Drags Benny Winnipeg will be one fabulous brunch
Meet Laila McQueen of RuPaul's Drag Race at Eat North's event for Pride Winnipeg November 4 at the Fairmont Winnipeg
The only thing that occasionally can be a drag about brunch is having to wait in line.
We guarantee this won't be the case on November 4 at the Fairmont's VG Restaurant, because this brunch service will literally drag — in the fiercest and most fabulous way possible.
Get your death drop dusted, put on your best mimosa mug, and leave your tea and shade at home, because Winnipeg’s first-ever Drags Benny will star Laila McQueen of RuPaul's Drag Race along with local talents Satina Loren, Cake and Lita Takeela as well as Calgary's Perla Coddington.
This fun, all ages, and slightly upscale brunch ( tickets available here) will kick off at 11:30 a.m. with a morning canapé hour, followed by a three-course-plated brunch, created by the Fairmont Winnipeg's executive chef Tim Palmer and VG restaurant chef Daniel Davyduke. The brunch will also feature a cocktail menu with unique drinks inspired by each drag performer.
And the best part, proceeds will go in support of Pride Winnipeg!
Needless to say, it’s going to be a blast, so to promote it we’ve teamed up with our pals at Eat North (the hosts of the event) who have interviewed both chef Davyduke and drag queen Satina Loren below.
VG Restaurant chef, Daniel Davyduke
Why are you excited to partner with Eat North on their Drags Benny fundraiser?
I believe this will be a fun event! I am excited that we are showcasing Winnipeg’s extremely talented drag performers and giving them and their art a broader exposure!
Fairmont has been a great and eager partner for the upcoming event, what other ways does Fairmont Winnipeg engage the local community (LGBT or otherwise)?
We engage the LGBTQIA+ Community with Fairmont Winnipeg’s close relationships to Winnipeg Pride Society. We also have many other ventures in the local community such as the Machray School – where we provide their students with an annual Thanksgiving feast and supporting our intercity schools, the Dream Factory, Boys & Girls Club Of Canada, SOS Share our Strength, Soup Sisters Of Canada is where we help the residents of Willow Place Woman’s Shelter, Walk For the Cure and an assortment of other outreach programs that our very own colleagues are involved with.
How are you taking inspiration from local queens as well as Laila McQueen to create the menu and cocktail for November 4th?
Our inspirations are based on being slightly over the top with a strong attitude! It takes a lot to do what these great talents do and we want to echo their achievements and successes with the same level when it comes to our food.
Have you been to a drag brunch before? How would you describe a standard drag brunch experience to a first-timer and how will the Fairmont drag brunch differ from the standard?
A standard anything in the LGBTQIA+ community is anything but standard. Our community and this cause is a space to come together and celebrate who we are, where we have been and where we will go to next.
The brunch will be a show and as well as a place to introduce those who may have never even seen a drag show before. It will be a space of love and inclusion with delicious food and a great spectacle!
Drag queen Satina Loren
What is Winnipeg's drag community like?
To sum it up in a word: evolving! We have a great mix of both veteran, seasoned queens who are mainstays in the community, and a bustle of new performers who really bring something exciting to our shows. We are really open and willing to learn and incorporate new ideas.
How does performing during a brunch differ from performing at a bar late at night?
Performing at night we limit our crowds to the late nighters; usually aimed at the 20-something’s that are there to party. The brunch gives us a wider demographic, to those who prefer events in the early afternoon. My Nonna always said she’d much prefer to see my shows when she doesn’t have to stay up past midnight!
What do you love about Winnipeg's food and drink scene?
What I love is that there is always something new to check out, or some hidden gems you’ve never thought to check out before. There’s an amazing variety of cuisines to experience, and most of the time they’re all pretty close together, especially in the exchange district.
Why do you think it is important to collaborate with businesses like Fairmont to promote inclusivity and celebrate community in general?
I believe it’s important because being a part of the LGBT2SQ+ community is at a stage of visibility that was unheard of 20-40 years ago. Businesses showing that they accept us and want to provide safe spaces for us is incredible. We need to not only foster and keep the places we currently have, but we need to make sure that we broaden ourselves to allies who really want nothing but the best for our community.
Anything else you feel like adding…
If you love drag, be sure to come to my stepdown as Miss Club 200 at my event “Big Trouble in Little Italy - The Miss Club 200 Pageant” November 16-17!
Want to learn more about LGBTTQ* focused tourism in Winnipeg? Check out our Winnipeg: Always Out There website.
Photo credits: Laila McQueen by Eric Magnussen (top) / Daniel Davyduke by Fairmont Winnipeg / Satina Loren courtesy of Satina Loren.