ABC’s “The Taste” Series Premier: Hit or Flop?

ABC’s “The Taste” Series Premier: Hit or Flop?

LUDOVIC LEFEBVRE, NIGELLA LAWSON, BRIAN MALARKEY, ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CHRISTINA ROSSI’m not sure how I’m feeling about ABC’s “The Taste,” I feel like it’s a “The Voice” wannabe.  I felt like they were letting some incredible chefs slip through their fingers, why rave about someone’s food and technique, then not select them for your team? I hated that they sat there and bemoaned the fact they allowed a great chef to get away. 

Are they playing the audience by not selecting these chefs, are they then going to bring them back because not enough were selected to fill a team of four?  Remember, we saw this on “The Voice.”  I’m think we’re going to see a few of the eliminated chefs return, Anthony and Ludo both have one open slot on their team, Brain has two and Nigella hasn’t selected one chef despite the fact that she couldn’t get enough of Lauren’s Flourless Chocolate Cake and Renatta’s Dijon Chicken with Mashed Potatoes.

The whole show just screams rip-off, in fact I must admit I had a very hard time sitting through the initial two-hour premiere!  What did you think, let us know by sounding off in the comments.

Take a look at who made it on a team:

Anthony: Ludo:
Diane’s Pan Seared Lamb Chop Paul’s Pecan Crusted Sea Bass
Ninamarie’s Chilean Sea Bass Sarah’s Seared Scallops with Peach Habanero Salsa
Mia’s Lamb with Indian Spices Shawn’s Five Spice Tuna
Open Spot Open Spot
Nigella: Brian:
Open Spot Micah’s Moroccan Scented Filet Mignon
Open Spot Kristianne’s Seared Scallops with Corn Puree
Open Spot  
Open Spot  

Judge Bios:

Dorco USA

Anthony BourdainRenowned chef, Anthony Bourdain is acclaimed for his New York Times best seller, Kitchen Confidential (2000). The impetus for this book was his earlier piece in the New Yorker, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”(1999), which revealed the inner workings of New York City restaurants. His other works of literature include fictional crime novels, Bone in the Throat (1995) and Gone Bamboo (1997), and more recently, Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking. In addition to his extensive literary career, Bourdain also hosts the Emmy Award winning Travel Channel series, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and previously appeared as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Born in New York City in 1956, Bourdain graduated from Vassar College. His passion for cooking was kindled in France, and has continued to grow while traveling abroad for his television series, unearthing the unique food of various regions. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978, Bourdain held a number of prestigious positions at Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue, and Sullivan’s, culminating in his current position as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. In addition, Bourdain is the recipient of countless awards and honors, including Emmy nominations for his television series, Food Writer of the Year by Bon Appétit, and he has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. 

Brian-MalarkeyBrian Malarkey’s flair in the culinary spotlight began in 2007 when he advanced to the finale of Bravo’s Top Chef Miami. Raised on a ranch in Bend, Oregon, Malarkey was influenced by the fresh seafood and produce of the Oregon countryside. His grandmother’s cooking also served as constant source of inspiration, and as a result, Malarkey enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon. Following his graduation in 1994, he worked with renowned Chef Michael Richard at Citrus in Los Angeles. After ascending the ladder in Chef Richard’s kitchen, Malarkey traveled abroad to Europe and Northern Africa, discovering the significance of food in various cultures. Upon his return to the United States, Malarkey accepted the position of Sous Chef at The Oceanaire’s Seafood Room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, later opening the restaurant’s branch in San Diego, California.

In the last two years, Malarkey opened five restaurants in San Diego, including Searsucker, Burlap, Gabrdine, Gingham and Herringbone. Alongside partner, James Brennan, Malarkey hopes to open a total of fifteen restaurants as part of their Fabric of Social Dining venture, which capitalizes on the dinner party experience. In addition to his career as a restaurateur, Malarkey is also the author of the cookbook, Come Early: Stay, Late, and has appeared on numerous television programs on TLC, Travel Channel, Bravo, and Own.

Nigella-LawsonNigella Lawson’s versatility is evident from her collection of best-selling books, hit television shows, and innovative apps for iPad and iPhone. Lawson’s literary introduction began at The Sunday Times, where she held the position of Deputy Literary Editor. Soon after, Lawson became a freelance journalist, writing for a number of magazines and newspapers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, including the Evening Standard, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer, Times Magazine, Gourmet, and Bon Appétit. In addition, she frequently wrote a restaurant column in The Spectator and food columns in British Vogue and The New York Times. 

In total, Lawson has written eight books, including Nigella Express, Feast, Nigella Bites, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, Forever Summer, Nigellissima, and Nigella Christmas. Her newest book, Nigella Kitchen, shares the name of her hit television series on Food Network. Lawson continued to expand her culinary breadth across multiple mediums. She entered the digital marketplace by releasing a collection of apps for the iPad and iPhone, which include a number of recipes to simplify dinnertime and instill confidence while cooking. Lawson also has a line of cookware called Nigella Lawson’s Living Kitchen.

Born in London in 1960 to one of the most renowned politicians in Margaret Thatcher’s government, Nigel Lawson, Nigella graduated from Oxford University, where she went on to receive her masters in Medieval and Modern Languages. Currently, she resides in London with her husband, Charles Saatchi, and her children, Cosima and Bruno, from a previous marriage.

Ludo-LefebvreLudovic Lefebvre is the creator of LudoBites, a guerilla style “pop-up” restaurant event occurring annually in Los Angeles, California. Lefebvre details his experiences with the original event in his book, LudoBites: Recipes and Stories from Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre, by showcasing seven occurrences. His first cookbook, Crave, was released in 2005.

Lefebvre’s unique style in the kitchen is an amalgamation of simplicity and creativity. Lefebvre discovered his culinary identity while undergoing his training in France. Lefebvre spent thirteen years in the top restaurants in France, including Restaurant L’Esperance, Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, Arpege, and Le Grande Vefour. From there, Lefebvre ventured to Los Angeles, California, and made a name for himself by working at L’Orangerie, and where he became promoted to head chef. 

Only in his thirties, Lefebvre’s success is astounding. Recognized as one of the world’s 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateaux, he was also a nominee for the James Beard Foundation Rising Chef Award in 2001. In addition to his impressive resume, Lefebvre also appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and The Today Show. USA, LLC