But the fact remains: until a few months ago, I would have bet all my worldly possessions that Michael Chiarello was gay. And based on the number of people who reach this blog by searching for "michael chiarello gay", I'm not the only one.
I guess I can compare it to other split-second judgments that you make about other people: that guy looks like a jerk, she seems depressed, they look like a happy couple. I just immediately thought that Michael Chiarello was gay and that was that. I also thought that he had somewhat of an ego but was slightly nerdy (in the best possible way), was a great cook, and was exceptionally sexy. I still stand by my last three impressions.
I saw the wedding band, but I know gay folks who wear wedding bands, so that doesn't prove anything.
Plus, we never saw his spouse and he never mentioned her. Bizarrely, he even cooked a Mother's Day breakfast in bed for a friend's wife. At this point I was convinced that he was gay, but a Google search reveals this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which established his marriage to a woman:
These grapes make the wine for yet one more undertaking -- Chiarello Family Vineyards. Losing the grapes would have been an intensely personal loss since each of the four vineyards is named after the women in his life: wife, Eileen, and daughters Felicia, Margoux and Giana. It is a second marriage for Chiarello.Just last week on Easy Entertaining they recreated Michael's wedding menu and we glimpsed his wife (for the first time, as far as I know). Pretty, blonde and definitely younger, she didn't say a word2.
The presence of a wife and daughters hasn't convinced some people, but those are the kind of people who still aren't convinced that a man landed on the moon. Come on: the guy married not one, but two different women! And he's not a steelworker (or ranch hand), he's a chef in Northern California! The point is, if he wanted to come out, he's had ample opportunity.
To conclude this Armchair Cook investigation to the question, "Is Michael Chiarello gay?" we can only say that all signs point to no.
1I was fortunate to see this several months ago at the Honolulu Film Festival and it was fantastic.
2For several weeks I've been dealing with Tivo problems, cable problems and computer problems (sometimes all 3 at once), but I swear as soon as I get everything operational again I will post screencaps of the elusive wife.