, How Steak Diane Is Bringing Drag to the New York Food Scene

How Steak Diane Is Bringing Drag to the New York Food Scene

From the ingredients they share to the rich cultures they reflect, the worlds of beauty and food — and the people who merge them — are in constant conversation. Welcome to Well Fed, a column that celebrates how we nourish our bodies, from face to plate. In this first edition, Todd Heim opens up about his extravagant alter ego, his shellfish-themed manicures, and why he’ll never shave his beard to do drag.


When I meet Todd Heim over oysters and dirty martinis at Cervo’s, a mutual downtown haunt, there’s a third party there in spirit: Steak Diane, Heim’s cocktail-swilling, crustacean-loving alter ego. Her entire essence is based in extravagance, and though you won’t find her dancing on stage, her lust-worthy tablescapes, made-to-order diningwear, and content creations on Instagram are their own form of performance art. 

“I’ve always considered her as a sort of grand New York hostess,” said Heim of his drag persona. “She’s a little bit older, she’s maybe once divorced. She’s got a piano lounge singer vibe, and she could honestly be like 50. I’ve never said that before, but she could be!” Steak Diane is the manifestation of Heim’s of-the-moment passion for seafood towers, sewing experience, and a social post after the 2016 election. 

“I had been Jackie Kennedy for Halloween that year; I made the pink suit. I made a video on election day, and after [Clinton’s loss], I just feel like people on Instagram really responded to it,” he recalls. “It felt like such a time where making people laugh felt so important, so I just went from there.”

, How Steak Diane Is Bringing Drag to the New York Food Scene

Jun Lu / @hellojunlu

Jun Lu

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