He told us we’d think he was “bat shit crazy” for doing it, and, well, we kind of do.
Today, Top Chef Masters contender, personal chef to Oprah, and executive chef of Art and Soul DC and Table Fifty-Two in Chicago Art Smith challenged his husband, artist Jesus Salgueiro, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with him this July in support of LGBT rights in Africa. Smith, best known as the master of fried chicken for his indulgent southern cuisine, dropped 120 pounds last year after a complete diet-and-fitness makeover, and his new healthy comfort food cookbook, entitled Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort: How America’s Favorite Celebrity Chef Got it Together, Lost Weight, and Reclaimed His Health!, hits shelves this May. But Art’s desire to conquer Africa’s tallest peak came from very a different place.
Smith wished for him and his husband “to be the first married same-sex couple to climb the 19,000 foot mountain for the world LGBT Community, and [to] show our support to Africa’s community, [which] struggles daily.”
In November 2012, the speaker of the Parliament of Uganda promised to enact a revised anti-homosexuality bill, which called for harsher punishments in known cases of homosexuality, including the death penalty for “repeat offenders.”
In spite of an estimated 38 countries in Africa outlawing homosexuality altogether, Art encouragingly proclaimed, “Ain’t no mountain high enough!”
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