Jade Catta-Preta Says To Expect 'Debauchery' From New Cooking Show Hotties On Hulu - Exclusive Interview

If you've watched "The Soup" on E! Network, or shows like "Girl Code" or "Punk'D" on MTV, you likely recognize Brazilian-born comic and actress Jade Catta-Preta. While she has been a guest judge on Netflix's "Cooking with Cannabis," her latest reality TV culinary endeavor takes things to an entirely new level — a much hotter level, one might say.

Catta-Preta is the host of the new cooking competition-meets-dating show, "Hotties" on Hulu. The concept is simple yet ingenious and not really something that's been seen before. The 30-minute episodes bring together four singles who are paired off into couples, who are then forced to cook a meal in desert-set food trucks, during which they'll also have to choke down super-spicy foods in order to keep cooking. 

At the end of each episode, Catta-Preta judges each couple based on their resulting dish, as well as their one-on-one chemistry, and proclaims a winner. The winning couple receives $2,500 that the contestants can either use for a second (less stressful) date or they can split the money and promise never to speak again.

In an exclusive Mashed interview, we spoke to Catta-Preta about what else viewers can expect when the show debuts on Hulu, Aug. 16.

Not Your Average First Date

First of all, can you tell me what our readers at Mashed can expect from "Hotties"?

Debauchery! It is a hybrid dating-cooking competition show and, throughout that time, we are giving these contestants heat challenges, and they have to complete these heat challenges in order to keep cooking. If they win, they win a second date that's $2,500 or they could take the money and walk away. It's pretty funny. You've got to hang on and see what happens at the end, because it shocked me, even, I have to say, and I'm not easily shocked.

The show mixes the idea of a culinary competition with the dating aspect, and I don't think I've really ever seen that before. Why do you think that's such a good combo?

When you're on a first date, there [are] those first date things that you do, and you don't really want people to see the real you just yet, and we thought there was another great way to strip them of their inhibitions — making them cook together [and] seeing how well they work together, as well, trying to get them to do stuff, so that they can really be themselves, and not be robotic, as we often are on first dates.

What is the filming process like? Is it just as chaotic, and sometimes torturous, as it seems on the show?

[It's] torturous for them. I was in a very chilled, cooled, air-conditioned trailer laughing the entire time, but yes, it was very chaotic. We never knew what was going to happen. Some people were not even phased by the heat challenges, and then some people would smell something and freak out, so it's fun to see how it affects different people. We shot all of it, almost, in a week and a half, so it was chaos.

What's been your favorite part of filming?

Meeting the people is so exciting, to see who's up to put themselves out there, and then seeing their chemistry, and seeing what happens when you put two people together that we think are going to be really a match, but then seeing them butt heads or really get along. I'm fascinated by reality TV. People think it's lowbrow, but I am really fascinated by the psychology of what happens to people when they're under pressure and in front of a camera, and then you add the date aspect as well, and the potential love interest in there, and it really makes people go wild.

What Makes a Winner (and a Loser)?

For the people who ended up winning, are there any traits, or tactics, or similarities, that you've noticed? What makes them stand apart and then win?

The people that win are the people that have the best chemistry or the people that worked the best together, the people that really put themselves in it. You know when you watch those dating shows and feel like people are not really doing it? It takes all the fun out of it, so it's the people who really put their whole soul and stomachs and [bodily openings] through the whole process.

Are there any best or worst ways you've seen people deal with the heat challenges?

It's funny, because everybody thinks that water helps, when it's the worst thing. The [capsaicin] that is released by the hot stuff spreads in your mouth even more when you drink water, so that's funny. A lot of people ended up chugging ranch, and that helped. It's gross, but anything [with a] white texture helps. We had a lot of random stuff in [the food trucks]. We had blue cheese. That's never fun to chug. There was half-and-half.

It's funny to see [contestants'] reactions. At one point, they're putting anything they can find in their mouths to make the burning go away. It's funny what happens to people when they're like that. Bread is probably the best, I hear.

Then I saw some people tried honey, too. How well did that work?

It was sexual and it was fun to watch people feeding each other honey, but I'm not really sure that any of it helped. After a certain point, you have to let it pass through you unfortunately, and then get ready for the pain that you're going to experience.

For the couples who lost, were there any traits or themes you've seen among the losers?

They get desperate towards the end, when they feel that they're losing. They'll kiss or they'll try to do something to make it seem like the date has gone better than it actually has. That's people's main tactic — getting physical at the end.

After watching all of these different couples cook together, have you come away with any tips, or ideas, that you'd give to people who want to cook together on a first date?

Communicate. If you're somebody who takes the lead usually, see what happens when you let the other person take the lead. Try to offset the traits that you're really used to in yourself. Listen, share stuff about yourself, find things that you have in common, touch. It's good to touch and taste things together. Use all your senses on the date. That can make it more exciting than sitting there and talking about your favorite places to travel. If I have to sit and listen to that again... That's mostly where people go: "So, where have you traveled to?"

A Summer-Hot Binge

How do you personally feel about spicy food?

When I was going through the casting process, I kept being like, "But you guys know I'm a p**** when it comes to spicy stuff."

They were like, "Okay." I'm Brazilian, born and raised, and people are always like, "Brazilians love spicy." I'm like, "That's a complete misconception."

I love it in theory. My body does not. I'm like an old Jewish woman when it comes to anything spicy. I have heartburn if I even look at it. I had to take very small bites when I was tasting the stuff [on the show].

Is there anything that sticks out in your memory as the spiciest thing you've ever eaten?

I had a Thai pepper once ... a little red pepper. I didn't mean to eat it, and I ate it and for like a week, it was rough. That's how long it takes my body to clear it.

I know you said you usually eat relatively small portions of the food that people cook, and sometimes people's food — it turns out looking like what you wanted it, or not really — but is there anything that you were like, "Oh this is actually really good"? Was there a best thing you ate during filming?

A couple of people did really well, because we tried to find people that were home chefs, people that were comfortable cooking at home. A lot of the women, actually, on the show were pretty good. There was a stuffed pepper that I tried that was really good. Somebody did a chicken that was pretty good, but I was always scared of the poultry, because I'm like, "Are you guys actually cooking this or were you just talking?"

I wouldn't say the food was the highlight at the end. What was more enjoyable for me was seeing people bond over the process.

Was there anything I didn't ask about that you wanted to mention?

I'm excited for people to watch the show. The world's really dark right now, and we could all use a nice little summer binge.

I also have a special coming out on YouTube, which is very exciting. It's called "Jaded." It's going to be coming out at Helium Comedy Studios, on their YouTube page. They're releasing 12 comedy specials, [with] great comics on the lineup — Alonzo Bodden, some really cool people — so I'm very, very proud to be a part of that. It's taken me 14 years to get this special together, so hopefully, people watch the show, and they see me and want a little more poop jokes, so they go to my special.

All 10 episodes of Season 1 of "Hotties" will be available for streaming on Hulu on Aug. 16.

This interview has been edited for clarity.