Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Local 'Masterchef' talent on clothes, Creole roots
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2015-08-04

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Local talent Tommy Walton is moving in a whole new direction these days.

After teaching at the Art Institute in Chicago for years and becoming a leader in fashion, there is something fresh on his plate. He is now on the hit reality series Masterchef on Fox, starring Gordon Ramsay, Graham Eliot and new judge Christina Tosi. On the show there are many challenges as contestants compete for $250,000, their own cookbook and a Masterchef trophy.

Walton sat down with Nunn to talk about longtime partner Roger Price, his Creole roots and cooking on Masterchef.

Windy City Times: Hi, Tommy. Are you originally from Chicago?

Tommy Walton: Chicago is my home but I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. My family is from there and New Orleans. There are still many family members living in the South. When I was 12 years old, we moved to London. That is when I started my international life.

I have always considered Chicago as my home because we based our business here. I have been selling clothes in Chicago for the past 25 years. I was the first winner of the Marshall Field's Designer of Distinction Award. Recently I won the Fashion Next at the Chicago History Museum. I'm the only living designer in Chicago that was commissioned to do a collection for the Chicago History Museum. I am lifetime honorary member of the Costume Council. The last designer was Halston in 1968.

WCT: That's a huge honor!

TW: Isn't that cool? I have been waffling back and forth between fashion and food and TV—edu-tainment," as I like to call it!

WCT: Have you always liked cooking?

TW: I was always interested in cooking because I came from a family of Creole women who were always at the stove. My grandmother was a homemaker and a midwife. We had a gigantic garden so my mother was always busy canning and preserving things. I grew up making apple butter. That was one of my first memories. There was always an element of cooking and being connected to the farm. That was just part of me.

As a child I would watch Sesame Street and right after that was Julia Child. I just watched it by default because it was on TV. I learned all of this stuff subliminally. When I was eight years old I made stuffed cabbage. That was my first dinner I made for my family. I've always been cooking.

WCT: What is your background?

TW: My family is Creole. My family speaks French. Most people in Chicago think I am Puerto Rican. My students think I am Korean because I am always making Korean food. I'm a Heinz 57. I belong to everybody!

WCT: You are 53 years old?

TW: I am and I was born in 1962, when sex was dirty and the air was still clean!

WCT: Did you land on Masterchef after an open casting call?

TW: They do have an open casting call where people can go to a cattle call, but I was cast differently. My husband Roger—we have been together for 30 years so he is the one that actually gets to eat all of the cooking—filled out the form that was online. I had no idea that there was such a thing.

When Roger mentioned it, I thought I would never do it. I wouldn't leave my students at the Art Institute over something like that. My classes are booked two years in advance. Then I got home and had a telephone call from them [saying] they're coming to Chicago and [that I should] bring a dish. I gave it a shot. I made salmon three ways, with wild vegetables using fashionable colors. At the audition I was number 267 and, that day, I met the producers. They put me straight through. The next week I had a screen test. It was really fast for me.

WCT: How was the experience?

TW: It is truly a life-changing experience. Every day it can be a lot of work with social media. I could occupy myself about six hours a day just to keep up. I didn't have Twitter or Instagram before, and now it is an explosion of volcanic proportions! I have fans from all over the place. It is just a miracle.

WCT: Where do think this reality series will lead you now?

TW: I've always been interested in doing something artistic. I am multifaceted disco-ball kind of a person. Masterchef was my way of polishing that one side that I had already. I've been really successful in fashion and education. The Art Institute promotes interdisciplinary studies so it is a blending of things like sculpture, fashion and performance.

I want to do something that is not just a restaurant but I would like to be the host of a high-concept performance art/restaurant space, like a supper club or cabaret. I could be the master of ceremonies. It could evolve and change monthly; perhaps, one night there will be a guest chef like Graham Elliott or some of my Masterchef brothers and sisters. I just recently had some of the Masterchef Junior cast members come visit me, and they are unbelievable.

Children are really responding to me as fans so children's programming might be in the future. One of my little fans dresses like me and another uses my phrase, "I'm fierce, fabulous and 53!"

I would like to have my own show, where I am the gay Creole Martha Stewart mixing food, art, fashion and travel. That is what I am all about.

See what's cooking with Tommy Walton on Masterchef Wednesdays on Fox. Visit Tommy Walton's Caviar Club on Facebook for more.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

DINING Free cheeseburgers, Fulton Market dinner, Baconfest coming 2019-03-19 - —To celebrate M Burger's ninth birthday on Wed., March 20, the chain is giving away one free single cheeseburger with any purchase at ...


Gay News

DRAG PROFILE OF THE WEEK Rachel Dennis/Her? 2019-03-13 - NAME "My stage name is Her?. You have to say it like you're confused and maybe add a stink eye. It is an ...


Gay News

DINING Cochon555 winner, Lent offerings, St. Patrick's items 2019-03-12 - —Chicago "Prince of Pork" Chef Daniel Espinoza, of Cantina Laredo, came out on top at the annual pork-centered event Cochon555. Espinoza will represent ...


Gay News

SAVOR Tuscany on Taylor; Victory Italian 2019-03-12 - "That's Italian!" Besides being the slogan for a popular spaghetti sauce, that was my immediate reaction after visiting a pair of restaurants that ...


Gay News

Chicagoans contemplate path forward after anti-LGBT church vote 2019-03-10 - For Rev. Britt Cox, pastor at Church of the Three Crosses, 333 W. Wisconsin St., a Feb. 28 vote at a United Methodist ...


Gay News

DINING (Re)openings, Italian culinary cruise, St. Patrick's items 2019-03-05 - —Argentine gelato producer FRIO Gelato will open a new location at Navy Pier later this spring. This will mark the company's fourth location ...


Gay News

DRAG PROFILE OF THE WEEK kat sass 2019-02-27 - NAME "My name is Kat Sass and I'm a beautiful pony. Before drag, I did drag musicals and one of our reviewers described ...


Gay News

Cochon555 returns March 3 2019-02-27 - With an all-star cast of chefs who specialize in whole animal cooking paired with farmers responsibly raising delicious heritage breed pigs, Cochon555 returns ...


Gay News

SAVOR Boleo, The Whistler 2019-02-27 - It's interesting to see the Loop during the week. As soon as five o'clock hits, droves of people leave the office-laden area as ...


Gay News

DINING Walton Street's fried chicken, Blue Door, Mardi Gras 2019-02-26 - —Walton Street Kitchen + Bar, 912 N. State St., is now serving a fried-chicken Sunday evening special. The dinner consists of a three ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.