While rain drenched L.A., Dave Grohl smoked brisket for 450 of the city’s unhoused
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl took his newfound 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 BBQ smokers and a heart of gold. He got right to work, trimming fat from the meats and prepping them for the smoker just as the storm hit Los Angeles.
The late host of “Jeopardy!,” Alex Trebek, and his wife Jean, donated half a million dollars to Hope the Mission. The donation went toward purchasing the Los Angeles roller-skating rink Skateland, which was converted to a 107-bedroom shelter and named after Trebek.
The charity, formerly known as Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, is a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that aims to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness.
The organization is behind Chandler Street, the vibrantly painted North Hollywood village comprised of shipping containers that serve as an interim and transitional housing shelter. Chandler Street is one of 15 shelters operated 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 aficionado Danny Trejo has also worked with the nonprofit, feeding homeless veterans at the mission’s Van Nuys Bridge Home Shelter.
President and Chief Financial Officer Rowan Vansleve said he was ecstatic when he learned one of his favorite rock stars wanted to cook for the shelter. But he was heading to Las Vegas to participate 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 would be able to shelter approximately 400 families of mothers and children.
Grohl told Vansleve that he could handle the barbecue without him and would even try to save him a rib. Then, as Vansleve was running through the desert, he started getting updates from his staff back at the Trebek Center.
“He turns up at 6 p.m., and this meat truck gets 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 is in there by himself in our little food-prep area, trimming the fat off [the meat], making sure every single one’s perfect. He’s got all of his mates together. They’re backing in these giant smokers.
Taylor Hawkins, who died Friday at age 50, gave the Foo Fighters’ earnest anthems a palpable sense of fun, swagger and sex appeal.
“There’s this megastar walking around hugging and just loving on people. Then he starts to light all the fires at about 11p.m., and this is when the massive storm hit. ... So he’s out there last Wednesday through to Thursday. So it’s pouring down, the area’s flooded. And he stayed out there from midnight until I think it was 6 a.m. when the meat stopped resting.”
Grohl sneaked off to nap in his trailer when he could, Vansleve said. Otherwise, he kept the fires burning, checked the meats and walked around to meet people and encourage the workers.
After the meat was smoked and the beans and coleslaw were prepped, “The Best of You” singer called his family and friends to join in serving the food. When the ribs, brisket and pork butt were gone and the people were fed, Grohl deep-cleaned the kitchen, according to Vansleve.
And the rocker seems to be ready and willing to do it all again. After scrubbing the kitchen, Grohl asked about returning to cook for everyone.
A winter storm is passing through Los Angeles Tuesday evening with fierce winds and perhaps a smattering of precipitation. It will leave clear but cold weather in its wake.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.