A Denver drag queen is playing her part to sweeten people’s mood during the epidemic.
Pastry chef Martin Howard, aka 7-foot drag sensation Chocolatina, Queen of the Desert, is delivering pies throughout the Mile High City. In addition to freshly cooked goods, customers are served a live performance – socially distorted of course.
Howard moved to Denver from New York about 3 and a half years ago, where he did his delicious business at notable restaurants such as the Rainbow Room and Brasserie 8 and received awards from Chocolatier magazine and the James Beard Foundation. He started working for a catering company but had to be restrained in view of Kovid-19.
“It’s just up in the air, this catering business, you never know,” Howard told Denver’s NBC affiliate KUSA. “The parties cancel real quick, or the number is greatly reduced.”
In July, he posted a picture of a Raspberry-Rhubarb pie he had made to some friends on Facebook, and the response was overwhelming. That’s when inspiration hit.
“I’m going to be a drag queen and sell the pie,” Howard said.
Howard, who has been performing as Chocletina for more than a decade, was also hosting a Sunday drag brunch at the Denver Cafe, but Kovid-19 also ended it.
“With Kovid, you can’t perform inside. It’s 25 feet and like a mask,” he said, “and it’s impossible.”
Outside, however, is a different story. For $ 100, customers receive a “party package” – two 6-inch pies, two quiches and a song – in the outdoor area of their choice.
“Pie is a comfort food, and people are definitely craving comfort food in these times,” he said.
Deliveries typically take place on Saturdays, and Howard posts the pie menu on Facebook, as well as the neighborhood he is visiting.
This is part of a growing trend of drag queen deliveries during the epidemic, including a “Heels on Heels” event from San Francisco’s Oasis nightclub and a “drag-delivery” Sunday from Fresca’s Kentina in Queens, New York.
Business is booming for Chocletina, and weather permitting, Howard sells regularly. Their pies range from traditional offerings to pumpkin and pecans such as apples, cranberries, pears-huckleberries and black plum.
“To me, it’s great, because I don’t mind the live audience no matter how young he is. They’re just hungry for entertainment, because there’s no live entertainment anymore,” he told Kusa. “It’s just a win for everybody. It makes them happy, it makes me happy – there’s pie in it, and it makes people happy, as well.”
Follow nbc out Twitter, Facebook and Instagram