Splats off to the chef!
“Dishmantled,” the world’s wackiest new cooking competition, just premiered on Quibi, a new streaming platform that specializes in supershort TV shows.
Here’s how it works: Contestants are blindfolded, then get food thrown in their faces. They have to guess what dish it is and try to re-create it.
“It’s really satisfying,” host Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) tells The Post. “Cooking shows are usually so highbrow and the stakes are really high . . . [This feels more] like [“Slime Time Live”], that show on Nickelodeon where all the goo was dumped on people.”
The series was filmed in Harlem this summer, and each six-minute episode brings on two celebrity co-hosts. Episode 1 brings in “Queer Eye” food expert Antoni Porowski and “Schitt’s Creek” creator and star Dan Levy.
They watch as two chefs don outfits that look, presciently, like hazmat suits. They’re blasted with a mystery dish that looks like baby food, commencing a 30-minute race to identify the dish and cook it for the hosts. Victory is determined by how many ingredients match those in the real dish. The winner walks home with $5,000.
“Dishmantled” joins a roster of eyebrow-raising shows on Quibi (from $4.99 per month), from an adventure series with Zac Efron called “Killing Zac Efron” to a true crime/home improvement concept called “Murder House Flip.” But “Dishmantled” might just be the wackiest of the bunch.
In the first episode, after contestants Joe and Priyanka get blasted with food, Joe shares his thoughts with the camera: “Everything I tasted could be something else. Onions, maybe. Tomatoes, question mark. I have no idea. But being that I’m Italian, you’re getting a sauce.”
While Joe and Priyanka set about making their best-guess dishes, the guest hosts deliberate. Burgess is the only one who knows what it really is.
Eyeing the goop dripping on the wall, Levy says, “I saw tomatoes . . . pita . . . To me, that is a dish I do not know.”
“Didn’t you see an egg yolk?” asks Poworski. “I was thinking shakshuka, which is a Middle Eastern dish.”
When the timer dings, Joe and Priyanka present their food to the hosts. They don’t get judged based on quality — rather, on how many ingredients match the dish that was blasted at them.
“I think this is delicious,” says Levy, as he tastes Joe’s creation. “I don’t know if this is what you’re . . . supposed to have made.”
When Porowski samples Priyanka’s zucchini-based creation, he asks if she tasted zucchini.
“That was the first thing that blasted into my mouth,” she says.
“A sentence I never thought I’d hear anyone say — but here we are,” he replies.
Burgess, who lives in New Jersey and says he’s been cooking a lot of soup during lockdown, says the absurdity is what made “Dishmantled” worth doing.
“I didn’t set out to do a cooking show, I had no real aspirations to host anything,” he says. “But I loved how turned-on-its-head the cooking show format was when this idea was presented to me.
“The stakes are much lower than they are on, say, ‘Top Chef’ or other shows where it could be career-changing for one of the winners,” he adds. “We’re not changing the world — I just want to give [the audience] seven to 10 minutes of mindless entertainment.”