In honor of the LGBT Food and Wine Festival in Atlanta’s Central Park, EBANMAN and PrideIndex shift the focus of its Society of Intriguing Black Gay Men to chefs and culinary artists.
The LGBT Food & Wine Festival will shine an international spotlight on the diversity of the Black LGBTQ Community in the food, wine, and spirits industry. The two-day Labor Day weekend event will showcase local and global LGBTQ chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, foodies, and industry insiders. This culinary event will be the first to tell a story infused with (traditional and non-traditional) Black culture, spices, and flavors with a unique twist on the LGBTQ community.
In this article, in no particular order, we bring to you nine of our favorite LGBT chefs. These guys bring happiness as they throw down in the kitchen.
Kareem Queeman, known as Mr. Bake, began his journey in the kitchen alongside his grandmother at 5. Mr. Bake, LLC, has worked with major companies, including Disney, BET, and Target. He has been featured on numerous competitive baking shows, including America’s Best Baker, Girl Scout Baking Championship, Beat Bobby Flay on The Food Network, and Sugar Rush Christmas Season 2 on Netflix.
Jeromie Jones is the Chief Executive Officer of Sprinkle Me DIY Studio. The Winona, Mississippi, born/Orlando, Florida-based Jeromie Jones is known as Kate King. He has competed on Food Networks’ Cake Wars and The Food Network Challenge. The Kate King is a Confectionery Instructor, Branding Consultant, and Author.
Matthew Featherstone is the founder of Hiatus Cheesecake, a local, family-owned business based in Baltimore. As a child, he developed his passion for cooking while baking with his mother.
Johnathon Bush started Not Just Cookies at the age of 13. As a young entrepreneur and passionate baker, NJC focused on providing delicious, quality baked goods the right way. This spirit of “baking hustle” carries on today and is what made Not Just Cookies a different kind of bakery, starting with natural ingredients and using traditional baking stones.
Robert M. Bowden
Robert M. Bowden is an Award-winning chocolatier and founder of Viveré Chocolates. Viveré specializes in custom corporate chocolate gifts. Currently residing in Denville, New Jersey, Robert is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and an alumnus of the University of Alabama. He is a 2017 Black Enterprise Modern Man of Distinction honoree known as “Mr. Chocolate.”
Kenneth J. McDuffie
Kenneth J. McDuffie has over 15 years of experience as a culinary chef. The self-taught cook is the owner of Young and Hungry Catering, located in Philadelphia. He has catered to numerous celebrity clients, including Patti LaBelle. He has appeared on the Big Nate & Da Big Bang Morning Show on URU Radio, Moment with Purple on PQ1Radio, and was a featured guest on WDAS with the legendary Patty Jackson.
Gregory Gourdet is an American chef, writer, restaurateur, and former finalist on the twelfth and seventeenth seasons of BRAVO’s series, Top Chef. He is the owner of Kann restaurant in Portland, Oregon. His book, Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health, is a national bestseller. Gourdet is a three-time James Beard Award semifinalist.
In 2022, Gourdet’s book Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health won for Best General Cookbook.
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Maurice Shelton, who would later become commonly known as “Chef Blāque,” always had a passion for food and an eye for creativity. Hailing from a diverse background in retail, management and programming, Maurice began exploring his culinary passion in 2006, when he enrolled in Chicago’s Le Cordon Bleu School for Baking & Patisserie, building on the influences of his mom and grandmother.
Chef Blāque, has been featured in several publications including The Northwest Indiana Times, The Miami New Times, Something Sweet (UK Based Magazine), Modern Luxury Chicago and others. He and his partner were crowned Season 1 Champions for the Netflix Original Series: Sugar Rush.
Michael Twitty is a celebrated culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy. Twitty is the author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South (Amistad, 2017). In 2018, he won the James Beard Foundation Book of the Year. He was nominated for the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, “The Cooking Gene” is an illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces Twitty’s ancestry — both black and white — through food, from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom.
The LGBT Food and Wine Festival will take place on Sunday, September 4, 2022, in Atlanta’s Central Park. Derek Automotive, is one of the first Black-owned electric vehicle companies that designs electric mobility vehicles, bikes, and scooters. The manufacturer will showcase its products on Sunday, September 4. Partygoers will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a chance to win one of DAT’s electric motor scooters! There will be several other prize giveaways during the event. Click here for ticket information.