GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

Gabrielle Lenart

Photo by EDL Photography.

“I’m all about challenging traditional and patriarchal mindsets,” says Gabrielle Lenart, founder and CEO of the New York-based queer food collective This Queer Kitchen (soon to be The Queer Food Foundation). “If we can confront these issues within our current broken food system, then we can build a better foundation that supports and uplifts minorities such as LGBTQIA+ and QTBIPOC individuals working in food.” With This Queer Kitchen, Lenart and her team use food as a centerpiece for community-building events that cater to the LGBTQ+ and other marginalized groups; events include charity dinners, PRIDE potlucks, and networking opportunities for womxn chefs and business owners. Lenart, who graduated with an M.A. in Food Studies from New York University and who also worked freelance for the James Beard Foundation, tells GO that she wishes to be the kind of role model she’d wanted as a child. “I knew whatever I decided to do in my life, I would do it with the intentions of being unapologetic, authentic, and purposeful,” she says. “Growing up, I never found a queer role model, let alone one who dealt with important issues around food.” When COVID-19 struck, she provided food resources for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and for those who are looking to help the afflicted and to support queer-owned eateries. Her current intention with This Queer Kitchen is to shift it into the nonprofit sector in order to promote, create, fund, and support queer food spaces. The most rewarding part of her job, she says, is “being part of something bigger and more important than myself. The queer food era is now, even during the pandemic, and it’s not going anywhere.” —RK

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