Happy Pride! Celebrate Local LGBT Chefs

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gay prideHappy Pride! The Gay High Holy Days—or week, or month, depending on your stamina and affinity for dance music, tank tops, rainbow balloons, sign-waving, marches, guys in banana thongs, and standing in line, endlessly, for tickets, beer, and/or bathrooms—are coming to their sunny, sweaty close today. Time to get off the Blue Angel-martini-and-popcorn diet and put those silver latex shorts back in the closet, at least til the Folsom Street Fair.

Or that's how it might be in other cities, where Pride comes around but once a year. Here in our lovely fog-bound burg, though, we can be prideful every day, even if we still-still!-can't get married in City Hall.

But there is something particularly fabulous in seeing the typical straight-to-gay ratio of just about everything upended this month. I still remember walking into 2223 Market one night near the end of June last year, and feeling like everyone there was gay. Gay couples, gay friends, gay parents--it was just like being in the straight world, except this time it was all ours.

Naming all the LGBT chefs and business owners who have made the SF food scene what it is would turn this column into a faygelah version of Adam Sandler's Hannukah Song, but still, let's raise a glass to Traci des Jardins, for running a fancypants place in Hayes Valley and a taqueria with a conscience, and never turning down the chance to help out a good cause; to bad boy Jeremiah Tower, for making Stars sparkle; to Elizabeth Faulkner and her partner Sabrina Riddle, for giving the dyke food mafia an official clubhouse, first at Citizen Cake, now at Orson; and to food photographer Frankie Frankeny, because she shoots what we want to eat, and finds a way to sneak her daschunds into every shoot.

And let's not forget a toast to vinologist Pamela Busch, of the late Hayes and Vine and the current Cav Wine Bar, and to Absinthe's Jamie Lauren and her Top Chef Team Rainbow, for making "hot chef" replace "folk singer" as the default lesbian occupation. Also heating up the room is Gialina pizza diva Sharon Ardiana, turning Glen Park into Naples, and Celia Sack of Omnivore Books, for bringing us cookbook-browsing perfection with nary a 30-Minute-Meal or celebrity diet in sight, just up the street from the ever-charming Lovejoy's Teahouse, run by Muna Nash and Gillian Briley. Were we getting married, we might just drag pastry chef Yigit Pura of Taste Catering out to Iowa with us, just so we could show that corn-fed state just how divine his chocolate-hazelnut daquoise with passion fruit filling wedding cakes can be.


And thank you Rainbow Grocery, for letting us shop for veggie dogs on the 4th of July but closing for Pride Sunday, so your collective members can be out and proud rather than stuck restocking the spirulina. Even Food Not Bombs gets into the spirit now, serving up free eats (in tuxedo shirts and fake mustaches) at their mobile Chez Gay Cafe in Dolores Park before the Trans March. We're here, we're queer, let's eat!