Dan Gross: Cooking contest is a sort of chef salad for '?uestlove'

Anna Deavere Smith: In town
Anna Deavere Smith: In town
Posted: April 04, 2011

PORN STARLET-turned-actress Sasha Grey helped Roots leader Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson judge ?uestlove's Cook Off last night at Time (1315 Sansom).

The pair became friendly after Grey appeared in the Roots featuring Patrick Stump's "Birthday Girl" video and she was in town promoting her book "Neu Sex" and he asked her to come down. Grey, recently seen on "Entourage," told us she had a good time judging the contest, although she was easily stuffed.

And for good reason.

?uestlove told us he took her to Cosmi's for a cheesesteak yesterday afternoon.

Kenny Bush, sous chef at Bistro La Minette (623 S. 6th), won the job of cooking backstage for the Roots at the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show band's annual Roots Picnic June 4 at Festival Pier.

His food bested that of eight other contestants: Vintage (129 S. 13th) chef Anthony Leo, Jennifer Zavala, a former "Top Chef" contestant and alum of El Camino Real, Eric Paraskevas of Terra (243 S. Camac), Scott Schroeder of the South Philadelphia Tap Room (1509 Mifflin), Institute of Culinary Education-trained Clara Park, Brian Tucker, a server at Distrito (40th & Chestnut), New York's Elita B and Nick Wilson of Fitchburg, Mass.

Guests included ?uestlove's sister, musician Donn T, who opens for Patrick Stump Friday at the Trocadero and plays the Roots Picnic, Jennifer Carroll, former "Top Chef" contestant who stopped by on her one night off from 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton, WHYY Fresh Air producer Amy Salit, Two.One.Five magazine's Tayyib Smith, Man Man drummer Chris Powell and attorney Conor Corcoran.

Helping Grey and ?uestlove judge were Drew Lazor of City Paper, restaurateur Audrey Claire Taichman and Fidel Gastro of FooBooz.com.

?uestlove and manager Alexis Rosenzweig say they are planning more food events.

Out and about

New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe singer Michael Bivins was among guests at the Spring Fashion Event at Mitchell & Ness (12th & Chestnut) Thursday night. Rehabbing Phillies slugger Chase Utley and wife Jen briefly popped in to the party, where Phillies staffer Scott Palmer was decked out in a red three-piece suit, red shoes and fedora, and former Flyer Brian Propp, Comcast SportsNet's Michael Barkann and 93.3 WMMR's Marissa Magnatta and Matt Cord also hung out.

* Former Sixer Darryl Dawkins took pictures with fans inside the Martin Greenbaum Flooring booth at the Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia Expo at the Valley Forge Convention Center.

From Broad St. to White House

Anna Deavere Smith, now performing in Philadelphia Theatre Company's production of her one-woman show "Let Me Down Easy" at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Broad & Lombard), staged an excerpt from the show at the White House last week when first lady Michelle Obama invited the actress to participate in an event celebrating Women's History Month.

"Let Me Down Easy" runs through Sunday. Tickets ($25 to $59) are available by calling 215-985-0420 or online at PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org.

Last chance for dance tix

Kristin Haskins-Simms had a successful preview of her upcoming Strangefruit clothing line last week, but how will she fare at Sunday's third-annual "Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars," to benefit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America's Philadelphia/Delaware Valley chapter, at the Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing?

She faces tough competition from Your Humble Narrator; City Representative Melanie Johnson; KYW NewsRadio 1060's Hadas Kuznits; Maria Papadakis, socialite and daughter of late Drexel president Constantine Papadakis; Lorina Marshall Blake, VP of government relations at Independence Blue Cross; Girard College president Autumn Adkins Graves; Philadelphia Style editor Kristin Munro; AIDS Fund executive director Robb Reichard; and model Shari Williams, also communications specialist at the state Public Utility Commission.

All the amateurs are partnered with professionals from the Society Hill Dance Academy (2nd & Pine), where your first lesson is always free. Tickets for the 5-to-10 p.m. event, which includes dinner, a cocktail hour and a silent auction, are $100 at dancingwiththephiladelphiastars.com, or by calling 215-471-8686.

Cherry Hill guy can cook

Mazel tov to Cherry Hill's Stuart Davis, whose chicken-and-egg donburi won the Man-o-Manischewitz cook-off in New York. He won $25,000 in cash and GE kitchen appliances.

Book report

Bernie Parent and Darren Daulton will both appear soon at the South Philly Bar & Grill (1235 E. Passyunk). Parent, the renowned Flyer, will sign his book Journey Through Fear and Risk from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

An autographed copy will be $40, and the bar will broadcast the Flyers-Sabres game.

Daulton, former Phillies catcher, apppears from 8 to 11 p.m. April 11, where he'll hang out and talk to fans about the Phils' roster.

* Penn State Abington professor Sean P. Griffin signs copies of his new book Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen, from 7 to 9 Thursday night at SmokeEaters (Frankford & Sheffield) and from 7 to 9 p.m. April 14 at Liberties (705 N. 2nd). The criminal-justice prof has won good reviews for the book, which centers on disgraced former local ref Tim Donaghy.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com.

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