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LI-raised comedian-actor Dan Ahdoot hosts new Food Network show 'Raid the Fridge'

Dan Ahdoot, host of Food Network's "Raid the

Dan Ahdoot, host of Food Network's "Raid the Fridge," on the set of the new show. Credit: Food Network/Emilee Ramsier

Actor, stand-up comic and podcaster Dan Ahdoot, raised in Great Neck Estates, hosts Food Network's new comedic competition "Raid the Fridge," premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m.

"I've always been a big foodie and I started this food podcast, 'Green Eggs and Dan,' that melds comedy and food, and that really took off," he says by phone from Cancún, Mexico, joking, "I'm giving valuable beach time to you. So this better be the best interview ever!" Part-owner of the Manhattan restaurant Estella, Ahdoot, 43, says he "always had fingers in both the food and comedy worlds, and 'Raid the Fridge' is my chance to finally combine them."

In each episode, four professional chefs must each choose a refrigerator whose contents have been reproduced from those of an actual family's fridge from around the country. The chefs' only clues to the contents are the magnets, notes and other paraphernalia on the fridge door. Food Network personalities Jordan Andino and Jamika Pessoa judge the dishes the chefs whip up in three rounds using only the ingredients within.

On his podcast, Ahdoot interviews celebrities and others about "what's inside their fridge, so the 'Raid the Fridge' people thought, ‘Oh, this could be a cool match.’ " The initial idea was having him host "a serious competition, like the ones they have already. And I'm always watching those shows and thinking, ‘Why are they taking it so seriously? Guys, you're not curing cancer, you're curing salmon.’ "

The son of wholesale Persian rug dealer Maurice Ahdoot and antique-jewelry retailer Rachel Ahdoot, Dan Ahdoot was born in New York City and raised in Great Neck Estates. "Great Neck is split into, like, five sub-Great Necks and that's one of them," he explains. "It sounds a lot fancier than it actually is."

His Jewish parents "are immigrants from Iran who escaped a theocracy to come here for a better life," he says. He attended Great Neck South High School, where he discovered improv, followed by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, to study medicine. There, he joined the university's sketch-comedy club.

However, he added, "all the sketches I wanted to do were super messed-up and edgy and probably not that funny, and no one wanted to do them. So I ended up getting into stand-up because I wouldn't have to answer to anyone." He graduated and was accepted to medical school, he says, but with medicine, "you should be studying 24/7 — which is part of the reason you're interviewing me now as a comedian, rather than the hot-shot cardiologist at North Shore."

His career has included regular roles on the TV series "Cobra Kai," starring Huntington's Ralph Macchio, and "The Crew," starring Mineola-born and Stony Brook-raised Kevin James. And none of that, he says, gets him a Friday-night reservation at his favorite restaurant, Roslyn's Bryant & Cooper.

"If I could somehow get a table with me, Ralph and Kevin, that would be, like, the Long Island version of 'Bridgerton,' with all the royalty at that table," he jokes, adding, "They could get me in for sure!"

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