Patti LaBelle’s Cooking Show Is a Hot Mess

Why is the diva stooping to such levels?

From "Patti LaBelle's Place."

From “Patti LaBelle’s Place.”

“These are so good, I could slap myself!”

“My crab cakes are so fat, you can hardly chew them!”

Oh, Patti, that’s not the only thing that we can hardly chew.

Why the legendary diva stooped down to star in a series of Cooking Channel specials, aptly titled Patti LaBelle’s Place, is beyond me. Yes, Ms. LaBelle is a huge fan of food, and she has made no qualms about that through the years. But she is no celebrity television chef, and the special, which is being shown relentlessly on Cooking Channel, proves my point.

Cooking Channel, a spinoff of the once-popular Food Network (responsible for the creation of the utterly awful Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri), has been struggling to find its target audience from the start. At first, it appeared to be more of an edgy, hipster, DIY type of chef they were aiming toward. Now, that all seems to be thrown out the door.

Back to Ms. LaBelle’s special, where she rolls her eyes more than seems humanly possible and prepares meals for Whoopi Goldberg, Michelle Williams, and her Dancing With the Stars partner Artem Chigvintsev (and throws some shade about Jill Scott and Philadelphia), the one-liners could essentially be their own show:

“When you eat this, you’re gonna lose your mind up in here, up in here.”

“You better make them tiny, because not everybody deserve all that crab meat.”

“You need the oil to be really hot, before I drop it like it’s hot.”

“I made branzino today. It’s like a bougie fish.”

“This is my favorite, Velveeta, and as I say, it is a black people’s cheese.”

On one hand, it’s totally dreadful, yet on the other, it is Patti-Freaking-LaBelle, and she can sort of do whatever she wants. As she told Oprah in a much-publicized interview, “I have nothing to prove.” I’m just puzzled as to why she’s plastering herself all over a half-failing cable television network and an ABC reality show at the same time. Ms. LaBelle doesn’t need any of that.

Unless, of course, she takes her own advice about Whoopi and Jill Scott’s dislike for spinach: “She never wants to try anything green. She likes money, but she doesn’t like veggies.”