June 21, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

A New Documentary Goes in Depth on James Beard’s Life, Sexuality

BY GENNA RIVIECCIO| Most of us have heard of the world-famous James Beard Foundation Awards, which annually highlight a ‘ who’s who’ of innovation and talent in the cuisine and restaurant world. Fewer of us know about the man behind the award.

A trailblazer in every way, James Beard was even the first to have his own cooking show all the way back in 1946, a fifteen to thirty-minute series aptly titled, I Love To Eat. And through it all, of course, were his cookbooks, of which he authored over twenty in his lifetime. A new documentary on Beard, titled “America’s First Foodie”, will have its LA premiere on May 19th, shining a light on the somewhat underexposed legacy of the influential gay chef.

The ‘gay’ point, is notable. In most of the discussion surrounding Beard, there is rarely any mention of his sexuality. Not that it should be a factor when considering the breadth and innovation of his work, but it’s a bit like not addressing the elephant in the room during an era when Liberace was suing British tabloids for libel for suggesting he was gay. It also can’t be said that Beard’s sexual orientation didn’t at least somewhat play into his knack for styling food and relishing it for its decadent potential. This is precisely what one new written biography about the legend–the first to be released since 1994–will play up in a way that’s never been done before. The book, currently in the process of being penned by Beard Award-winning food writer John Birdsall, will accent how Beard’s sexuality affected his career trajectory in being an offshoot of his focus on aesthetics at a time when no one else was, or even thought that such an approach could or should matter.

Fast forward to now, when every LA restaurant worth its salt (pun intended) spends time making sure each dish is as much an aesthetic experience as a gustatory one.

Hitting his stride at a time when beige food of a canned nature and TV dinners still reigned supreme in America, Beard’s influence was as epic as Julia Child suggested when she said: “In the beginning, there was Beard.”

Related Posts

Celebrate Queer Cinema at the Egyptian Theater’s Hollywood Pride Series June 25-27

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Experience Nearly a Century of LGBTQ+ Representation on the Silver Screen The Egyptian Theater is set to host “Hollywood Pride:...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Shock-A-Go-Go Film Festival Returns to Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

A Weekend of Horror, and Cult Classics With Exclusive Q&A Sessions The Shock-A-Go-Go Film Festival is set to return to...

Slamdance Film Festival Makes Bold Move to Los Angeles in 2025

May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024

Leading Independent Film Festival Leaves Park City, Utah Slamdance, known for its artist-led ethos of “by filmmakers for filmmakers,” has...

UC Faculty Members Across the State Demand Action Following Campus Violence

May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024

Faculty and Staff Sign Letter Demanding Justice Following Brutal Attacks at UCLA By Dolores Quintana 1000 members of the University...

‘Commitment To Life’ Documentary Exploring HIV Fight In Los Angeles

December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

Production has begun on “Commitment to Life” a new documentary that explores the fight against HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.  Directed...

New Documentary Pays Tribute to Transgender ‘AIDS diva’ Connie Norman

October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

A new documentary titled “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman,” will pay tribute to the transgender leader in AIDS...

Sex and the City Star Willie Garson Dead At 57

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

Acclaimed actor and Los Angeles resident Willie Garson passed away on September 21 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer,...

Elvira Shocks Fans By Coming Out Of The Closet

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

Just in time for Halloween, the spook queen herself, Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira, has come out of the closet.  In...

QFilms Long Beach Returns

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

QFilms Long Beach, Long Beach’s oldest film festival, returns September 30 – October 3 to celebrate the diversity of LGBTQ...

WeHo Poet Laureate Reviews LGBTQ Documentray “Senior Prom”

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

West Hollywood poet Laureate, RENT Poet founder and author of “The Poetry of Strangers: What I Learned Traveling America with...

Buzzfeed’s Docuseries “The Andrea Mares Project”

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

BuzzFeed’s As/Is presents “The Andrea Mares Project,” a docuseries that shadows Andrea Mares, a trans-feminine Latinx, as she embarks on...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach Screening “The Wizard Of Oz”

June 6, 2021

June 6, 2021

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride with an interactive screening of The Wizard of Oz, a fundraiser for the LGBTQ Center Long Beach. ...

LA Pride Announces LGBTQ Cinespia Event At Hollywood Forever Cemetery

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

In honor of 2021’s “Thrive With Pride” theme LA Pride has announced a special night at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. ...

WeHo Celebrates Asian American History Month

May 9, 2021

May 9, 2021

With Covid hate crimes on the rise against Asian Americans on the rise WeHo Reads 2021 season is Creating Hollywood...