Knife launches weekend film series to coincide with DIFF

Arianna 5

Knife chef John Tesar is a big movie buff, and when he opened Knife in The Highland, one of the programs he started was a monthly outdoor movie screening. (Appropriate, since the film Chef somewhat mirrored his own experience with a local critic.) The 2016 features the films of Dallas-bred director Wes Anderson — it started last month with Bottle Rocket, and will pick up on May 15 with Rushmore, then continuing with The Royal Tenenbaums (June 26), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Sept. 18), Moonrise Kingdom (Oct. 23) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (Nov. 13). But interrupting that series this weekend will be his tribute to the Dallas International Film Festival, which gets underway today (and it the cover story in Dallas Voice tomorrow).

The series of dinners starts tomorrow at 7 p.m. with a tribute to Arianna (pictured) — a gay-themed movie at the festival set in Italy, with the cuisine of the country featured. Next is Saturday’s Halfway with a 7:30 p.m. dinner featuring lamb and veal, and concluding Sunday at 7 p.m. with the film Mr. Pig, which features — of course — pork. If you can’t make any of these special dinners ($125/person), there will be special three-course dinners throughout the festival (until April 24), which takes place just across the street at the Angelika.

And pick up Dallas Voice tomorrow to read all about DIFF and the USA Film Festival. Cheers!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Spicy Italian sausage, no dressing

Aptly named gay cook Adrian De Berardinis’ hirsute pursuit of culinary creativity landed him on the sexy new webseries ‘The Bear Naked Chef’


NAKED LUNCH | Adrian De Berardinis made a name with his focaccia in New York City, but his buns get a lot of attention on his new webseries, ‘The Bear Naked Chef.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Executive Editor

Adrian De Berardinis puts the “bear” in “bare.”

On his new webseries, The Bear Naked Chef, the out-and-proud, hairy, muscular, tatted-up, New York-trained chef combines his passion for food with his nudist tendencies so that his audience not only learns the ins-and-outs of fine cuisine, but gets some eye-candy in the process. After barely a month online, and just two episodes released (so far), The Bear Naked Chef is stirring more than a stock pot with his largely (but not exclusively) gay fans. (He identified his age as “prime” … and he’s single.)

Once a Dallas resident — he’s an alumnus of Southern Methodist University, who now calls Los Angeles home — De Berardinis took time away from his slickly-produced series to talk to us about his culinary credentials, his hopes for the future of naked cooking and how it’s still possible (but a little risky!) to deep-fry in your birthday suit.


Dallas Voice: Where did your culinary interests originate?  De Berardinis: Growing up in a foodie household, I began cooking at age 8, cultivating my passion for authentic Italian cuisine. I had the privilege of working in our family-owned pizzerias and restaurants, which honed my kitchen and cooking skills. I worked in restaurants through college at SMU, and when I moved to NYC, worked in the kitchen at the East Village’s famous Frank restaurant, where I was honored with an award for Best Focaccia in New York City in 2000.

So, is Italian food your focus?  I specialize in authentic regional Italian dishes because of [my background], but my exploration doesn’t stop there. I experiment with other tastes from across the globe. I have so many favorite dishes to cook. This is what my web series is: my favorites — my greatest hits, if you will. There are many more delicious things to come. But I started the series with a dish that is near and dear to me, a family favorite: Chicken cacciatore. It’s something that was special to me and my family. But it’s deceptively simple to make, as all my recipes are.

I imagine there are risks to cooking naked — like, “never make bacon!”  I actually cook naked all the time at home, and have for years! It started with an ex of mine; He and I would get up in the morning and make breakfast naked. I continued this after we split. It feels sexy to me. Cooking is truly a sensual process for me. It’s a lot like making love.

Still, the hazards of cooking naked are quite obvious. This is why I use a little apron. I want to protect my junk. I’ve only had a few minor blips happen, with boiling water and hot oil but nothing emergency-room-worthy! (Tip: Open the oven door from one side of it, not in front.) I actually cook a dish with bacon in my third episode — stay tuned, y’all! But I use a pan with high sides. Whoops! There goes a secret.


Adrian De Berardinis

Other than your own history of being bare-assed in the kitchen, where did the idea come to make it into a show?  I had the idea back in June 2015 and I marinated in it for three months to figure out how I would want to execute it. In September, I ran into an old friend, Brandon Roberts [who would later become executive producer of the show] and pitched the concept to him. He was all over it, and within a week, he had assembled a production team and we shot the first three episodes a week later. It all happened quite quickly. We released the teaser on my YouTube channel on Dec. 15; a week later, we released Episode 1. It garnered a lot of attention. I was beside myself.

The show went viral on both releases, 300K views in the first week for Episode 1. The response was overwhelming and was received very well. I receive tons of messages and e-mails daily how much people love this. Not just because I’m naked though, but because they also love the food. That is the most gratifying part.

Mostly gay men, I suspect!  Interestingly enough, about 20 percent of my subscribers and viewers are female around the world.

Other than the nudity, the production values could easily make you believe it’s airing on the Cooking Channel.  I want watching to be a full sensory experience. The aesthetic, the set, the production is beautiful and I hope add to that with my personality, charm and expertise. Yes, people enjoy watching me cook naked, but truly, the show is about the food I cook. Hence my tag: Nothing Butt Good Food. I want people to try my recipes at home, enjoy the process and maybe try cooking naked themselves and discover something new about it.

What’s you hope for the future of it?  I have many ambitions on where to take the show. I want it to evolve and tell a story. I plan on having quests in the future, travelling to different countries and cooking with other cooks in their kitchens (all naked of course), and a cookbook is in the works. Stay tuned.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 29, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

13 movies for foodies

On Friday, the film adaptation of The Hundred-Foot Journey will open (my review will run Friday as well). It’s a movie about food and cooking and love. And it got me thinking about how many films there are that deal with food in central ways — sometimes as romantic and personal, sometimes as something a little stranger.

So I compiled this list of 13 films — a baker’s dozen! — that represent some aspect of food, food criticism, consumption, eating and the like to whet your appetite. Drink up!



1. Ratatouille (2007). Pixar’s (and, by extension, Disney’s) best film ever is this unlikely charmer about a rat who loves to cook, but being a vermin is unwelcome in most kitchens (there’s always Arby’s). A film that pays closer attention to the details of the real fine dining scene more than any other, it’s not only beautiful but a canny depiction of the critic-chef relationship.

2. Babette’s Feast (1987). This Oscar winner for best foreign language film depicts a Danish household where privation is a way of life, and what happens when a French housekeeper breaks with tradition and hosts a magical dinner. It’s tantalizing and conjures the exquisite longing that food can represent for us emotionally.


3. Sideways (2004). What Ratatouille is to cuisine, Sideways is to wine: On point, evocative and full of complex, passionate relationships. Famous for its “I’m not drinking any fucking merlot!” line, pay attention to the wine the anti-hero is sipping near the end. Complex did I say? Oh, yes.

4. Toast (2011). This film adaptation of the memoir by gay British gourmand and critic Nigel Slater is a tender coming-of-age film and an elegant battle royal in the kitchen between a young man and his stepmonster.

5. Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978). An oldie-but-goodie, this 1970s caper film concerns great chefs being slowly eliminated by a mysterious killer who turns their own techniques on them. But why? A sumptuous romantic comedy, the cake-making scene (a huge bombe) is alone enough to turn you diabetic.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Fox goes uber-gay with ‘Allen Gregory,’ ‘American Dad’

Say what you want about their news channel and their leadership, but Sunday night on the Fox broadcast network was about as gay as TV gets.

It started, of course, with The Simpsons, one of the most gay-friendly shows on TV (though Sunday night’s was only gayish — it dealt with foodies). Also on deck was Family Guy — again, a tres gay series with a queer little baby who wants to take over the world and characters who break out into Broadway production numbers at the drop of a hat. We’re used to that.

But it reached new heights of homophilia with Allen Gregory and American Dad.

Allen Gregory is the new series from Jonah Hill. The premise of the show is already inherently queer: Two gay dads, pictured, rear their pretentious little 7-year-old Allen Gregory. There have been, in the previous few outings, several jokes per episode about gay sex between the pompous dad Richard (voiced by French Stewart) and his butch, derided partner Jeremy. But last night, not only were the dads central characters, the plot was all about a school dance where all the students in the elementary school were expected to ask same-sex partners to the dance. This is edgy stuff for established cable shows, but for “family night” on a freshman series?! Wow. The episode was not only funny (I’m already a huge fan of the series), but also witheringly insightful about perceptions of gay people. And the attempted seduction of Jeremy by Richard (including dropped towel) was hilarious.

That was followed by American Dad — again, well-established with a gay history, from the out couple across the street to the fey alien Roger who lives in the attic. But Roger finally met someone romantic … and it turned out the be Ricky Martin. The episode included Ricky and Roger kissing on a couch (and they were really going at it). You gotta love that!

I hope the ratings for both shows are good, and they are certainly worth a (here for American Dad, here for Allen Gregory) visit. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Local briefs • 10.14.11

RCD hosts ‘The 5 Factor’

Resource Center Dallas, in partnership with Dallas Modern Luxury, presents the third annual “The 5 Factor” event on Thursday, Oct. 20, at eM the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. in Dallas.

“The 5 Factor” event recognizes five of Dallas’ finest in areas such as cuisine, fashion, media and literature.

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

General admission is $50 per person, available online at Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.


GLAAD holds ‘Get Amped’ 5K

The local chapter of GLAAD presents Get Amped, a 5K run/walk on the Katy Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with similar chapter events around the country.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.

The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. The celebration takes place at the finish line, also at the arena, at 9 p.m.

An after-party takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon.

Each runner has a goal of raising $250. The money raised will benefit the national organization.


VNA holds Service of Remembrance

The Visiting Nurse Association will host a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Preston Hollow United Methodist Church, 6315 Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.

The event is open to the public and will feature special music, readings and the opportunity to light a memorial candle.

Attendees of all faiths are welcome to attend the service.

For more information call Sue Rafferty, bereavement coordinator with the Visiting Nurse Association, at 214-689-2922

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Lady of leather

Dallas chef Synn Evans took off her chef’s coat and put on a cowhide vest on her way to being crowned Ms. Texas Leather

LEATHER MAMA | Synn Evans is a long-standing member of the leather community, but won the first event she ever entered last week: Ms. Texas Leather. (Photo courtesy Oblivion Images)

JENNY BLOCK  | Contributing Writer

I want this.”

That’s how Synn Evans felt about the Ms. Texas Leather title from the minute she decided to compete. As of Saturday night, that desire became a reality.

She’s in full regalia for our interview, including black leather vest, chaps and her medal. She sports a jet black Mohawk, devilish grin and blue eyes with a gaze as intent as it is kind. Ms. Texas Leather is not a beauty contest, but it’s hard to imagine her looks didn’t help her case.

Evans has been a member of the leather community since 1996, when her best friend introduced her to the scene at a party.

“I was introduced to good people and taken by the hand because of connections. It’s a huge networking system,” she says. “No matter where you travel, you have a place to walk into and fit in, and whatever turns you on is all right. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s like you just know something you just belong with.”

Still, her entry last week marked her first leather competition — surprising, considering how she lights up when she talks about leather:

“I love the way it looks. I love the way it smells. I love the way people dress in it. It’s not for everyone and I get that. But I think that if people were introduced to it in a proper way, it would be hard to walk away from. It’s exciting.”

Her love of leather is in no way hampered by the fact that many see the scene as the domain of gay men. “The leather scene is dominated by men,” she acknowledges. “It was started by men. Women were there, but it was a separate entity. Throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, it started to take off and the feminist movement was really intertwined in it.”

Despite its male roots, Evans says she doesn’t feel any disrespect from her brothers in leather. “I don’t think there’s a problem for women in the community. Men appreciate having their own space just like I appreciate having the women’s space. I’ve never had any trouble. I get along very well with the gay male community. I’ve never had anyone be negative in any way, which is one of the reasons I love the leather community so much. It’s really just a matter of visibility.”

It’s that very issue that helped Evans to win the title. “Visibility is part of my platform, for women in the community to be seen and heard,” she says. Evans also hopes to improve access to the community for those who are hearing impaired, an issue close to her own heart as her last partner was hearing impaired and her current partner, Lillith Grey, is a sign language interpreter and instructor, as well as Gulf Coast Leather Woman of the Year.

“When I announced I was running for this title, [Former IML champ] Jeffrey Payne said to me, ‘It’s going to be a title family now.’ Next I’m going for International Ms. Leather.”

Evans says prepping for the competition was no easy task, between writing a speech, preparing for the interview, researching the judges and preparing a fantasy scene (a four-minute-long performance). Of these, it was the interview, Evans says, that really had her nervous.

“What was so stressful was that they could ask anything — personal, professional, family, anything — like, ‘What does leather mean to you,’ or ‘How do you plan on raising money for the title [for travel]’ or ‘How will your students feel about this?’” She stops and smiles. “They would think it was cool.”

In her vanilla life, Evans is a chef instructor at a community college and a private chef for various events (including for Glory Hole, her partner’s fetish production company; see sidebar). When Evans goes off to her professional gigs, her Mohawk gets collapsed and her jewelry comes off  as her chef’s coat goes on. “In my professional life, I try to be neutral,” she says, although some things, like her tattoos, she keeps on display “because they’re me.”

“Transitioning back and forth between the worlds really isn’t that hard. Like everyone else, you have a time and place for everything in your life. You always find a time and place for things that are important to you and I would never give up the leather community for anything in the world. It’s incredibly liberating to be with people who don’t care if you want to be pierced or don’t want to wear clothes or whatever.”

She laughs. “It’s all about pleasing yourself, realizing what you like and what you want and doing it … as long as it’s safe.”

It’s clear that the win means far more to Evans than just bragging rights.

“This title is a huge opportunity for women in the leather community here in Dallas and across the state. Part of my job as titleholder is to get people to come out. This title has the opportunity to really give the issues and the community the visibility it needs.”

Then she leans back, takes in the moment with a slow breath, and smiles. “It’s pretty cool.”




culture-2This weekend, it’s time to get kinky and retro.

Glory Hole is a not-for-profit fetish event production company (which also has a kink/fetish performance troupe, called the Gloryhole Girls), with beneficiaries like the John Thomas Gay and Lesbian Community Center and other LGBT and kink charities. It was founded in part by Lillith Grey, an artist, activist, burlesque dancer and college instructor in the sex-positive community (she’s also partner to reigning Ms. Texas Leather Synn Evans).

Friday is Glory Hole’s ’70s Porno Party. “It’s going to be phenomenal,” Grey says. “We have live music, The Foxxy Love Show, community vendors, a private portrait photographer, a voyeur room, a full dungeon, hot DJs, and a catered fondue bar, as well as a no-cash raffle.” (One donated non-perishable food item gets you one raffle ticket.)

The location is sent to members the day of the party, and the parties are BYOB with a very strict no-photos policy. Security and safety are paramount at these events. Costumes are highly encouraged. “RIsque is A-OK,” is Grey’s motto.

Because it’s a members-only event, you need to join in time for the party (no applications are accepted at the door — if you can even find the door). To register by 6: p.m. Friday, visit

— J.B.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Blythe Beck introduces 1st-ever cooking series

If there’s a gap in most home cooks’ repertoire, it’s probably that they don’t deep-fry enough kobe beef or use enough butter. OK, maybe not that exactly, but the thing is, that’s the specialty of Central 214 exec chef Blythe Beck. Now, for the first time, she’s gonna share some of her creations in intimate cooking classes this fall.

There are three classes planned so far — Sept. 17 (Pride Weekend!), Oct. 15 and Nov. 19 — in which she’ll share some of her secrets in making a three-course dinner complete with wine pairing. Class size is limited to 25. Cost is $125 per person.

To sign up, visit

—  Arnold Wayne Jones