I was channel surfing the other evening and came upon—of all things—Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg in the kitchen! Did you know the celebrity cook and the eccentric hip hop legend have a cooking/talk show? Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party debuted in early November on VH1.
This has got to be the strangest hook up ever, a classic of the “odd couple.” She’s a staid, 75-year-old, white, kitchen maven and he’s a 40-ish, black, pot-smoking, bling-wearing rapper. (Actually, in real life they’ve been friends for quite a while.)
The first show—the one I saw—was about fried chicken. The banter was lively as they cracked jokes about their differences in culture and cooking technique. During one exchange Martha revealed that she once killed a chicken. When Snoop and guests showed their disapproval, she declared that she first “fed it some vodka and then cut off its head.” Apparently, she anesthetizes lobsters in a vodka solution, too. As the Queen of Cuisine might say, “Vodka is a good thing.”
During the show, the unlikely duo works from dramatically different kitchens. Martha’s side of the set is vintage House Beautiful, modern and sleek. And her fridge plays opera music when opened. Snoop’s side of the kitchen is flashy, purple, and cluttered. His refrigerator plays rap, of course.
Guests made the repartee sparkle with wisecracks and enough bawdy lines to require an occasional bleep. The first episode included Ice Cube, Wiz Khalifa, and Seth Rogen, observing the chicken frying competition between Martha and Snoop. Snoop let the audience know that he had the advantage, since he was raised on fried chicken. “My pacifier was a drumstick,” he laughed.
Martha’s fried chicken called for a three-day brine followed by a buttermilk bath (for the chicken, that is). Snoop topped his wings with crushed barbecued potato chips. He was aghast at Martha’s willingness to wait so long for fried chicken. “My meal is gonna take 12 minutes and we’re ready to eat!” (Outcome: I hope I don’t spoil the episode for you, but the chicken match up was voted a tie.)
Martha Struck by Lightning
While nibbling on chicken and preparing to vote their preference, the group played a game of “one truth and two lies.” They had to figure out which of three statements each made about themselves was true. It turned out the most improbable assertion came from Martha and was actually true. “I’ve been struck by lightning three times,” she said and went on to reveal the bizarre incidents. She claimed, “Going to jail doesn’t make you stronger, being struck by lightning does.” Khalifa quipped, “I’m not going to the gym anymore. I’m going to get struck by lightning.”
If reviews of the show are any measure, it appears lightning may have struck for Martha again. This is a funny show and between all the nonsense there’s even some cooking hints to be learned. The series airs on VH1 every Monday night and clips are available on line.