Although the profession of chef used to be considered a boys’ club, and quite a straight one at that, 2015 sees many openly LGBT chefs heading restaurants and kitchens across the USA. Legions of Bravo reality-cooking shows (among many other food-related television and online programs) have demonstrated that gays and lesbians are truly stepping out in the kitchens these days, creating cutting-edge farm-to-table fare as well as exceptional pastries and desserts. April Bloomfield of NYC’s Spotted Pig, Anne Burrell of Food Network’s Secrets of a Restaurant Star, Top Chef–winners Kristen Kish and Hung Huynh, and Iron Chef Cat Cora are but a few of these individuals who are cooking up magic in the kitchen, In fact, Passporthas spotlighted some incredible LGBT chefs in recent years, including pastry maestro Pichet Ong of cookbook The Sweet Spot fame, Top Chef series alumnus Anita Lo (NYC), Maria Hines (Seattle), Susan Feniger (Los Angeles), Dale Levitski (currently of Nashville’s Sinema), and NYC’s Simpson Wong.
In this issue of Passport, we introduce you to another crop of amazing chefs, from a Pacific Northwest purveyor of pastry to a nouveau Jewish deli owner. These talented entrepreneurs share their philosophies and influences, crazy customer requests, thoughts about Yelp and food blogs (which can make or break businesses today), and, especially helpful when you visit their respective cities, their favorite dining spots.