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Stella Rose Saint Clair On Being Mistaken For a Man and Her Tahini Addiction

STELLA2.jpgStella Rose Saint Clair

In our new series, Ladies Who Lunch, cook, co-founder of catering company bigLITTLE Get Together and Marc Jacobs' personal chef, Lauren Gerrie, will be whipping up lunch -- and conversation -- with some of our favorite New York City ladies

I first saw Stella Rose Saint Clair in a blown-out photo on my friend's refrigerator. Her doll-like beauty was so odd, yet captivating at the same time. At the time, my friend told me that she was somewhat of a Seattle celebrity and was best known for her blog "Confessions of a Female Drag Queen." It wouldn't be 'til a few years later that I would meet her in the flesh at another friend's concert.

Stella made the move from West to East two years ago to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer and, since the relocation, she's been snapped by Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist and had an unexpected modeling career take off.  Her outrageous outfits, most of which she debuts at various nightclubs and parties, have even been featured in the pages of, ahem, PAPER. "There are absolutely no limits to getting dressed for the club," she says. "The idea is to dress up so grandiosely that you enrich the experience of fellow club goers." I sat down with Stella in her Chinatown apartment to talk life and food and find out what dish always makes her nostalgic for her Seattle childhood.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hazelnuts
Warm Maple Spinach Salad with Pickled Cauliflower and Romanesco
Cranberry Orange Vegan & Gluten Free Waffles

If you could learn how to make an artisan food product what would it be and why?

Vegan macaroons! I've been vegan for almost 12 years but after 10 years I started cheating on desserts because I am a huge sugar-aholic. Though I love vegan desserts, sometimes they just aren't the same.

Do you have a breakfast routine?

Honestly, I really love sweet things in the morning. I usually make myself a strawberry peanut butter banana smoothie.

Your fridge is virtually empty, what is the one condiment that you eat like it was actually food?

Peanut Butter. Obviously. Other than that, I would say Tahini...you can use that to make chocolate chip cookies and it's so good.

What's the dish that reminds you most of your childhood?

When I think of home, I think of my mom's apartment in Seattle. I was a really picky eater when I was a kid and we never really had that much money so we would have pasta five or six times a week. My mom would always make the sauce from scratch.

If money is NO issue, where would you go eat?

I would probably go to Juice Press every day. I actually worked there for two days, but then they didn't need me for another month or so. I'm not sure if they didn't like me or not, but I still love the juice and food there.

LadiesWhoLunchSTELLArecipe.jpgAs a vegan this might be obvious, but what food scares you?

Definitely meat. Really weird foods, like aspic, scare me. My chef roommate told me about how he ate a still-born quail egg that had the fetus in the egg. Kind of like a soft boiled baby quail. That's just gross.

What foods comfort you?

I make myself macro plates like you can get at Souen. I make the same thing again and again, steamed broccoli/kabocha squash/carrots/kale and eat that with some peanut or tahini sauce and rice. Sometimes I'll add cayenne for heat or add tofu for clean protein.

What do you think the biggest misconception/stereotype about who you are or what you do is?

Well, a lot of people think I'm a man.

People online or in real life?

Usually online. I never give people a straight answer when they ask about my gender because I feel like it is odd to go out of your way to ask someone about their gender.

Also in the club scene, people that see me sometimes think I am on a ton of drugs because of how I look. What they don't realize is that if I was on drugs I wouldn't be able to look the way I do. It takes a lot of time and creativity to dress up and look the way I do.

If you didn't live in New York where would be your home base?

Paris. I was there as a kid for a day so I didn't get to really experience it. But one of my favorite time periods in fashion is the 1960's in France, the YéYé Girl Culture. There are so many iconic girly things identified with Paris that I relate to.

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