Lisabet Summa is one of the organizers of SOFLO Femmes in Food and Film, a benefit​ ​for women in the hospitality industry. The event, which includes the South Florida premiere screening of the documentary A Fine Line, is June 25 in Fort Lauderdale. / Contributed

A new film shows that a woman’s place is in the kitchen after all. Of course, not just any kitchen – we’re talking restaurant kitchens. A Fine Line, produced by Joanna James, is a documentary about important female chefs in the United States but also addresses other topics.

On Monday, June 25, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Big Time Restaurant Group and filmmaker Joanna James will present​ ​a panel discussion that features well-known women in the restaurant industry. The event, SOFLO Femmes in Food and Film, will benefit​ women in the hospitality industry. It will be held in Fort Lauderdale.

The event will include the South Florida​ premiere ​screening of A Fine Line. The film details the experiences of James’ mother, Valerie James, as a chef and restaurant owner for the past 30 years.

She speaks from experience

Says Joanna James: “I was raised by a single-mom restaurateur and now, being a working mom myself, I realize how important it is for women to have equal opportunities in their careers. She inspired me to create this film and to encourage the advancement of women in the industry.”

In addition, the film chronicles the experiences of other contemporary female chefs, including Dominique Crenn of San Francisco, Barbara Lynch of Boston, and Cat Cora of Northern California. A Fine Line deals with current, and important, topics such as workplace harassment, equal pay, paid parental leave and career advancement, too.

To see a four-minute trailer of the film, visit

The evening’s honoree will be Judith Olney of Palm Beach. Her books include The Joy of Chocolate and The Farm Market Cookbook.​

Panelists for SOFLO Femmes in Food and Film include filmmaker Joanna James and mother Valerie; Executive Chef Lisabet Summa, co-owner of the Big Time Restaurant Group and its 15 restaurants; and Chef Lindsay Autry, a Top Chef alumna and owner of the Regional Kitchen & Public House in West Palm Beach.

Alexa Carlin, founder of WEX – the Women Empower Expo, will serve as moderator.

Tickets cost $75.

A paradox

Women represent only 7 percent of the executive chefs and restaurant owners in the U.S., according to the film’s website, The film explores why the number of female executive chefs and restaurant owners is so low, despite the fact that women have, historically and traditionally, held the central role in kitchens.

Proceeds from the event will provide funding for the development and mentoring of organizations that support women in the hospitality industry.

The Tower Club is at 100 SE Third Ave. – on the 28th floor of One Financial Plaza, Regions Bank Building – Fort Lauderdale.

For more information about the film, visit

For tickets, visit–fort-lauderdale/a-fine-line-screening/?q=A%20Fine%20Line%20Screening&loc=Fort%20Lauderdale%2C%20FL%2C%20USA&date=.