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Tucci, Questlove Help Food Festival Raise $1 Million

Jimmy Stafford, from left, Pat Monahan and Scott Underwood of Train. The band will perform for charity at the New York City Wine & Food Festival's Sunday food truck party on Oct. 14. Source: Train via Bloomberg

This Sunday, Train, the Grammy Award-winning rock band, takes a break from its screaming arena fans to play at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival.

Hosted by Travel Channel star Andrew Zimmern, the “Trucks and Train” event features a live performance and gourmet street food washed down with the band’s very own Syrah blend, “Drops of Jupiter.”

The wine, created for charity and named after the band’s 2001 hit single, helps support Family House in San Francisco, a nonprofit that provides shelter for families of cancer-afflicted children.

“We thought what better thing to do than to make a wine and give the proceeds back to charity,” Jimmy Stafford, Train’s lead guitarist, said in a telephone interview. “We didn’t want to make a gimmicky wine, but one that we would take pride in.”

The entire festival expects to raise more than $1 million for the Food Bank for New York City and the Washington-based Share Our Strength.

“We’re really fortunate to have this connection with the chefs who are rock stars themselves,” Chuck Scofield, Share Our Strength’s chief development officer, said by telephone.

A top attraction is a $300 (sold-out) feast hosted by master chef Alain Ducasse featuring classic dishes from his Benoit restaurants in Paris and New York. Masaharu Morimoto will preside over a sushi and karaoke party.

Actor and “Hunger Games” star Stanley Tucci presents his culinary side at the festival’s grand tasting on Saturday. He will make recipes from the new “The Tucci Cookbook,” his tribute to Italian cuisine. Tucci, who is also a Food Bank board member, will donate all proceeds from the book’s sales to the nonprofit.

“He has used his celebrity to help us,” Margarette Purvis, the Food Bank’s executive director, said by phone. “Even when he’s promoting movies, he mentions his involvement with the hunger issue and he mentions the Food Bank.”

Goldberg, Winfrey

Drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, music director for NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” will spin records at the “Shake & Bake” fried chicken party. It’s hosted by Whoopie Goldberg and Art Smith, once personal chef for Oprah Winfrey.

Questlove, who appears frequently at charity events, will also plug his catering business’s signature fried chicken drumsticks.

“At first, I wondered if I could handle the musical life and the culinary life, and I started to notice that music is like the food game,” said Questlove. “You always get called out to battle with the ones you’re competing against.”

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Information and tickets:

Muse highlights include Craig Seligman on movies and Mark Beech on theater.

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