Fro’d Chicken

Little Questlove

Adorable little Questlove, via @Questlove’s Twitter

Last night I attended a fried chicken extravaganza – the NYC Food & Wine Festival Shake & Bake, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and DJ’d by Questlove. It was a last minute invitation, and no event had ever sounded more perfect. Held at Hotel Yotel, it was a smorgasbord of battered, fried and double-fried deliciousness and truly lived up to my expectations. Many thanks to my chickee tweeting behind @wholefoodsnyc for the invitation!

So, I’m on the dance floor, doing my usual flaily thang, and if you haven’t guessed… this was obviously an occasion to wear the fro. I was admiring Questlove – his spinning skillz, his brilliant hair – and I considered taking a photo of him for the blog. But a few minutes later, just as I was about to dig into a plate of fried chicken and waffles, the opposite happened. Questlove took a photo of me.

I check twitter, and there she was:

@Questlove loves @michellejoni

One of the greatest DJs (and fros) on earth, and there’s my fro, in the only Instagram photo he took all night.

“Granny?” YES, Questlove, I’ll be your granny any day! I’ll pinch your cheeks and make you chicken soup and we can have phone conversations every week. I happily accept all of this. Better yet, can I please meet your granny? Ke$ha used to be my doppelgänger, but it looks like I’m playing a whole new ballgame.

What’s REALLY interesting here – that I didn’t realize until this morning – is this: The very website that has so generously sent me thousands of blog hits this past week, Okay Player, just happens to be the one of Questlove’s own invention. (I wonder if he read the forum?)

Which brings me to my next topic: Okay, player. I want to thank everyone who has left their feelings and opinions on the blog this week. If you have something to say and you haven’t, always feel free to comment, or email me if you prefer. In fact, let’s go for lunch! Let’s talk it out. Let’s learn about one another. Let’s discuss our upbringings. Don’t you find different human beings interesting? I made this quote banner a couple days ago for AHAlife, and it’s something I truly believe:

Spend more time with people who challenge you

It’s healthy to  continually grow and learn new perspective. To be on a quest – a quest for more love. I’m not saying I need you to love me, but if perchance we met and you decided you did, you wouldn’t be the first person to change their mind.

Alright, enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff. You want to see some fried chicken? That’s what I thought. I tried every morsel of food that was available at all 22 stations of the Shake n Bake, and here were my favorites. Put these New York restaurants on your list, my friends!

Korean fried chicken tacos

Korean Fried Chicken Tacos, Chef Richard Sandoval of Pampano

MONO + MONO Korean fried chicken

Korean-Style Fried Chicken, Chef MyungJin Chung of MONO + MONO

Art Smith Chicken and waffles

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Joanne’s Pecorino Waffle, Chef Art Smith of Table Fifty-Two

Blaue Gans

Backhendl golden fried chicken, Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner of Blaue Gans

Chicken and mashed potato cone

Fried Chicken & Waffle Cone, Chef Joaquin Baca of The Brooklyn Star (modeled here by my new super-cool friend Ryley)

Red Rooster

Fried Yard Bird, Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem

Hill Country Chicken Cone

Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken & Waffles, Chef Elizabeth Karmel of Hill Country Chicken

Matzo Meal Crusted Drumsticks

Matzo Meal Crusted Drumsticks, Chef Joe Dobias of JoeDoe & JoeDough

Here I am with Joe Doe – what a cutie!

Joe Doe and Michelle Joni

Much love. To fried chicken, to Questlove, and to every single one of you who reads my blog posts to the end.

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