In nearly 30 years of concert tours, hip-hop artists Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton developed a routine: get to a new city, check into the hotel, drop the bags and go find a restaurant. And it needs to be good.
And that is the idea behind their Cooking Channel special “Cookin’ With Salt-N-Pepa,” airing Thursday (Dec. 17).
In the half-hour program, the duo hits three Los Angeles-area restaurants of differing cuisines — one that satisfies Salt’s taste for Southern home cooking, one to scratch Pepa’s itch for spicy food, and a third suggested by family, friends, fans or locals — to find unusual dishes and take in culinary experiences.
“It doesn’t have to be necessarily fancy,” James explains to Zap2it, “but wherever we are in that town it has to be recommended by a concierge or the fans or someone that’s from that particular city where we’re like, ‘OK, we have to go to this particular place.’ And so we wanted to do a cooking show at home but we travel so much, [so] why don’t we just do it while we’re on the road, visit some kitchens, get some recipes?”
Among the comestibles the duo samples are a meatloaf burger at My Two Cents in Los Angeles that Denton calls “amazing,” Mexican/Caribbean dishes at Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica, and a pulled pork macaroni and cheese dish at the comfort food spot Grub in Hollywood. And wherever they go, James and Denton go into kitchens, talk to chefs, ask for recipes and try to deconstruct the meals to figure out how they can make them at home.
“We’re always breaking down our food like foodies,” Denton says with a laugh. “We’re like, ‘Did you taste that? Oh, my God.’ Like we literally break down our food, so that is right up our alley to do the show because we’re really into it. Like, (we are) all about explaining what we’re eating.”