Gay cookbooks

Yesterday’s venture into the book The Gay Kitchen (which has nothing to do with sexuality) led me to wonder about gay cookbooks. To start with, there are significant associations between gay men, food, and cooking (briefly explored in my “gay greens” postings, here and here); while the concentration of gay men among chefs and food writers seems to be less than for, say, hairdressers and organists, it looks substantial. So we were bound to get cookbooks aimed at gay men.

The first monument in the field came in, astonishingly, 1965: Chef Lou Rand Hogan’s The Gay Cookbook.


According to, the book

is “the complete compendium of camp cuisine and menus for men…or what have you”. The “campy” cartoons were done by David Costain. It covers everything from hors d’oeurves, aphrodisiacs, soups, meat entrees to drunks & drinks. There is also an index for quick reference. The recipe formats with colorful language are very casual and very west coast.

And heavily campy; there’s a lot of girlfriend in this book. But where else can you find a recipe for Swish Steak?

More books ensued. Here’s a recent item, as described on Amazon:

From foolproof, dependable recipes to reliable how-to advice, The Gay Man’s Cookbook® [by Skylar Blue (2011)] has everything you need for the way you cook today. Whether you’re a new or experienced cook, The Gay Man’s Cookbook® is the book for you! There are few things more important in Gay culture than food and many of the most iconic Gay dishes have made their way firmly into mainstream culture. Who doesn’t know that Beef soup — or Boy Hole Stew – is guaranteed to help you if you have a cold or flu. And, whilst you may not associate the stereotype of the gay man with ever venturing remotely near the kitchen, Gay Men – and they know who they are – know that even in the 21st century eating remains at the heart of gay life. The authors of this irreverent cookbook have produced a host of fabulous traditional as well as nouveau dishes of Gay cuisine. A foolproof guide to the ultimate Friday night dinner sits alongside a delicious new twist on Stuffed Avocado — Barebacked Avocado anyone?

(Capitalizing almost all occurrences of gay is cute. The description gives little Gay shrieks.)

Then there’s the specialist site Cooking With Cum, “the home of semen cuisine”, offering things like this book:


From SFWeekly:

In the book, Photenhauer provides semen storage and flavor enhancement tips, as well as plenty of deliciously titled recipes like the Macho Mojito, the Slightly Saltier Caviar and the Galliano Cum Shot. (We couldn’t make this stuff up.)

If that’s too adventurous for you, you can fall back on rainbow food (which comes up in my postings every so often). Cakes, for instance. A  rainbow layer cake and a rainbow cupcake:



[Addendum 7/18/13 about the author of the The Gay Cookbook. From

Lou Rand (born 1910; died 1976) was the pen name of a San Francisco chef, Gourmet Magazine columnist and pulp fiction writer.

He earned culinary distinction at the Bohemian Club, the Palace Hotel, and the Mark Hopkins as well as working as the private chef for billionaire industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. Alongside The Gay Detective, he was also author [under the name Lou Rand Hogan] of the cult classic The Gay Cookbook, written in 1965, whose recipes are loaded with double entendres popular during the period. Rand, who also wrote for the Advocate and the Bay Area Reporter, died in 1976.


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