Dining Out for Life is an annual dining fundraising event raising money for AIDS service organizations. Dine out and Fight AIDS this Thursday, April 24th. Find a restaurant near you www.diningoutforlife.com
Chef and TV personality Daisy Martinez took some time to speak about her participation in Dining Out for Life.
How did you get involved with Dining Out for Life?
Well, two of my 4 children went to college in Philly. So, I visited the area quite a bit. Completely by accident, I met Matt one of the PR people for DOFL and he asked me if I would get involved. My immediate response was, “I am there!” This was a match made in heaven. My nickname is “Our Lady of the Gay”, how could I say no. I have lost friends to the disease and quite frankly don’t know anyone who hasn’t been personally impacted by HIV/AIDS. I am on the board now and working feverishly to help this organization. I am completely dumbfounded that New York does not participate in DOFL. I have to travel to Philadelphia. I think it is terrible that New York is so behind on this. Any excuse for a trip to Philly though. My kids have left the area but I have made a lot of friends there.
What do you think makes DOFL a successful event?
Well, last year they raised 4.25 million dollars in one day. What started out as a little grass roots thing has really taken off to become an amazing event. It is a perfect venue because people come together around the table. When you eat with someone, you bond. Food affects so many aspects of our lives. It turns out to be such a wonderful event and everyone is so optimistic. Oh my gosh, give me a soap box and I am a hot mess! I think that HIV/AIDS awareness has really fallen off the map for a lot of people. Dining Out for life brings the focus back in a celebratory and optimistic way. It really is a great event.
Are you hosting an event for DOFL?
Yes, I will be at Talula’s Garden in Philadelphia. I will be celebrating there this year. Steven Star and his restaurants participate every year and do an amazing job for the community. It always turns out to be a great night.
Are you working on any new projects?
I am producing and taping a new web series called ‘Daisy.’ It is a little different, sort of Daisy 2.0 or that aspect. My life has really changed since my career in Food Television started so I am just bringing everything up to date. Doing all that with really delicious food that is good for you. I also just finished the proposal for a new cookbook. I have been keeping very busy. I have a boutique catering business on top of all that so I keep pretty busy. Having an empty nest at home has made me throw everything into my work and I love it.
Do you have a message for LGBTQ youth out there?
Oh my gosh, to thine own self be true. I would give the same message to them that I would give to my own children. Nobody gets to tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, good looking, fill in the blank. Nobody gets to tell you who you are. That’s a covenant that you have made between yourself and God, whoever that is to you. You have to be true to that because that is the only way that you will find happiness. You can’t give yourself away. You have to be true to yourself.
Keep up with Chef Daisy Martinez at www.chefdaisymartinez.com
Keep up with Earle Dutton at Equality365