Cookbook author Diana Kennedy and her new film are headed to L.A.

Diana Kennedy, shown in Mexico, has written cookbooks including the James Beard Award-winning "Oaxaca al Gusto." (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

On Tuesday night, as part of this year’s Food Bowl festival, cookbook author Diana Kennedy will be in Los Angeles for a preview screening of her new documentary. “Nothing Fancy” is a biographical film that traces Kennedy’s life and career as a cook and writer.

The British-born Kennedy, 96, is an expert in regional Mexican cooking and has written many books on the subject, including “Oaxaca al Gusto,” which took her 14 years to research and write; it won a James Beard Award for best cookbook in 2011. Kennedy has been awarded Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle and membership in the Order of the British Empire.

Trailer for "Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy."

Throughout four decades of living in Michoacán, Kennedy has worked to translate the food of her adopted country into pages and pages of recipes, and also to promote issues of sustainability and conservation. At her solar-powered home outside Zitácuaro, she cooks, teaches, recycles rainwater and grows her own vegetables and coffee.

When I visited her last year, Kennedy told me about the hard work.

“This is trabajo,” she said. “Life is not easy here; there’s no Walmart around the corner.”

“Nothing Fancy” will be shown at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, followed by a conversation with Kennedy and the film’s director, Elizabeth Carroll.

$25, 7-10 p.m. Tuesday at Paley Center, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills: Get more details and tickets.


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