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Sashay, Fillet! bridges dining and drag for Calgary Pride week

Dinner with a side of drag.

Five of Calgary’s top chefs will be paired up with five of Calgary’s hottest drag talents in an event filled with food and feats in support of Calgary Pride at Sashay, Fillet! during Calgary’s Pride Week, which runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3.

The event, held at Calgary’s Hotel Arts on Aug. 30, is hosted by online Canadian culinary magazine, Eat North, and brings together two different worlds for one big celebration.

“The base idea behind it, aside from supporting Calgary’s LGBTQ community, was to mash up the worlds of culinary and drag together,” said Eat North co-founder, Dan Clapson, adding that they wanted to build an event that worked off the popularity of TV shows Top Chef Canada and RuPaul’s Drag Race – especially if they could use local talent in both areas.

“Being a chef means being creative and being a drag performer means being creative… so while a chef might not regularly watch RuPaul’s Drag Race or be aware of that world, I feel they have a lot of common themes with how they want to stand out and be unique.

“It’s to give them both insight into each other’s worlds.”

Local drag star Perla Coddington said melding food and drag is a great way to build a bridge between the two distinct worlds.

“We’re seeing a lot of this hybrid of food events mixed with drag – drag brunches are becoming so popular. People are sitting down for a meal and then seeing a man dressed up as a woman,” said Coddington.

“You want to look at pretty food, too, so being a chef is like putting food in drag.”

Hotel Arts executive chef Quinn Staple agreed.

“I think they’re both transformative,” he said.

“Sure, there’s definitely a line between the two, but it’s pretty easy to jump across that line.”

Chefs from city restaurants Pigeon Hole, Two Penny Chinese, Foreign Concept, Hotel Arts Group and Alloy will be paired with local drag stars including Perla Coddington, Angelina Starchild, Grease Jones, Duke Carson and Abeiya Miraj for a handful of interactive food and drag challenges through the evening.

Top Chef Canada judge Mijune Pak and Yuhua Hamasaki of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 will be co-hosting and judging the competition.

For more information on the Sashay, Fillet! event, visit eatnorth.ca or go to the event listing on EventBrite.