The rooftop bar at the tony Archer Hotel in the heart of downtown Napa made a stunning backdrop for Variety’s Vivant party on Nov. 13. Vivant was launched at the Napa Valley Film Festival, which opened Nov. 13 with “Just Mercy.” 

Variety executive VP of content Steven Gaydos introduced Variety Vivant Tastemaker honoree Ayesha Curry to a crowd that included NVFF head Tom Tardio

Curry is a cookbook author and TV personality. Most recently, she and her husband, NBA star Stephen Curry, who was there to support his wife, have launched Eat.Learn.Play (eatlearnplay.org), which aims to tackle childhood hunger and other issues impacting communities in Oakland.

“I have this passion for food as a vessel for change,” Ayesha said, talking about how as a young girl, learning to cook was a creative outlet, and that made a difference in her life. Her goal is “ending childhood hunger.”

“This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, in Napa to receive Variety Vivant’s Spice Award, talked about why food is important to him. “Restaurants bring people together,” said the owner of eatery Clutch in Venice. “At the Napa Valley festival, people gather to watch art, then go to a restaurant to talk about the art they’ve just seen. We need to be brought together as communities, as people, to talk.”

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