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How Questlove’s Food Salons Are Playing a Growing Role in His Activism

by  CN Team on May 23, 2017
How Questlove’s Food Salons Are Playing a Growing Role in His Activism

The plush rec room in Questlove’s Manhattan apartment tower is full to brimming. Over by the open kitchen is Olivia Wilde in a Stella McCartney bomber jacket, chatting with Chris Rock. By the swimming pool are Rosario Dawson and Jimmy Fallon. There at a cocktail table is Matt Lauer. And Pharrell. Chefs—Kwame Onwuachi of the late Shaw Bijou in D.C., Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy on the Lower East Side, and Bryce Shuman of New York’s recently departed Betony—compose bites of crab with uni, carrot sliders, and tête de cochon. Misty Copeland stands by the window in a canary-yellow dress and four-inch heels like a mystical bird guarding downtown Manhattan at dusk.

Towering above everyone is Questlove, né Ahmir Thompson, ever recognizable in the extravagant Afro he’s had since he was a child. He’s dressed in his uniform: a black hoodie, custom-made black jeans, Nike high-tops, and a Dee and Ricky Lego brooch. Questlove is, of course, cofounder and drummer of the Roots; musical director of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; Hamilton Mixtapeproducer; and DJ for everyone from the San Francisco 49ers to Balenciaga to the Clinton Global Initiative to the Golden Globes. His position in the food world is more nebulous—he’s part impresario, part creativity evangelist, part entrepreneur. Whatever he is finds its expression in these high-wattage culinary jam sessions.

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