Metro Weekly

HRC’s Chefs for Equality fundraises with food

Annual food event showcases D.C.'s culinary talent, while raising money for HRC.

Duplex Thai shrimp salad — Photo: Todd Franson

“If you come to Chefs for Equality, you can expect to have a lot of fun, and you can expect to leave very full and with a full goodie bag of amazing things,” says David Hagedorn, co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign’s annual fundraiser.

Now in its sixth year, Chefs for Equality has moved to Dock5 at Union Market. Admission is $200 per person, granting unlimited access to appetizers, entrees, desserts, and cocktails from hundreds of the D.C. area’s best chefs and mixologists, with all proceeds benefiting the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

As part of the dessert offerings, the event will continue a tradition started during the marriage equality ballot fights of 2012: featuring 20 wedding-style cakes, or “celebration cakes,” courtesy of top local pastry chefs.

“Cakes are a metaphor for all of the dangers the Trump administration has put before us,” says Hagedorn. “In November, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case comes to the Supreme Court, which is the case of the bakery in Colorado that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. That case has huge ramifications for the entire community. It would allow any business to discriminate against people based on religious beliefs, which they neither have to hold nor prove.

“The Trump administration poses a major threat to the LGBTQ community, in ways we never imagined,” he continues. “I thought it was going to be bad, but I didn’t realize how bad it was going to be…. We are not safe under this administration, so the stakes are very high, and I think everyone is aware of it.”

HRC’s sixth annual Chefs for Equality is Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at Dock5 at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are available at Visit for more information.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at