Wayne Moots is looking to bring Kansas City’s queer community together with a cookbook.

Photography by Zach Bauman.

Sharing recipes with family and friends is an age-old tradition we know and love. Whether it’s a recipe for a Thanksgiving casserole or a perfected pasta sauce, secret recipes are passed down. 

Wayne Moots is working to make a cookbook of recipes compiled from the Kansas City queer community. Inspired by the cookbook from influential Atlanta-based arts organization Southern Fried Queer Pride, Moots wanted their own version: A Queer Kansas City Cookbook.

“We all know the conversation like what the food a family makes tells their story,” they say, “but I kind of realized I’d never heard that conversation through the lens of my chosen family and the queer community. And I just started dwelling on my own experience with food.” 

Food has always played a significant role in Moots’ life. They grew up cooking for their busy family and school friends. After trying out culinary and baking school, they found comfort in the restaurant industry for their eight years in Kansas City. 

As the founder and owner of Palace Parties, Moots is always giving back to the Kansas City queer community. The organization throws events for the Kansas City LGBTQIA community to make the city a more inviting, celebratory environment. 

“I’ve been trying to keep all the recipes as true to what was said to me,” they say. “The structure that they’re going to be published is the structure that I received them [in]. I think the way we write recipes is very representative of our experience as well, and I don’t want people to lose their voice when sharing their recipes.” 

Moots is doing research with the help of the Gay Lesbian Archives of Mid-America, which was started by Stuart Heinz and serves as a historic archive for the queer existence in Kansas City. But Moots is working solo on the cookbook as it takes its own direction. “Because I’m stumbling across all of these really incredible stories of these queer spaces that no longer exist,” Moots says, “I’m trying to sort out how to include all of this in a cookbook. So maybe it turns into more than just a cookbook.”

A half-dozen people have contributed recipes so far, and Moots is shooting for at least thirty pages. They’re extending their deadline from November to January in hopes of more contributions.

“It’s been really inspiring to be reading these stories. and it gives me reassurance knowing how hard I’ve been working even though there are not as many submissions,” Moots says. “The stories I’m getting are such quality that where I’m at now isn’t really taking away my feeling of pride for my community.” 

Favorite Spots

Morning Museum: “I’d get the sesame seed and scallion schmear bagel from Meshuggah Bagels, then walk through The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.”

Lambrusco Lunch: “Lunch at Room 39. And I get whatever gnocchi dish they have. They always have a gnocchi dish on their menu and it just hits every time. I usually get a glass of Lambrusco when I’m there for breakfast or lunch.”

Vintage Vibes: “I’m probably shopping at Wonderland Vintage and Boomerang. Then I would go to Loose Park and bring a couple of snacks and maybe a bottle of Champagne.”

Home Base: “I would do drinks before dinner at Voltaire. I’ve worked there on and off and I’m friends with most of the people that work there, so that tends to be one of my home bases for drinks.”

Don’t Miss: “Chez Charlie for drinks and Missie B’s following. “I would reluctantly find myself at Missie’s after that. I usually find myself camped out on their cigarette patio.”

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