By Bill Vaughan
Outside of being a hip-hop icon and accomplished actor with a prominent part in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is also well known in Atlanta as a successful restaurateur.
His hot spots, including current airport mainstay Chicken-N-Beer and the former Straits, have developed a reputation for satisfying the taste buds.
So, it is quite the surprise to find out that he is passionate about food, but “can’t cook a lick.”
That is all about to change with the new show “Luda Can’t Cook” which begins streaming Feb. 25, exclusively on discovery+.
Ludacris gets schooled in the kitchen by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Meherwan Irani, (who has launched popular restaurants Chai Pani, Botiwalla and Spicewalla) to up his culinary game with international flavors and techniques.
Indian cuisine is one of Luda’s favorites and Chef Irani gives him a master class in the foundations, from layering spices to frying and braising and making curry, with a little help from his friends Aarti Sequeira of Food Network/Cooking Channel fame and popular Bhojanic chef Archna Malhotra Becker of greater Atlanta.
Then in a test of his newly acquired culinary skills, he cooks and serves a menu of Indian dishes Ludacris-style to a room of VIPS, including his mom Roberta Shields.
“I absolutely love food and have always appreciated the art of cooking, but I can’t lie — I have no idea what I’m doing in the kitchen,” Ludacris said. “I’m on a mission to change that and master one cuisine at a time — it’s going to be delicious.”
“The juxtaposition of a uniquely talented mega star like Luda against a backdrop that he has no real knowledge or skill set in makes for some highly entertaining shenanigans!” said Will Packer, a producer of the series whose films including “Girls Trip” and shows like “Ready To Love” have earned more than $1 billion.
Viewers can follow #LudaCantCook for exclusive sneak peeks of Ludacris’ journey into the kitchen. Fans wanting more can visit DiscoveryPlus.com and follow along on social media for more about the show.
LET THERE BE MUSIC: 2021 Biamp PDX Jazz Festival is in full swing through Feb. 27, with performances by Judith Hill, Brian Jackson performing from his songbook with the late Gil Scott-Heron, and more.
In addition, an impressive array of screenings include “Universe,” on the debut of a landmark 1966 suite of orchestral jazz written for Miles Davis by Wayne Shorter featuring Wallace Roney, Patrice Rushen and Lenny White; “Buster Williams: Bass To Infinity;” and “Herb Alpert Is …” For info, visit www.pdxjazz.com.
Sensational singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Jarrod Lawson will perform live from his Portland home studio Feb. 25, in support of his soulful new release “Be The Change.” Tickets for the worldwide stream, which kicks off at 2 p.m., are $20 at www.ursalive.com/jarrod-lawson, with proceeds to benefit music education nonprofit, littlekidsrock.org.
TASTY QUIP: “I would consider a presidential run in the future if that’s what the people wanted. Truly, I mean that, and I’m not flippant in any way with my answer. That would be up to the people. … So I would wait, and I would listen. I would have my finger on the pulse, my ear to the ground.” – DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON to USA Today
CLIPPETTES: Join an “Evening Conversation with Blair Underwood” Feb. 19 as he discusses the current and future state of theater; and the arts’ response to the recent global uprising in support of racial and social justice at TheRobeyTheatreCompany.org …
“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” the 2005 action film notoriously starring the then single Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, is being reimagined as an Amazon series with Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) in the leading roles …
The American Cinematheque and the African American Film Critics Association presents Shaka King, Philippe Lacôte, Franklin Leonard, Ekwa Msangi, Euzhan Palcy and Kemp Powers in the panel discussion “Black Identity in Cinema” Feb. 20. RSVP at Eventbrite.com for the Zoom link …
Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga (“Loving”) will portray the legendary jazz singer and activist Josephine Baker in an ABC Signature mini-series produced by LeBron James …
Talib Kweli discusses his candid memoir, “Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story” Feb. 22. RSVP for Zoom instructions at caamuseum.org/programs/ …
70’s Black cult classic film “The Spook Who Sat By The Door” is being adapted by Lee Daniels (“Empire”) as a series pilot for FX …
Richard Wesley’s “The Past Is The Past,” first produced in 1975, is revived through Feb. 28 in a production directed by Oz Scott, and starring Jovan Adepo (“Watchmen”) and Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”). RSVP at manhattantheatreclub.com for your viewing link …
R&B group Jagged Edge is launching an immersive podcast experience airing every Monday across YouTube and all major podcast platforms titled, “Views From The Edge” …
Lance Gross and Keshia Knight Pulliam are collaborating with TBS for the network’s first-ever HBCU Cash Out, an interactive social media contest which will award a grand prize of $25,000 to three different winners who creatively share how attending a HBCU is helping them achieve their goals. Log onto www.tbshbcucashout.com before March 8 for details.
TASTY QUIP: “What I will say is the nieces are probably gonna do some things that I probably would not do. So I’ll just leave that right there. And if I am an auntie, please believe, I’m probably the fly auntie that comes to the barbecue who everyone’s looking for, you know what I’m saying?” – CYNTHIA BAILEY on being called such by her younger fellow “Real Housewives of Atlanta”
TC ON TV: Feb. 19 – “Forward: The Future of Black Music” (Facebook): John Legend with D Smoke. “Behind Every Man” (OWN): Faith Evans “Hip Hop Uncovered” (FX): After stints doing time, Big U manages Kurupt, Deb moves to Atlanta, Haitian Jack works with the Fugees, Bimmy is hired at Def Jam and Trick Trick records his first album. “Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy” (Comedy): A new documentary based on the irreverent late comedian’s life with footage and recollections from friends like Kevin Hart. “The Graham Norton Show” (BBCA): Actors Daniel Kaluuya and Adrian Lester with singer-songwriter and poet Arlo Parks
Feb. 20 – “Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In The Family” (Reelz): Who killed Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs’ dad? “The Real Story Of …” (Reelz): Tupac Shakur “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): “Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page hosts with musical guest Bad Bunny
Feb. 21 – “Black Lives Matter: A Global Reckoning” (Vice): Denmark “Boiling Point” (BET): Look back at events that ignited the flames of racial injustice in this six-part docuseries. “Disrupt & Dismantle” (BET): Follows Soledad O’Brien as she tackles issues across the nation affecting the Black community. “Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine” (Showtime): A provocative docu-series, narrated by Giancarlo Esposito, profiling the controversial hip-hop artist’s epic rise to notoriety and spectacular fall to convicted criminal.
Feb. 22 – “Independent Lens” (PBS): “Mr. SOUL!” is a loving revisit of Ellis Hazlip’s landmark series featuring rare live performances and interviews from Al Green, Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Stevie Wonder, and many more. “Social Society” (ALLBLK): Kendall Kyndall co-produced and hosts this hybrid sketch comedy/Black culture roundtable series.
Feb. 23 – “Pelé” (Netflix): Kevin Macdonald (“Whitney”) captures the soccer giant’s extraordinary path from breakthrough talent to national hero. “Forward: The Future of Black Music” (Facebook): Erykah Badu and Tobe Nwigwe “They Call Me Dad” (OWN): A special on Black fatherhood featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes, D-Nice, Kirk Franklin, Anthony Hamilton and Malcolm Jenkins.
Feb. 24 – “Snowfall” (FX): Back-to-back episodes open the fourth season as Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) attempts to stop a gang war from exploding.
Feb. 25 –”Millennials” (ALLBLK): From executive producer Bentley Kyle Evans (“Martin”) comes this sitcom starring Kyle Massey (“That’s So Raven”) as one of four L.A.-based 20-something roommates navigating the chaos of being young and finding success.
IN MEMORIUM: “CHICK COREA was like a brother to me. We shared many, many stages, recording studios, and our passion for jazz and “Mama Corea’s Beef Cutlets”… but what really created the bond between us was our similar beliefs in the power of the individual to create the most beautiful and inspiring art, ‘the great healer,’ for people. We sure had fun sprinkling that magic all over the world!! He was the best all-around musician that I’ve ever stood shoulder to shoulder with. I will miss standing next to him on the stage as much as many of you who have had the pleasure to stand with him. And to all his fans, his impact in musical art was of such a great magnitude that it will be impossible to lose sight of him. His spirit is always with us.” – Legendary bassist and Corea’s Return To Forever bandmate STANLEY CLARKE
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.