A manifesto for reclaiming the lost history and influence of gay men in the culinary arts.

Gay identity has long been openly linked to the decorative and performing arts — fashion, interior design, dance, opera, and theater. Daniel Isengart aims to add the kitchen to the list.

Even though gay men widely populate America’s food industries, their role and impact remain firmly in the closet. Queering The Kitchen makes a case for a grand, industry-wide coming-out.

Gay men’s history of culinary sophistication dates back to a time when socializing was safer behind closed doors — at home, the only place where they could be themselves and let their hair down, or wear that wig. Isengart explores these hidden histories and customs, while reminding us of gay lives only recently in the light — including Dean & Deluca, James Beard, Craig Claiborne and many others. With the rise of gay identity, Isengart charts a concurrent counter - swing with the rise of Emeril Live and other media phenomena, erasing a movement of culinary refinement and replacing it with a lowbrow circus for beginners. Sometimes brutal, other times nuanced, the history charted by Isengart extends to the macho bro-kitchens of Anthony Bourdain and the superior skills of many lesbian chefs.

With Queering The Kitchen, Isengart offers a spirited and well-researched contribution to an ongoing conversation about gay men and America’s food.

Daniel Isengart is a writer, cabaret entertainer and private chef living in New York City. He is the author of The Art of Gay Cooking: A Culinary Memoir, with a Foreword by Jeremiah Tower. Queering The Kitchen is adapted from Isengart's essay series "The Joy of Gay Cooking" at Slate Magazine. He has also written on hidden gay culinary history for Jarry Magazine and elsehwere. Daniel is the subject of The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart, written by his partner Filip Noterdaeme.

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. . .no rules, no repeats, no creative limitations, and no anxieties. . . Just pure, blissful fun, spiced with a healthy pinch of self-mockery and irony. Does it get any gayer than that?

Daniel Isengart
Queering The Kitchen: A Manifesto
54 pages
$12.00 paperback ISBN 9781944853501
$5.00 ebook

August 2018

also by Daniel Isengart:
The Art of Gay Cooking