Freya chef Phoebe Zimmerman hosts vegan dinner at Frame to celebrate Pride Month

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Detroit area chef Phoebe Zimmerman cooks vegan and meat-based cuisine at their home base, Freya restaurant in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood. For a special Sunday dinner next month, though, Zimmerman will let the plant-based dishes shine. 

On June 12, Zimmerman will present a multicourse meal featuring a 100% plant-based menu. The chef may showcase smoked mushrooms, English peas, Thai tofu and coconut cake, but no matter what ends up on the menu, it will be seasonal. 

Chef Phoebe Zimmerman works at Freya in Detroit on May 7, 2022.

"I want people to feel challenge but I also want them to feel comfort," Zimmerman said. "So how do I find ingredients that are somewhat familiar but offer them in a way that’s surprising."

The mostly self-taught chef, who was also the sous chef at Marrow when it first opened, said "I was vegan about 13 years before it was cool, so I had to teach myself how to cook." 

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Zimmerman said as a chef they are happy to just "meld into the background" but they have been encouraged by Freya executive chef and owner Doug Hewitt to do headlining dinners like the one at Frame in Hazel Park. 

Chef Phoebe Zimmerman poses for a portrait at Freya in Detroit on May 7, 2022.

"I asked to do it in June specially because that’s Pride Month. I wanted to be able to be seen in not only for the food that I’m doing, and for Freya and for the vegan side of things, but also as a person that is nonbinary and trans and headlining this time of year that focuses on equality," said Zimmerman. "I wanted to do it to highlight queer people in kitchens and queer people in general and be a little bit of a beacon of light for relatability and imperfection."

Zimmerman's Modern Vegan dinner is at 4 and 7 p.m. June 12 both inside Frame's dining space and outside on the patio. The five-course vegan dinner can be booked for parties of 1 to eight for $85 per person plus taxes and fees. Add a wine pairing for $55. 

Tickets, which are expected to sell out in advance, are on sale at Frame is at 23839 John R in Hazel Park.

Twitter: @melodybaetens