The Taste is a TV show which hit the UK in January of 2014 after the show was well received in the US. Although only one season aired in the UK, it brought fantastic personalities, intense moments and tasty recipe ideas into our homes. Here are six reasons it needs to make a comeback:
1) A Novel Concept
The Taste follows a similar premise to the hit talent show The Voice. In the auditions of The Voice, the judges are facing away from the singers and turn around in their chairs if they want the singer to be on their team. In the first episode of The Taste, judges are presented with a spoonful of food (without seeing who cooked it), and they then decide who they want in their kitchen from this alone. Each of the three judges has a kitchen and four chosen contestants to compete for their honour (yep, honour - there is no prize money or job contract).
The following episodes consist of two challenges. The first has every contestant prepare a spoon for the guest judge who creates a challenge relating to the week’s theme. The mentor from each kitchen then chooses one of their team’s spoons to present to the guest judge, who chooses their favourite, which then grants that contestant immunity from the elimination round. All the cooks must then prepare a dish that fits in with the week’s theme to present to the three main judges. The judges do another blind taste test, and choose the best dish of the week as well as the worst three. Of the bottom three, the judges must decide who to send home. As Ludo says, “It’s all about the taste”.
2) The hilarious diva and award-winning chef, Ludo Lefebvre
Ludo is a classically trained French chef who runs two prestigious restaurants in Los Angeles. He provides the show with industry expertise but more importantly, cartoonish comic relief. He scowls and stomps around his kitchen, screaming “LA VACHE!” any time one of his candidates makes the slightest of mishaps, particularly café manager Debbie Halls-Evans. His groans and facial expressions are possibly the best part of the show, especially when he sees someone on his team in the bottom three.
3) The style and composure of food-writing Icon, Anthony Bourdain
Whilst Ludo is hot and bothered, Anthony is relaxed and cool; one time even cracking a beer and laughing at one of Ludo’s hissy fits. The two have been friends for many years and play well off each other. They even have matching spoon tattoos in honour of the show. Chef and food writer Anthony Bourdain is often touted as one of the most influential chefs in the world. He has had a pretty crazy life, from heavy drug usage in the ‘80s, to being a chef at some of the world's most renowned restaurants, to travelling the world making documentaries on food and culture. In his ongoing series Parts Unknown, he ate ‘Bun Cha’ in Hanoi,with former president Barack Obama.
4) The motherly yet out-of-her-depth, Nigella Lawson
All eyes were on Nigella in this series, as it was filmed around the time of her controversial divorce fiasco with art collector Charles Saatchi. Nonetheless, she was as strong and caring as ever on camera, especially to science teacher Kalpna Mistry from her team. Everyone loves Nigella, but Ludo and Anthony certainly seem to have more food knowledge than her and this is exposed as they taste the dishes. Ludo even claims in one episode to have “a more refined palate”. Let’s not be too hard on her though, she’s a national treasure for a reason and is always great on camera.
5) The quirky guest chefs and the challenges they bring
Guest chefs are not uncommon in cookery programmes. The twist in The Taste is that each week’s guest chef brings a special challenge associated with their skill set and/or career. Who can forget the leftover challenge from Simon Rogan? Or Michael Caines’ comfort food challenge?
6) Other cooking shows are stale
How many iterations of Masterchef have there been? I don’t know but it’s been going on for 23 years now. The main distinguishing factor between presenters Gregg Wallace and John Torode is that one of them likes pudding and the other one doesn’t. And they never stop going on about it! Ready Steady Cook ceased production in 2010, but of course the only real appeal of this was Ainsley Harriott. Come Dine With Me can be entertaining, but again it’s been done to death and there is no real skill involved. The Taste will fill the void.