A Flavorless Taste

First of all, I had no idea that this was a 2 HOUR premiere. 

2 HOURS!!

You know what can happen in 2 hours? John McClane flew to LA, killed all the terrorists, blew up Nakatomi Tower AND made up with his wife. Yippie kay yay.

Meanwhile, the four judges on THIS show are still shoveling massive spoonfuls of food into their mouths.

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Let’s eat!

The length of the show aside, The Taste was repetitive AND schizophrenic.

For a show that’s ALL about the Taste, we didn’t get to see a lot of cooking. Instead in true reality show fashion, we get backstory after backstory of contestants, and some of them never even make it onto the show! 

For example. There’s a whole segment on a guy who literally works at a shi*t hole (sewage facility.) And all day he thinks about coming home and cooking for his family. If he wins this then he can quit his job and maybe become a chef! 

Nope. Dude serves up some chicken with mole’ that looks like he brought it back from work. Cya. Thanks for coming out. Back to the sh*t hole you go.

 Did we really need to invest that time and emotion for that guy? No. 

It would have been a much more interesting show if they actually focused on the food and the cooking. Instead of the backstory on the Jewish grandmother who’s facing foreclosure but literally can’t cook to save her house, how about giving us the backstory on the ingredients? For all of the hype about “farm to table,” maybe you tell us where the fish came from, or what farmer grew those beets, or how difficult it is to raise lambs — give us the emotion behind the ingredients – so when the cooks butcher a dish we feel the pain of great food being wasted?

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Still eating.

This episode of “The Taste” was just the “audition” phase. So what we got was 2 hours of spoons after spoons, interspersed with sometimes meaningless backstories of people who we, after a while, weren’t sure if we should care about because they might not make the damn show!

In the hopes that this show becomes what it could be, I shall continue. Here are the four judges. Three of which have my utmost respect.

Anthony Bourdain. If you don’t know who he is then I’m not sure why you’re here. It’s curious to see how he’ll do on prime time network television. I imagine a lot of bleeping will be involved. The other thing is with a show like this, will he still be able to keep his street cred?

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The guy on the right? Yeah I don’t know who he is either.

Nigella Lawson. “Domestic Goddess.” She “sensualized” food and cooking before Giada even knew what “food porn” meant. She’s here to represent the amateur home cooks and to be the nice big sister figure.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre. Classically trained chef. As French as they come. Definitely the most talented and technically sound person in the room. He revolutionized the art of the Pop Up Resto phenomenon. He’s here for the professionals. Having come up through old school French kitchens, he’s probably gonna swear a lot.

Brian Malarkey. Brian was a former Top Chef contestant who famously, according to Eric Ripert, committed a “crime against food” when he served up two kinds of cheese to pair with his steak. Being based in San Diego, his speciality is seafood. Hm. Curtis Stone must busy or something? (Actually, he IS probably busy filming the next Top Chef Masters.) Yeah I don’t know why Brian is here. I don’t think Ludo knows either.

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Stone. Curtis Stone.

The basic premise: Amateurs and professional cooks have one hour to produce their perfect spoon full of food for the judges. From that spoonful, the 4 judges will “draft” a team of 4 cooks. From there, the 4 judges becomes mentors to their team, and teams battle it out through different challenges. In the end the sole winner takes home $100,000 and a little car.

The catch here is, the judges will never see who’s cooking what. So there will be no discrimination, preconceived expectation, hell they don’t even get a description of the dish. Thus each “spoon” will only be judges by…you got it, its “Taste.”

Clever huh? Too bad the idea isn’t so original. 

A lot of people out there are trying to describe this show as a food version of “The Voice.”

For those of us not familiar with “The Voice?” Tough luck. I had to Google the damn thing myself to find out what the deal was.

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Doesn’t matter that you’re cute. It’s all about the food…sort of.

Alright. So four judges/mentors, four teams, each week team members jump through hoops and have different challenges cooking up a spoon full of food. The four judges will taste the food without knowing who cooked what and eliminate people. So conceivably the judges can end up eliminating someone from their own team. In the end, there can be only 1. They drive home in their new car, a hundred grand richer, and the mentor gets bragging rights.

Savvy? 

 I’m hoping that after the audition phase is over we get a better sense of what The Taste is really about. I’m hoping that we get to learn something from these 4 mentors about food. I’m hoping there’s more to the show then watching Ludo make fun of Malarkey and listening to Nigella say, “Come play with me in my kitchen.”

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I’m gonna need more than this to keep watching the show…

Given that this was part 1 of the “audition.” I’m afraid we might be in more of the same next week. I’ll tell you one thing though. I’m not sitting through 1 let alone 2 more hours of that. Let me know when they get down to actual cooking.

Now let me turn on Top Chef and wash this bland “Taste” outta my mouth.

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