Hey there TrashTalkers! It’s a new year and with that comes a new season of The Taste! I myself am new to the show, so my apologies in advance if I miss what I am sure are critical references to prior seasons and moments.
The second season begins with an introduction of the esteemed mentors. Up first is Anthony Bourdain who makes shit delicious. We also have Nigella Lawson who is hungry for patterned umbrellas to become a thing, Ludo Lefebvre who is one of the best chefs of LA but nowhere else, and new mentor Marcus Samuelsson who has won six beard awards with nary a facial hair.
Voice over Vinny tells us newbies how The Taste works and apparently the premise is identical to The Voice but without the badass chair spin. A multitude of “professional” chefs and regular joes like us will have just one taste to hook a spot on a mentor’s coveted cooking squad of four, who will then go head to head for the chance to win $100,000 and the overwhelming honour of winning the Pepsi challenge.
It’s audition time! We see a flurry of grating, straining, and gyrating as the chef hopefuls prepare their four identical bites in just one hour, with the hope that a blind mouthful will send one of the mentors into tastebud heaven and place them on their team. The trick is that the mentors have no idea who made what, and even what is in the food, which seems like my worst nightmare. I have had enough weird unknown things in my mouth, who wants to take a big steaming bite of mystery meat that could actually be spam with caviar.
It’s time to meet the contestants! Up first we have a 32 year old with 16 years experience, which lets be real, you shouldn’t count your job at MickeyD’s when you were 16 as chef experience, but to each their own. We are treated to a montage of his cooking skills as his friends look on in pain, questioning why they agreed to be filmed for this. Dude starts the drug sob back story as he half-asses his way through a stair master workout in front of 70’s mirrored closet doors so he can check out his own gluts as he steps in time to Pat Benatar.
As he walks up to the judging table to present his quail eggs and bacon (bacon is just so hot right now) I am disappointed with the set for The Taste. When you take away the huge red chairs of The Voice, and have the mentors just chilling in some folding chairs, the whole ambience feels very home ec competition. The raised circle stage is nice enough I guess. Maybe by season 3 the budget will allow for big X’s or a large trap door to drop out failing contestants. Anything to spice it up. (See what I did there? First of many my friends. I have quite the talent.)
Anthony calls the dish hipster, which makes Ludo like it that much more, and the judges lock in their votes under the table with the sneaky tap of a “Yes” or “No” button. The chef brings out a full serving of his dish and it looks like animal vomit. Anthony is out, Ludo takes it a touch too serious and is out also, Nigella is interested, mainly because she wants to bone the gauged earring chef. But wait, Ludo is also interested in learning more about how to make food hipster without forcing it into skinny jeans.
Nigella and Ludo begin their spiel to try and get McD’s on their team, and Ludo takes it to a sexist level right off the bat, which somehow convinces McD’s to go with the scary dragon and join in the sexist fun.
Back from the commercial break we learn that Anthony got his big break washing dishes at 17, until at 44 he wrote an obnoxious book and now he lives the American dream, getting paid to stuff his fat face. The next mentor, Nigella, has not been a professional chef, but she was a journalist which is pretty much the same thing. Loving flavour is all you need to meet the requirements to judge food on a television show apparently.
Anthony proves how old-white-dude he is as he tells us Ludo is his “brother from another mother” and the chef of “the hottest” restaurant in town. Everyone calls Ludo an asshat but seem to be able to look the other way due to his ability to cook a mean hot pocket. I’m talking same temperature throughout the entire pocket talented. Marcus is our “chef of the world” according to the white mentors, mainly because he owns a Bob Marley inspired slap bracelet.