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Chef Munoz and His Kitchen Gaily

Updated: Jan 1

Michael Munoz is known to most as the perfectly combined fashionable food enthusiast and fabulous show stopper. But he refers to himself as a fearless home-trained cook who gets his pzazz from his theater training and his wit and style from the city that raised him — New York! He is a successful food blogger, culinary emcee, and food writer who is passionate about food, friendship, and The Golden Girls.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Michael's path as a musician, actor, and culinary enthusiast has taken him across the world to sing with legends like Julie Andrews and Andrea Bocelli, back to the stages of Broadway and then onto morning television for cocktail tastings and brunch bites! While Michael loves to perform, his heart was stolen years ago by the deliciousness of food and all things hospitality. This along with the realization that there were no Queer POC people, like himself, represented in the food media world set him on a fabulous journey that has taken him to places he would’ve never imagined. 

Michael's successful blog 'The Kitchen Gaily' combines fun, and accessible food with infectious campy humor that is totally unique and hilariously informative. It is a real guide to eating and living fabulously! Michael's culinary writing style can also be found in W42nd Street Magazine, where his monthly food column even gets New Yorkers excited about visiting Midtown Manhattan!

But to really get Michael's vibe, one must delve into his podcast "IN YO MOUTH” where he wants to know what you eat from the streets to the sheets! Hosting the only Queer food podcast on the airwaves Michael is skilled at taking ordinary conversations and infusing them with some extraordinary secret ingredients. His main focus is highlighting, telling and being the custodian of the stories of the LGBTQ+ community through a culinary lens. In the podcast's weekly two year run  Michael has sat down with hundreds of passionate foodies, social activists, influencers and everyday people. Notable guests have included Queer Puerto Rican comedian and MTV host Gabe Gonzalez, Author of “F*ck Your Diet…” Chloe Hilliard, Cookbook Author and king of mash-up foods Dan Whalen and even CHOPPED cast members Chef Ash Fulk, Chef Michele Ragussis, and Renee Blackman. Other gay foodie notables are Elliot Norris of My Gay Kitchen, The Grubfather himself Sal DiBenedetto, Chandley Borges of Gays Gotta Eat, and Dustin Harder, The Vegan Roadie himself!

When did you decide to take your culinary skills on the road tell us all the juicy details…

The year was 2009. I was successfully performing in Musical Theatre shows and at the end of a few contracts I ended up living in my mom’s house during a recession, watching a lot of Food Network with no more work. In contemplating what to do next the idea came to me from watching all this food tv. You see, I remember watching old cooking shows like Graham Kerr & Julia Child. You see by the time I ended up living with my mom again food tv had evolved into this very quiet, very pretty style of cooking. The older shows had a little bit more pizzaz, a lot more humor, and weren’t so serious all the time. That’s why Emeril was so successful because the food was good but it was also a lot of fun to watch. I also realized that there was no one that looked like or was like me anywhere to be found on food tv. So, with that longing for the entertaining food tv of old and the need to be represented as a Queer Latino Gay Man the journey began!

Tell us which holiday is your favorite and why.

To be honest I am a holiday queen! Even if it’s from a religion I’m not associated with. THere’s something about traditions that spread good cheer and coming together that really warms the cockles of my heart. But if I had to choose it would be Christmas! I LOVE the music (tbh it’s been playing a lot to lift my spirits during this quarantine...which is weird because a lot of Christmas music is forlorn or love lost! hahah) I love the decorations but most of all I love that for a brief moment it seems that everyone is in the same frame of mind. One of coming together, one of giving, and one of cheer!

The holidays can often be a tough time especially for those who are LGBTQIA and can not

go home to their families, what does home life look like for you during the holidays?

That is so true and I have had the honor of hearing a variety of coming out stories on my podcast In Yo Mouth. I want to say first that if this is you out there, you are not alone although it may seem like that. Create your own memories if possible, come together with a chosen few, do something for yourself. It will and does get better. Every year I choose to be alone on Christmas Eve and I’ll make a special meal for myself or go to midnight mass. I go to mass not because I’m uber-religious but because before the mass starts it’s an hour of beautiful carols and music and I sing my heart out! It’s important to be selfish sometimes and take care of ourselves, especially if you are one of those people who aren’t lucky enough to be surrounded by a huge family or any family at all. The rest of my holiday is spent with my chosen family if they are in town, my mom, my brother his wife, and my niece and nephew. I never fail to realize to see how lucky I am to have a circle of people that surround me with love

What is your favorite comfort food? tell us about your favorite cocktail or Mocktail

My mom’s Puerto Rican will always be the ultimate comfort food, Pernil (pork shoulder) her rice, the beans! OMG yum! There’s a warmth and richness about them that’s incomparable to anything else. If we are talking about things that I personally cook, my friends live and die over my mac & cheese. As far as cocktails...hmmm… I love a good espresso martini. I know what year is this? Hahaha. But a well-crafted espresso martini is the ultimate dessert! I also love a good Aperol Spritz! So refreshing!

What do you think are the most rewarding moments of creating both the In Yo Mouth Podcast and the Kitchen Gaily? Starting with The Kitchen Gaily; You know I started blogging when blogging was new and exciting! My blog has gone through many incarnations and lives at this point and the most reward thing has been the acceptance and the love that I get from fans and brands alike. It has also taught me the importance of reinvention and growth. Much like me as a person the blog has grown and changed because the world around me has grown and changed. Hence why during this quarantine I had a moment of this doesn’t work anymore and tore it all down. It’s getting a revamp and like a phoenix will rise again.

As far as In Yo Mouth... The podcast started because I felt that a friend of mine and I needed something new. A fun, creative outlet if you will that I pushed us into. That’s what it was for a long time, 80 episodes to be exact. After she went to follow her own passions with my blessing I realized that I needed to turn up the queer volume to the max. There isn’t another podcast like mine out there. What I didn’t realize is that I was not only celebrating LGBTQ people in food but I was also giving a platform to a specific sector of our community to tell their stories completely. The good, bad and even ugly sometimes. As one listener who contacted me put it, I have become the custodian of LGBTQ stories. It’s not what I set out to do but I accept the charge with honor and respect.

Please tell us of some of your not so traditional and traditional things that you do for and around the holidays. We would love to hear how your table looks and feels.

The holidays are usually a really really busy time of year for me because besides writing and podcasting I am also a personal assistant. So the holidays are insane organizing not only my life but other people’s as well. But as far as non-traditional I’ve got nothing! I am a gay of traditions, from walking 5th ave to going to see the tree in the middle of the night when there are no tourists present, to ice skating and hot cocktails, just call me a snow bunny!

As far as “my table” sometimes it’s just a beautiful disaster of aluminum trays and food everywhere and sometimes I give you full Martha Stewart. It really depends if I’m in the mood. The glorious thing is that as long as the food is good it doesn’t matter what the table looks like. There’s a beauty in the mess of it all sometimes.

Tell us about your support system, We all need good friends especially in these times.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to surround ourselves with a support system and one of equal balance is of most importance. Meaning that they have to add something to your life and you theirs. If people in your life only take of your time, energy, emotions, and don’t deposit into your support bank then why are they around? My circle is small for that reason. It’s about quality, not quantity. I love them wholeheartedly, I trust them, I can tell them anything and vice versa. I also always say I don’t want friends I can’t argue with. It just means you can communicate on a deeper level and grow as friends.

What is one thing you would want to be remembered by?

You know, It would be something to be the person that paved the way for queer POC in the food space. That would be the ultimate goal. Not a Beyonce type of fame just a space that opened a door for others but if I were gone tomorrow I would do my best to be a good person and live my life in a way to give of myself where I can and anyhow I can. I don’t have a lot but I give anyhow and anyway I can. So if I am remembered as someone who was as good of a person as he could be, who did his best to help his community and his LGBTQ community, I’d be a happy gay.

Tell the people where they can find the honorable Michael Munoz and what you are up to next .You can listen to the sweet dulcet tones of Muñoz voice every week on the only LGBTQ food podcast on the airwaes In Yo Mouth, wherever you get your podcast fix incuding iTunes, Spotify & many more. The new Kitchen Gaily blog is getting a very slow revamp but recipes are coming onwww.thekitchengaily.com . Want to know about Muñoz himself?www.themunoz.comand you can always show him some love on instagram, facebook & twitter@thekitchengaily&@inyomouthpod

Deliciously Living, Michael Muñoz The Man: www.themunoz.com The Blog: www.thekitchen-gaily.com The Podcast: www.in-yo-mouth.com The Instagram: @thekitchengaily

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