Tastemade’s ‘Cooking With Pride’ serves up food knowledge with a side of LGBTQ talk

‘Cooking With Pride’ – An LGBTQ talk/foodie show

Since time immemorial, food has served as an excellent entry point into just about any discussion. And in the case of Tastemade’s “Cooking With Pride,” that topic is LGBTQ.

Currently streaming on Facebook Watch, the series takes host and online content creator Ingrid Nilsen on a culinary journey, guided by accomplished chefs or food experts who like her identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or queer, who demonstrate how to make a particular food or dish while discussing issues facing the LGBTQ community.

So in one episode, she might talk about how to make the kitchen a safe space with Connecticut chef Mac Elliot Jarvis while preparing shakshuka, a popular Middle Eastern dish. In another, she’ll speak with chef and cannabis rights advocate Jeff Danzer about the linked histories of cannabis and gay rights.

And in still another, Los Angeles sausage maker Erin O’Brien goes start to finish in showing Nilsen how to make the linked pork product while discussing the process’ unavoidably sexual nature.

“The sausage-making experience was completely new to me,” Nilsen, a home cook who has no formal training, admits, “because … I’ve never actually been present for the start-to-finish process of making it. And realizing just how intensive it is but also intentional, learning about how there is fat incorporated into the mixture and how you have to be so intentional throughout the entire process. …

“And I think this is really special because we were hearing a personal story from Erin and it also involved queer sexuality … and I think topics that people are typically just uncomfortable with in general. But then you add in the layer of queerness to it and people are even more afraid of it because they’re not sure what to do with it. And I just loved how open Erin was about having this conversation and how unapologetic she was about the process of making sausage being inherently sexual. And that was one of the reasons why she likes the process so much because there’s really no skirting around it and so it kind of encourages that conversation.”

Later in the season, Nilsen welcomes in Ariane Resnick, a Los Angeles-based private chef and nutritionist, to make a craft cocktail and talk about taking back ownership of Valentine’s Day.

“A lot of people have a complicated relationship with something like Valentine’s Day,” Nilsen says, “where it often feels like it is this consumerist holiday, and her perspective was wanting to reclaim that for herself and create her own Valentine’s Day experience, especially as someone in the LGBTQ community. She talks about experiences where she might go out on Valentine’s Day and didn’t really feel like she saw herself in any of the experiences, and so this recipe was about like reclaiming and redefining what Valentine’s Day means for her. And I think that’s something that’s really powerful.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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