Snack versus Chef, Netflix’s next food competition, will pit 12 chefs against one other to reproduce and reimagine popular snacks. Whether it’s making creative dishes or reproducing familiar treats, the chef who comes out on top will get a $50,000 grand prize. The forthcoming episode will be hosted by comedians Megan Stalter and Hari Kondabolu. Stalter is an American comedian who was named the New York Times “sketch comedy’s newest star” in 2020.
Stalter’s co-host, Hari Kondabolu, is a 35-year-old Indian-American comedian, writer, and podcaster who has built a reputation for himself by drawing attention to political concerns in the United States. Snack versus Chef, which will premiere on Netflix on November 30, 2022, will be hosted by Kondabolu and Stalter. The official summary for the film is as follows:
“This new culinary tournament, hosted by comedians Megan Stalter and Hari Kondabolu, pits 12 cooks against one other in the ultimate snack battle.” They will be challenged not just to duplicate some of the world’s most famous snacks, but also to design their own unique treats inspired by renowned classics. Only one will win the $50,000 grand prize.”
Meet Hari Kondabolu, the political comedian who will be hosting Snack versus Chef.
The presenter of Snack vs Chef was born to Telugu parents and has a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Politics from Bowdoin College. In 2008, he received a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the London School of Economics. Kondabolu considers the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival in Seattle to be his “big break.” As a booker for HBO’s Comedy Event in 2006, he worked for the festival. Since then, he has performed as a stand-up comedian on various television programs, including Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2007, Conan in 2012, The Late Show with David Letterman in 2014, and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show in 2010 and 2012. He also had his own special on a Comedy Central Presents show in 2011.
The New York Times praised Kondabolu’s 2018 Netflix special, Warn Your Relatives, calling it “incisively hilarious” and “formally experimental.” The presentation examines the comedian’s resistance to compromising his ideas and views. In it, the Snack versus Chef host discussed his culture and ancestry, as well as concerns such as racial profiling, terrorism, and mass killings in the United States. The concert was taped in front of an audience of 800 people and was named to various magazines’ “Best” lists, including Time, Paste Magazine, Cosmopolitan, E! Online, and Mashable.
His 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu, criticized The Simpsons for its negative portrayal of South Asians. Various South Asian artists, including Kal Penn, Aziz Ansari, and Aasif Mandvi, spoke out against the lack of representation in the business in the documentary. As a consequence of the documentary, Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu, agreed to stand down from the role in order for it to be more inclusive. Hari also appears in the podcast The Untitled Kondabulu Brothers, which also features his younger brother Ashok. Along with W. Kamau Bell, he co-hosted Politically Reactive.
So far, the Snack versus Chef presenter has published two comedy albums with indie rock label Rock Stars: Waiting for 2042 and Mainstream American Comic.
The New York Times called him “one of the most fascinating political comedians in stand-up today.” Despite his reputation as a political comedian, Kondabolu argues that his jokes are not politically motivated and that he has “always despised being branded political because it removes the stuff that I’m talking about from daily things.”
Hari will now co-host Snack vs Chef with fellow comedian Megan Stalter, who is originally from Ohio. Watch what happens when the culinary competition airs on Netflix on Wednesday, November 30.