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30/06/2015

Celebrity Chef Art Smith Prepares a Wedding Feast for 101 Same-Sex Couples in Atlanta: 'It's About the Future'

After the Supreme Court's momentous ruling on marriage equality on Friday, celebrations began around the country – and celebrity chef Art Smith was ready to whip up some of his famous creations for the ultimate wedding celebration.

 

The Florida-born chef, who has been married to husband Jesus Salguiero for almost five years, threw his third "101 Gay Weddings" event in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday.

 

Celebrity Chef Art Smith Prepares a Wedding Feast for 101 Same-Sex Couples in Atlanta: 'It's About the Future'| Gay and Lesbian, Politics and Current Events, Real People Stories

 

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One hundred and one same-sex couples participated in the free wedding and vow-renewal party, which was officiated by Billy Bean, one of Major League Baseball's first openly gay players.

 

Smith, who is Oprah Winfrey's former personal chef, started planning the event before Friday’s ruling.

 

"I wasn't sure it was going to happen, and I was fearful that all these people would not be legally married," Smith, 55, tells PEOPLE. "It couldn't have been better."

 

After the vow exchange, celebrants and their guests were treated to a delicious reception menu, which included artisan cocktails, Georgia peach and tomato gazpacho with shrimp, Cuban black beans with rojo pork, grits, curried lamb and a cupcake wedding cake.

 

DJ Tracy Young, who famously played Madonna's wedding to Guy Ritchie, provided the entertainment.

 

"The whole event was donated," Smith says. "Fifteen chefs came on their own accord – on a Sunday, mind you – in support of this. It was fantastic. And Tracy Young was blowing out the music; she was absolutely wonderful."

 

The Atlanta event marked the chef's third mass gay wedding event, which aims to raise awareness of inequality.

 

Smith, who lives in Chicago with his husband and their four adopted children, says the project is inspired by the next generation.

 

"What we're doing now is not about us, it's about the future," he says. "To me, doing it for the future is worth it."

 

Smith already has two more "101 Gay Wedding" events in the works – one in Mississippi and the other in Ohio.

 

"Every time I do these things, I call Oprah and I email Oprah and I say, 'What do you think?' " he shares. "She's given me tremendous courage. It's been really wonderful."

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