Kia Cooks

Now List 2021: Kia Damon Is the Chef Putting Black and QTPOC Communities First


This year, them. is honoring the New York City-based chef and organizer Kia Damon as part of our annual Now List, our awards for LGBTQ+ visionaries. Since winning Chopped and serving as the executive chef of the now-closed Manhattan restaurant Lalito, Damon has gone on to found the Kia Feeds The People Program and co-found Auxilio Space — two non-profits that aim to combat food apartheid in Brooklyn. Below, Mayukh Sen, a James Beard award-winning food writer and author of the upcoming book Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America (out in November via W.W. Norton & Company), reflects on his friendship with Damon and her everlasting commitment to use food as a form of political expression.