Hadi's philosophy of meeting people where they are—recognizing and valuing their experiences and skills often overlooked in traditional hiring practices—has not only contributed to the success of Down North Pizza but has also set a precedent for future enterprises that seek to combine profit with purpose. He is the recipient of a 2024 James Beard Foundation Award for Leadership.

Ashley Carter:
Ashley Carter is the director of the Michigan Justice Fund, a funders’ collaborative that makes investments to stem the flow of individuals into the criminal justice system, support the investment of public dollars to community-driven alternatives to incarceration, and ensure that those who are returning home after incarceration receive the support they need to flourish. Prior to the Michigan Justice Fund, Ashley served as a senior attorney and deputy director in the Justice Project of Advancement Project’s National Office in Washington, D.C. where she provided legal and strategy support and helped develop mechanisms for widespread community education and engagement around issues in the criminal legal system. Ashley began her career as a public defender in New York City where she practiced for five years.

About Michael Carter:
Michael “Mike” Carter is the executive chef at the mission-driven restaurant, Down North Pizza in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Inspired by family dinners and his grandmother’s cooking, Carter followed the joy and creativity he found in food and turned it into a dedicated career. After stints at notable Philly restaurants (Porta, Booker’s, and V Street) the culinary activist found a home at Down North Pizza where he benefits from the restaurant's mission of reducing recidivism by providing economic opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.

About Jimmy Lee Hill:
Chef Jimmy Lee Hill is the executive chef and culinary instructor inside of Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan. Chef Hill has dedicated 32 years to improving education inside of Michigan’s Correctional System. When Hill arrived at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, the program was a basic cooking class without textbooks. Today, the program is robust using industry-recognized curriculums and certifications, including the Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts Level 1 and Level 2, ServSafe Food Manager, and the AHLEI, Start Program.

Chef Dink Dawson:
Dink Dawson is profiled in the Coldwater Kitchen film. He is the chef-operator of the Green Mile Grille, a food truck and carry-out grill that he operates with his daughter on Detroit’s east side. While inside Lakeland Correctional Facility, chef Dink served as a tutor in chef Jimmy Lee Hill’s highly regarded culinary training program. 

Chef Ernest Davis:
Chef Ernest Davis is the executive chef of the Mark III Restaurant in St, Joseph, Michigan and the owner of Frankie Mae’s Soul Food, a catering service named for his beloved grandmother. While inside Lakeland Correctional Facility, chef Ernest served as a tutor in chef Jimmy Lee Hill’s highly regarded culinary training program for over three decades.

Brian Kaufman:
Kaufman is the co-director and editor of Coldwater Kitchen. He is the executive video producer for the Detroit Free Press, where he has worked for over a decade to bridge the gap between video journalism and documentary film. His work has been awarded three national Emmy awards and was recently part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary that examined the proposed border wall with Mexico.

About Desire Vincent Levy:
Desire Vincent Levy is a communications strategist and impact producer focused on issue-based and advocacy campaigns. She is the executive producer of Coldwater Kitchen and an alumni of the Vera Institute of Justice, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, and the ACLU of Michigan, where she held various roles in communications, educating the public on issues related to democracy and the criminal legal system. She is the board chair of the Detroit Food and Youth Entrepreneurship Academy and a trustee at the Museum of Food and Drink.

About Mark Kurlyandchik:
Mark Kurlyandchik is the co-director of Coldwater Kitchen and former Restaurant and Dining Critic of the Detroit Free Press. Kurlyandchik is the recipient of two Michigan Emmy awards. His previous film, Dinner In Abruzzo, a short documentary about two chefs’ journey to Italy, screened at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Tickets to events held at Platform at Pier 57 by the James Beard Foundation cover the cost of food, education and a unique dining experience. Meals are prepared by culinary masters from all regions of the United States and around the world. Unless otherwise stated, alcoholic beverages are provided on a complimentary basis and are not included in the ticket price.

James Beard Foundation events permit guests age 21 years and older to attend events where alcoholic beverages are served.

Event Policy

Reservation Policy:

All reservations are non-refundable and must be made in advance. Should the event be cancelled due to any unforeseen circumstances, including COVID-19, JBF will offer a range of options, including ticket exchanges, the option to donate tickets, or a full refund. For more information, contact

Alcohol Disclaimer:

James Beard Foundation events permit guests age 21 years and older to attend events where alcoholic beverages are served. 

Dietary/Food Restrictions Policy:

Events at Platform by JBF are special one-night-only menus and we do not offer a la carte menus. If you have serious food allergies, we will work with the visiting chef team to do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee that alternate options will be available for every course.

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