Queers in the Kitchen
BY Sunnivie Brydum
October 09 2012 3:00 AM ET
Feniger is known by many for her expertise in Latin cuisine, and she says her talent grew out of the bias she encountered as a young chef. “Back in the late ’70s,” Feniger recalls, “there weren’t many women in the kitchen. And when you did get into a very strict French kitchen in the United States… you got put to the prep kitchen because you were a woman, [and] most of the guys that you were working with ended up being Hispanic.”
Elizabeth Falkner, a lesbian chef who has a new cookbook, Cooking Off the Clock, says that for women, sexual orientation is often a nonissue in the high-stakes world of commercial kitchens. Falkner, who has appeared on Top Chef Masters, $40 a Day, and The Next Iron Chef, among others, can be seen on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Food Network this month.
Falkner became San Francisco’s de facto gay wedding cake baker with her flagship bakery, Citizen Cake, known for its unique, creative constructions, and its proximity to City Hall. Falkner recently left Citizen Cake and her other San Francisco eatery, Orson, to launch her new restaurant, Krescendo, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I don’t think that me being a lesbian has ever gotten in the way of me doing anything in my profession,” says Falkner, who has been cooking for more than 20 years. “The biggest stereotype I’ve ever been cast into is being a pastry chef. And I am a pastry chef, but I’m also a chef.”
Pura struggles with the same stereotypical assumption, with the compounding factor that people assume all pastry chefs are gay, he says. But, Pura says, a good meal can overcome even the starkest of differences or the most vindictive prejudice.
- Buck Angel Shuts Down Transgender Surgery Fundraising Site
- PHOTOS: 6 Couples Australia's High Court Says Aren't Married Anymore
- Op-ed: Two and a Half Men Introduces Trans Character, Manages to Stay Respectful
- PHOTOS: India's Supreme Court Reinstates Sodomy Ban
- 10 Snarky Quotes That Will Make You Miss Michael Kors on Project Runway
- WATCH: Trailer for the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending Premieres Online
- Marriage Equality Australia's High Court Says These Couples Aren't Married December 11 2013 8:37 PM
- Women Meet Gender Scientist Anne Fausto-Sterling December 11 2013 7:42 PM
- Women WATCH: Michelle Chamuel Returns to The Voice with 'Go Down Singing' December 11 2013 7:10 PM
- Politics Mich. Governor Condemns RNC Member's Latest Antigay Remark December 11 2013 7:01 PM
- Marriage Equality WATCH: Right Wing Swoons Over Antigay Baker December 11 2013 6:45 PM
- Travel What Airline Scored 100% on HRC's Corporate Equality Index? December 11 2013 6:44 PM
- Entertainment News The Queer Quotient at the SAG Awards December 11 2013 6:03 PM