Meet Worst Cooks Celebrity Recruit Loni Love, Talk Show Host and Comedian
For Season 9, Worst Cooks in America has invited nine celebrities who can't cook to take on the challenges of Boot Camp. Mentors Rachael Ray and Anne Burrell have lots in store for these unsuspecting individuals. In their daily lives, these celebrities are comics, TV actors and reality stars, but when it comes to the kitchen, they're disasters waiting to happen. Tune in to the premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9|8c to see the hilarious bumbling unfold. Every day leading up to the premiere, we'll be revealing a star contestant on FN Dish. Today it's talk show host and all-around funny lady Loni Love.
Loni Love co-hosts the hit daytime talk show The Real, which has been nominated for four Emmy Awards. Loni also currently co-hosts with rapper MC Lyte the Cafe Mocha radio show, the only nationally syndicated show of its kind created exclusively by and for women of color. Additionally, Loni has guest-hosted Fashion Police, has been a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and E! and has made regular appearances spinning tunes as the house DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Loni can also be seen in several movies, including Mall Cop 2, Soul Plane and the Bad Ass franchise. In addition, Loni is the subject of the documentary Being Loni Love. Because she’s so busy, Loni has never really had time to cook, so she ends up eating out, as most busy people do. But she's ready for a change, so she's signed up to get whipped into shape by Anne Burrell or Rachael Ray. Read on to find out more about Loni.
How would you describe your cooking style presently?
Loni Love: Oh, I haven't cooked in, like, 15 years. I mean, because being a standup comic, I haven't been cooking. I've been on the road; I do a lot of takeout. So, I would describe my cooking as minimal, meaning only children like my cooking, because I feed them processed foods.
What made you sign up for Worst Cooks? What do you plan to gain from this competition?
LL: I hope that from this competition I can learn the basics of cooking again. Also the love of cooking. And, you know, when you have two great cooks like Chef Anne and Rachael, I mean, who wouldn't want to try to learn under them? … I'm hoping that they'll be nice to me and that I can learn the basics of cooking again.
Is there anything that makes you nervous about competing?
LL: Whatever challenge they put my way, I want to be able to complete it and put my all into it, and I don't know if that's going to be possible.
Besides Anne or Rachael, is there a chef or a food personality you admire?
LL: I love Wolfgang Puck. Wolfgang Puck is one of my favorite chefs. He's always so nice, and he knows how to cook. If you say … "I'd like a nice date meal," he'll come up with a nice date meal for you. Or, you know, "I need a meal for the kids." He can instantly describe what type of meal I would need.
After this competition, what cooking skill level would you like to reach?
LL: After this I would like to reach the kindergarten level of cooking. So, as long as I can make that, I'll be satisfied.
Have there been any really good or really bad cooks in your life? Do you think that had an effect on you?
LL: Oh, my aunt is the best cook. She knows how to cook anything. She'll barbecue in the snow. She'll whip up a cake by scratch. I mean, she doesn't use measurements. She just uses her hands and love. So, I always admired that … because she just loves cooking and can cook so well that she knows recipes in her head. I mean, I will never get to that level … .
Is there something that’s prevented you from getting into the kitchen more or doing more cooking?
LL: Entertaining people has prevented me. I mean, my schedule has prevented me from learning how to really get into the kitchen and cook, plus also I have a single life. So, if I threw a party, I'm like, "Ugh, do I want to cook for 12 people?" I don't know how to cook for 12 people, because, you know, it's usually just me and someone else. So, I think my lifestyle has prevented me — you know, being an entertainer, my career, things like that. So, now that I actually have a TV show I'm at home a lot more, so I really do need this time to get back into the kitchen and start getting that relationship with cooking again, and that's what I'm trying to do.
What's your most-loved or most-hated kitchen tool or appliance?
LL: I love the bacon press. That is the best invention ever, because it makes your bacon crispy, it can make it whatever you want, but it's just great. You just put it on top of that bacon, pull it off and it's like boom, perfect bacon. I love it. The bacon press. Thank you, whoever invented that. Thank you.
What are some of the foods you like to eat? Do you have a guilty-pleasure food?
LL: I love any type of food. As long as the food is tasty, you know. People know that I like bacon, that I like brown liquor. I like those things, yes, in combination, but I also like the traditional foods. You know, give me a good piece of meat … a salad, a vegetable and I'm good. I don't need all the mixings and things.
Is there something that we’d never catch you eating?
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
LL: If I could eat one thing the rest of my life it would be a potato, because you can do so many things with a potato that I don't think I would get bored of it. So, the potato is like the grand queen diva of all foods for me. I mean, you could make mashed, you can make baked, you can make au gratin, you can make french fries. It's just great. You add something to it and it's a meal.
What’s a favorite dish you remember from your childhood?
LL: The favorite dish from my childhood is a fried Spam sandwich. My mam used to fry us Spam. I never knew what Spam was, but when you put it in the skillet and fry it, put some bread and some mustard, that was the best meal to me. Uh, those days.
What’s the first dish you learned to make? How did it turn out?
LL: The first thing, the very, very first meal that I tried to make, was when I was a Girl Scout and I was trying to get my badge for cooking. So, I was going to cook a pot roast. The pot roast cooked me. I almost burnt down my house.
What is the weirdest thing that we'd find in your fridge if we were to open it today?
When you get into the kitchen, what are some of the things you cook? Do you have a signature dish?
LL: I do like pasta, and I feel like it's easy, and that's something that over the years I have been able to actually cook quite well. So, you know, when I have a hot date, a gentleman caller, I'm going to whip him up some pasta, and you can whip up a sauce and you got a meal, baby.
What’s the worst kitchen disaster you’ve had or the worst dish you’ve made?
LL: You know, it was a long time ago, but I was trying to make this casserole, and it was a macaroni casserole with cheese and with all these different meats, and it just came out wrong. To this day I'm trying to figure out what happened. It was too dry and then it burnt on the top and in the middle — it was bad. I was embarrassed. I had to start over and just boil some macaroni and just put a sauce on it.
What’s the most-memorable meal that you’ve ever eaten? Tell us about the place, the people you were with and the meal you ate.
LL: Well, the most memorable meal that I ever had, it was a date of course, and it was my first seven-course meal. I never ever understood courses, but that really made me appreciate, you know, food and how to eat food … . It definitely impressed me and it made an impression on me.
Thinking of your competitors here, which of the other celebrities do you want to take down?
LL: I can't really put my finger [on it], because they're all so nice. They really are some nice, nice folks that you know they think they can cook. Some of them think they can. So, that's why people have to really watch the competition. I think this will be a competition like no other, because you have some people, you can look at them and tell they think they can cook: John Henson. You know, we have to see, but I like them all. So I'm really here — yes, it's a competition — but I'm really here to actually raise money for my charity, The Shriners, and to actually learn how to cook, and wherever I land, if it's on top or first out, it's what happens, but at least I helped a charity.
What would it mean for you to hand them a check for $50,000 if you win?
LL: Man, it would mean so much, because I love kids. Even though I don't have kids, I love them, and I love the work that [The Shriners] do and it would really help them a lot and would go a long way, so I'm willing to be criticized … look crazy or look like I can't make a meal, if it's going to raise some money for this worthy cause I'm in.
LL: I would want my team leader, I would want to go over her house and celebrate.
Watch Loni Love on Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition. Tune in to the premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9|8c.