By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jun 12, 2024 at 7:10 PM

NOTE: The dinner has sold out. But donations can be made to support the work of the Queer Food Foundation on their website. 

We’re in the midst of Pride Month, a month dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ+ voices, celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and supporting LGBTQ+ rights. So there’s nothing better than getting into the spirit and showing up for the talented individuals we have right here in our community.

In the spirit of Pride, Chef Gregory León will host a special celebratory dinner at Amilinda, 315 E. Wisconsin Ave., on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Out! For Dinner will feature the talents of five of the region’s most talented queer chefs in support of the Queer Food Foundation, an organization that works to give voice to the queer & LGBTQ+ communities within the national food space.

León says it’s the first time he has pulled together a dinner with exclusively LGBTQAI+ chefs, but that the time is right.

“It’s more important than ever to be visible and highlight our work, largely because of the current political climate,” he says. 

On your plate

Chefs participating in the dinner include Chef Dominique Leah of Lexington Betty Smokehouse (Chicago); Chef Vanessa Rose of Ardent and Mother's/House of Bridges; Chef Dana Spandet of Flour Girl and Flame; and Chef Nick Hoover of Carbon Steak.

Courses will include: 

  • Chef Leah’s Marinated Tomato & Apricot Salad with Halloumi, arugula, basil croutons and white balsamic
  • Chef Rose’s Scallop Crudo with shiso, white miso, tomato vinegar and trout roe
  • Chef Spandet’s Prawn with Sourdough featuring charred lemon, smoked basil emulsion, tomato water and sweet corn
  • Chef León's Roasted Hamachi Collar with black rice, tomato jam, preserved lemon broth and green garlic aioli
  • Chef Hoover’s "Cherry Tomato Three Ways", a dessert showcasing roasted strawberries, cocoa crumble, verjus sorbet and elderflower sabayon

Tickets for the dinner are $100 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and can be purchased online. An optional beverage pairing is also available for an additional $30.  Proceeds will support the work of the Queer Food Foundation.

The Queer Food Foundation

The Queer Food Foundation was formed during the height of the pandemic in 2020. Its mission is to give voice to the queer & LGBTQ+ communities.

As their website reads: “From farmworkers, sommeliers, media experts to waitstaff, brewers, and gardeners, we hope to fill in that gap, to begin creating a platform for queer expression in food, to advocate for more inclusive food industry spaces, and to offer all queer food workers a space to build, meet, and speak about their experiences.” 

Since its inception, the organization has:

  • Raised and distributed almost $40,000 for black queer and trans folks experiencing food insecurity
  • Featured over 100+ organizations, chefs, and queer leaders in food across our platforms
  • Sent $10k towards grants for queer programming including community support, education, and building connections for queer work equity
  • Contributed over 10k+ volunteer hours 
  • Sent $2k toward grants for queer restaurants facing hate crimes
  • Hosted over 12 community events
  • Partnered with organizations such as the James Beard Foundation, Bento Box, The Infatuation, Museum Of Food And Drink, Resy, OpenTable, Spruce Eats and Hot Bread Kitchen to host queer food programming
Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.