There's a long list of contenders—or pretenders—looking to dethrone cupcakes as the latest food craze. Macarons? Whoopie pies? Or, as Nation's Restaurant News claimed earlier this year, baked doughnuts?
The Roots’ drummer Questlove is marching to a different, erm, drum—or make that drumstick. He’s launched a locally sourced buttermilk fried chicken catering start-up, called Questloves Food, which will operate in New York and his hometown of Philadelphia.
"Food trucks are the new black. And I’m trying to prove that fried chicken is the new cupcakes," he told Adweek at a party to celebrate his start-up’s launch. Guests including chef Tom Colicchio, The Daily Show’s Olivia Munn, Solange Knowles and Ryan Philippe drank Negronis and feasted on QuestLove’s most popular dish: Origami-Wrapped Fried Chicken, which was a hit at Philadelphia’s Grub Street Feastival. (Check out a photo of the dish here.)
Questlove, whose band is the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, said he got the idea from doing a few DJ gigs out on the West Coast, where there were food trucks galore. "This one guy was selling his 'world famous' roasted corn,'" QuestLove, whose birth-given name is Ahmir Thompson, told Adweek. "So at three in the morning, I'm watching these people kill all this Mexican corn. And I was like, 'Man, I want a food truck.' I imagined having a 'Soul on a Roll' Mister Softee truck that served good soul food."
No word on prices, though Questlove presumably won't be requiring $100 "chicken reservations" held with a credit card a la New York City's Momofuku. The prolific Twitterer let his followers know his feelings on the subject in 2009, saying: "They want my visa card for some chicken?? Hells no!!!"
Questlove is not thinking small for his catering operation. "In a perfect world, I would like to have a line of 15 really funky food trucks that go to all the festivals, the Bonnaroos, the Coachellas. This is becoming bigger than that," he said.
In the meantime, he tweeted that he's hiring a pastry chef (photo required along with the resume.)
Want to break into sidewalk entrepreneurship yourself? Check out Inc.com's guide.