LOS ANGELES — Ludacris can rap, write songs, and act. He just can’t cook, and no, opening cans and slapping together bologna or grilled cheese sandwiches doesn’t count.
Back in his days of, as he says, not having “two nickels to rub together,” Ludacris would throw together whatever he could find, chow down and get back to his music.
“When men like myself are hungry, we just want to eat,” he said Thursday on a video call. “We don’t want to take 30 minutes to an hour to cook.”
He’s finally upping his skills in the kitchen in “Luda Can’t Cook,” a one-hour special that debuts Feb. 25 on the Discovery+ plus streaming service. He gets schooled by chef Meherwan Irani, who introduces Ludacris to international flavors and techniques.
“It was an eye-opener and so many lightbulb moments for me,” he said.
Ludacris isn’t the only entertainer in the kitchen. Singer Selena Gomez has been upping her quarantine cooking skills on “Selana + Chef,” which was renewed for a second season on HBO Max.
Ludacris first got interested in food when “there was a placenta that was attached to me when I was in my mother’s womb.”
But his mother, Roberta, didn’t set much of an example in the kitchen.
“I love my mother with all my heart. My mother was not the best cook in the world,” he said. “Her food and cooking has gotten better and better over a long period of time.”
Ludacris cedes to his wife, Eudoxie, who is from the west African nation of Gabon, in their fully equipped kitchen.
“She does all the cooking, which is part of the reason I can’t cook,” he said. “She has her own style and she’s very, very good at it.”
Will Packer, who executive produces the show along with Ludacris, admits he previously would not eat anything prepared by Ludacris.
“I would eat your cooking now,” Packer said. “If I had a choice, you or your wife, I am definitely eating your wife’s cooking first.”
Ludacris tries his hand at Indian food in the show. “It’s so complex that I just wanted to understand how it’s made,” he said.
The irony of not being able to even cook rice (“it’s going to stick to the pot”) and owning a stake in Chicken + Beer, a restaurant serving Southern-style comfort food inside the Atlanta airport, isn’t lost on the Grammy-winning rapper.
At the same time, he wants to correct one thing.
“The whole Luda can’t cook is only 99% true,” he said. “There’s 1%; I can cook tacos.”