Brunch connects members of Winnipeg’s lesbian community


Chef Natalie Davis, 29, plates the first course of the Lez Eat Brunch—a meyer lemon curd, beet yogurt, beet puree and cardamom granola. Here, she pours beet yogurt onto the meyer lemon curd on Sunday, March 5, 2017. THE PROJECTOR/ Saz Massey

The guests pile into Teo’s & Mano A Mano during the restaurant’s closing hours. They choose their seats at one of two long tables adorned with burlap runners, sprigs of Baby’s Breath, mugs of chef-made butter, and mismatched jugs of water.

Slow, melodic bass punches the floor at 85 beats per minute as the hum of 48 guests conversing fills the air.

In the kitchen, chef Natalie Davis directs her team while she plates the first course. Uzoma Chioma, the woman who organized the event with Davis, goes back-and-forth between the kitchen and greeting the guests.

Mimosas hit the tables as fresh-baked scones seasoned like everything bagels make their way to the guests on round, wooden boards.

The LEZ EAT Brunch! begins.

Chioma said the pop-up dining series aims to give queer women a way to meet outside of the bar or online dating scenes. The first was in November, and it was a dinner at Fools & Horses. Both events sold out, indicating a need for more events geared toward connecting members of the community.

Uzoma Chioma, 32—Lez Eat co-organizer—serves “everything-spiced scones” to a diner at Lez Eat Brunch pop-up on March 5, 2017. THE PROJECTOR/ Saz Massey

Davis said she and Chioma noticed this need and hatched the idea while meeting over afternoon cocktails.

“We were just talking about the lack of things for queer women to do outside of going to the bar,” Chioma said.

Davis concocts a different menu for each of the events, and she can accommodate vegetarian and other dietary needs. The menu is a surprise until it is presented to the diners while sitting at the table.

Davis personally introduces each of the four courses with a dash of her sense of humour. During the third course—a miso potato soup nestled around a poached egg—a diner can be heard saying, “This is the best soup I’ve ever had.”

Kristie Miller, 32, made the two-hour drive from Brandon to attend the brunch. She said she’ll come back for the next LEZ EAT and she’ll probably bring friends.

“I wish we could do something like this in Brandon,” Miller said. She jokes that the Brandon lesbian community is so small it would take 100 per cent attendance for an event to work.

At the end of the afternoon affair, DJ Two Topping turned the music down for a final word from the hosts.

“A toast to making our community stronger,” said Davis.