Just because they are close friends and founded a pair of restaurants together doesn’t mean chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson always agree.
But when Food & Wine magazine’s co-Best New Chefs discussed selecting the charity to support at a fundraising dinner series at The Standard Spa on Miami Beach, they did: Planned Parenthood deserved their voice and your dollars.
“It’s an organization that is inclusive and helps a diverse group of people,” Hymanson said.
“It’s doing active work every day,” Kramer added.
Hymanson and Kramer, the chefs behind Kismet and Madcapra, will leave their restaurants in Los Angeles to serve a three-course meal at the Chefs Stand Up dinner series at The Standard with all of the proceeds of the $95 meal going to their chosen charity.
They didn’t chose Planned Parenthood by chance. They know using their voices to support this charity puts them squarely in a political arena that touches hot-button issues of universal healthcare and reproductive rights. They invite the discussion it inspires.
“We know where we stand on this,” Kramer said. “We have a platform that carries more weight. We want to honor the position we’re in.”
“We want to help people that are maybe a little quieter have more of a voice and rally behind us,” Hymanson said.
Crossing over from the kitchen to politics is not a stretch, the chefs said. Choosing how to source the ingredients for your restaurant requires chefs to take a stand about who they buy from — Who is planting and harvesting the crops? Are those workers making fair wages? — and how they hire.
“This is inherently a pretty political business because of all the choices you make about where your food comes from, who you employ, how you employ them and how to create values in a work space,” Kramer said last week in an interview published on The Standard’s website. “There are so many politically-driven decisions we make on a daily basis. It’s always been something I’ve felt strongly about.”
Hymanson, who identifies as queer, said she especially appreciates what Planned Parenthood has done for the LGBTQ community. She said the organization has for years reached out to help young woman, regardless of their sexual orientation, who might otherwise feel too insecure to seek basic medical treatment.
“They don’t make you feel afraid that you won’t be able to afford what you need,” Hymanson said. “I believe everyone should have access to healthcare, and Planned Parenthood is accepting of every single person who walks through their doors. It’s non-discriminatory, providing healthcare for whoever needs it.”
They know their public stance could mean a backlash at their restaurants. But just as chef José Andrés used his platform at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February to speak in support of immigrants — and against the president’s policies — Kramer and Hymanson are ready to be part of the conversation.
“We absolutely will stand behind this politically, publicly,” Hymanson said. “We have no choice but to be active.
“It’s worth it to us to stand behind our political beliefs,” Kramer said. “Now more than ever, it’s important to be vocal.”
Chefs Stand Up dinner series
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, 40 Island Ave, Miami Beach
Tickets: $95 a person for a three-course meal cooked by the chefs. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online.