The blind taste auditions finally came to an end on Tuesday night's episode of "The Taste." Typically, the auditions are the best part of any competition. Those shows highlight the wackiest, worst, no-business-being-on-TV people for your entertainment pleasure. But I got a little bored with "The Taste." Watching judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson, Brian Malarkey and Anthony Bourdain wear the same clothing they did in the first episode, but pretend it was a different day, and send chef after chef home with no real reason left me wanting more, and frustrated with the show's premise.
I couldn't tell you why the judges picked one chef over another and neither could the judges -- or at least they chose not to. Bourdain, who is turning out to be a huge softy, and the Simon Cowell of cooking, kept telling chefs how great their dishes were, how much he liked them, how they should be proud of themselves, only to end with a big fat no.
And what's with the judges hating on vegans and vegetarians? I'm obsessed with pork products, but you can't discredit someone just because they don't cook with meat or dairy! Come on, judges. You could have more of an open mind.
At least the audition part of the show is over and we can finally get into the meat of it. The four chefs have their final teams. On team Bourdain: caterer Ninamarie Bojekian, chef consultant with major tude Diane DiMeo, mortgage consultant Uno Immanivong and yoga instructor Mia Morgenstern. On Lawson's team: program monitor Renatta Lindsey, caterer Huda Mu'min, administrative assistant Lauren Scott and broadcaster Erika Monroe Williams. No surprise that most of her team is made up of "nonprofessionals." Lawson herself has no formal culinary training and expressed numerous times her bias toward home cooks.
On Lefebvre's team: executive chef Paul Caravelli, executive chef Shawn Davis, culinary instructor Gregg Drusinsky and food blogger Sarah Schiear. And Malarkey's team: design director Micah Kasman, executive chef Jeff Mahin, executive chef Adam Pechal and private chef Khristianne Uy. Malarkey ended up losing three people he wanted to Lefebvre's classic French technique and charm. I would have picked the Frenchman any day! Guess I'm not the only one not feeling Malarkey's cartoon-like facial expressions.
"The Taste" airs on ABC at 8 p.m. PT.