A bashing took Smith-Malave from reality TV to GLAAD spokeschef
When she was a contestant on the second season on Bravo’s popular reality series "Top Chef," the closest Josie Smith-Malave came to violence was beating an egg.
But less than a year after the Miami native was asked to "pack her knives and go," Smith-Malave became something no one ever imagines being: A crime statistic.
The openly lesbian cook and three of her friends were the victims of a beating on Long Island last Labor Day weekend, when two female assailants spat on, struck and yelled homophobic slurs at Smith-Malave and the others.
Some observers criticized the police reaction (it took several months before any arrests were made, and the alleged perpetrators were only charged with misdemeanors), but Smith-Malave hasn’t let it go that easily. Instead, she has joined up with GLAAD, bringing her celebrity — and her story — around the country. Last month, she was among the guest at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
Now Dallas gets a taste when she appears at the GLAAD "Chef Invasion" fundraiser on May 8.
"We are thrilled to have Josie with us to give us more visibility," says Dawn Meifert, who sits on the national board of directors for GLAAD and is a member of the host committee for the Dallas event. "’Chef Invasion’ is only in its second year and was very successful at Hector’s on Henderson in 2007. We’re gaining ground here in Dallas. And the food is amazing — it’s gonna be over the top."
In addition to the food, there will be cocktails, a silent auction and raffle. And attendees will get a chance to speak with Smith-Malave about her experiences coping with — and fighting — homophobia, proving that when it comes to gay rights, this Josie ain’t no pussycat.
Former "Top Chef" contestant Josie Smith-Malave, pictured, will be in Dallas on Thursday as part of GLAAD’s "Chef Invasion" fundraiser at the home of Julie Squibb, 6935 Tokalon Dr. May 8. 6â€“9 p.m.
Cost from $75 (individual ticket) to $250 (2 VIP admissions with gift bag and raffle tickets).
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 2, 2008.