The Taste is a delectable reality show competition with sizzling banter and cutting edge rivalry between the players. The cooking reality show is aired on ABC during their winter lineup.
The competition begins with a large group of contestants joining in a blind audition where they must create a dish judged by the panel of four judges. Competitors come from all walks of life. Some are professional chefs. Others have various careers from homemakers to lawyers. Judges taste one spoonful of each dish. Just as in the weekly competition, during the blind audition, judges have no idea who the creator of each dish is when they taste it.
From the initial batch, 16 contests continue on in the reality show competition. Each week the chef contestants must create several sets of dishes. The four judges must then decide who the winner of the day is and who will go home. Every week, one contestant is sent home until the competitors are whittled down to the final three chefs. In the finale of each season, one winner is selected to be the top chef. The grand prize for winning The Taste is $100,000.
The main difference between this and other cooking shows, such as Top Chef, is the judging. On The Taste, judging is based only on the taste of the food, not the way it is presented on a plate. Season 1 aired on January 22, 2013. Season 2 began on January 2, 2014. Find out how much fun good food can be. Watch The Taste online and catch up on the past two seasons.
Judging Panel of The Taste
The two main judges on the panel are co-hosts Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson. Bourdain has several credits to his name. He has hosted several cooking series for television including The Mind of a Chef and the documentary series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Nigella Lawson is a relative newcomer to television. She has appeared on all of the episodes of the show and is, along with Bourdain, executive producer of the show. She has also had many guest appearances on other cooking shows such as The Chew and Top Chef.
While her television appearances may have been rare before starting on this show, London-born Nigella Lawson has a long career in journalism. She has written for many magazines, authored the restaurant column for The Spectator and been involved with several food columns in British Vogue and The New York Times. She has eight books to her credit, several focusing on food creation. Nigella Lawson’s Living Kitchen is a line of cookware she developed, and she has released several food and cooking related apps for the iPad and iPhone.
Along with Bourdain and Lawson, two additional judges make up the team that determines who the winner of the night will be. Marcus Samuelsson and Ludo Lefebvre have judged the show the most with the two main judges over the course of the last two seasons.
Lefebvre is known on the show for his brusque attitude. Before beginning as a judge on The Taste, he created LudoBites, a guerilla type of restaurant event where he simply appears in public areas and begins cooking. He is author of LudoBites: Recipes and Stores from Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre.
Samuelsson is author of bestselling book Yes, Chef. He is an award-winning restaurateur and chef with several eateries to his credit.
Another exciting aspect of The Taste is the guest judge each week. A new guest appears to judge the first round of the week and then mentor the winning team for the final elimination taste of the night.
The judging each week also includes special awards to those chefs who completed the best and the worst dishes. Each judge is allowed to award gold stars to the favorite foods of the night, and red stars to those that they thought were the worst foods of the night. While the best and worst are likely to not have much crossover, getting a star is not an automatic win or elimination because all four judges award the stars and their opinions may vary. The actual winner of the night and eventual elimination is decided by majority vote of the four main judges.
Season 1 Winner
The three finalists of season 1 were Khristianne Uy, Diane Dimeo, and Sarah Schiear. The winner was Khristianne. Her winning audition taste was duck fat-seared scallops with orange glaze served with corn relish. She spent a percentage of her winnings on several youth and LGBT charities and the rest on a new catering business for herself.
Other contests on Season 1 of The Taste were Ninamarie Bojekian, Uno Immanivong, Mia Morgenstern, Renatta Lindsey, Huda Mu’min, Lauren Scott, Erika Monroe Williams, Paul Caravelli, Shawn Davis, Gregg Drusinsky, Adam Pechal, Jeff Mahin and Micha Kasman.
Season 2 Winner
Season 2 came down to Louise Leonard, Lee Knoeppel and Marina Chung. The challenge was to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. Louise Leonard won the grand prize with fried quail egg, fried oyster po’boy sandwich and finally steak with mushrooms and a red wine sauce.
Other contestants on Season 2 included Shelli Kitchen, Dana Micek, Brad, Audrey Johns, Don Pullum, Shehu Fitzgerald, Reina Bazzi, Crystal, Jay Qualls, Jacquelyn, Jeff Kawakami and Cassandra Bodzak.
Watch The Taste online and catch up on the delicious dishes and fun excitement of the show.