100 Women We Love: Class Of 2018

Each one of these women, in her own unique way, is a role model who exemplifies the best of the LGBTQ community.

Chef K

Photo by Chef Works

Khristianne Uy (better known as Chef K) is a big name in the cooking world, having spent more than 15 years in the biz while gaining widespread exposure on The Real L World, Millionaire Matchmaker, and the cooking contest show The Taste (ABC), which she won. Oh, yeah, she’s cooked for James Cameron, Simon Fuller, and Charlie Sheen, too. It hasn’t been all fun and games, though. “Back in the year 2000… I remember people would often whisper underneath their breath and find a reason to bitch or complain about my food. Especially straight men. If I shucked the oyster better or grilled the steak better, they didn’t like it. They didn’t like to see a gay female chef excel in the kitchen. It’s much better now, but back then it was hard.” She also had to overcome her father’s feelings. “Coming from a Filipino background and wanting to be a chef — my dad didn’t approve. He told me I would be working behind a stove every day, that I would be ‘the help.’” Although she’s succeeded beyond her father’s wildest dreams, she never rests on her laurels. “Passion is not just a dream or an end goal,” she says. “It’s a process you put all your energy into every day. I say ‘I’m only as good as my last meal,’ because it’s a measure of how far I pushed myself that day, and tomorrow I’ll push harder, and even harder the day after that. By doing this every day, your passion becomes a journey, and that’s when dreams begin to come true.” —GH