The Taste Season One – Episode One What Did You Think?
The long awaited viewing of The Taste kicked off on GEM with a five minute introduction on how it would work. In brief it would be blind tastings and the judges would base their team selection on taste alone. Also the contestants were both amateur and professional chefs. The professional chefs appear to be ones that are not good enough to be on Top Chef but not bad enough to go on Hell’s Kitchen.
Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson who are well known here in Australia played up to their stereotypes. Bourdain was the bad arse and Nigella was coquettish with an edge. Brian Malarkey looks like the US version of Bill Grainger and Ludo is a charming french chef who seems to have a competitive thing going with Malarkey.
Like The Voice the judges were always more effusive when a good looking person was revealed.
The first contestant was allegedly a professional chef from Las Vegas, however the only wow factor was the mass of ingredients which he managed to fit on on small ceramic spoon. It was a pineapple, maitake, ground turkey, sun-dried tomato, mac and cheese stir fry. Needless to say he did not get in. Bourdain said it was geninely revolting. Brian Malarky said it was a rollercoaster to nowhere and Nigella said she did not get it.
What I did not get was why the girls who was serving the food were wearing a very tight and very short dress. It looked like a uniform that you would see at Hooters if it ever went upmarket.
Sarah a food blogger from Florida made seared scallops with a peach habanero salsa. Apparently the scallop was cooked perfectly. Brian Malarkey decided he wanted her on his team as did Ludo Lebreve. Both of them seemed please she was such a looker and they then had to pitch to her why she should be on their team. She chose Ludo.
Kyle a professional chef made Chicken Fried Watermlon with pickeled watermelon rind. They through they had made a terrible mistake but none of them pressed the button. He was pissed off that none of them got his dish.
Khristianne was a personal chef to Charlie Sheen and also to the royal family in Saudi Arabia. She made Seared Scallops with Cream Corn and Corinader Chili Oil. Bourdain thought it tasted like restaurant food however he did not press to have her on his team. He seemed to be taking the cautious approach when choosing his team. Brian Malarkey was not hesitating and took her.
Jeanette from New Jersey made Jalapeno kugel with mushroom sauce. She was an amateur chef with a back story about their business going bust and they were about to lose their home. However she was not going to win the $100,000 prize as none of the judges picked her as they did not like the twist she had put on traditional jewish food.
Todd who is the hottest chef in Miami made seared tuna with ginger sweet potato puree. None of them picked him and they told him they had regretted not picking him. Nigella said “he was the one she needs”. Maybe she thought he was hot.
Renata is a home cook who made Chicken and Mashed Potato with cabbage, carrots and sauce. Nigella picked her she told the other judges her grandmother would have made something like that. Ludo told her his grandmother could cook better then that.
Markus was another professional chef with some crazy food combinations first there was a lamb medallion with crab and cranberry ravioli. Of course no one wanted him on the team.
One professional chef had the shits that she did not get through and that a person who had cooked mashed potatoes did.
Mia went to Harvard but is also a Yoga Instructor. I am just going to presume she is also working somewhere else. She made Indian Spiced Lamb. No one wanted her except Bourdain who told her he had wanted more of her dish.
It is not the best cooking competition show on television but it is entertaining enough in the sleepy non-ratings season and does give the viewer an insight into American cooking. NINE have the rights to make an Australian version of the show, however a local version is very unlikely to occur!
What did you think?
The Taste on GEM Sunday nights at 6.30pm.