Former 'ex-gay' poster boy competes in Cutthroat Kitchen

Many might remember John Paulk as the former poster boy for the so-called "ex-gay" movement. He was once on the cover of Newsweek Magazine with his then-wife Ann under the headline, "Gay for Life?" The article was about the power behind the "ex-gay" movement.

Since then, times have changed, for both the "ex-gay" movement and for Paulk. The movement crumbled as several of the leaders, including Paulk, came out and renounced their involvement with the movement. Paulk joins Yvette Cantu Schneider, John Smid, and Michael Bussee as people who  left the "ex-gay" life. Even Alan Chambers, former president of Exodus, shut down the organization with an apology to LGBT people.

Today, John Paulk is living a relatively quiet life in Portland, Oregon. He describes himself as a "strong and confident gay man these days." He is Executive Chef and founder/owner of Portland-based Mezzaluna Fine Catering. He has taken the work and effort that he placed into "ex-gay" activism, and is now pouring it into creating food. He has been featured in the Oregonian’s Food Day section, and has been a regular guest on local radio stations.  Chef Paulk is preparing to launch his new, weekly radio show, “Talking with our Mouths Full,” on Wild Planet Radio, KPQR, 99.1 FM. Portland’s new radio station aimed at the LGBT community.

And following the national media attention around his "ex-gay" activism and his subsequent coming out, Paulk is having a different sort of media national appearance. He is appearing as a contestant on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.  Paulk’s episode, “Who Tarted?” aired on Food Network, last night, and will re-air again tonight at 7:00 PM ET. 

“The fast-paced energy I experienced while taping the episode last summer was exhilarating,” Paulk said. “I’ve never had more fun in my life competing with other talented chefs.”

Cutthroat Kitchen is a reality-based television cooking show hosted by nationally acclaimed chef and television personality, Alton Brown. Cutthroat Kitchen features four chefs competing in a three-round elimination cooking competition.