D.C.-born Tim Gunn was welcomed back home to Washington Wednesday night at a fundraiser for marriage equality in Maryland. Hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the event brought 60 top-notch local chefs and 18 mixologists together for a night of culinary bliss at the Ritz-Carlton.
Gunn, dressed in a blue pinstriped skinny suit and suede monkstrap shoes, took a moment to chat with Yeas & Nays while being mobbed by fans in the ballroom. The "Project Runway" mentor says he refuses to dumb down his look just because he's back in the Beltway. "I champion the New York me," he said, adding that he's noticed Capitol Hill dressing better since President Obama came to town -- better, but still not great.
"If Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama can't get this city into shape, who can?" he lamented.
Joining Gunn on stage was Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. HRC president Chad Griffin introduced the governor as "our leader and our hero," saying he has traveled up and down the state to advocate for Maryland's referendum to allow same-sex marriage. O'Malley seemed slightly stunned by the number of people in the packed ballroom.
"I had no idea," he said twice. "I've been to countless living room fundraisers. This is the largest living room fundraiser for marriage equality that I've ever been to."
O'Malley delivered 10 minutes of remarks, sneaking in a popular Republican talking point when praising the chefs who donated their time to cook for the evening. "These chefs," he said, "are the job creators."
Among the many goodies served to partygoers: braised beef cheeks from BLT; duck taquitos with avocado sauce from Equinox; and apple-smoked pork belly over risotto from Lincoln. Among the wedding cakes that greeting guests as they walked in: a cheeky design from Fluffy Thoughts with two bride figurines atop it.