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.

Liz Alpern

Photo by Nomi Ellenson

Forget drink specials — the hottest thing being dished up at one Brooklyn-based queer party is soup! Eaters have Liz Alpern to thank. The chef and cookbook author mined the recipe cards of Eastern European bubbes and their descendants to resurrect the glory of Ashkenazi Jewish cooking: as co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto, and co-founder of The Gefilteria, an artisanal producer of that oft-maligned Passover classic, gefilte fish. Alpern also created Queer Soup Night, the party where local chefs contribute, of all things, soup. Alpern sees each of her ventures as having one common goal: community. “My passion for food is motivated by my passion for bringing people together,” she says. “I love being surrounded by friends and family, and what better way to make that happen than by feeding everyone?” That alone would be a noble goal, but Alpern doesn’t stop there. Instead, she uses her ventures to give back to her own community. Every installment of Queer Soup Night benefits a charity; most recently, the proceeds went to the Audre Lorde Project. “Community is the key word here,” Alpern says. “Because we have become more accepted in mainstream society, it’s easy to take our new acceptance for granted. I think we should be investing in our community now more than ever. Whether that means supporting queer-owned businesses, showing up to queer-led events, or mentoring a young person, I truly believe that our blossoming is contingent on our own strength and interconnectivity as a community.” —SEJ