Questlove Is Hosting a Star-Studded Potluck on Food Network to Raise Money for America's Food Fund
Questlove is making charitable, virtual dinner parties the next big thing.
The Roots drummer has teamed up with the Food Network to host Questlove's Potluck on Thursday, May 28, PEOPLE can reveal exclusively. In the TV special, he virtually brings together famous friends who are sheltering at home, including Ashley Graham, Eva Longoria, and George Lopez. The stars share some of their favorite dishes and drinks while raising awareness and money for America's Food Fund.
"This was a dream two-and-a-half weeks ago," Questlove tells PEOPLE. The idea came to him after numerous zoom dinner parties and celebrations, and was partly inspired by his book Mixtape Potluck Cookbook. "I wondered if I could turn an aspect of my book into a special where people bring dishes over virtually. I also wanted to challenge my guests to create dishes for under $25 for practicality's sake since we're living in this difficult era."
Since the COVID-19 crisis, millions of Americans have been struggling to put food on the table. America's Food Fund, organized by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs, has raised over $26 million to support several organizations including Feeding America, World Central Kitchen, and No Kid Hungry, which all ensure people have reliable access to food. Questlove's Potluck is also raising money and awareness for this organization.
"This is not the first time that life has handed us a hurdle that we have to get over. History has shown that all hurdles can be overcome if you really have the will and the drive to do it," says the musician.
“During these challenging times, food has been something that brings people together,” said Courtney White, President of the Food Network. “When Questlove shared his idea, inviting some of his closest friends to participate in a virtual dinner party supporting America’s Food Fund, an initiative working to make sure that food is available to so many in need, we knew we wanted to be first at the table, to see what each guest would be cooking.”
So far, Bun B., Hannibal Buress, Zooey Deschanel and Jonathan Scott, Ashley Graham, Tiffany Haddish, Eva Longoria, George Lopez, Amy Schumer and her husband chef Chris Fischer, Kenan Thompson, Tariq Trotter, Gabrielle Union, Olivia Wilde, and Roy Wood Jr. have all been confirmed.
With such a stacked cast already, is there anyone he'd consider a "dream guest"? "Patti LaBelle," says Questlove of the singer, who was confirmed for the special during PEOPLE's interview.
"Patti LaBelle has been teasing me for the past 17 years about her food. Now I'm about to cry because I want to eat her food. I finally get Patti LaBelle to cook for me and I can't even eat her food," he jokes.
Questlove didn't spill any secrets on what his guests are making, and he assured that he'll just be hosting, not cooking. "I'm a little too wild and experimental with my dishes," he says. "I'm the guy that's trying to find how to make ghost peppers and vanilla extract work in my morning cereal."
While Questlove wants people to enjoy the special, he also hopes to inspire viewers to not only hold virtual dinner parties of their own but to also appreciate the time spent at the dinner table with your family or whoever you're quarantining with. It's something he has been doing while home with eight friends in Upstate New York.
"I was on the road a majority of the time between the ages of 21 to like 39. I mostly spent that time ordering takeout, ordering room services, and eating alone. So I never had that family table experience — maybe like two times a year, but otherwise I never had that experience," he explains. "So staying in an environment with eight people, we are having family dinner experiences, and we also come to the table with something interesting to share."
Questlove's Potluck airs Thursday, May 28 at 10 p.m. ET on the Food Network.
- Survivor: Fiji Contestant Michelle Yi Stabbed and Beaten by Homeless Woman in Early Morning Attack
- The Bachelor's Madison Prewett Reflects on Her Split from Peter Weber: 'I Have No Regrets'
- Meghan McCain Reveals Severe Postpartum Anxiety After Baby Liberty — and the Help That Saved Her
- Travis Barker Played 'Big Part' in Kourtney Kardashian's Engagement Ring Design, Says Lorraine Schwartz