Sunday, June 16, 2024
Food & Drink

Out celebrity chef Dominique Leach serves tasty Black excellence

As part of Black History Month we highlight Black entrepreneurs, trailblazers and all-round leaders in their field who are happening and making history.

Grillers rejoice! Out lesbian Chef Dominique Leach is serving up Black excellence once more, and teaming up with Vander Farmers to release her own brand of high-end Wagyu beef hot dogs.

Spearheading the BBQ revolution from her hometown of Chicago as a leading pitmaster, Chef Dominque Leach who owns South Side’s Lexington Betty Smokehouse (named The Best BBQ in Chicago” by Good Morning America) with her wife Tanisha Griffin, has teamed up with Vander Farmersa family-owned company and the leading source of F1 American Wagyu in the Midwest, to formally launch her own line of WAGYU DOGS nationally on Tuesday, January 10. The premium gourmet product received the USDA stamp of approval to distribute in a retail setting and are available now online for nationwide shipping through Lexington Betty’s online store.

Chef Dominique Leach
Chef Dominique Leach of Lexington Betty Smokehouse. (Photo Credit: Vander Farmers)

The release marks the first of multiple BBQ products to be announced for national distribution in 2023 by Chef Leach and Vander Farmers. Additionally, the LBS x Vander Farmers team are pledging a percentage of sales of all Wagyu Dogs sold for the first month of the launch to Chicago’s 501C3 charity, Coffee, Hip Hop & Mental Health founded by Christopher LeMark, to help further mental health advocacy work across the city.

“Mental health in the chef and restaurant industry is an important topic to me personally, knowing how hard it has been in my journey and what I’ve seen others endure as well, particularly in marginalized communities, which is why I’m supporting CHHAMH with this launch,” says Leach.

The Lexington Betty Smokehouse x Vander Famers WAGYU DOGwhich will retail for $18.99 per pack of 8, completely breaks the mold on the traditional hot dog. Made from premium F1 Wagyu beef (50% Japanese Black Cattle, 50% Holstein-Friesian Dairy Cow), the uncured and uncased dog has a heartier density and flavor without losing the beautiful snap you come to expect from a gourmet sausage. With a slightly salty-smokey and sweeter flavor profile than a normal hotdog due to the inherent and delectable marbleization of Wagyu, these dogs complement Chef Leach’s famous BBQ sauce, can be dressed up with Tex-Mex ingredients like pico de gallo and jalapeños, or make for a show-stopping twist on the classic Chicago dog. (Product Fact Sheets available here.)

Leach, a classically trained chef turned nationally recognized pitmaster who was catapulted into the national spotlight on The Food Network’s CHOPPED “Playing with Fire” season in 2021 as a judge/contestant, on Food Network Canada’s FIRE MASTERS, has a personal mission to make the BBQ world more inclusive and hopes to inspire others like her to take on the field. 

“I want to reclaim a space in the BBQ cooking world and make it more inclusive for Black queer women, especially since it’s been a male-dominated field for a long time and has lacked enough people who look like me. This line is exposing my craft in a whole new way, plus I get to honor my hometown of Chicago—the true home of the dog. I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with the wonderful Vander family again and excited to introduce the Wagyu Dog to everyone near and far,” adds Leach.

Lexington Betty Smokehouse X Vander Farmers Wagyu Dogs (Photo Credit: Vander Farmers)

Vander Farmers, located in Sturgis, MI, prides itself on producing premium meats through humanely raised cattle, radical transparency, and sustainable practices. Look for more announcements from Dominique and Vander Farmers soon. 

*WAGYU DOGS are available at for nationwide shipping & at Lexington Betty Smokehouse, located at 756 E 111th St. Chicago, IL and in local retailers soon.

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John Hernandez

John A. Hernandez is a staff writer for Queer Forty with a focus on entertainment. He is also a writer for Vacationer Magazine and a contributor to Bear World Magazine and Gayming Magazine. He has a special love for all things horror and Halloween. He currently resides with his husband in New York City.

John Hernandez has 135 posts and counting. See all posts by John Hernandez

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