Three-star Chef Dominique Crenn is a culinary trailblazer and force to be reckoned with. We're proud to support the Crenn Dining Group Employee Relief Fund with a donation from each sale of Atelier Crenn Blend and Boutique Crenn Espresso. In celebration of PRIDE month, Equator co-founder Helen Russell and Chef Dominique Crenn grabbed a virtual cup of Atelier Crenn Blend together.
HR: How are you celebrating Pride this year? Will it look different then previous years?
DC: I celebrate Pride everyday, this year is not any different. This has been a difficult year and our community might feel the need for support more than ever. Let’s celebrate one another this month.
HR: Can you tell me a little about your coming out story? Where were you in your life’s journey?
DC: I didn’t have to come out in the traditional way. I have been me all my life. Gay or not gay, I have always just been myself.
HR: What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d been given?
DC: Not everyone is kind and you will face difficulties in life. Be ready for anything life throws at you. It’s not going to be easy.
HR: Has your identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community impacted the way you lead and run your business?
DC: Of course! I always knew that my business would be one of equality. It is one of the core values at Atelier Crenn alongside humanity, sustainability, and excellence.
HR: What advice do you have for up and coming queer entrepreneurs?
DC: Be yourself and be confident in that. You will succeed if you work to tell your own story and what you believe in.
HR: What is the biggest challenge right now for the LGBTQ+ community?
DC: We still need to be seen as equals. I wish our leaders would do more to protect our rights as humans.
HR: What do you feel we can all do to change that?
DC: I think we need to start in schools and build the idea of inclusivity there. Children are so open to accepting others and our leaders need to take note of this idea.
HR: How was quarantine with your partner, Maria, while you navigated the restaurant business during a pandemic?
DC: You know, the pandemic really gave us some quality time to reflect on what matters- family and friends and sharing love. Through all of the challenges, we made it through, and we’re stronger because of it. The small team at Atelier Crenn really helped to keep me going, as well. It was tough, but we’re still here.
HR: What’s one piece of advice you would give someone in the LGBTQ+ community who’s struggling?
DC: Reach out to someone that you feel safe with and talk through your struggles. Don’t keep your fears inside you. We all need someone that we can rely on to pick us up when we are down.
HR: What makes you the most hopeful right now?
DC: My children and the entire young generation in the world. They have such aspirations and a fresh way of looking at things - with acceptance and love.
HR: What’s one action you wish everyone reading this would take in honor of Pride?
DC: Be kind to one another. We have one planet and one human race, let’s take care of one another by sharing love.