The indomitable Ina Pinkney has hardly been idle since shuttering her beloved namesake breakfast joint, Ina’s, at the end of 2013. The Breakfast Queen’s been touting her cookbook, penning breakfast columns for the Trib, doing a double act called “Post Traumatic Restaurant Disorder” for private groups with that other so-called retiree “Hot Doug” Sohn, and holding court at breakfast tables all over the city. When I sat down with her a few weeks ago at Grandma J’s in Humboldt Park, she helped owner Layla Malia troubleshoot her French toast recipe.
She’s also been skipping all over the country on the film-festival circuit with documentarian Mercedes Kane, screening Breakfast at Ina’s, a 51-minute movie chronicling not only the final days of the restaurant but her majesty’s entire storied life, including her interracial marriage in the intolerant early 60s and her quiet triumph over the lingering manifestations of childhood polio. There have been precious few local screenings since its release, but there’s at least one more this Saturday as part of the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival, 4 PM, at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois. Pinkney will be signing books following the screening.