Imagine your future depends on one pivotal moment: one spoonful of a dish you created. The success of that moment will be judged in the hands of four world renowned chefs who will test your creation without knowing what it is or who cooked it. Contestants on ABC’s new culinary showdown, “The Taste,” which premiered on Jan. 22, will go through this heart-stopping moment each week.
In the premiere, the initial pool of contestants first whipped up a dish they felt would impress the panel, then the judges evaluated just one bite to determine if they are worthy of joining their kitchen team. Each judge selects four chefs to coach for the remainder of the season, which includes weekly challenges and elimination battles. Think “Survivor” with the addition of ovens.
The celebrity judges tasked with moving contestants forward or eliminating them based upon blind taste tests are New Jersey’s own Anthony Bourdain, restaurateur Brian Malarkey, author and chef Ludo Lefebvre and British foodie Nigella Lawson. These personalities truly mesh and make for great television. From the first episode, it is evident that the celebrity panel is extremely opinionated and cutthroat when it comes to their food.
“The Taste” is definitely a new spin on the food-reality phenomenon that has taken over television. The first episode was surprisingly dramatic for a food show, as the back stories of all the contestants quickly emerged as the real focus. It was easy root for some of the untrained, amateur cooks who were creative yet humble, but just as easy to hate on a few professional chefs who didn’t seem to mind playing the role of the bad guy.
Overall, “The Taste” impressed with its first outing on ABC and should continue to please audiences. One word of advice to viewers; do not watch on an empty stomach.
Brett Montana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.