About this film

The latest Free Press documentary “Coldwater Kitchen” is about mouthwatering food, bountiful gardens and exquisitely prepared meals — an unexpected lens through which to tell the story of incarceration in America. Everybody eats, but there are few places where food is as purposeful and necessary as it is inside chef Jimmy Lee Hill’s confounding high-end kitchen surrounded by razor wire. For 30 years, soft-spoken chef Hill has run a highly regarded culinary training program out of a prison in Coldwater, Mich., offering incarcerated men a renewed sense of purpose through the craft of fine dining while demonstrating the life-changing potential that trust and compassion can offer the incarcerated. As we watch the prison’s bountiful garden cycle through Michigan’s four seasons, we follow Hill and three of his students as they struggle to adapt to different stages of incarceration, re-entry and redemption using food as a catalyst for positive change. Michigan premiere. 

AFTER THE FILM: On Wednesday, Nancy Kaffer, Free Press editorial page editor, talks with co-director Mark Kurlyandchik, chef Jimmy Lee, Daqwan Sistrunk (also known as chef Dink), Hugh Leonard (brother of Brad Leonard, who is in the film) and Kimberly Buddin, senior policy counsel at the ACLU’s justice division, for a conversation about the film, Hill’s culinary program and the criminal justice system.

DINNER AND A MOVIE, APRIL 28, 29 & 30: The April 28, 29 & 30 events are being presented as part of the “Dinner and a Movie” collaboration at Frame. The screening will be paired with dinner from chefs featured in the documentary. (SOLD OUT)


7 p.m. Wed., April 26, Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts

7 p.m. Fri., April 28,  Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts


Brian Kaufman
Mark Kurlyandchik

Executive Producers:
Desiré Vincent Levy
Peter Bhatia

Kathy Kieliszewski
Steve Byrne
Nicole Avery Nichols

Consulting Producers:
Doug Blush

Angie Jackson

Score Composer:
Wayne Kramer


Run time:
1 hour, 29 minutes

Film website 


6 p.m. Fri., April 28, Frame (SOLD OUT)

5 p.m. Sat., April 29, Frame (SOLD OUT)

4 p.m. Sun., April 30, Frame (SOLD OUT)

Choose at checkout:
– Film and Dinner for a 5:15PM Film Start with Dinner Following
– Dinner and Film for a 5:15PM Dinner Start with Film Following
Please prepare for a 3+ hour Frame experience, as the movie run time is roughly 90 minutes.

Films are shown in our Screening Room Under the Tent @ Frame
Dinner is served communally inside our Dining Room
$85.00 per person + fees + tax
Parties of 1 to 6.

One ticket to Freep Film Festival film Coldwater Kitchen with a paired chef dinner prepared by the film’s subjects.

Additional During Dinner:
A beverage pairing by Frame’s Sommelier Sean Crenny & Mixtress Jaz’min Weaver
++ a la carte beer, wine, and N/A options

Additional During Film:
Cocktails, beer, wine, N/A drinks
Popcorn and candy to enjoy at your seats

Tables of 6+ @ Frame! We love a group of Frame friends! When booking for parties for 6+ of more, or parties joining to make a large table, please note a 20% auto-gratuity will be added to your final bill presented at the end of your dining experience.