Questlove Is Hosting A Virtual Potluck The Roots drummer, DJ and cookbook author isn't letting a pandemic slow him down — he's still performing on The Tonight Show, and now he's hosting a virtual potluck dinner party on the Food Network.
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'Food Is Social Adhesive,' So Questlove Is Hosting A Virtual Potluck

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'Food Is Social Adhesive,' So Questlove Is Hosting A Virtual Potluck

'Food Is Social Adhesive,' So Questlove Is Hosting A Virtual Potluck

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is working harder than ever despite the pandemic. The Roots drummer, DJ and author is still performing on "The Tonight Show," he's got a new production deal with NBC, and this evening he's hosting "Questlove's Potluck," a virtual dinner party on the Food Network, as NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Questlove is a foodie. He's written two cookbooks. Pre-pandemic, he hosted in-person potluck dinners all the time, but he didn't really think about hosting a TV show around it.

QUESTLOVE: I first thought about, oh, "Questlove's Potluck" - like, who wants to talk about a hoity-toity dinner party in these times, especially when you can't do those things?

BLAIR: But then he noticed with everyone at home all the time, people have ramped up their creativity around food. So he asked his friends, many of them celebrities, if they would film themselves in their kitchens making one of their favorite dishes, like comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TIFFANY HADDISH: I call it She Ready Chicken.

QUESTLOVE: She Ready Chicken - OK.

HADDISH: Yeah, she ready to eat this chicken.

BLAIR: Questlove asked comedian Roy Wood Jr. if he could look in his pantry.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROY WOOD JR: It's going to be a lot of stuff in this pantry that don't go together. You going to see almond milk, and then you also going to see Oreos. And I know you going to have questions, but they both vegan, so I need you to relax.

BLAIR: Singer Patti LaBelle made branzino, and comedian Maya Rudolph made a cocktail.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MAYA RUDOLPH: I was using grapefruit juice for a while, which I ran out of. So I thought, well, we've got some Gatorade - might as well.

BLAIR: Gatorade, chicken, Oreos and, of course, this being hosted by Questlove, music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

QUESTLOVE: So if your dish had a jingle or a theme song, what would it be?

HADDISH: Give me a beat. I'll make it up right now.

QUESTLOVE: (Beatboxing).

HADDISH: (Rapping) Got that She Ready Chicken all day. It's nutritious and delicious the way you put it down.

QUESTLOVE: I see food as adhesive. Food is social adhesive.

BLAIR: On a more serious note, Questlove believes the pandemic is forcing people to think about who they are and what they stand for. He's thinking a lot about this week's high-profile cases of racism and brutality against African Americans and what he should do as an artist and an activist.

QUESTLOVE: This is a wake-up call for all of us to really look inside of us and be about that change. And so that's what I'm doing right now.

BLAIR: "Questlove's Potluck" is a fundraiser for America's Food Fund. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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