Duch Ermold, Vegan Pastry Chef

Photo: Jake Chessum

How did you become a vegan pastry chef?
I was in culinary school, and learning about where food comes from made me want to treat people and animals better. I don’t like to get too preachy, but I do think things taste better when there’s no cruelty involved.

What’s your specialty?
Vegan scones. The secret is lots of love. And sugar. And bananas and flaxseeds. Synthetic egg replacers freak me out—I’m an old-fashioned vegan.

How would you describe your style?
Very individual, and I love color. Lately, I feel like everyone dresses like a Prada ad—fashion has gotten so serious. Sometimes I look a little goofy, but I think life is more fun that way. I’m a drag queen, too. I spend much more time worrying about my drag style, which is very Bea Arthur—cauliflower hair, sequins, and shoulder pads.

Where do you shop?
A little vintage store on North 11th Street in Brooklyn. A lot of my clothing I’ve had for a while, and I just alter it depending on how my body changes. I keep getting taller, so when my pants get too short, I make booty pants. I think I’m finally done growing, but I’m too poor to buy clothes. I could buy pants, or I could buy cocktails. Cocktails always win.

Are cocktails vegan?
Most liquor is. Beer isn’t. But it doesn’t get you drunk as quick. And it has too many carbs!

Are you a big Boy George fan?
Not really. One of my culinary-school professors gave me this T-shirt, and it’s special to me because we were tight. I’m really on a Judy Garland kick right now. I’m on a Dolly Parton kick, too. I worship Dolly. She’s my idol.

How many piercings do you have?
Fourteen total, and I’ve stretched my ears and my nipples. And I did two in my belly button—that’s my pride and joy.

Why are you so into piercing?
When I got my nipples done, I just felt intense heat, not pain. It was kind of Zen. I don’t want to sound like a hippie, but it made me feel something I hadn’t felt before.

Duch Ermold, Vegan Pastry Chef