Class of 2022

Zacarías González

Trailblazing Activists

37 / New York, USA

The artist-turned-chef banging the drum for Bipoc and queer voices in the culinary space

A multi-hyphenate creative, Zacarías González is devoted to championing people of colour and queer voices across gastronomy. Formerly an art director and creative consultant who worked for Vogue Italia and the National Gallery of Art in New York, he now runs Ediciones, a creative studio producing several projects around food and community.

Among Ediciones’ initiatives is Auxilio, a non-profit project to create an intersectional, community-based, food-centred space providing resources, nourishment and support for queer, black, trans and indigenous communities of colour in New York City. Part of its work is a food distribution programme that provides educational tools, events and workshops as well as a weekly fresh food delivery box.

Zacarías and his co-founders also produce Warm Cake, a print publication dedicated to the queer, black, trans, femme and non-binary chefs and bakers he has met and interviewed over the past six years. The project is partly a response to the lack of diversity he sees in cookbooks and other publications.

Fascinated with cooking, baking and farming since his teens, Zacarías learned to cook through trial and error, using his family as his guinea pigs. While at art school in Germany, he kept his culinary passion alive and even worked as an intern in a German chocolate company for six months, his first experience in a professional kitchen. He was in his mid-thirties when he decided to re-focus his career towards food instead of art, and as an auto-didact, he has pushed himself to learn and grow, applying his skills and knowledge to his cause. Further extending his repertoire, he is also working on opening a cooperatively run wine bottle shop called Amigxs that will partner with two other Bipoc wine education organisations to provide more access and educational opportunities to the community.

As a queer Cuban-American artist with a background as a commercial art director turned chef and sommelier, Zacarías is puts his myriad experience to use on collaborative projects that intersect and explore food, wine, hospitality, media, consulting and design through a queer-centric lens.

“Gastronomy has room to achieve more by simply providing more room for voices, stories and different narratives.” – Zacarias González

Read more about 50 Next

View more in this category