Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl had Los Angelenos singing “there goes my hero” last week when he showed up to Hope the Mission’s Trebek Center in Northridge. The musician came ready to barbecue for 500 community members, as a storm rolled in.
On February 22, he came prepared with his own meat smoker, covering all expenses, and worked for nearly 24 hours, smoking meat for 450 guests and 50 staffers.
Hope the Mission supports Los Angeles community members who are facing poverty, hunger, and homelessness — and Grohl hoped to feed them all, especially as the area faced inclement weather.
When Grohl wasn’t preparing “ribs, brisket, pork butt, and all the fixin’s,” he took nap breaks in the parking lot. While he certainly puts his whole heart into performing, Grohl showed he also had a heart for helping.
Hope the Mission’s president and chief financial officer Rowan Vansleve was out of town for a charity event when Grohl came by, but based on text updates from the organization’s team, Vansleve was confident the rockstar was ready to handle the barbecue on his own.
“He turns up at 6 p.m., and then this meat truck gets delivered,” Vansleve told the Los Angeles Times.
“And it’s like an obscene amount of food. It’s unbelievable, the guy spent thousands of dollars. And he is in there by himself in our little food prep area, trimming the fat off, making sure every single one’s perfect. He’s got all of his mates together. They’re backing in these giant smokers.”
Dave Grohl’s love of barbecue
Grace Ancheta, director of development at the nonprofit, said Grohl took the task very seriously — and that his food was some of the best barbecue the shelter had ever seen. This makes sense; Grohl has a love for the barbecue pit and says cooking is a way to unwind after getting off stage.
He even created Backbeat BBQ, a one-man barbecue catering operation — a lower stakes (or should we say… steaks) touring endeavor he brings to events and benefits.
In fact, this isn’t the first time he’s used food for good. Grohl cooked for a crowd when fires hit Malibu in 2018, providing meals for displaced community members and firefighters.
Ancheta saw his passion first-hand.
“He actually served to our guests, he came out and was very gracious and took pictures with the people that recognized him,” Ancheta told the TODAY Show. “He wanted no glory for it, he was like, ‘I just want to do this for you guys and give back in that way.’”
It turns out, Grohl is a prodigious guitarist, grill master, and do-gooder all the same.
“The process of making music is a lot like cooking for a crowd,” he told Bon Appetit in 2019. “You create a recipe as you would a song. You prepare a meal as you would record in a studio. And you serve it as you would perform live. When people come back for seconds, well, that’s your encore.”
Why is this good news?
While it always brings a smile to our face when our favorite celebrities and artists use their platforms for good, Grohl touches on a deeply important issue facing folks in Los Angeles: Food insecurity.
Especially as climate change impacts both people and the planet through weather disasters, people need access to necessities like food and shelter.
In fact, nearly a quarter of all Los Angeles households face food insecurity, up 7% since 2021, according to research from the University of Southern California.
Having access to good, meaningful meals is only part of fighting unjust food systems, and we’re glad Grohl is doing his part to make that happen.
Writer Liz Allman Seccuro tweeted it best: “When the aliens get here and ask ‘who’s in charge?’ I think we take them to Dave Grohl.”