A new food festival geared toward celebrating LGBT chefs is on its way.
CookOUT/RockOUT is a food and music event that will launch in Los Angeles in the fall.
“It’s a way to showcase, in a positive, fun light, diversity within the food world,” founder Bruce Seidel said. The goal is to show “people that, ‘Hey, gay people are everywhere and this is a way to celebrate that whether you’re gay or not.’”
The former Food Network executive has developed Iron Chef America and Next Food Network Star. CookOUT is one of the many projects his company, Hot Lemon Productions, is working on.
Originally, Seidel was going to create a TV program about those in the food industry struggling with coming out. He was also thinking about creating something new in the food festival area and decided to meld the two ideas together.
The plan is to have 400-500 people gather in an L.A. estate to listen to music ranging from classical violin to rock and get involved with the food experience. This will be unlike many food festivals where “you eat 300 things, but you have no idea what you’ve tasted in the end,” Seidel said.
So far, Big Gay Ice Cream, a New York-based dessert shop that has come to Los Angeles, and Oprah’s former personal chef, Art Smith, are among the roster of chefs who have already signed up.
Smith said he is looking forward to an event celebrating “the vast diversity within the food world of openly gay chefs,” saying that “there are many who still cannot be openly gay in their chosen careers.”