Not to brag, but this week we spent two nights with Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, New York’s coolest guy. We use the word “spent” loosely. What we mean is we were in the same room he was two times this week, and we felt infinitely more awesome than usual because it’s never a bad idea to be where Questlove is.
On Monday night, he was the guest of honor at The Play Company‘s annual Cabaret Gourmet. The event raises money for the organization, which produces outstanding contemporary plays from around the world. They bring in chefs from some of New York City’s best restaurants and the night is full of good food, good drink, good music, and good old-fashioned fundraising for the arts. Cool. This year, the event got an extra dose of cool, because Questlove curated all of the food.
Over the last few years, the bandleader of The Roots/musical director for The Tonight Show/Brooklyn Bowl DJ/social media star/many other things we can’t think of right now has made a name for himself in the food world. It’s been a slow build, and he has said he’s been “very leery of [his] entry into the fraternity or sorority of these people,” these people being what Anthony Bourdain calls the “chef mafia.” But he takes it seriously, and in 2016 we can say he’s definitely in it.
In 2013, he, along with Stephen Starr opened Hybird, a fried chicken joint after years of testing a recipe. The recipe was so good that David Chang had something to say about it:
— Dave Chang (@davidchang) March 21, 2012
For the record, they did battle, and Questlove did go down. But if Chang is talking about your fried chicken, you’re doing it right. Lately, he’s been hosting food salons in his New York apartment. He brings together chefs, artists and celebrities, and it’s unquestionably the place to be if you can score an invite. We can’t, so an event where he’s curated the food is the next best thing.
Here’s what was up when Questlove curated the food for the Cabaret Gourmet:
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