Viewers finally got a taste of "The Taste" when judges Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, Anthony Bourdain and Brian Malarkey joined their teams in the kitchen. It was definitely more action-packed than the initial auditions but there were some fundamental ingredients still lacking.
For one, the show's format is confusing. To start, each team member makes a spoonful. The teams then decide on one spoonful to represent the team to be sent to a guest judge. On Tuesday's episode, the theme was comfort food and the guest judge was Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York. Hamilton then chose one spoon as the best, giving the person that made that spoonful immunity for the solo blind tasting challenge. You still with me? Then each chef makes one spoonful and Lawson, Lefebvre, Bourdain and Malarkey pick their favorite and worst spoonfuls and send two chefs home.
It was fun to see the judges in the kitchen, interacting with their teams. Lefebvre took more of a dictator approach, yelling and hovering over his team; Malarkey, who thankfully ditched his picnic plaid for a blazer, was more of an opinionated bystander in his kitchen; Lawson was like a loving mentor; and Bourdain a calm but stern instructor. It was a little too fast-paced and hectic to really get a sense of anyone's cooking but at least it wasn't boring.
Administrative assistant Lauren Scott from Lawson's team won immunity with her chicken soup for the first tasting. For the solo challenge, the chefs stood by on a platform watching as each judge tasted and commented on their food. Here's the fundamental problem with the show. Yes it's a blind tasting, but only sort of. The judges pick their favorite and least favorite bites of food, then the chefs that made those bites are revealed. Only after the chefs are revealed do the judges make their decisions of who goes home. So it's not really a blind decision...
In the end, Micah Kasman and his bland Israeli chicken from team Malarkey and Renatta Lindsey and her apple crumble from team Nigella were sent home.
Best, worst moments:
Every moment with Diane DiMeo. She earned herself the nickname Cruella. She renames her group "Team Diane," tries to pick a fight with her own teammate, insults everyone else's food and goes as far as flipping off Malarkey when he says he doesn't like her spoonful. Definitely crazy, but this woman can cook.
Bourdain being, well, classic Bourdain after tasting West Hollywood resident Khristianne Uy's uni soup. "It made me want to order an expensive bottle of wine and crash a Ferrari." Now that's the Bourdain I have a crush on.
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