WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
In the first video on their quarantine-created Instagram page Chanti Cooks, Chanticleer Trü makes a potato and carrot hash. Halfway through the tutorial, Trü takes a break from cooking to spritz their houseplants, then turns the camera around and spritzes themself with water.
"Unlike me," Trü says, referring to the pan-boiled root vegetables, "these guys are going to dry out."
Trü is best known as the powerhouse frontperson of maximalist R&B group Chanti Darling. But during quarantine, they've also become a vegan and gluten-free food blogger, cooking on an induction burner on top of a mini fridge and posting their recipes on Chanti Cooks.
A self-described "old-head foodie and baby vegan," Trü created Chanti Cooks in May, partly due to Trü's recent decision to cut out animal products from their diet, as well as social media logistics.
"I kind of hated looking at other people's food all the time unless it was like a dedicated food account," Trü says. "I didn't want to muddy up the [Chanti Darling] feed or whatever."
Make no mistake—Trü has been busy with music, too, playing remote DJ sets and recording new house-inspired tracks. On July 29, they will also be part of an online discussion hosted by Multnomah County Library about Black queer resistance, and the influence that Black queer folk have had on liberationist movements throughout history.
But for the past few months, much of Trü's public-facing creative output has come in the form of recipes for zesty pesto pasta salad, pear and mandarin chutney, and cactus and chickpea tacos. It's been an outlet for Trü to share what's going on with their own health and connect with others who are doing their best to take care of themselves and each other during uncertain times.
"Taking care of myself has kept me sane, really," says Trü. "I think people should eat whatever the hell they want to eat. But this is what works for me."
See more Distant Voices interviews here.