Author’s note: I’ve been wanting to feature dapperQ’s from across the globe that look sharp and throw down in the kitchen! I’m extremely interested in food culture and fashion, how both are concerned with presentation, making lasting first impressions, and involve a creative process. My new series, “Breaking Bread,” takes us into the kitchens and closets of some of the most dapper cooks in our community! Feeling hungry yet?
AARUM KISHA ANITA HURSE,
Author and Cook
Born and raised in Detroit, Aarum Kisha Anita Hurse, founder of “LesBinTheKitchen,” has spent her entire life around food! Like most African American households, the kitchen is a meeting place. Aarum watched and was taught by the best – her great-great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and aunts. Aarum says:
“As a kid I loved how the neighbors would just show up when they smelled the food. My passion for food started then and now I’m taking it to the next level because it’s fun!”
dapperQ: Tell us about some of your favorite outfit combinations and about where you like to shop.
Hurse: This will either be easy or difficult; I’m not so much into brands and labels! Thrift stores are my best friends, and understanding my own style, as I get older, is important to me. I just turned thirty-seven so there are some things you have to walk away from. I only shopped at the mall when necessary, but I love a great custom tux! My hands down top sneaker is the Adidas shell toes and I’m gunning to have my own line someday.
dapperQ: Tell us about LesBInTheKitchen and your newly released cookbook. How was your book conceptualized? When did you first start cooking or recognize you have a talent for preparing meals?
Hurse: Culinary Cool Everyday Food is the first cookbook that I have self- published. The last two years has been a hell of a journey! It started two years ago in Los Angeles when my career in TV production hit a wall after eight years. I was just really wanting more from life; everything was upside down for me. As a way to get out of my own head, I started to cook. The more I posted online, my friends would say, “You really need to do something with this food.” Shortly after, “LesBInTheKitchen” was born! I moved to Seattle over a year ago and was looking for work. I was still cooking and putting this book together…started a new job in HR for a really cool pizza company (funny that I’m working in food, didn’t see that coming), and going home each day cooking to create a book.
So much goes into this process; not only learning how to get a book out to the public, but also learning how to write recipes is HUGE for me! My degree is actually in TV, not food. That is the biggest thing I will keep working on, as I put more books out. Everything I cook is freestyle. I know what I like and then I just jump out the window after that and grab whatever I have in the kitchen. The intro in the book is “Find Your Flavor Profile.” You already know the things you like, now just mix it up and try it on some chicken with some bacon!
My mood always is directly connected to the food I’m cooking. My mood starts with what I have on that day. If my swag is on ten and I’m smiling, then most likely the food that night is going to be on point!
I want to move the culture forward by simply being myself; fashion and food go hand and hand. I think people enjoy the fresh approach I bring to food and that’s because I don’t have rules to go by, as I’m not a trained chef, just a home cook. The concept for this book was to include everyday food items, just kicked up!
dapperQ: What challenges do you face being an LGBTQ cook with a product line and how have you overcome it?
Hurse: None! I only have one book out right now, the second one coming later this year. I don’t feel I will face any challenges being LGBTQ; nothing out of the everyday of being a black woman, who happens to be also be a lesbian. Life comes with hills to climb, there’s no way around that. I get out of bed and each day, even if it’s a small part of my day, I make sure I’m doing something to push my goals forward!
dapperQ: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
Hurse: ALL of it is tied to my identity. You are what you wear! I know in the LGBTQ community there’s a problem with “studs” that rock heels and make-up. I’m here to tell you, I’m a grown ass sexy woman. Sometimes you get the heels and other times you get the oxfords! On the weekends I’m in a baseball cap and basketball shorts.
dapperQ: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?
Hurse: Being able to be yourself is the only thing that’s important. Being okay with who you are in your skin is the key to your everyday happiness. I remember sitting in one of my friend’s homes getting ready to take my own life around age nineteen or so because I come from a strong church family. Thank God my friends came home and loved me through the most difficult time of my life! I remember Jay-Z had a song out at the time that went like, “what you eat don’t make me shit.” For me that’s always stuck with me. Each day I look for happiness. It’s about me each day and fighting in very simple ways of standing my ground. Take it or leave it, this is who the fuck I am! I think with fashion; I get to say a lot of this from the hats I rock or the way I put my outfits together that day. My style speaks to my strengths before I even open my mouth.
dapperQ: What’s your favorite recipe and why?
Hurse: Easy Fried Chicken! I know lots of folks think it’s anything with bacon, but for me, fried chicken on a bad day or a good day makes the day! I especially love making basil-fried chicken.
dapperQ: I know I’m not alone: I cannot cook. Date nights at home are a weekly struggle. Give our readership some advice — for a dapper-date-night give us an example of something sexy, easy, and delicious our readers can prepare for their significant other.
Hurse: Date night food — well let’s make sure they aren’t allergic to anything! It would suck, trying to romance her, if she’s sent to the ER. I’m allergic to fish and seafood. So, DON’T cook me anything like that, please and thank you. Date night at home is super important once a week. Think of the theme you want to do for bae. I hate that word, but some ideas include: movie night with cheese, meats, or popcorn. Another night you can do it up big! Send your significant other(s) an invite for 8:00PM to the dining room and black tie level of dress is required. Now this night you have the best champagne and you have cooked some lamb or a New York strip with all of the sides. Romance isn’t dead. People just don’t want to put the work in!
dapperQ: What advice can you offer to people who fit outside of society’s understanding of traditionally masculine and feminine styles?
Hurse: I think just being cool with you is the biggest thing! Understand your lane and go into each day with a smile and zero fucks. It starts with you looking in the mirror each day so after you are able to face yourself and you feel good about you the rest of the world just doesn’t matter. If the world calls me sir one day because my baseball cap is riding low and they can’t tell I don’t care. Stand in your DOPENESS!
dapperQ: Who can our readers stay in touch with you?
Ready for seconds? Aarum shared a couple of quick recipes with dapperQ:
Caprese Fried Salad with Basil and Sage
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Pound fresh mozzarella
10 to 20 Basil Leaves
1/4 inch thick slices 10 to 20 of the mozzarella
2 to 4 Sage Leaves (to top off dish)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup of Panko bread Crumbs
3 vine-ripe tomatoes-1/4 inch thick slices
Step 1. Make an egg wash. Crack the two eggs into a pie pan and use a fork to beat them until they are combined. Dip the mozzarella slices in the egg wash, be sure to cover the mozzarella thoroughly with the egg wash so that the coating sticks.
Step 2. Coat with Panko or Tempura mix. Place enough olive oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is up to temperature, fry the mozzarella until golden brown on both sides. Fry over medium-high heat until golden brown 1 to 2mins each side.
Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each fried mozzarella slice. Add Sage leaves to top of Salad. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Honey Maple Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin: Stuffed with Sage & Whole Garlic
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 head of garlic, top sliced off
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. each) *Keep the fat!
1 tbsp. sage
1/2 tbsp. of cumin
12 fresh sage leaves
Hand full of chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 (1/4-inch thick) slices of maple bacon
Cook time: 1hour & 1Omins I Temp: 375°f
Step 1. Preheat oven to 375°f
Step 2. Arrange tenderloins on work surface. Season each tenderloin with sage, and cumin. Cut three slits in the top of each tenderloin. Stuff the slits with uncooked whole garlic bulbs and sage leaves.
Step 3. Wrap 6 strips of bacon around each tenderloin and tie bacon in place with kitchen twine.
Step 4. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloins until golden brown on all sides 3 to 4mins each side.
Step 5. Transfer seared tenderloins to a medium roasting pan; place in the oven and cook to medium doneness about 60 minutes to and 1hour & 10 minutes.
Step 6. Transfer tenderloins to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine before carving.
Plate & Serve
Photos by Photography Luis Chavez