The Roots’ drummer/Tonight Show bandleader Questlove is putting his name on a cheesesteak made with plant-based Impossible Meat that will be available at 40 Live Nation concert venues across the country, as well as Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where the Phillies play ball. This new sandwich is made with the recently-introduced Impossible 2.0 Meat, plus a “melted cheese blend,” peppers, and onions, all stuffed into an amoroso roll. Because the dish includes cheese, it’s not vegan by default, but a rep for Live Nation notes that “guests can check with their local venue for specific customizations, including ordering without cheese.”
Questlove is actually an investor in Impossible Foods. And as a Philadelphia native who has dabbled in the vegan lifestyle before, published a book exploring the intersection of food and music, and hosted a number of “food salons,” this new culinary endeavor is also very much aligned with his interests. It sounds like the musician and Impossible Foods have designs on taking this dish to even more venues if it’s a success. “To have the Phillies and Live Nation as our initial partners is great as it speaks to my love for my hometown of Philadelphia combined with my love of music,” Questlove says in an announcement about the cheesesteak. “However, the goal for this product is to create a global network of restaurants, venues, and retail locations where Questlove’s Cheesesteak can be purchased.”
Founded in Redwood City, California eight years ago, Impossible Foods’ products have slowly been working their way into more and more professional kitchens. Acclaimed chefs like David Chang and Danny Bowien have cooked with Impossible Burger meat before at their restaurants, and chains including White Castle, Gott’s, and Umami Burger have put the fake meat on their menus. Last year, Eater critic Ryan Sutton declared that White Castle’s vegetarian slider was “one of the country’s best fast-food burgers, period.” A recent report by QSR Magazine notes that the lab-grown meat is now being served in more than 5,000 restaurants nationwide.
While this is Questlove’s first foray into ballpark/music concessions, the drummer briefly operated a fried chicken drumstick stand with megawatt restaurateur Stephen Starr in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market five years ago. His new cheesesteak will be available at all Phillies home games starting March 28, and it will land in Live Nation venues across the country over the summer.
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