Food and Family with Candace Walsh

Candace Walsh opens up about food, politics, sexy chefs, and culinary birthrights.



Walsh with her family

Oh, wow! That’s so much better than catered chicken or fish.

I know! What do you call it? The prime rib and all the craft service wedding food.

Speaking of marriage equality, given the recent Chick-fil-A melee, what do you think about mixing food and politics?
I have to think about that for a second. It’s very interesting. I actually made this really snarky comment on Facebook, about people have to be eating in an attempt to undermine gay rights, but at least it’s unhealthy and they’ll get sick … I was posting about Chick-fil-A on Facebook and this person got offended, looked me up, found out who my boss was, and sent it to him. My boss was like, “This is your personal life, I don’t want to know about it,” in a good way. But wow, this Chick-fil-A thing could’ve gotten me fired, if I had a different boss. And that is violent. I feel skittish even talking about it, but I feel like it’s important talking about it, because it made me self-conscious in a way that made me kind of sad. … We live in interesting times. It can be a political act to eat from the farmers’ market. It can be a political act to boycott Chick-fil-A. I hope that there are more opportunities to make positive food choices, not just personally but societally.

What has been your experience of living your truth as an out lesbian in the culinary world?
I think it’s a wonderful nest to be an out lesbian, because there are so many strong women in kitchens. And there’s nothing sexier to me than a hot woman cooking and holding her own in this macho environment and creating delicious mouthfuls of things to eat. It’s like, Yeah! I mean, the butch thing in a kitchen is really hot.

I guess I’m just entering the culinary world with my book. It does feel cozy though. I’ve interviewed Kim Severson, who wrote Spoon Fed and is an out lesbian and is the Atlanta bureau chief for The New York Times, and she was really great, and I feel like there’s a community. And of course, Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton — she’s a huge role model. I got my book contract and got the advance copy of that book, and I was just like, Oh, my God! How do I even write a book now? Thanks a lot! But it’s awesome.