Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has taken his love of grilling to the streets, cooking for more than 450 homeless people.
The “My Hero” musician showed up at Hope the Mission’s Trebek Center in Northridge last week with brisket, ribs, pork butt, some barbecue smokers and a heart of gold. He got right to work, trimming fat from meats and preparing them for the smoker just as the storm hit Los Angeles.
The late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek and his wife Jean donated half a million dollars to Hope the Mission. The donation went toward the purchase of Los Angeles’ Skateland, which was converted into a 107-bedroom retreat named after Trebek.
The charity, formerly known as Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that aims to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness.
The organization is behind Chandler Street, North Hollywood’s painted village of shipping containers that serve as a temporary and transitional housing shelter. Chandler Street is one of 15 shelters run by the group. Together, they provide approximately 1,400 beds in North Hollywood, Highland Park, Los Angeles, Northridge, Reseda, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys and Lancaster.
Actor and taco lover Danny Trejo has also partnered with the nonprofit, feeding homeless veterans at the Van Nuys Bridge Mission Home Shelter.
President and CFO Rowan Vansleve said he was ecstatic to learn that one of his favorite rock stars wanted to cook for the shelter. But he was headed to Las Vegas to take part in a 350-mile run from Sin City to Los Angeles in an effort to raise $350,000 to fund three new family centers for Hope the Mission. The new centers will be able to house around 400 families of mothers and children.
Grohl told Vansleve he could handle the barbecue without him and would even try to save him a rib. Then, as Vansleve ran through the desert, he began receiving updates from his staff at the Trebek Center.
“He shows up at 6 p.m. and that meat truck is delivered,” Vansleve told the Times. “And it’s like an obscene amount of food. It’s unbelievable, the guy spent thousands of dollars. And he’s there by himself in our little food prep area, trimming the fat (meat), making sure everything is perfect. He has all his companions together. They support these giant smokers.
“There is this big star who walks around and loves people. Then it starts lighting all the fires at about 11pm, and that’s when the huge storm hit. … So it is out there from last Wednesday to Thursday. So it rains, the area is flooded. And he stayed out there from midnight until I think it was 6 in the morning when the meat stopped resting.”
Grohl snuck off to sleep in his trailer when he could, Vansleve said. Otherwise, he kept the fires burning, checked the meats, and went around meeting people and encouraging the workers.
After the meat was smoked and the beans and coleslaw were prepared, “The Best of You” singer invited his family and friends to join in serving the food. When the ribs, brisket and pork butt were gone and people were fed, Grohl gave the kitchen a deep clean, according to Vansleve.
And the rocker seems ready and willing to do it all again. After cleaning up the kitchen, Grohl asked to come back to cook for everyone.