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HMI Speaker Series: June 2020
MONDAY, JUNE 15 • 6-7PM
ZOOM LINK WILL BE PROVIDED AFTER REGISTRATION
On Monday June 15th, in collaboration with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Queer The Table is bringing a virtual conversation to you live as host Nico Wisler explores the idea of “queer food” and the importance of queer community within the world of food and hospitality.
As some of you may know, this live podcast has been through several iterations. When we shifted from an in-person gathering to a digital event this spring, we knew that our conversation would broaden to cover the Covid-19 crisis. We know now that we also need to shine a light on the ways that Black leaders across the food industry and queer community are responding to the escalating crises of racism and police brutality.
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
NICO WISLER – Host, Queer the Table
Nico Wisler is a middle school teacher, storyteller, and enthusiastic dinner party host who is forever swooned by the intimacy of both cooking and making radio. They believe deeply in the power of queer dance parties, chosen family, long bike rides, and extra garlic. Nico’s podcast, Queer The Table is about the joyful, messy, radical magic that happens in spaces where queerness and food intersect. In conversation with farmers, chefs, activists, historians, seed savers and business babes, Nico explores the idea of “queer food” in all of its limitless forms.
JOHN DEBARY – Co-Founder, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation
John deBary is the Co-Founder and Board President of Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which is devoted to addressing quality-of-life issues in the hospitality industry through grantmaking, advocacy, and impact investing. John is also the creator of Proteau, a line of non-alcoholic botanical aperitifs, as well as the author of the upcoming cocktail book, Drink What You Want, due out June 2020 from Clarkson Potter. He lives in the Lower East Side with his husband and cat.
CHRIS MURRAY – Educational Specialist HIV Testing
Christopher Murray is a 32-year old gender nonbinary person working at the Hetrick-Martin Institute as the on-site HIV Tester. Christopher is passionate about bringing people to the table in a literal sense and truly believes that the power in food is the same power used to build community. When they are not streaming live on Twitch or trying to find the best outfit for the day, they move through their day in style, and with a smile!
VANESSA PARISH – Owner, Sweet Comfort and Brown Sugar’s Cookies
Vanessa Parish is a pastry chef from North Carolina currently residing in Los Angeles. Vanessa runs a private catering business “Sweet Comfort” for savory and sweet delights. She owns an online cookie business “Brown Sugar’s Cookies” where she creates new and unique flavors to ship straight to your home. Vanessa just launched her own dessert Pop-Up Restaurant “TORCH” which is traveling across major cities. She has worked as a Specialty Pastries Coordinator at one of the top restaurants in downtown L.A, and hosts the show “Tasting Our Roots” on Buzzfeed’s Tasty channel. The show has reached over 15 million views, has countless shares on the web and is now on AppleTV, HULU and Amazon Prime. She still works as a correspondent for Tasty and collaborates consistently on their platforms. Vanessa has been a featured chef for BET, Blavity, AirBNB, Google and Food Network
ANDRE SPRINGER – Founder, Shaquanda’s Hot Sauce
Andre Springer was born in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in the 80’s into a Barbadian family who immigrated to the United States in the late 60’s. Andre was always surrounded by the love of food, whether it was Alma, Springer’s Grandmother, or working in restaurants, bars, and cafes for over 17 years. Food was a gateway into other cultures, lives, and places in NYC. Today, Andre is a Hot Sauce and Food Entrepreneur currently expanding the Shaquanda Will Feed You brand across the United States of America online and in real life. Shaquanda Coco Mulatta was born at The Slide (a former bar on the Bowery) in 2005, an alter ego developed by Andre Springer, who lives mostly in the 4th dimension. Shaquanda is a downtown nightlife performer providing an audience with shows that are “hood avant-garde.” Why the name Shaquanda? Why not? Shaquanda is a celebration of Bed-Stuy.