Chef Art Smith, the owner of D.C.'s Art and Soul restaurant and current contestant on "Top Chef Masters," was holding court Wednesday night at the eatery while hosting a viewing party for the show.
Smith has for years said that "fried chicken takes no sides." On Wednesday he added to his mantra: "but what it doesn't take, it doesn't take the side of hate." Smith is, of course, referring to the recent Chick-fil-A gay marriage controversy, something he's been very vocal about. Already, Smith has penned an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times on the matter and held a Flick-the-Hate party at the Chicago residence he shares with his husband. He plans to copy that party concept in D.C. "In the next few weeks, it's going to happen," he told Yeas & Nays.
Instead of having it at Art and Soul, Smith said the party will be at a private home. "I want to have it in the community. I love Art and Soul, I love my partners and everything and they are very supportive, but I'm doing this on my own," he explained. "This is a shrine to bipartisanship here and I don't want to do anything -- they know, it's public enough, they know," he continued. And yes, he'll be serving fried chicken. "Kind chicken," as he's been calling it. "I've cooked it for every possible famous person in the world and, again, it may go down in history that things were changed over fried chicken."
Smith was married to his partner Jesus Ramon Salgueiro on Capitol Hill two years ago, and when their wedding photos were splashed onscreen during the episode of "Top Chef Masters," the folks at ArtBar loudly cheered. "I want to tell you something, Jesus and I have cooked for some amazing people, from the Bushes to the Clintons to the Obamas, all these great people, and I want to tell you something, we've always gone to them as a couple and we've always been treated as a couple," Smith said.