Cooking with Diddy

Sean “Diddy” Combs and Ben Silverman are working together with David A. Hurwitz to create a five-night NBC reality miniseries titled Celebrity Cooking Showdown, scheduled to debut in April.

Blending elements of Food Network’s Iron Chef America and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, the show pairs superstar chefs with different celebrities in a weeklong cooking competition.

Culinary masters Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora (Food Network’s Kitchen Accomplished) and Govind Armstrong (exec chef at Table 8 in Los Angeles) have signed on to be part of the culinary battle.

Several celebrities are also close to finalizing deals to join the show.

Silverman said he’s been “working on this in secrets for months now,” with NBC giving the show a green light only recently. “We’ve been desperate to do cooking in primetime,” Silverman told Daily Variety. “And who’s more primetime than Diddy?”

Silverman said he approached the Hip-Hop impresario because he thought he would make “a great partner to help lock in talent, to promote the show and to help with the creative aspects.”

Diddy, who owns two restaurant chains, has participated in three cable shows in recent years: HBO’s The Bad Boys of Comedy and MTV’s Making the Band and Run’s House.

The entrepreneur said Celebrity Cooking Showdown is “not out of my space.”

“The sexiest trend going on right now is young men learning how to cook,” Diddy said. “There’s nothing more sensual than a man cooking for his woman. We wanted to do something that fit that trend in the marketplace.”

The first three episodes of the series will feature each of the three chefs tutoring a celebrity and training them for their moment in the spotlight.

Celebrities will then face off against each other in a timed competition to create a three-course meal.

Judges will determine one winner from each night, with the three finalists squaring off for a Thursday finale.

The winner, selected by a mix of judges and viewer votes, will be revealed on Friday.

Silverman also plans to offer a service component to Celebrity Cooking, with chefs offering viewers ways to improve their cooking techniques. “You can practice what you see on TV the next day in your kitchen,” he said.


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