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Arts + CultureTVPeaches Christ and Heklina dish up scrumptious TV in...

Peaches Christ and Heklina dish up scrumptious TV in ‘Drag Me to Dinner’

New Hulu reality competition show marks last time legendary pair appear together, and it's uproarious as usual.

From her earliest Midnight Mass horror movie events to her cinematic gorefest, All About Evil, and her annual Terror Vault installation, Peaches Christ certainly knows how to scare up screams.

But what strikes fear into the heart of San Francisco’s most beloved scare queen? Whipping up a meal, she says. 

That’s why Christ felt fortunate to have her late, longtime ally (and home chef) Heklina on hand last September as they competed against fellow entertainers Biqtch Puddin’ and Meatball on “Drag Me To Dinner.”

“Heklina was, between us, more of a cook,” says Christ who admits to only recently learning her way around the kitchen. “She’s the person who has thrown dinner parties, so it was in her wheelhouse to do a dinner party way more than mine. I’m a late bloomer.”

For their episode of Hulu’s hilarious sendup of traditional cooking competition shows, each focused on their strong suits. Heklina set to work on preparing the food and the cocktails, while Christ concentrated her efforts on decor and entertainment. 

Over the course of the 10-episode series, judged by Neil Patrick Harris, Bianca Del Rio, and Haneefah Wood, 40 queens battle it out for the title of hostesses with the mostesses by throwing the most iconic themed dinner parties. Host Murray Hill and advisor David Burtka round out the fabulous cast.  

Other episodes feature “RuPaul’s Drag Race” royalty like BeBe Zahara Benet, BenDeLaCreme, Jinkx Monsoon, and Raja.

Spoiler alert: While the San Francisco duo didn’t win the highly coveted Golden Grater trophy for their circus-themed “Big Bottom, Big Top” extravaganza, Christ says that getting to work with her drag sister, in the months preceding her death, was a real gift.

I spoke to the scare queen about competing on the show, the most frightening thing that happened behind the scenes, and the anticipatory anxiety she felt about watching her episode for the first time.

48 HILLS How was it working with Heklina on “Drag Me to Dinner”?

PEACHES CHRIST Heklina was more interested in the cocktails and the food, and I ended up being more into the gags and putting together the magic and the theme. I pushed for the freakshow idea. It worked out nicely because we each focused on something different. 

48 HILLS Did seeing Heklina cook encourage you to cook more?

PEACHES CHRIST Heklina was so into comfort food; Coco Peru always joked about opening Heklina’s freezer and seeing 50 frozen dead animals because she loved turkeys and hams. Going to her house for a dinner party was like Thanksgiving in July. 

I learned to cook stuff like that to return the favor and invite her over. So one of the things I made for her was a pot roast. I’d never known how to do a pot roast before, but now I can do a pot roast and make things like chili and salmon. 

48 HILLS What was it like competing against Biqtch Puddin’ and Meatball?

PEACHES CHRIST Heklina and I were thrilled because we knew those two were just as silly and irreverent and took drag with a grain of salt the way we did. 

We both had worked with them previously. Heklina and I both had been judges on their seasons of “Boulet Brothers Dragula.” So ironically, we had judged those bitches on a reality show, and now we’re competing against them on a reality show. 

Meatball had been in Peaches Christ Productions before. She was in my Troop Beverly Hills show with Trixie Mattel, and Biqtch Puddin was someone that I had worked with on horror shows. Most recently, I collaborated with her when she was at the Fangoria 2023 Chainsaw Awards. Yeah, I love and adore those two.

Photo by Jeong Park/Hulu

48 HILLS How challenging was it to prepare a dinner party so quickly?

PEACHES CHRIST It was filmed in one day, so it’s a lot to pull together. Not to mention two different drag looks, which is why my makeup looks so crazy. It’s one of those things where every second was spent doing something.

For the record, unlike our competitors, we did not serve the judges glass; we didn’t put glass in their food. But we used bottled ranch and barbecue sauce, and it was apparently beneath David Burtka for us to do that. That’s where he drew the line.

48 HILLS One of the most touching scenes on the show was when Murray Hill and David Burtka were talking about how you and Heklina were San Francisco royalty and very longtime friends. What was it like palling around with her behind the scenes?

PEACHES CHRIST This is a good bit of dish that is hilarious. We knew we needed to go to bed early the night before the shoot because we were going to have a long day. 

So I get downstairs “in face” the next morning because we had to arrive at the studio in face because of the tight shooting schedule. They have this SUV to take me to the studio. I get in, and the guy starts to drive away, and I’m like, “Wait, what about my friend?” And he said, “They only want me to pick you up.” 

So I get to the studio and I’m waiting for her. She shows up, and Josh, she is only a quarter of the way through her makeup. I’m looking at her going, “What is going on?” She says, “Girl, my alarm didn’t go off.” And I’m like, “What?” She said, “I woke up and realized I had 15 minutes to get out the door.” I mean, she’s wearing so little makeup that I am horrified. Luckily, we had a little more time than we thought and she was able to finish putting on her makeup. But that was how our day started. Can you imagine what a quarter of her makeup looks like? It was terrifying.

48 HILLS I have to imagine that watching the episode must have been a mixed bag for you, emotionally.

PEACHES CHRIST I didn’t know how I would feel watching it. Honestly, Josh, I’ve been in such a brain fog since her death that I forgot what we had done.

So I saw it once it premiered on Hulu like everybody else. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing us together—I wasn’t as hung up on what happened. I could see us making each other laugh in that way. That was very authentic and stupid and made me feel good.

There’s a surreal quality to watching something like that and realizing this is gone. Part of me is still, believe it or not, not able to wrap my head around it. I believe it. We’re a few months out. But I will say this: It was lovely. 

48 HILLS I loved your chemistry in the episode. When Heklina repeated the joke about Edgar Allan Poe-tatoes from “The Golden Girls” and you over-laughed, I was in stitches. 

PEACHES CHRIST More than anything, laughter is truly healing. I believe that. Heklina could make me laugh like nobody else could make me laugh in the world. 

She would say and do things, and I would have tears in my eyes, both in and out of drag. This is how we were all the time. I think it’s how queer people have survived a lot of shit—including death—over the years.

DRAG ME TO DINNER is now streaming on Hulu. More info here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Joshua Rotter
Joshua Rotter
Joshua Rotter is a contributing writer for 48 Hills. He’s also written for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, SF Chronicle, and CNET.

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