Honoring Chef Yulanda – The Feminist Wire

Honoring Chef Yulanda

By Evolve Benton

Chef Yulanda Illustration was created on adobe draw by Evolve Benton after learning of Chef Yulanda’s death. Evolve uses art as a form of healing. This illustration is the first step in accepting, celebrating and honoring the life of their black queer ancestor.


Chef Yulanda


chef cooked the meals

fed us bois confidence

fed us bois freedom

This is what black boi

life feel like


kale sautéed in all that

black boi joy

chef wore black

chef was the sky

we brown bois


the stars, smiles traveled

miles, nourished by the gifts

I see the boi in the mirror


witness how breath leaves

the body

how food loves the body

how hands massage the grub

how our ancestors passed this love


in recipe, in tongues, like griots

of the kitchen

we be Gods of flavor

but what does freedom taste like?


the revolution can’t

be microwaved, we need a

stovetop and oven

can’t open our minds

to change, with empty bellies


so we turn to you

bliss us away, simply


Chef’s memorial page


Evolve Benton is a black, queer artist from Los Angeles, CA. Evolve has had the opportunity to spit poems across the United States and lives by the quote,  “I write to live, and I live to write.”  Evolve found their poetic voice and passion for poetry in New Orleans, LA where they attended Dillard University. Evolve earned their MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Evolve’s poetry has been published in the Dillard Review (2008), Trans bodies, Trans Selves (2014) and Outside the XY: Black and Brown Masculinity (2016).   Evolve currently resides in the Oakland, CA with their lovely partner and six year old yorkie. Learn more about Evolve at