TV One has entered the food competition show with “My Momma Throws Down,” which is part “Family Feud,” part “Iron Chef.” Sixteen episodes were shot earlier this year at Turner Studios in Midtown. All the contestants the first season were from the South.
The show debuted this past Friday.
Families, led by the matriarch, vie for up to $3,000 (this is TV One, we’re talking about, not CBS) and bragging rights that yes, their mama can dominate a kitchen. There is a lot of light-hearted smack talking. A rotating set of judges such as comic Loni Love and “Soul Food” actress and former Atlantan Nicole Ari Parker decide who has better food.
I spoke with the host Ralph Harris (”Last Comic Standing”) last week.
“I come in and put the mothers at ease,” he said. “Everybody wants their moms on the show because everyone believes their mom is a great cook.”
Okay, not everyone. Harris admits his mom isn’t a big fan of cooking. “When we got old enough, we think she started screwing up dishes on purpose so we’d do it,” he said. But he still name checks his mom Caroline at the start of every episode.
Each hour features two mamas facing off, first with a special from-home dish for $500. (In the sample episode TV One sent me, one mama showed off her mac and cheese and the other, an eggplant parmesan. The mac and cheese won.)
For $2,500, each mama will then cook the same dish featuring two key ingredients. Examples include squash casserole and green salad chilli and cornbread crab cakes and green tomatoes. They also get to cook a wild-card dish.
The celebrity judges, Harris noted, were softies. “They just wanted to eat,” he said. A nutritionist was a bit tougher. Harris said he tried everything, though he had no input in deciding what food was good or bad.
The only thing he really doesn’t like: okra. “I don’t get it. It’s slimy!” he said.
‘My Momma Throws Down” TV One
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk