ABC’s ‘The Taste’ – A first look

TASTE JudgesA cooking competition again! Well, the world’s had enough of them. However, The Taste that airs on ABC turns out to be a lot different. The difference starts right with the audition. Unlike the usual competitions, the judges were given only a spoonful of the food that the contestants had cooked. Judging based on just a spoonful does drive one crazy. Brian Malarkey, one of the judges said “They ask you to be a judge and you think sure, that’s easy. You figure you’ll just put your feet up and say whether you like something. Man, was I wrong.” The foursome struggled a lot in determining whether the contestants leave or stay. The ones that stay can choose a mentor from the judges panel and each team will consist of four members.

There will be both professional and home cooks on the team and so mentoring them isn’t as easy as it sounds. The non-professional cooks have to be trained more, while the professional cooks should be taught in a different way. A contest will be held each week at the end of which the dishes prepared by the contestants will be tasted by the judges (Again just a spoonful). The judges will have to vote down for the worst dish they tasted and the contestant will be sent home. There’s no one on the judges panel like Ramsay who gets really fierce when he sees someone underperforming. However, the judges are doing quite well and are mentoring the contestants in a gentle manner. The debut episode has left the viewers with high expectations due to the completely new voting methodology.

There must be more fun in the future episodes apart from the spoonful tasting (testing, to be appropriate). Renee, a culinary school instructor, left her job to try her luck in the contest and bitterly lost it. However, she was offered a job in the cooking industry, much to her relief. Ludo asked for the recipe of the flourless chocolate cake baked by a home baker. That’s cool! Asking the judges to pick the winner before even they knew if they swallowed the food is a bit surprising. However, Malarkey said, “Doing this show helped me out in my own cooking, because testing one spoonful makes you really focus on the basics of what we’re doing: sweet, salty, the heat, the texture. It’s all in the taste.”

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