The Taste – Premiere

the taste castI have been accused of never being wrong.  Or at least always thinking that I am never wrong.  Let me go ahead and bust that myth right now because I can tell you that I was wrong about a show.  ABC’s The Taste premiered tonight and despite making fun of the show back when I first heard about it, I can say that I was wrong, and I really enjoyed this show.

Based on The Voice, The Taste is a different kind of a cooking competition show.  In the premiere, the potential contestants were given 1 hour to cook a dish for the judges and give them one taste of their best dish.  The judges would then vote either yes or no on the taste they had to decide if the potential contestant would be on their team or not.  If all 4 judges vote no, the contestant goes home.  If any of the chefs vote yes, then the contestant goes on the chef’s team that voted for them or in the case of multiple yes votes, the contestant gets to decide which team they are on for the competition.

The judges in the competition are voting on contestant’s dishes trying to build their own team.  Each judge will have four cooks on their team that they will mentor through competitions each week.  The cooks will then compete in an elimination challenge where they again will just be preparing one taste for each of the judges.  The judges will again no know who has cooked each of their tastes and will be voting blind which could have the result of them voting out their own team members.

There are four judges The Taste, two you probably know, and two you probably don’t.

Anthony Bourdain

anthony bourdain the taste Anthony Bourdain is probably the most famous of the chefs on the panel.  He’s a guy I really don’t like but so far, at least on the premiere, I didn’t mind him.  He didn’t have that arrogant prick attitude that he normally has and he didn’t hate everything.  He was actually reasonable and friendly, even when not voting for someone to be on his team.  I don’t know how he is going to be once the competition starts, but tonight at least, I didn’t hate him.


Nigella Lawson

nigella lawson the tasteNigella Lawson is famous for two things.  Being British and being friends with Gordon Ramsay.  I suppose she cooks some on the side too and apparently likes to talk dirty about food.  To her credit, she didn’t fall in to the Paula Abdul role on the judges panel where she had to love everything and everyone.  She was honest with people and would tell them when they made something she didn’t like and wasn’t ever fake with them.


Ludo Lefebvre

ludo lefebvre the tasteLudo Lefebvre is a French chef that does pop-up restaurants in the Los Angeles area.  He has been a contestant on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America.  He is a classical French chef which takes years of training and practice to master.  I’m very curious to see how he handles the cooks that are on his team, most of whom either have no formal training at all or are not French trained.


Brian Malarkey

brian malarkey the tasteIf you watch Top Chef, you might remember Brian from Top Chef Miami where he made it to the semi-final episode.  Brian specializes in sea food and he seems to be the most friendly and open of all the chef judges.


I was wrong about The Taste when I read about it back in December.  I can admit my error.  This is a show I’m going to be watching because I want to see how it progresses.  I’m interested to see how each of the judges mentors their teams and I’m interested to see how the mix of professional chefs and home cooks works in the pressure cooker of a competition show.

This show is going in my DVR as a must watch.  If you are interested in watch The Taste, it airs on ABC on Tuesday nights at 7:00.  Set your DVR for The Taste.