My Time at the Intersection Series: The Science of Food and Music with Questlove, Chef Max Hardy, and dream hampton

Last Friday, I attended a very special artist talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD): The Intersection: The Science of Food and Music with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (drummer and band member of The Roots), Chef Max Hardy (owner and chef of Detroit’s River Bistro), and dream hampton (filmmaker and writer).

It was the eighth and final part of MOCAD’s Intersection series. MOCAD partnered with the Science Gallery Lab Detroit (SGLD) to present a series of talks featuring artists who are heavily involved with art and science and use the two forms to understand how it can address our current social issues.

First, let me get my fan girl moment out of the way: I was really excited to attend this Intersection series because I am a huge fan of The Roots and Questlove. For me, their music transcends some of the current hip-hop that is played on today’s radio stations. In my opinion, The Roots are the definition of true hip-hop.

Okay, back to the Intersection series…

The Roots (photo credit: The Roots official Facebook Page)

A few thoughtful topics discussed…

Filmmaker and writer dream hampton moderated the discussion and asked both Chef Max Hardy and Questlove various questions on the art of food and also on social issues related to food.

For instance, the panel discussed the issue of a lower percentage of minorities who work as chefs at high-end restaurants. Questlove mentioned he is “in the beginning process of developing a documentary exploring…why is it hard for women, people of color, anyone from all these spaces that I visit” (or in the cooking industry) because, as he explained, the industry seems to be exclusively male and white dominated.

Also, during the discussion, Chef Max Hardy was asked if he would ever consider opening a culinary school and he answered it is a project he is currently working on.

On finding good meals in the most unlikely places, Questlove said real foodies are not just about the high-end restaurants. They look for “good meals in the most unlikely places.” Quest said he seeks out “the most unlikely, most local” restaurant to try. He believes the quest or the search for “the perfect meal goes way beyond the new restaurants that get a write-up in your local paper.” 

On Detroit needing more food banks and resources for its citizens, Chef Max Hardy said he believes the city does not have enough resources. He believes Detroit needs to create more food banks for citizens to have access to food.

On their favorite meal cooked by Mom:

Questlove said he loves his mother’s chicken and rice. “It’s the best thing ever,” he said.

Chef Max Hardy loves his mother’s gravy chicken and white rice. “She does something with white rice that I can’t get right,” he told dream.

dream hampton said, “My mom is a white girl from Indiana and she makes a very mean tuna casserole.”

Guests at MOCAD listening to Chef Max Hardy, Questlove, and dream hampton discuss The Science of Food and Music.

After the discussion, guests had the opportunity to purchase Questlove’s new book somethingtofoodabout and have him sign the book.

Quest’s book features conversations with ten chefs in America and explores their creativity with food, how cooking teaches them to see the world, and more interesting topics about the world of cooking.

somethingtofoodabout by Questlove is available online for purchase or at MOCAD.
Questlove took the time to sign books and take a photo with guests at MOCAD.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time listening to Questlove, Chef Max Hardy, and dream hampton’s discussion at MOCAD and SGLD’s Intersection Series. I even learned a few new things about social issues related to food.

Both MOCAD and SGLD did a wonderful job creating the Intersection Series. It gives guests the opportunity to learn something new and connect with their favorite artists, creators, and writers about artistic topics and societal issues.

For more information about MOCAD’s upcoming events and on-going education series, you can visit their official website here.

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were taken by Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

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