Film Fest Tucson, a beloved event that unites thousands of movie enthusiasts, has returned for its seventh year.

The festival’s opening took place on Thursday at the Playground Rooftop Bar in downtown Tucson, where it unveiled a new event that combines two of Tucson’s favorite things: film and food.

Herb Stratford, director of Film Fest Tucson, explained that “Food and Film 520” showcased “five short films, with each one inspiring a specific dish.”

“It was a cool experience,” said Chef Gary Hickey, one of the five participating chefs.

Hickey, who is a chef at Charro Steak & Del Ray, has been a cook for 32 years.

“I was an at-risk youth and found job placement through Youth on Their Own while in high school, and I just fell in love with it,” he said when asked how he got into culinary arts.

His culinary creation was based on a short film titled “They Grow Up So Fast,” a story about a man who has a one-night stand and watches his son grow up and go to college.

Hickey described his dish, saying, “It starts with pureed carrots, transitions to sauted peas, then roasted potatoes, and a succulent steak. To finish, I have a smoked old-fashioned, creating a journey from baby food to adult cuisine.”

Stratford hopes to continue introducing more events that bring together two of Tucson’s delights: food and film.