March echo

online.magazines

Echo Eats

We give you plenty to feast on, from delicious

dishes to organizations combating food insecurity

LGBTQ NEWS, VIEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT | Vol. 32, #6 | Issue 738 | March 2021 | COMPLIMENTARY


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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

Whew! We made it

through 2020, and

here we are at the

beginning of 2021. A new year,

a new sense of optimism and

opportunity, and a new direction.

2020 had many challenges, but

it also presented opportunities

for those that were ready. We

acquired three new LGBTQ+

media assets Echo Magazine,

Phoenix Out & About Magazine,

Nashville, CAMP Magazine,

Kansas City, and launched

OUTvoices, Chicago. We

developed and launched two

new industry associations, The

Aequalitas Content Creators

Association and the Gay Travel

Business Network, and we are

far from being done.

We currently have three

LGBTQ+ media properties in

the acquisition pipeline for 2021,

and there are more in various

stages of negotiation and we are

on track to launch the first-ever

24/7 LGBTQ+ internet-based

Talk Radio Station aptly named

OUTvoices Radio in March.

We will also be rolling out our

OUTvoices TV YouTube Channel

in May featuring original content

such as the Gaycation Travel

Show w/Ravi Roth and the

Gay Gourmet cooking show

with chefs Art Smith and Joe

Morales, and much more.

2021 will also see BIG changes

coming to all of our individual

brands. As we continue to unify

our voices and our media assets,

one of the biggest changes will

be the name changes. Beginning

on May 1, Echo Magazine will

become OUTvoices Phoenix, Out

& About Nashville will become

OUTvoices Nashville, and

CAMP Magazine will become

OUTvoices Kansas City.

Our strategy has been and

is a simple one. To create a

network of local LGBTQ+ media

that maintains a relationship

with the communities they serve

as we increase our national

OUTvoice. Each local media

and members of OUTvoices will

add their voice to our growing

national OUTvoices network.

OUTvoices “bureaus” will be able

to share content with each other

allowing access to a much larger

audience. A new OUTvoices.us

website (Going live May 1) will

reflect an LGBTQ+ website that

offers content from the whole

spectrum of our community,

not just from the gay male

perspective. The .us extension

for the website makes a bold and

clear statement that OUTvoices

is about US, ALL of US.

New initiatives on the

OUTvoices Network will include

content that speaks to our

Transgender, Lesbian, and

Queer audiences and much

more.

As we continue our policy

of supporting LGBTQ+ media

we will offer ALL LGBTQ+

websites that are part of the

OUTvoices Network access

to OUTvoices Radio and all of

the programming contained

therein for 24/7 LGBTQ+ talk

radio, and they will also be able

to broadcast all of our original

OUTvoices video content on

their digital platforms, all at no

cost.

“A rising tide lifts all

boats.” As small to medium

sized websites continue to be

overlooked by major brands

and agencies, we are creating

DJ Doran, President/CEO, Aequalitas Media

a FREE network where others

can join with us to change an

industry squeak to a roar. We

can add all of our small reaches

and audiences to a single

point, OUTvoices.us to get a

piece of the digital advertising

pie. Whereas, many blue-chip

advertisers would not normally

consider advertising on our

individual websites, they will not

be able to ignore the combined

audience and voice of our

membership.

While others may beat the

drum of impending doom and

gloom for LGBTQ+ media, I

see opportunities to unify and

become stronger, to evolve and

grow, to reinvent ourselves and

become indispensable.

I see the opportunity to not

only survive, but thrive in an

evolving media landscape.

It may be true that parts

of our media like print are

struggling, but I don’t believe it’s

on its death bed, not by a long

shot. The market is telling us

what it wants and needs, and we

need to listen and pay attention.

Print publishing is here to stay,

period, but it’s relationship to

advertisers is changing.

Whereas print used to be

the lead entrée for advertisers

and digital offerings were

the "added value," that is now

changed. Digital content has

become the lead platform for

many advertisers and print has

become the "added value."

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in the transition from print to

digital in 2020 and will continue

to do so in the future. 2021 will

still have its challenges, but it

will also have an abundance

of opportunity. These latest

changes reflect our dedication

and commitment to the

survivability of legacy and

non-legacy publications and

will continue to preach the

importance of a vibrant, healthy

and locally focused LGBTQ+

media.

Change can be scary, I

know, but change can also be

reinvigorating and exciting. The

name of the publication may

change but our history will not,

our relationship to our audience

will not and our dedication

and commitment to journalistic

excellence will not.

I am looking ahead to a

brighter future as we focus

forward and continue to

re-invent ourselves to better

reflect the needs and wants

of our evolving sophisticated

audience.

I hope you will stay with us

and share the journey toward an

exciting future as we continue to

transition into a unified, stronger

new brand, OUTvoices.

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ECHOMAG.COM | MARCH 2021

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INSIDE THIS

ISSUE

Matthew Moody and Ruben Gonzales

Issue 738 | Vol. 32, #6 | March 2021

NEWS

5 Publisher’s Letter

8 Editor’s Note

COMMUNITY

14 Without Reservations

20 Not That You Asked

ON THE COVER

Handmade pretzels from The Salted

10

Intense ‘Industry’

opening

Matthew Moody and Ruben

Gonzales took a big chance

opening Industry during the

pandemic. Jason Keil talks

to them about how things

are going in this central

Phoenix spot.

16

Kitchen basics from a

professional chef

Joe Morales is the pro chef

behind Joe Eats World, a

site where he shares recipes,

tips, and culinary information.

Here, he examines the many

options of cutting boards

available to help you maximize

your kitchen skills.

Knot AZ

www.facebook.com/thesaltedknotaz

Photo by Maria Vassett

Echo Eats

We give you plenty to feast on, from delicious

dishes to organizations combating food insecurity

LGBTQ NEWS, VIEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT | Vol. 32, #6 | Issue 738 | March 2021 | COMPLIMENTARY

18

Mutual aid efforts strengthen relationships in communities

Jonmaesha Beltran examines food insecurity in the community and the people

and organizations striving to provide help.

Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight; courtesy of the Heard Museum

WEB EXCLUSIVES

Visit echomag.com for more

food-related articles, including a

restaurant feature by Niki D’Andrea

and an update on farmers’ markets

around the Valley. You’ll also find

the launch of a new, monthly column

titled Just A Stage, which focuses

on local theater, by longtime Echo

contributor Buddy Early.

22

Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight at Heard Museum

Painter and sculptor Leon Polk Smith’s current exhibition features more than

40 of his most celebrated works. Jenna Duncan discusses the artwork, talks to

curators, and delves into the artist’s history.

ECHOMAG.COM | MARCH 2021

7


EDITOR’S NOTE

By Amy Young

Welcome to our March issue, Echo

Eats. Our annual food issue

comes during a time when food

insecurity dominates the lives of many,

around the globe, due to the COVID-19

pandemic. It’s not merely a result of the

pandemic, of course, as in this country,

particularly, there is a wealth inequality

that makes the daily need to eat a struggle.

COVID, however, has intensified the

situation.

Many individuals, groups, and

organizations are finding ways to help

people in need. Mutualaidphoenix.com

and a group moderated by Equality

Arizona that you can find at facebook.

com/ groups/632742627272730/ are two

destinations that come to mind if you’re in

need or if you have time, money, or items

to donate. The saying, ‘Together, we are

stronger,’ is further cemented as truth

by groups like this. Reporter Jonmaesha

Beltran, in her article on page 18, talks to

and about people involved in mutual aid

groups around the Valley.

Owning a restaurant is a challenging

business adventure in the best of times.

Opening one during a pandemic, well, I don’t

think I need to point out how hard that could

be. Matthew Moody and Ruben Gonzales

opened Industry PHX since COVID hit. They

talk to Jason Keil about how it’s going. We

appreciate them taking the time.

Did you know there was a speakeasy

above Citizen Public House in Old Town

Scottsdale? In this intimate space, you

can find Benjamin’s Upstairs, where Chef

Benjamin Graham serves up his signature

dishes. Head to page 14 for all of the

delicious details.

We’ve also got a new food-focused

column debuting this issue: Joe Eats World.

Joe Morales loves food. He’s a trained

chef and culinary instructor who is also

passionate about traveling, so when he’s

on adventures, he’s partaking in the food

culture of wherever he lands. Each month,

he’ll be sharing new information, from tips

on kitchen equipment, as you’ll see in this

issue, to mouthwatering recipes.

What you don’t see in print, you’ll find

online. Please visit echomag.com as new

content is added daily. Additional Echo Eats

articles include a feature on a local dining

spot by Niki D’Andrea and a roundup of

area farmers’ markets by Tim Rawles.

As you’re checking out this latest issue,

you’ll also see a letter from our publisher,

DJ Doran. He explains all of the changes

in the works for Echo and the other

publications under the Aequalitas Media

umbrella. There’s so much in store as the

Aequalitas team works to broaden its

LGBTQ media network.

Amy Young is the editor-in-chief

of Echo Magazine. A longtime

journalist, her work has appeared

numerous publications, regional

to international. Please contact

her at editor@echomag.com.

LGBTQ NEWS, VIEWS

AND ENTERTAINMENT

PUBLISHER: Aequalitas Media

EDITORIAL

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Amy Young

CONTRIBUTORS:

Jonmaesha Beltran

Kimberly Blaker

Grace Bolyard

Stefan Contreras

Niki D'Andrea

Jenna Duncan

Buddy Early

Michelle Talsma Everson

Endia Fontanez

Jason Keil

Jason Kron

Jeff Kronenfeld

Megan Lane

ART DEPARTMENT

PHOTOGRAPHY: nightfuse.com.

ADVERTISING

ADVERTISING SALES:

Kris Radtke

602-266-0550x704 or kris@echomag.com

National Advertising Sales: Aequalitas Media at

312-600-8823 or sales@aequalitasmedia.com

ECHO READERSHIP: 50,000

SUBSCRIPTIONS: $29/year

Echo Magazine LLC

Laura Latzko

Sydney Lee

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

Anika Nayak

David-Elijah Nahmod

Timothy Rawles

Tom Reardon

Terri Schlichenmeyer

Carly Schorman

Anika Nayak

Sojas Wagle

Velvet Wahl

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 16630

Phoenix, AZ 85011-6630

PHONE: 602-266-0550

EMAIL: manager@echomag.com

Copyright © 2016 • ISSN #1045-2346

MEMBER:

Echo Magazine is published by Echo Magazine LLC, Inc. Echo

is a registered trademark of Echo Magazine LLC, Inc. All rights

reserved. Written permission must be obtained in advance for

partial or complete reproduction of any advertising material

contained therein. Opinions expressed therein are not necessarily

those of the publisher or staff. Echo Magazine LLC, Inc. does

not assume responsibility for claims by its advertisers or advice

columnists. Publication of a name, photograph of an individual

or organization in articles, advertisements or listings is not to be

construed as an indication of the sexual orientation, unless such

orientation is specifically stated. Manuscripts or other materials

submitted remain the property of Echo Magazine LLC, Inc.

8 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM


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ECHOMAG.COM | MARCH 2021

9


Intense ‘Industry’ opening

The restaurant has struggled since opening

during the pandemic

By Jason Keil; photos courtesy of Industry PHX

It’s tough getting any Valley

restaurant off the ground.

But Ruben Gonzalez, the

owner of Eleventh Monkey,

and Matthew Moody really had

their work cut out for them

when they opened Industry

PHX, located where The Louie

once stood at 607 West Osborn

Road, late last year. Even before

the pandemic forced businesses

to readjust, the duo, who were

the minds behind The Hustle

10 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM

dance parties at Kobalt, dealt

with investors pulling out and

headaches from neighbors.

What’s kept them going

through all of the stress is their

desire to give the community

something they knew it needed:

a safe space for everyone.

They shared some of their

stories with Echo Magazine in

February. This interview has

been edited for length and

clarity.

Echo Magazine: I’m sure

this has been an intense

experience. Is there a

particular moment that stands

out?

Matthew Moody: You can start

with the obvious: we are in an

unprecedented time in the

history of the world. We were

under the belief that we would

be able to open and function

as a whole entity. Then you

learn you can only open at half

capacity, and you have to do

this and that, so you’re already

dealing with a lower income

rate, and bills are coming in.

And people understandably

don’t want to come out, but you

need them to so you can stay

open. And we’ve never opened

a restaurant before, so there’s

a lot we had to learn in a short

amount of time.

Ruben Gonzales: We also got

put into litigation by our old

partner. We can only say so

much [about it], but it put us

in a position that almost any

money that Matt and I did have

leftover as a cushion was gone.

We had to go to something

else, and that added a ton of

stress. We were going to start

in the negative, but we figured

it out and got on our feet. But

there’s always something you

don’t know. Water lines break,

pipes don’t work, and toilets

don’t flush.

Matthew Moody: I tried to

route a cable through a ceiling,

and I drilled into a water pipe.

I had a full mental shutdown. I

didn’t know what to do.

Ruben Gonzales: It was like

a waterfall, but now we know

where all the water valves are.

Are you able to hold events

right now?

Matthew Moody: A couple of

weeks ago, I got four phone

calls back to back from a city

inspector saying that we can’t

have events. I told them we’re

not, but it took a while into

the fourth phone call for him

to understand that watching

RuPaul’s Drag Race is like

watching the Super Bowl. He

said, “I need to call back. How

big is your stage?” “It’s exactly

zero inches. We don’t have a

stage,” I replied. He asks, “Are

people going to be dancing

with masks on?” He didn’t

know that it was a television

show. And he finally grasped it,

but the word “event” causes a

problem.

Since the day we opened, I

don’t think there hasn’t been a

public office that hasn’t been

called on us. When we started,

we got a “Stop Work” sign on

our window. And that’s not a

joke. And it’s because I started

posting pictures of our progress

as we go, so the community felt

part of what we were doing. All

that did was allow somebody

to make up stuff that was

happening in the photo that

wasn’t real and send it to the

inspector’s office.

Ruben Gonzales: The city

manager came in with a stack of

photos. He saw what we were

doing, and he was so annoyed

that he had to come in.

It amazes me that people have

the time to call and complain.

Matthew Moody: It’s so we

wouldn’t exist or be competition

to their favorite place. One of

the things we’ve said from the

beginning is that we didn’t want

to compete with anyone. We

thought there were missing

pieces in our community. There

FEATURE


were people who didn’t feel

safe in certain spaces. We’re

shouting, “This is for you!” We

are all about radical inclusion.

Once we fully get to open, we

won’t be doing anything near

what other bars do.

Ruben Gonzales: I’ve

experienced this with Eleventh

Monkey. People tend to get

into this thing when a new

business opens where they

need to be greedy and can’t

allow someone to go to another

place. There’s enough business

for everyone everywhere.

Instead of being greedy, why

don’t we work together to

see what each other is doing

to coincide with each other?

Share the wealth.

PPP Loans weren’t available

for anyone who opened after

February 15. Are there other

options you’re looking into?

Ruben Gonzales: Every bank

is getting it differently, and I’m

taking on that role and seeing

what we can do. We’re allowed

to apply for the second round.

Matthew Moody: We’ve had

zero dollars of help.

Ruben Gonzales: People told

us we could still apply during

the first round. Technically we

couldn’t. We had no money

flowing. There was no number

they could derive from because

we didn’t have any employees.

Now there is, so we’ll see what

comes of it.

Matthew Moody: We’re trying

to do all these things that the

money is here for, but they

mean everyone but us.

Have you used social media to

help drum up business?

Matthew Moody: We’ve paid

for ads and are working with

alcohol distributors.

Ruben Gonzales: And anytime

we have a viewing party, we’ve

had local organizations come

out and give out condoms,

lubes, lip balm, and at-home

HIV testing kits, which is very

important right now. These are

things that we’re able to do

because we have the space now.

The community needs it.

Matthew Moody: Both Ruben

and I are crazy different guys

who happen to like a lot of the

same stuff, but we both said

coming in that this wasn’t going

to be a rush for bucks for us.

It’s about our community and

having a creative space for

creative queer and non-queer

people to come out.

We have a giant neon sign

that says, “You are safe here.”

It’s the focal point of the space,

and it’s the whole point. The

only rule is don’t be an asshole.

We want people to talk to each

other.

Ruben Gonzales: The city has a

hold on our permit because of

COVID. We’re at a point where

if we can’t navigate through the

pandemic as safely as possible,

then nobody will be open. We

both take COVID as seriously

as possible. Eleventh Monkey

is partially a mask show, which I

never thought I’d be doing.

We want people to feel

comfortable walking in the doors

knowing that we’ve taken the

best precautions we can take

to survive. It’s still nice to see

someone. There are things as

human beings that we all need.

We get flack from some people

for being open, but they’re not

paying our bills. We have to do

this. We employ people, and we

need to keep their livelihood

going, too.

Learn more about Industry PHX

at industryphx.com.

Jason Keil is a freelance journalist based in Phoenix and is

the co-host of the podcast What the Fork: Exploring The

Good Place. His work has appeared in Phoenix New Times,

AZCentral, and Phoenix Magazine, and he tweets about pop

culture @jasonekeil.

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FEATURE

ECHOMAG.COM | MARCH 2021

11


WITHOUT RESERVATIONS

Shucking and clucking at

Benjamin’s Upstairs

By Jeff Kronenfeld

Hidden in the speakeasy above

Citizen Public House in Old Town

Scottsdale is Benjamin’s Upstairs, a

new restaurant and bar offering sanctuary

to the hungry and amorous alike. While not

actually a secret, ascending its stairs makes

you feel like a VIP nonetheless, and we

haven’t even gotten to the fried chicken,

oysters, or natural wine. Chef Benjamin

Graham succeeds in serving up a unique

dining experience that is both romantic

and filling.

Opened in August of last year, the space

has just six tables and is only open three

nights a week, which is why reservations

are essential. I booked five days in advance,

and most of the coming Saturday’s time

slots were already spoken for, though not

all. I considered this a good sign while also

wondering how crowded the swanky sky

parlor would be. Old Town was certainly

bustling when we arrived shortly before

the appointed time. As we approached the

entrance, the beauty from the thousands

of golden bulbs strung from trees and

awnings was balanced by the loud yelling

from a pack of passing carousers.

This and all other thoughts of the

outside world were quickly forgotten

once we entered CPH. A host escorted us

around the bar, through a narrow hall, and

up a dark flight of stairs. Emerging from

the shadowy underworld into the gleaming

light of the chandelier and flickering glow

of the candles was disorienting in a good

way. There were no clocks or windows.

Chef Benjamin Graham; courtesy of In Good Spirits

Oysters and fried chicken; courtesy of In Good Spirits

Instead, the walls were covered in old

recipes framed like works of art. The

room’s black and white color scheme was

occasionally interspersed with an intricate

geometric pattern. Here the food, drinks,

and, of course, your company are the

evening’s center of attention, with the

other elements serving as complements

rather than distractions.

My concerns that the elevated eatery

might be too small or densely packed were

quickly allayed. A little like a Tardis from

“Dr. Who,” the space seems larger than you

would guess from the outside. In fact, the

distance between tables is greater than

in most full-size restaurants I’ve visited of

late. Ensconced in our romantic nook and

far from the two couples who were there

before us, we felt comfortable turning our

attention to ordering when our very helpful

waiter Scotty arrived.

The food and drink menu is small but

varied. Wanting to take our time after

hustling all week, we opted to start with

refreshments. Cocktails, beer, and more

familiar varieties of wine are all available,

but the selection of natural wines are

the real stars. Listed under the heading

pétillant naturel, which literally translates

into natural sparkling, these bubbly drinks

are made by adding wild or ancestral

varieties of yeast at the time of bottling. As

the fruity fluid ferments, CO2 is produced

as a natural byproduct, giving these wines

an effervescent quality without recourse to

some cringy industrial process. Sometimes

14 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM

DINING OUT


Yellowfin tuna sashimi; photo by Jeff Kronenfeld

also called the Méthode Ancestrale, this

winemaking technique is the definition of

an oldie but a goodie.

My dining companion ordered the

Morphos, a merlot rosé from Maine.

Described on the menu as wild and tart,

we found it tickled the tongue with a

refreshing but mild dry sweetness. Readily

confessing my ignorance on matters of the

vine, I asked Scotty for a recommendation.

He suggested the Vegas Altas, a Macabeo

and cabernet rosé from Spain. It, too, was

lighter and more refreshing than what

I usually drink, leading me to conclude

the natural wine craze is not just some

gimmicky fad.

As we savored our pleasantly

intoxicating aperitifs, I again turned to

Scotty for advice. Like the space itself, the

menu is compact. With only eight dishes,

picking what to order might seem simple. I

knew we were going to try the Benjamin’s

fried chicken, which comes with mashed

potatoes and collard greens. I also planned

on ordering at least a half-dozen oysters,

but I was torn when it came to selecting

our third dish. The shrimp cocktail and

cornbread waffle both looked inviting,

but so did the vegetable Crudo and beef

tartare.

Scotty pointed me to the Yellowfin tuna

sashimi, which I ordered as an appetizer.

When it arrived soon thereafter, I knew

our waiter had again nailed it. Thin slices

of almost neon pink fish rested beneath a

lean-to of crispy leeks, cubes of cucumber,

crushed peanuts, and a few fresh greens.

Beside it was an arty smear of jalapeno

ginger aioli sprinkled with what I believe

were toasted sesame seeds. The crispy

leek straws added a satisfying crunch and

complex flavor to the tender, cool fish. We

quickly scraped the plate clean as omega-3

fatty acids flooded my brain, or maybe it

was just wine. Whatever the case, I liked it.

It was not long before our next oceanic

delight arrived. The half-dozen raw

oysters were served

on a plate packed

with ice, three sauces,

a lemon slice, and

two small forks. The

oysters were large

and filled with juices,

as well as the fleshy

mollusk bodies. After

a generous spritz of

citrus, I decided to use

one sauce per oyster

since we split the six

evenly. I enjoyed both

the classic mignonette

and the hot sauce, but

the vinaigrette was my

personal favorite. I felt like I could have

eaten about 100 more of these delightful

bivalves but was glad I exercised restraint

when our bird at last arrived.

Before I even saw the fried fowl,

the dish was already winning on the

presentation. It came neatly packed in a

white metal bucket. Lifting the lid was a

little like opening presents on Christmas

morning, or so this Jewish journalist

imagined. Inside were two large pieces

of reddish-gold fried chicken, two white

containers filled with collard greens and

mashed potatoes, respectively, plus a little

side of bourbon honey.

I started with a few bites of the sides.

The potatoes were good, your classic

milk butter clouds, but the greens were

exceptional. Soft, tangy, spicy, and

savory, they were the best collard greens

I’ve ever had the pleasure of inhaling. I

thought I tasted the smokey fat flavor

of bacon but later learned from Graham

it was actually smoked pork shank.

Regardless, the greens were so good I

devoured them all before even trying the

chicken.

When I did finally get to the bird, it

didn’t disappoint. The breading was crispy,

warm, and loaded with savory flavors. A

24-hour bath in pickle brine kept the meat

inside moist. Aromatic steam wafted from

the juicy flesh as I slowly pulled it apart.

It was so good I completely spaced the

bourbon honey until I was nearly finished.

Once I finished it, I could understand

why the owners of In Good Spirits — the

company behind Benjamin’s Upstairs,

CPH, and the Gladly — were so eager to

build a menu around this delectable dish.

While both the atmosphere and food

served at the speakeasy are fancy,

Graham himself is refreshingly down to

earth. The Minnesota native attended

culinary school and got his start cooking

for a professional hockey team in his

home state. In 2008, the then 21-year-old

got fed up with the Midwest winters and

migrated to the Valley.

Graham soon found work for Gio Osso,

who we interviewed about Pizzería Virtù

in October. Not just a boss, Osso was also

a mentor. Through him, Graham met the

owners of In Good Spirits, who brought

him on when they opened CPH roughly

a decade ago. He worked his way up the

kitchen’s hierarchy over the years, though

he never forgot his first culinary teachers.

“I actually got into cooking because

of my mom and my grandma,” Graham

explained. “I would always cook with my

grandma when I would go visit her, and

then obviously I cooked with my mom all

the time.”

Graham’s mom initially freaked out when

he moved to Arizona without a job lined

up, something he enjoys teasing her about

today. It’s those early lessons in the kitchen

that helped him climb up the culinary

ladder to the very lofty perch he inhabits

today, not that he lets it get to his head.

Case in point, Graham originally wanted to

name this restaurant within a restaurant,

the Shuck and Cluck. While we prefer the

name Benjamin’s Upstairs, whatever it’s

called, Graham has us crowing for more.

Jeff Kronenfeld is an independent journalist

based out of Phoenix, Arizona. His writing has

been featured in Java Magazine, the Arts Beacon,

PHXSUX, and the Phoenix Jewish News, where he

received the Simon Rockower Award

for excellence in news reporting

from the American Jewish Press

Association. Links to his previously

published work are available at

www.jeffkronenfeld.com.

DINING OUT

ECHOMAG.COM | MARCH 2021

15


JOE EATS WORLD

By Shopify Partners/Burst

Kitchen basics from a professional chef

By Joe Morales

I

wasn’t sure how I wanted to

introduce myself, considering

this is a new monthly column. I

planned to jump in feet first and

give you some amazing recipes,

but at the same time figured it

might be best to start with the

basics.

By basics, I mean what tools

to use, what tricks are out there,

what you really need to be a

good, or better, cook.

It’s always important to use

the right tool for the job. So,

what are you cutting on? The

first discussion is going to be

about cutting boards. I know,

it doesn’t seem that would be

a likely place to start but trust

me, this is going to be just as

important as what knives you

use (next article).

Cutting boards come in

several different materials:

stone, glass, wood, and plastic.

Stone Cutting Boards

Stone cutting boards are

beautiful, heavy, and expensive.

I only use these for charcuterie

boards or large serving platters.

You can find stone boards in

a variety of forms: marble,

granite, and slate.

Why, you ask? Because stone

boards are hard surfaces. It

will take one time of chopping

vegetables before you will need

to sharpen your knife because

the stone dulled your blade.

Sure, they’re easy to clean

and sanitize, but they are hard

on knife blades, requiring more

frequent sharpening.

Glass Cutting Boards

Glass cutting boards are much

more cost-effective than stone

but are also hard on your

knives. They are tempered,

lightweight, durable, and you

can place them in dishwashers

(usually).

You will still have the same

issues with dull knives and the

ease of cleaning and sanitizing.

Wood Cutting Boards

Wood cutting boards are made

from bamboo, walnut, cherry,

maple, or a combination of

walnut, cherry, and maple. You

have to work a bit harder at

keeping them clean, but they

definitely provide less wear and

tear on your knives. Wooden

boards are prone to knife cuts

and dents but are forgiving.

Unlike marble or glass cutting

boards, you cannot place

wood cutting boards in the

dishwasher. It should go without

saying that you cannot put them

in the oven to dry, either. Trust

me; it’s been done, with no

positive results.

The easiest way to clean the

cutting board is to use soap

and water. To rid the board of

smells and stains, use a lemon

cut in half with some kosher salt

and rub it on the surface of the

wood, then rinse. After washing,

towel-dry the excess water and

set the board standing up or on

an angle to dry thoroughly.

Every once in a while, it is

necessary to oil the board, so it

isn’t stripped of its natural oils

and prolongs its life. Make sure

you use food-grade mineral oil

or creams.

It’s more work, but it will

save you money on knife

replacement in the long run.

Plastic Cutting Boards

You can find plastic cutting

boards in just about every

restaurant kitchen around the

world. Why? Because they are

easy to use, clean, and store.

All they have to do is run them

through the industrial sprayer

and dishwasher, where they get

cleaned and sanitized in one

shot.

Cutting boards made of

plastic are prone to knife

cuts just like wood but last

quite a bit longer. They come

in several different types of

plastic, too. You can purchase

the thin, foldable “boards,” or

you can go with a inch to inch

thick plastic. You would think

that all plastic is created equal,

but it isn’t. There are harder

plastic boards, and there are

softer plastic ones. It’s all

about your preference, but I

16 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM


By Bonnie Kittle/Unsplash

tend to lean toward the softer

plastic ones.

The best part, you can rinse

them off and toss them in the

dishwasher and run them with

the rest of your dishes.

My Recommendation

As a professional chef, I use and

recommend wooden and plastic

cutting boards. I have both at

home, and they get equal use ...

well, almost. I tend to favor the

wood cutting board — just my

personal preference.

I don’t ever use stone or glass

(for cutting); I strictly use wood

and plastic. I usually catch my

husband using just the granite

counter, and I always ask if he

is using a cutting board. Also,

don’t use your countertop as a

cutting board. This is why I don’t

allow him to use my good chef

JOE EATS WORLD

knives, which we’ll cover next

time.

I don’t recommend using

the thin folding plastic boards.

While they seem convenient,

over time, they warp and never

lay flat. They are also flimsy and

can get holes in them or stab

marks. Trust me, that happens

too.

You can find cutting boards

in all shapes and sizes. Pick the

one that fits your needs.

Professional tip: To keep

your cutting board from sliding

around while using it, wet some

paper towels or a tea towel,

wring out the excess water,

place it on the counter and put

your cutting board on top of

it. This will keep your cutting

board in place and stop the

extra sliding around, which

leads to injury.

Joe Morales is a passionate traveler, trained chef, and culinary instructor. When

he isn’t off exploring the world, you can find him at home with his husband DJ and

dog Oliver. Joe spends a lot of time in the kitchen working on his latest recipes.

You can read more about Joe’s easy to follow recipes and

how to’s by visiting his website, Joe Eats World (joeeatsworld.

com). You can also follow him on instagram at JoeEatsWorld1

and also on Facebook at JoeEatsWorld.

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17


Mutual aid efforts strengthen

relationships in communities

By Jonmaesha Beltran

Every Sunday, NourishPHX,

a group of volunteers,

meet in Phoenix to

assemble and deliver food

boxes to queer families in need

of food, household supplies,

hygiene products, and diapers,

emphasizing that the service is

solidarity, not charity.

Since the beginning of the

coronavirus pandemic, mutual

aid projects, like NourishPHX,

appeared in almost every city

throughout the United States.

Volunteers utilized Google Docs,

Facebook, Instagram, Slack, and

other social media platforms to

create networks that picked up

where the government lacked.

Last year, a host of Arizonans

created mutual aid networks to

sew masks, deliver groceries and

medication, collect household

supplies, and more for

vulnerable communities. Many

mutual aid organizers focused

their efforts on combatting food

insecurity.

Almost one in three

households in Arizona

18 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM

experienced food insecurity

since COVID-19, which is a

28 percent increase from the

year before the pandemic,

when the food insecurity rate

was 25 percent, according to

the National Food Access and

COVID Research Team.

Before the pandemic,

the Williams Institute, which

conducts research on sexual

orientation and gender identity

law and public policy, found that

one in four LGBT individuals

experience food insecurity. Boss

is the name of one of the people

we spoke with who, like others,

created networks that center

queer communities.

“I was looking for a way to

keep us connected and make

sure we were in communion

in a safe way, and we continue

to affirm that we got us and

that our family doesn’t die just

because the spaces that we

usually gather do,” Boss, 28, said.

In March, Boss, who uses ‘they’

pronouns, began networking

through Instagram with friends

in the drag community that they

usually would see at the bar

every week, asking if anyone

needed food or had a surplus

of food to donate. Boss started

collecting food donations in their

studio apartment and making

deliveries to the homes of those

who needed it.

Boss, 28, lead organizer with NourishPHX. Photo courtesy of Boss

“It was really heartening every

day to wake up and be reminded

of why that food was there — it’s

because I was connected with

the community.”

Soon later, the network

grew to more volunteers and

implemented two donation

sites at Whyld Ass and Xanadu.

NourishPHX also stopped taking

in dairy and meat products,

requesting that people donate

plant-based non-perishables.

The network doesn’t accept

plastic bags and tries to work

outside of institutions like

Amazon and Walmart.

The network serves 10 to 15

families throughout the Valley,

from healthcare workers,

independent business owners,

bakers and chefs, and out-ofwork

drag queens. It also has

six volunteers who assemble

the food boxes and three

people who deliver to houses in

Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe.

Before each Sunday, a

volunteer picks up homemade

sourdough on Fridays, made

by a friend of Boss in Tempe.

Another volunteer picks up 70

pounds of produce on Saturday

that NourishPHX purchases for

$12 from Borderlands Produce

Rescue. The volunteers also

create prepared foods for the

families, and volunteers are

encouraged to also receive the

food as a way to eliminate the

idea of charity work.

Each family’s food box

includes a grain, protein,

veggies, fruit, and fluid. “We

might do some Gatorades, some

veggie broths, some pasta, and

sauce, with a bunch of fruit and

FEATURE

Boxes prepared by volunteers of NourishPHX. Photo courtesy of Boss


vegetables on top,” Boss said,

adding that they are currently

looking to include zines that

highlight how the community can

stay united.

Mutual aid networks have a

long, rich history and can be

traced back to early fraternal

organizations. But it wasn’t until

1902 when Peter Kropotkin, a

Russian anarchist, popularized

the term “mutual aid” in his essay

collection “Mutual Aid: A Factor

of Evolution.” Kropotkin used

examples of animals and humans

to argue that cooperation was

the most important factor of

evolution.

For communities of color,

mutual aid networks have always

been formed out of necessity and

as a response to discrimination.

During the 1700s, free Black

Americans founded societies that

aimed to provide aid to freed

slaves. In the late 19th-century,

Mexican Americans founded

Sociedades Mutualistas that

aimed to provide economic

protection, education, and

community services to members

who emigrated from Mexico and

native Texans.

When Chinese immigrants in

San Francisco were denied health

care by mainstream hospitals in

the 1800s, they built Tung Wah

Dispensary, a hospital that served

primarily Chinese residents.

When it was destroyed in the

earthquake of 1906, 15 community

organizations formed the Chinese

Hospital Association to reinvent

it as the San Francisco Chinese

Hospital.

During the height of the HIV

epidemic in the 1980s, many

queer activists organized mutual

aid networks. One network was

the AIDS Coalition to Unleash

Power, which advocated for HIV

research, treatment, and policy

change. After Hurricane Katrina

in 2005, New Orleans activists

formed the Common Ground

Clinic, which started as a first aid

station.

Through these mutual aid

projects, many have learned

that it’s okay to ask for help and

that people don’t have to go

through things independently.

NourishPHX educates people who

donate and volunteer about the

practice of mutual aid and how it

works as a service rather than a

favor.

“For all the volunteers who

come to us, we let them know

that while a one-time volunteer

is appreciated,” Boss said. “The

long-term commitment and

working these practices in your

everyday life is what really causes

transformation from the inside

out.”

Randall Denton, co-owner of

Xanadu, said he appreciates the

mutual aid efforts residents are

making in Phoenix and that it

reminds him of his experiences of

being in a punk rock band.

“Sleeping on people’s couches,

trusting that when you go to a

city that there will be a place for

you to sleep and people who will

take care of you. I feel like a lot of

this comes out of that, where you

try to pay it forward, and you pull

resources, distribute them evenly,”

he said.

Paulann Egelhoff, a

photographer, started delivering

food created each Sunday for

NourishPHX in the fall. She

delivers food to two families,

which she already knew from

other queer spaces.

“It’s interesting to be in a

position where there’s a mutual

aid group that’s not only feeding

our community but feeding the

queer families that we know,”

Egelhoff, 33, said.

Egelhoff said since her

involvement in the mutual aid

network, her relationship with

the people she delivers to has

become stronger.

“I feel better knowing that I can

help meet their needs in some

way with some group,” she said.

Some have questioned the

longevity of many of the mutual

aid projects that arose during the

pandemic. Still, many organizers

are figuring out ways to combat

food insecurity after the

pandemic.

“I’m hoping that Nourish

continues to be something that

queer Phoenix know is always

there them,” Boss said.

Jonmaesha Beltran is a California native living in Phoenix, Arizona, where

she studies journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and

Mass Communication. She’s passionate about amplifying the voices of

marginalized communities. Her dream is to become a staff writer at a

national magazine.

FEATURE

ECHOMAG.COM | MARCH 2021

19


NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Why I Love Nancy Pelosi and AOC

By Buddy Early

Some time ago, I ignited a firestorm

on social media when I said I would

most appreciate a viable presidential

candidate under 50. Holy smokes, did

I get roasted for being ageist! How

could I possibly just write off an entire

generation of hard-working, experienced

Americans when it comes to our nation’s

highest office? I was even called part

of “the entitlement generation” by one

particularly triggered individual.

Now, while I stand by my belief that a

fresh, energetic change-maker would’ve

best served our country’s needs during

this messed up time, I’ll also accept

that dismissing a large portion of our

population in that way was a bit harsh.

Maybe it’s because I will, in fact, turn 50

this year, and I certainly don’t want to

be overlooked in favor of some young

whippersnapper who wears skinny

jeans and Converse and understands

Bitcoin – and that goes for any upcoming

presidential race or a game of dodgeball.

But back to my point: I was wrong.

Ironically, most of the folks who tried

to cancel me for my ageist views are

the same folks on the progressive left

who wanted to run Nancy Pelosi out

of her House leadership because she

is out of touch with young folks. (This

is called a segue.) Pelosi will turn 80

this month, and in her more than three

decades as a member of the U.S. House

of Representatives has been elected four

times to the position of Speaker. Prior

to taking on that role she was tapped as

20 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM

Minority Whip and then Minority Leader

by her Democratic colleagues.

Essentially, Nancy Pelosi has earned

and has long had the respect and

appreciation of her peers. Those who

have worked with her in Congress,

people inside the beltway, and pretty

much everyone who has followed national

politics for the last few decades know her

as a leader, a tough negotiator, and an

effective policymaker. Even opponents

on the other side of the aisle who hate

everything Pelosi stands for would not

argue she hasn’t been good at her job.

We can and should expect Republicans

– particularly the current brand that has

no integrity or morals, and relies on lies

and conspiracy theories to inform its

actions – to balk at the things Pelosi tries

to accomplish. What we shouldn’t have to

deal with is members of the Democratic

Party disrespecting her accomplishments

and experience. Even more dispiriting,

I’ve noticed, is the manner in which many

members of the LGBT community have

decided Pelosi is ready for the trash heap.

It’s not just disrespectful; it’s ignorant.

Nancy Pelosi has been there for us,

time and time again. During her first

speech on the House floor in 1987, she

made it clear that fighting AIDS would

be a top priority. And she has stayed true

to that promise: challenging President

Reagan to step up in the fight; securing

AIDS funding first for her home district

then subsequently through the Ryan

White CARES Act and even across

the globe; and she was instrumental in

bringing the AIDS Memorial Quilt to

Washington and increasing awareness

when most Americans were still clueless.

On the political front, Pelosi was

among the first members of Congress

to support same-sex marriage, joining

an underwhelming minority in 1996 to

vote against the Defense of Marriage

Act. She’s supported our community on

every issue facing the country. She lent

her name to and was present at major

LGBT events, including the 1987 March on

Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights.

Despite any missteps or occasions

where Pelosi had to be educated about

an issue, and despite any time she had to

compromise to get shit done, I will always

love Nancy Pelosi.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I might

be more closely aligned politically with

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than I am with

Nancy Pelosi. I’m somewhere in the middle

right now but becoming more progressive

with each passing year. AOC’s role as an

ally to the LGBT community is unmatched.

She is uncompromising, unflinching, and

you can be damned sure she will never sell

us out. Beyond her support for gay and

lesbian equality, she has been vocal about

the rights of Trans Americans more than

anyone else ever in Congress.

I am thrilled that AOC and other

young progressives like her are making

waves in Washington. While I may not

be on board (yet) with every aspect of

her agenda, nothing she is proposing

would bring harm to America. She has a

vision of an American utopia that doesn’t

deserve to be disrespected by older, more

conservative members of her own party.

And I like that she scares the shit out

of the likes of Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham,

and Josh Hawley.

Even in scenarios where her approach

may not be incredibly wise, or she may shoot

herself in the foot with her own actions, I will

always love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Nancy Pelosi and AOC are two sides of

the same coin. They will have battles, for

sure, and some may even argue they will

ultimately “fight for the soul of the party.”

But they support us and will go to the mat

for us; the last thing they need is for us

to pit them against one another. We need

both of them.

Buddy Early grew up in Tempe

and has been involved in various

communities across the Valley since.

He is a former managing editor of

both Echo Magazine and Compete

Magazine.

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21


Leon Polk Smith —Hiding in Plain Sight

Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight at

Heard Museum

By Jenna Duncan. Photos courtesy of Heard Museum

The mood of the midcentury

built many memorable

masters in art and

architecture — many of whom

were reacting to American and

European recent history and

events. Family life and education

often shaped an artist’s

experience, but an even more

intrinsic, influential force came

from the environment.

Such is the case of painter

and sculptor Leon Polk Smith,

who may have emerged from

obscurity in New York City, but

was captivated by the American

Southwest from the time of his

youth in Oklahoma Territory,

throughout his later life, work

and travels. “Leon Polk Smith:

Hiding in Plain Sight” at Heard

Museum features more than 40

of the artist’s most celebrated

works.

LPS grew up on a farm near

Pocasset, Oklahoma, living with

his mother, father, and nine

brothers and sisters. He was

born in Oklahoma, a year before

the territory received statehood.

He grew up near Chickasha, the

nations of the Chickasaw, and

Chocktaw, his neighbors. Smith

claimed the Southwest as his

home, describing its influence

on his art and his spirit.

“I believe his creative self was

already shaped by this exposure

to the Tribal communities,” Baker

says. “The dances, the social

gatherings — all of which he

participated in,” Baker says the

evidence is shown in his free use

of color, which reflects palettes

of historic beadwork and ribbon

work.

Baker describes the

development of Oklahoma

state as a time of creativity,

lawlessness, and invention.

“From that space, that place,

came all sorts of innovations

and creative individuals.” For

example, Richard Adams,

Delaware Indian poet, writer,

and activist; Lewis W. Ballard,

composer and former music

director of Institute of American

Indian Arts; and Lynn Riggs, who

wrote the play “Green Grow the

Lilacs,” Baker says.

As a young man, Smith’s

mother and father faced the

foreclosure of their land and

family farm, and he was sent to

work to try to save it. Different

accounts find him traveling the

country, working as a laborer

with Roosevelt’s Civilian

Conservation Corps, and as

a railroad laborer, where he

landed a brief stint in Arizona.

The wildly colorful desert

sunsets may certainly have

played into Smith’s adopted

color palette, as did the

decorative trends of the time.

In one of his most memorable

paintings, “Stonewall,” (1956),

two red-orange orbs gently

graze one another. But these

shapes are more than just

decorative — they suggest

human energy, momentum — two

planets about to form an eclipse

or two lovers about to share a

kiss.

“To me, it’s very much a part

of the pow wow,” Baker says of

Smith’s vibrant color palette and

what informs it. “A riot of color,

in movement.”

Though some of LPS’s early

work was figurative, and he

did experiment somewhat with

Surrealism, LPS never truly

“[Leon Polk Smith] spent

the first 40 years of his life in

Oklahoma. It has a warm place

in my heart and everywhere in

his painting,” says Joe Baker,

co-curator of the exhibit

and executive director at

the Mashantucket Pequot

Museum. “I give all the credit to

Oklahoma,” Baker quotes Smith

as saying near the end of his life.

Leon Polk Smith —Hiding in Plain Sight

While he was interested in the

artist for many years prior, Baker

says co-curating this exhibit gave

him the chance to delve into

Leon Polk Smith’s early years.

22 MARCH 2021 | ECHOMAG.COM

FEATURE


veered from Hard-Edge painting,

Baker says. Geometry and

vibrant color play big roles in

Smith’s work. Many attribute Piet

Mondrian as one of his primary

influences, and he was friends

with many other working artists

of the time, including Martha

Graham and Carmen Herrera.

Baker has a special connection

to Heard Museum and Leon Polk

Smith. For one, Baker was at

Heard Museum for 12 years, first

in education and then serving

as Lloyd Kiva New Curator of

Fine Art. And another significant

connection, Baker is also from

Oklahoma and a member of the

Delaware tribe. “I know the town

he was born in,” Baker explains. “I

know how that part of Oklahoma

feels — the difficult history of

the founding of the state of

Oklahoma. It became a very

personal experience for me.”

The difficult history, as Baker

explains, covers Oklahoma’s

timeline from the 1800s into the

early 20 th century. “It’s important

to realize there were over 60

Native American communities

that were forced into what I

refer to as a holding area,” Baker

says. “They were misplaced by

expansion until something could

be decided about what to do

about the ‘Indian problem.’”

It was a time in the nation’s

history when communities of

diverse Native people, owning

different customs and different

languages, were forcibly pushed

together into the “no man’s lands.”

“What I do know that resulted

from that action was really

something quite beautiful,”

Baker says. “Tribal people

came together; there was a

lot of sharing and exchange.

They contributed formatively

to the formation of the state of

Oklahoma.”

Smith was also coming of

age in this era, embedded in

a turbulent time. Baker says

he wasn’t able to find any

documentation that the Smith

family had a tribal affiliation, but

it has been said they were of

Cherokee heritage. LPS didn’t

speak much during his life about

his Native American background,

but his lifelong partner, Robert

(Bob) Mead Jamieson, in

interviews with the Leon Polk

Foundation, did state that both

of LPS’s parents had Cherokee

ancestors.

FEATURE

Smith and Jamieson met in

a bar called Goody’s in New

York City in the early 1950s,

Baker says. Baker tried to track

down the place but could not

find a record of it. He did find

records, though. The Smith

maintained studios around

Union Square and Greenwich

from the mid-century to his

later life.

But before he got to New

York, he enrolled in some

classes at a college in Aida,

Oklahoma. Initially, LPS had

planned to become a teacher.

“Somehow, during his time on

campus, he walked by an open

studio in the department of art

and was just fascinated with

painting class,” Baker says. “He

looks in the door and somehow

this moment of recognition

that this was his calling.” LPS

convinced the professor to

let him sit in, and this initiated

his formal investigation of the

medium.

Throughout his active art life,

LPS evolved his style to include

more curves. He also began

to experiment with alternative

shapes for his canvases,

embracing the “tondo,” or round

disk shape.

“All of that was inspired

by baseballs,” Baker says.

His interpretation is that the

seams on the ball held for

LPS a connection to space

and the endless horizons,

inspiring his group of paintings,

“Constellations.”

Baker says last year, he

visited the foundation and LPS’

home studio in Long Island

before it was sold.

“What we found in a box was

his notebooks, which had never

been seen before by anyone

at the foundation. It was really

exciting because there are

really meticulous records of

the painting — where they were

exhibited, where they traveled.

Along with pencil sketches.

References to colors. All of

this provided insight into the

mind of the artist; you could

see his literal side. He was also

very fastidious with his recordkeeping

and note-taking.”

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The Heard has on view some

never-before-exhibited pages

of the notebook. Also on view

is a painting very atypical of

LPSs work, “Black Black,” Baker

says, which was produced

during his time in Santa Fe on a

fellowship.

Leon Polk Smith died in 1996

at age 90. He was active in

painting for more than 70 years.

“Hiding in Plain Sight” is on view

at Heard Museum through May

31. For more information, visit

heard.org.

Jenna Duncan is writer, community college instructor and artist based in Phoenix,

Arizona. She leads the training program for journalism at Glendale Community

College. Her video art and documentaries have screened in Phoenix, NYC,

and Berlin. Jenna holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from University

of Arizona, an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in

Vermont, and a Masters in Media Studies from The New School.

Jenna is a freelance reporter and editor for a few local magazines and

co-hosts a biweekly pop culture podcast with fellow Phoenix writer,

Jared Duran, called HootNReview.

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23

Leon Polk Smith —Hiding in Plain Sight


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