Comedian Natasha Leggero was initially reluctant to take on her final gig as she hosted the TBS series “Rat in the Kitchen.”
“At first I was like, wait, what? I shouldn’t be on a cooking show, I’m known for being a terrible chef,” Leggero, 48, told The Post. “I have to cook my daughter’s lunch every morning, and that’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’ve been trying to make kale chips for about five years now, and they always come out simultaneously wet and burnt.
“I didn’t touch it.”
“Rat in the Kitchen,” airing Thursdays at 9 p.m., is a reality TV series that’s part cooking contest and part mystery “whodunit.” Each episode features a different group of chefs (both home-trained amateurs and those with culinary school experience) who cook multiple dishes in an effort to win a cash prize of up to $50,000 and split it between the group.
The catch: someone in their ranks is a “rat” who secretly aims to sabotage their dishes. They have to guess who it is and thwart the Rat’s efforts…otherwise, the Rat might win the prize instead of the team.
“When I discovered [celebrity chef judge Ludo Lefebvre] was involved, he’s an amazing leader, and I got to meet him,” Leggero said. “He is so talented and passionate about food. It was a really fun combination because he can stay serious about food and his standards are so high. And I can just be there making jokes about it all. It was also fun to roast the food – no one gets mad at the things you say to the food.
Leggero, best known for the Comedy Central series “Another Period” (2015-2018, said she and Lefebvre (“ABC’s The Taste”), were just as in the dark as everyone else.
“None of us knew [who the rat was] and that was part of the fun,” she said. “It’s almost like ‘Clue’ or ‘Knives Out.’ We get to figure out every episode who’s the rat with the audience. That was the crazy thing – we were floored.
“I’m so glad we didn’t know that,” she said. “It was so much fun for Ludo and I to get together after everyone had presented their dishes and really try to figure out who was the [saboteur] has been. Honestly, we weren’t right very often, so the rats really did an amazing job. You have these preconceived ideas in your head. And you think to yourself, well, that person would definitely be the rat! And sometimes these people were so proud of these dishes that were actually disgusting, just because their recipes were bad! So there was that too.
She said the least appetizing dishes she had to eat on the show were raw chicken and raw shrimp, after rats managed to sabotage the cooking process before the food was presented to Leggero and Lefebvre.
“I was generally supporting the team because more people would get the money. It’s either five people sharing the money or one person getting it all,” she said. “But, if I was on the show, I would want to be the rat, because it seems like it would be so much fun figuring out how to fool everyone.”