Natasha Leggero tackles rats in the kitchen on the TBS cooking show

Comedian Natasha Leggero was initially reluctant to accept her latest gig as the host of the TBS series Rat in the Kitchen.

“At first I thought, wait, what? I shouldn’t be part of a cooking show, I’m known to be a terrible chef,” Leggero, 48, told the Post. “I have to make my daughter’s lunch every morning and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I’ve been trying to make kale chips for about five years now and they always come out wet and burnt at the same time.

“I don’t have the touch.”

“Rat in the Kitchen,” which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m., is a reality series that’s part cook-off and part “crime” puzzler. Each episode features a different group of chefs (both home-trained amateurs and those with culinary school experience) cooking multiple dishes with the goal of winning a cash prize of up to $50,000 to split among the group.

Natasha Leggero smiles.
Natasha Leggero hosts new cooking show Rat in the Kitchen.
Jace Downs

The catch: one person in their ranks is a “rat” secretly aiming to sabotage their dishes. You must guess who it is and thwart the rat’s efforts… otherwise the rat could take home the prize money instead of the team.

“When I found out [celebrity chef judge Ludo Lefebvre] involved, he’s such a great chef and I got to meet him,” Leggero said. “He is so talented and has a passion for food. It was a really fun combination because he can take food seriously and his standards are so high. And I can just be there and joke about it. Frying the food was also fun – nobody gets mad at things you say about food.”

Natasha Leggero and Ludo Lefebvre share a high five over a woman's head as she cooks.
Natasha Leggero and Ludo Lefebvre share a high five while a contestant cooks.
Steve Dietl
Natasha Leggero and Ludo Lefebvre stand in the middle, overseeing two wannabe chefs.
Natasha Leggero and Ludo Lefebvre stand in the middle, overseeing two wannabe chefs.
Jace Downs

Leggero, best known for the Comedy Central series Another Period (2015-2018), said that she and Lefebvre (ABC’s The Taste) are 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.’ In each episode we have to find out together with the audience who the rat is. That was the crazy thing – we were floored.

“I’m so glad we didn’t know that,” she said. “Ludo and I had so much fun getting together after everyone had presented their dishes and just really trying to figure out who this is [saboteur] was. To be honest, we didn’t get it right very often, so the rats really did a great job. You have these preconceived notions in your head. And you think, well, that person would definitely be the rat! And sometimes these people were so proud of these dishes that were actually gross just because their recipes were bad! So there was that too.”

Natasha Leggero (right) and Ludo Lefebvre (left) stand side by side and look serious.
Natasha Leggero (right) and Ludo Lefebvre (left) also didn’t know who the rat was in each episode.
John Nowak/TBS

She said the most unsavory dishes she had to eat on the show were raw chicken and raw shrimp after rats successfully sabotage the cooking process before the food was presented to Leggero and Lefebvre.

“Usually I would cheer for the team because more people would get the money. Either five people split the money or one person gets everything,” she said. “But if I was on the show I would want to be the rat because it seems like figuring out how to trick everyone would be so much fun.”

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