Comedy superstar Sebastian Maniscalco’s new cooking show

Superstar comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hasn’t been able to perform on stage during the pandemic – so he’s used the time to create his new comedy cooking series, ‘Well Done with Sebastian Maniscalco’.

“I’ve been looking to get into the kitchen space for the past five to seven years. I have a passion for the culinary arts and I was like, ‘What could we do?’” Maniscalco, 48, told the Post. “Nothing resonated with me until the pandemic; a buddy of mine, Dominick DiBartolomeo… his business was decimated. It supplies meats and cheeses to local Los Angeles restaurants and has its own line of Italian dishes. [food] some products.”

Maniscalco and DiBartolomeo decided to have a dinner party on Sunday to raise money for charity and to expose DiBartolomeo’s business to Maniscalco’s huge fan base (he has 1.1 million followers on Instagram) . “It worked,” Maniscalco said. “It was a really big hit and I thought, ‘This is really fun…let’s do a TV show that combines my two passions, acting and food. I wanted to do it around things that interest me in the culinary arts. and that also comes from having two small children [4-year-old Serafina and 2-year-old Caruso]. As a father, I want to teach them things like baking bread or taking them fishing and showing them how to bait the hook.

Photo of Sebastian Maniscalco in a kitchen posing with a pepper shaker and holding it over a pot full of vegetables.
Sebastian Manascalco takes care of the kitchen in his discovery series +, “Well done with Sebastian Maniscalco”.
Anders Krusberg

“Well Done with Sebastian Maniscalco,” premiering Thursday (August 12) on Discovery+, certainly ticks all of those boxes. In the opening episode, Maniscalco, DiBartolomeo and chef Michael Cimarusti, co-owner of the Providence seafood restaurant in Los Angeles, go on a fishing expedition from Marina Del Rey – and Maniscalco falls violently ill shortly after they leave. , apologizing to go to the bathroom and emerging the worst for the wear and tear. “I knew I was seasick and thought maybe it would be different,” he said. “It’s a bigger boat, a commercial boat, and in less than five minutes I was on the ground. I thought being a bigger boat I wouldn’t have so much trouble, but this thing was shaking. Everything was real. So it was good TV.

The trio catch several kinds of fish (including whitefish and sculpins) and, upon their return to the marina, Maniscalco learns how to properly gut and fillet a fish, not without a few hiccups (“I did a complete hack job “, he says on -camera). Then Cimarusti cooks the fish in his restaurant.

“One of my favorite shows is ‘Top Chef’ and I kind of watch cooking shows, whether it’s Giada [De Laurentiis] but these are more instructive,” Maniscalco said. “The reason I watch them, especially ‘Top Chef’, is to see who’s new and hot in the restaurant game. I don’t want to make this show very informative – I just want to give information and also entertain.

Maniscalco said there was a difference between doing stand-up and hosting a series, even if it included a comedic element.

“Stand-up is a lot of pressure because of the immediate response – if you’re not funny while doing stand-up, there’s going to be a problem,” he said. “Here, there is a different pressure, you know you have to be funny… but, for me, the television program was not limited to that. It was never forced. But this is a comedy cooking show and I was aware of that. A lot of the “talking to the camera” stuff was written jokes, so we knew we had that…I knew [the laughs] out of the situation I got myself into.

Sebastian Maniscalco does his stand-up on NBC "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."
Maniscalco doing his stand-up on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

The seven-episode series will feature, in future episodes, Maniscalco and comedian Russell Peters exploring the similarities between sushi and comedy; a “meat-centric” dinner with guests such as Bert Kreischer and Anjelah Johnson; and sandwich hunting with Rich Eisen, Fortune Feimster, Gillian Jacobs and Oscar Nunez. The premiere consists of three episodes, with one episode per week following each Thursday thereafter.

“You’re going to have a little smile on your face while you’re inquiring about a particular food or preparing a dish,” Maniscalco said. “People like to tune in and forget about their problems for 30 minutes, and it’s similar to what I do with stand-up comedy – get away from it all and have a little fun watching a cooking show and laughing at the same time.