Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queer college salutatorian plans to help community through food
by Bronson Pettitt
2022-05-10

This article shared 1216 times since Tue May 10, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Back in March, Jose Cueva got an unexpected phone call from the president of Kennedy-King College: Cueva's perfect 4.0 GPA meant he would be graduating as salutatorian.

"I was in shock; I wasn't expecting that," Cueva told Windy City Times. Weeks away from earning his associate of applied science degree from the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) system, the first thing Cueva did after receiving that call was to share the news with one of his former history teachers, who said, "It's your turn, Jose. Show the world what you're made of, what you want to do, how you're going to make a difference."

With this in mind, and drawing from his culinary background; the challenges he endured growing up in Lima, Peru, during a period of violent armed conflict and poverty; and a desire to help others, Cueva said one of his goals is to create a system to provide healthful food to low-income people and empower them to decisions that benefit their health.

Cueva said he has witnessed first-hand the "vicious cycle" of many consumers choosing highly processed foods filled with sugar or salt, leading to illnesses such as diabetes, and a lifetime dependence on prescription medication.

"How can we break that circle. How can I disrupt it?" Cueva said.

One way, he said, is by helping people understand how foods are made and by knowing how to read ingredient labels. Cueva envisions community kitchens where people learn how to use basic, wholesome ingredients to create nutritious yet enjoyable meals.

One of his favorites is ceviche: a Peruvian dish made with fresh, raw fish cured in lemon or lime juice and seasonings, and sometimes accompanied with chopped vegetables.

"Many people think it's horrible," Cueva said, "but you have to explain the right way to make ceviche and the history behind it. Ceviche is nutritious and can save a lot of people."

Cueva's other specialty is bread: He spent part of his education in the CCC system studying culinary arts, specifically baking and pastries.

Recalling the first time he stepped inside the Washburne Culinary and Hospitality Institute's facilities at Kennedy-King College, Cueva said: "I was speechless—it was an entire city of a kitchen. I told myself, 'if there was something like this in every neighborhood of Chicago, there wouldn't be as many people eating poorly.'"

One way to do this, Cueva said, is to show others how easy it is to make bread with as few as three ingredients (wheat, water, yeast), or simply by encouraging people to choose unrefined sugar or wheat instead of processed ingredients.

"I'm going to be old and still explaining this," Cueva joked, "but what matters is teaching people how to feed others, their families, and even other generations of their families. Food is so important in our lives."

Cueva, who earned presidential scholar awards in 2019 and 2020, was inspired to support his community from his early days in Chicago nearly two decades ago, after he and his now-husband moved into their first home in the city—a fixer-upper in the Englewood neighborhood. On the weekends, Cueva would go around the neighborhood, picking up trash.

Cueva said, "People looked at me funny. 'What is that guy doing? He's crazy,' they would say. 'It's the city's job, not his.'" However, Cueva thought differently: "Why wait, if I have a few minutes to spare? I can grab a bag, a broom and a dustpan, and spend 20 or 30 minutes at a time. I started inviting my neighbors and, one by one, they started pitching in. Now, you'll find a cleaner neighborhood—or, at least, a much cleaner block."

Cueva and his husband have also helped their neighbors with home-renovation projects, lending tools, their time and expertise to make small improvements around the neighborhood.

"Many people in my family didn't think a gay person could be successful; my husband has been so supportive, and we've accomplished so many goals despite being gay, and breaking lots of stereotypes," Cueva said.

Having grown up with a conservative and religious background, coming out to his family was difficult at first, but Cueva said his parents later came to accept them.

"One day I decided to invite my parents to Chicago," Cueva said. "My father was so amazed by my husband that, at one point, he said I would have a strong future with him."

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, Cueva received the tragic news that his mother died in a hospital in Lima from the virus. Tragedy struck again the next year, when Cueva lost his sister to the coronavirus.

Throughout these difficult times, and just months away from earning his degree, Cueva turned to his husband and one of his culinary school mentors, Chef Delfina Perez, for support.

"In the end, I had no other choice but to finish [school], despite all the pain that my soul was feeling," Cueva said. "I needed to find answers. I spoke with Chef Perez, and she told me to be strong, to finish my education."


This article shared 1216 times since Tue May 10, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

GLAAD responds to weekend of anti-LGBTQ+ violence, poll suggests 2/3 of GOPs back discussion of LGBTQ+s in schools
2022-09-26
-- From a press release - (Monday, September 26, 2022) GLAAD condemns a wave of violence against the LGBTQ community across the country and calls for increased protections and support for LGBTQ people and youth, as new data reveals that a vast ...


Gay News

DoJ announces $22M to address, prevent sexual assault on campuses
2022-09-23
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced nearly $22 million in upcoming grant awards to address and prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on college campuses; provide services to youth victims and children ...


Gay News

Pritzker appoints Isoye to chair the Illinois State Board of Education
2022-09-19
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker appointed Dr. Steven Isoye, a former educator and superintendent, to chair the Illinois State Board of Education, effective immediately. Isoye follows in the footsteps of Darren Reisberg, a member of the LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage bill, drag queen dies, Dutch queen visits, university sued
2022-09-18
A bipartisan group of senators trying to pass same-sex marriage protection legislation pushed a vote until after the November election—a move the officials say increases their chances of success but avoids forcing the GOP on record ...


Gay News

Texas district court issues third directive benefiting trans youths
2022-09-16
On Sept. 16, the Travis County District Court issued a third injunction blocking Texas from implementing a directive targeting trans youth and their families across the state. The directive ordered the Department of Family and Protective ...


Gay News

SAVOR Latin Restaurant Weeks running Sept. 16-30
2022-09-14
Latin Restaurant Weeks (LRW) will take place Sept. 16-30 in various cities, including Chicago. Illinois has the nation's fifth-largest Hispanic population; Chicago has more than 29% of people who identify as Hispanic. LRW partners with Hispani ...


Gay News

SAVOR Fogo de Chao; chef fundraisers
2022-09-12
Brazilian steakhouses utilize that all-too-familiar U.S. restaurant theme: Eat until you can't consume any more. Fogo de Chao—roughly meaning "ground fire," a reference to the gaucho method of roasting meats over an open fire—is one of ...


Gay News

Campus Pride releases 'absolute worst, most unsafe campuses for LGBTQ+ people'
2022-09-09
-- From a press release - CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Campus Pride released The Worst List documenting the "Absolute Worst, Most Unsafe Campuses for LGBTQ+ Youth." The Worst List is an annual listing of colleges and universities that have chosen to openly ...


Gay News

Miami-Dade school board rejects LGBTQ History Month over 'Don't Say Gay' fears
2022-09-08
On Sept. 7, the Miami-Dade School Board struck down a proposal that would have recognized October as "LGBTQ History Month" out of concern that it would violate the state's Parental Rights in Education law, known by ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Convicted killer, school groups, Gloria Casarez, 'Gay Days'
2022-09-04
A Philadelphia jury convicted Abdullah El-Amin of third-degree murder for taking the life of trans woman Mia Green, per The Philadelphia Gay News. He faces a lengthy prison term when sentenced in November. Green, 27, was ...


Gay News

SAVOR Indian gastropub Bar Goa
2022-08-29
The Indian state of Goa is known for many things, including tourism. Water-sport enthusiasts and partygoers often visit the area, partaking in activities such as jet-skiing, surfing, marveling at the wonders in the National Institute of ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ youths, adult allies gather at Action Camp 2022
2022-08-29
LGBTQ+ young people and adult allies gathered under the sun and stars Aug. 1-5 for the 10th Annual Action Camp, co-hosted by the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago's (PHIMC's) Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance&# ...


Gay News

Vietnam ends LGBTQ+ conversion therapy
2022-08-29
Vietnam has said that being LGBTQ+ is "not an illness" and ordered medical providers to end controversial practices like "conversion therapy," UPI reported. The government's health ministry said that being a member of the LGBTQ+ community ...


Gay News

Court upholds injunction blocking Ark. ban on healthcare for trans youth
2022-08-25
On Aug. 25, a federal appeals court has said that Arkansas cannot enact Act 626, its law banning gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth because the law relies on sex discrimination, LGBTQ Nation reported. The three-judge panel ...


Gay News

Chicago Fire FC, Dawn to host Aug. 31 volunteer community event at Greater Chicago Food Depository
2022-08-25
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (August 25, 2022) — Chicago Fire FC will host a volunteer event, alongside dish-liquid company Dawn® at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Club on Wed., Aug. 31, at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, 4100 W. ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.