“If the audience can walk away and go back to their fridge and say, ‘Hey, I’m not going to throw this away, I’m actually going to make something amazing out of it,’ then we did our job,” says So.
The show arrives during a time when viewers have had to adjust to ordering takeout during the pandemic and at the end of holiday feasts.
“The timing couldn’t be more perfect,” says the show’s host, actress-musician Jackie Tohn, who starred in the TV series “GLOW” and is a self-described “leftover queen.”
“We can’t go to restaurants and all we can do is order in. And then if you get that Chinese food and you don’t want it to be Chinese food on night two, we’re giving you a bunch of tips and tricks to make that possible.”
Tohn and So are joined by the second judge, British chef and TV personality Rosemary Shrager. The three have a slightly absurdist vibe, tossing cheeseballs into each others’ mouths while contestants cook, or imitating Julia Child’s high-pitched modulations.
“Being on set wasn’t like work. It was just like talking to your friends and eating really good food around talented people,” So says. “I mean, everybody would love a job like that, right?”
The show appealed to both So and Tohn since they grew up in households where there was little food wasted. Tohn’s grandmother used to keep bones for marrow: “Nothing ever got thrown away. I mean, we ate leftovers until the very end.” And So had leftovers all week.