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Did you audition for ABC's new cooking show yesterday in Manhattan?

C'mon, I can't be the only one....

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  1. I was supposed to, but unfortunately the shooting dates for the show didn't mesh with my schedule terribly well.

    Seems like the nature of competition TV is that only the unemployed or those sufficiently wealthy enough to begin with - i.e., only people who can just take two weeks off without it affecting their life - are able to actually compete... The rest of us working shmoes are SOL...

    13 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      I'm a working shmo and a lot of people I was in line with were too, including two winners from Chopped who work at restaurants.

      1. re: TrishUntrapped

        Actually, from reading all of the comments, it does seem like you would need a fairly "open" schedule. I am guessing that most 9-to-5ers would not be able to audition, or make the call-backs.

        1. re: DougRisk

          I spoke to my publisher beforehand and he had no problem with me taking leave for the show (I also had two extra weeks of vacay time I could use too). But yes, you do need time.

          1. re: DougRisk

            It wasn't so much the auditions - snagging a day or a half-day here or there is no big deal. But to actually compete on the show you needed to be able to take two weeks off in August. Most people just can't do that - certainly hourly wage earners aren't going to be able to do it, not unless they're in a two-earner household, as they rely on that pay. As to myself, though I'm salaried, it's just not feasable to take two weeks off. A week, maximum, which isn't a terribly uncommon limit at most businesses.

            But that's the nature of most competition shows. You're either financially set enough that it's no big deal for you... or you've got nothing to lose in the first place.

            1. re: sgordon

              "But to actually compete on the show you needed to be able to take two weeks off in August. Most people just can't do that - certainly hourly wage earners aren't going to be able to do it, not unless they're in a two-earner household, as they rely on that pay."

              I believe it. And, like you, I can take at least 2 weeks vacation a year, but it is basically impossible to take 2 weeks off in a row.

              1. re: DougRisk

                "I can take at least 2 weeks vacation a year, but it is basically impossible to take 2 weeks off in a row."

                You either need a better job or our society is pretty well f*cked.

                  1. re: sgordon

                    Just did . . . Next time will be after we relocate to France or the Netherlands.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      Ah, bummer. That's a little too far a commute for me...

                  2. re: MGZ

                    Well, I like my job. But, either way, at many companies it is really difficult to be away from things for 2 straight weeks. I mean, in dire situations (major family issues, things like that), people will figure out something, but for many companies, it is really difficult to swing having someone who is as important to a project as they are being away for 2 straight weeks.

                    1. re: DougRisk

                      In journalism it's not unusual for two week breaks.

                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                        Uh, I'd argue that depends on the publication. Not that common where I am, at least not for most staff.

                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                          I believe it. And there are more than a few industries where longer breaks are common (e.g. teaching, seasonal work, etc.). But, for the majority of salaried workers, IME, taking 2 weeks off straight is very difficult.

          2. Did you get a call back? And what did you present?

            1 Reply
            1. re: roxlet

              I did not get a callback. I presented A Taste of Thanksgiving, pictured below.

              I'm a Yankee New England home cook and make comfort food - "Traditional With A Twist." I would have liked to have brought my Three Cheese Crisp original grilled cheese sandwich along with a shooter of Andalusian Gazpacho but since the dish had to be served cold, a grilled cheese was not something I thought would hold up well for tasting,

              A Taste of Thanksgiving:

              -Pineapple-Brined Turkey roasted over charcoal
              -Turkey Gravy (Made with 12-hour homemade turkey stock, brightened with red apple vinegar)
              -Yankee Bread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples
              -Tangerine Cranberry Sauce
              -Sticking It To Boiled Carrots
              -Singing Apple Pie with Whipped Cream and Saigon Cassia Cinnamon

                1. re: roxlet

                  Thanks Roxlet. I actually had a good time talking to others in line, especially the two chefs from Chopped.

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    I made macaron. My call back is Wednesday. It was a blast. Met so many really, really nice people on the line. After the taster tasted the dishes in the group we were in, we got to sample and every single dish was fantastic!!! It was really so much fun.

                    TrishUntrapped--your dish looks amazing!

                    1. re: jarona

                      Jarona, good luck to you and congratulations! Let us know how your call back goes ok???

                      Though I did not get a call back, the experience was good in many ways.

                      I sampled a smoked duck and fig dish made by Chopped champion Matt Zappoli, who was standing next to me, and it was delicious! I plan on going to his restaurant Tre Amici on my next trek to Jersey. That guy can cook!

                      1. re: jarona

                        That sounds like fun! What were some of the dishes you tasted? ANything really interesting?

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I tried a Tajine that was awesome, fois gras on toast with a fruit jam which was heaven and--get this. Risotto with octopus which was one of the ten best things I've ever tasted. It was a great experience!

                          1. re: jarona

                            Well, good luck with your call back. When is it?

                              1. re: Samalicious

                                Oh, you have a call back too? Nice! What did you make for the first audition?

                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                            Caramel; chocolate ganache-filled, and almond filled. I am still shocked and extra-pleasantly surprised for the callback;)

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Thanks HillJ, cooking is a labor of love for me and I love making Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends, so it's what I brought.

                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                          It shows, TrishU. I really respect your labor of love.

                    2. Everyone with callbacks - - Please, please - Keep us posted on your progress!!

                      1. What time did you reach there and how long was the wait?
                        I have never been to an audition and could not attend due to health issues.
                        I am asking all who attended.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ak08820

                          Auditions were posted that they would run from 10 to 4. I arrived at 9:15 and the line was already long. It was a couple hours before getting inside the building, then an hour for the special elevator, another hour to get inside the audition room and another hour or so for the interview/tasting. I left around 2 p.m.

                          Jarona, good for you, sounds delicious. Let us know how the call back goes!

                        2. What's the nature of the show? It sounds "reality/competitive" but maybe not. Any well-known chefs involved that you know of?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: chicgail

                            This is the show with Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson.

                            1. re: chicgail

                              Not much has been released about the show. It's brand new, called "The Taste" and ABC has ordered 8 episodes. Hosted by Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson. I understand combined teams of professional and amateur chefs will compete... for what prizes? I do not know.

                              1. re: chicgail

                                ChicGail, they also had auditions in LA and Chicago.

                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                  Well, I seem to have missed those, too. Oh, well.

                              2. Trish or jarona, who did the judging? Were there guidelines as to what they were looking for?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: pinehurst

                                  We were placed into groups. We had to "plate" our dish and had a few minutes to do so. A professional taster came around and tasted the dishes. After tasting my macarons, I was asked how I made them. Then another person came around and took pics of the dish and of each of us. Then another person came around and asked us casual questions. The atmosphere was extremely relaxed and fun. I reallly don't know what the guidelines were --I guess you just had to make something. I swear it was a blast. The wait was long, but it went by in no time because the people waiting were sooooooooooooo nice!

                                  1. re: pinehurst

                                    There were two rooms set up to handle 11 people at a time. In each room there were two "judges," In my room, there was a very loud, overly enthusiastic casting woman who interviewed each of us briefly. I got the impression from the questions she asked male chefs she that she was looking for a "villain" for the show.

                                    Our "taster" was a very nice, tall, Asian-looking gentleman who took great care to discuss our dishes with each of us. We were told by one of the casting assistants beforehand that he may not try each dish. But I noticed he tried every one in our room. He sampled everything on my plate.

                                    We were not told our scores. At the very end a few people were told to stay to speak to another casting agent.

                                    We were not given guidelines per se, just told to bring a signature dish. We had three minutes to plate, no electricity, no cooking allowed. We were told we would not be penalized if a dish that would normally be served hot was cold.

                                    I'll also add that not all the people auditioning were ones that just happened to show up and wait on line for hours. A woman next to me said the show called her agent and specifically asked her to audition. She was bumped up to audition with my group even though she had arrived later and should have been in the back of the line.

                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                      Trish--That guy was our taster too! He was soooooooooooo nice!!!!!!!! He also tasted everyone's dish in our group too---and he was very gracious too!

                                      1. re: jarona

                                        I agree Jarona, that gentleman was very nice!

                                  2. Just sorta curious, but what motivated you guys to do it? Celebrity? Money? Prove something to yourself or someone else? Nothing personal, but it's just so foreign a concept to someone like me who just wants quiet simplicity out of life and has avoided notoriety whenever possible.

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      I did it for the "why not-ness" of it. Sounds like fun. I love Bourdain and love Nigella. I love to cook and am no expert--I just do what I do. Nothing ventured. Nothing gained. No expectations except to have a good time. I learned that there are a lot of really nice and interesting people who share the same passion about food that I do. Gotta have a good time:)

                                        1. re: jarona

                                          I like that - the "why not-ness". I'll be interested to follow along and see if any Chowhounds get on the show.

                                        2. re: MGZ

                                          I of course can only speak for myself.

                                          Like you, MGZ, I used to be a person who preferred the simple life, if you will. After years as a paralegal, I was headed towards a career as a corporate lawyer but while in law school I got sick and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

                                          It changed my perspective on things. I was happily serving quietly on my town's library board at the time when I was approached by the local town committee who asked me to run for first selectman, the town's chief elected official (the small-town equivalent of mayor). Living with a time-bomb of an illness, I decided I had nothing to lose and ran. I was elected and re-elected to another term before I decided to retire, leave law school, and pursue my real dream of becoming a journalist. So that's what I did.

                                          I also found myself wanting to do more for others and did more community service like holding cooking classes for charities and helping teens make hundreds of pies to sell for an Appalachian service trip.

                                          My career has flourished and my name is in newspaper bylines each week. I have journalism awards up the ying yang and have no need for prize money or 15 minutes of fame. I admire both Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson. This show sounded like fun, and all I wanted to do was play the game.

                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                              Oddly enough, it was the notoriety that came from years as a corporate lawyer that led me to realize I needed something different. It's been almost a decade since a Google search came back with newspaper articles mentioning or quoting me (it's also been about that long since it seemed like money grew on trees), and I'm much more peaceful.

                                              Thanks for answering - and Good Luck to you and jarona.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                Thank you so much for your good luck wish--I'm putting that good luck in my purse for tomorrow:)--greatly appreciated!

                                                1. re: jarona

                                                  Maybe I'll call AB and tell him he better pick a 'hound! (Best I can do, Nigella's still mad at me . . . .)

                                              2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                Trish, I appreciate that you presented a whole, conceived meal...and Jarona, as I generally can't/don't cook sweets, kudos to you.

                                                Sounds like you both did yourselves proud....rock on, both of you, and Trish...stay strong.

                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                  Thanks for your background story, Trish. Sounds like lots of different dishes were prepared.

                                                  Can't wait to see how this plays out for you, jarona, and any other 'hound keeping quiet about their tryouts. :-)

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Thanks Pinehurst and Linda, I'll be curious to see this show now. I'm totally rooting for Jarona, hope she makes it to the next step.

                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                      Awwww-thanks so much for your support Trish!!! I am getting excited--I wanna do this!! But whatever the outcome, it has been fun so far!!

                                                      1. re: jarona

                                                        Jarona, did you have a call back today? Can you talk about it?

                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                          I had my callback and it was fun. We went through a couple of tapes and I was asked many questions. I was just myself. The "Oh-no-edness" came tonight. I had to make a video of me cooking a meal. I cannot even state how it went because neither I nor Vincent are techies. Our skills with a video camera are zero to negative 99 percent. So...I say this. It was great, great, great fun while it lasted and I am happy to have made it as far as I did. All the casting people were great and wonderful at putting me at ease. It really, really, really was a ton of fun.

                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                            Jarona, I know a pro who possibly could have filmed for you. If you need to do it again for some reason let me know.

                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                              Thanks Trish! It's all cool now:) Sending them a dvd:):)

                                              3. What kind of show is this? What is the premise?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. Hi Trish,

                                                  I was in line right behind you when we were outside the hotel. All us ladies were saying what a great support system your husband was - he just helped you schlep all your stuff and didn't say a word. :)
                                                  I got a callback and went in for my on-camera interview yesterday. Chris, one of the Chopped guys who was in line behind us was also there. I believe you were speaking to him while we waited upstairs. His time was 4pm and mine was 4:30. They were running about a half hour behind, so we got a chance to sit and chat a bit. Chris runs two restaurants in Brooklyn, has a kid and another on the way. I do believe that if someone really wanted to do this, work and life commitments can be figured out.
                                                  I love Jarona's the "why not-ness" of it. It's a good way to be in life. "Why not" leads to a more open mindset and new experiences, whereas "why" leads to sitting on the couch doing nothing. :)
                                                  Our food taster was Eddie. I agree - he was so lovely. He was interested and complimentary about everyone's dish. Did you get to taste Matthew's duck? It was divine. Your plate looked seriously professional. I wish I had come around to you and tasted your apple pie. I was just so tired and ready to be done with the day by the time we were cleaning up.
                                                  Your life story is very inspiring. Than you for sharing it with us.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: auriasmlysnktchn

                                                    Ahh! Auria! How cool! I am so glad you got a callback. Is this you in the photo below? If so, you were really nice helping me with my way too much stuff. (What the heck was I thinking bringing all that? Sheesh!)

                                                    Chris and Matt from Chopped were great and answered all my questions about that show. Very impressed with Chris' presentation and his bottles of sauces. And yes, I did taste Matt's duck and fig sauce (he saved me a piece) and it was WONDERFUL! I really want to go to his restaurant in New Jersey. A rerun of Chopped was on TV tonight - the redemption episode that Matt won!

                                                    I don't think we could have had a more gracious taster than Eddie. He tried every item on my dish and was so respectful.

                                                    As for my husband, Jerry, I really am lucky. We'll be married 30 years in September and it has been a wild ride for him living with the likes of me, but he's hung in there and through it all we're still best friends.

                                                    I hope your call back went well and you, Jarona, and Chris move on to the show!


                                                    1. End of the line when I arrived. My spot was behind Steve in the blue shirt (Yes that's my freakin' luggage). I recognized Matt (end of the line) immediately from Chopped.

                                                    2. Matt was a good sport. (I think that's Chris looking out behind us)

                                                    3. My mother-in-law's old-fashioned pie basket.

                                                    4. Jason Zukas, Chopped winner who lost to Madison Cowan in the Tournament of Champions was there. It was a Chopped fest!

                                                    5. My husband bides his time reading while we wait...and wait....

                                                    1. re: auriasmlysnktchn

                                                      Good luck to you, Auria! What is the next step? In or out? Or are there more people to meet before you get chosen to be on the show?

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Linda, I don't suppose you'll commit now to The Taste recaps if a CHer is in the cast, would you?

                                                        I'm impressed with all y'all for giving this a shot. Why not-ness....I want it on a t-shirt. Could be about food, could be about life.

                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                          We shall see what we shall see, debbie. ;-)

                                                          And I'm still seriously LOVING the phrase "It's all about the why not-ness!" ;-)

                                                      2. re: auriasmlysnktchn

                                                        How did the call back go? Was it a full half hour? That sounds like a lot of time!

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          Yes, that's me standing in front of Matthew. Great pics Trish! I didn't take any while standing in line.
                                                          The callback was fun - and yes, it was a full half hour, maybe even slightly over. They just put me in front of a camera and asked a ton of questions.
                                                          We will know in mid-August if we are picked to continue or not.

                                                      3. Yes I made the first round on Saturday, I am not a professional chef but a backyard BBQ cook. I made a Boston pork butt and smoked it for 7 hours along with homemade mac and cheese, and also smoked that. I went to camera interview with casting director on Wednesday. Iam sitting waiting like a girl on prom night lol, to see if iam selected.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Zeus2190

                                                            Best of luck Zeus! It would be great if all the CHers made it on the show. Let us know how it goes!

                                                          2. Since, I wasn't near an OPEN CALL city, I was only allowed the internet app and video submission. Had an interview on Skype and I am hoping all went well. When will they pick the contestants?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: MetalChef

                                                              Best of luck Metal Chef, report back please and let us know how it goes for you!

                                                            2. I'm curious. Has anyone that was called back made the final cut? How far did you go? After the original taped "callback", I was instructed to make a home video, which I did and sent in. After the video was received, I was asked to make five dishes and to photograph them--which I did. After that I was asked to submit a written recipe for one of my dishes and another resume. which I did. That was last week and I've heard nothing. My assumption is they have picked the cast b/c they would have to complete a background check and a doctor's check-up, which after that, I'm sure they would have to cast asap since filming begins in the beginning of September. I'm truly hoping one of the Chowhounds made the cast. In the meantime..........I lost my job in June and have gotten a job offer (I'm sooooooooooo happy) and will be starting work in mid-August. I swear, the focus on the cooking show made me more relaxed for the "real" job interview-it's all good!

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: jarona

                                                                Congrats on the new job, jarona!

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Thanks LindaWhit! OMG--I was so scared that I would never find another job. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found the position I wanted--especially in this economy!

                                                                  1. re: jarona

                                                                    Congratulations on your job Jarona. I haven't heard anything from various sources about anyone hearing anything yet about getting on the show. Fingers crossed for you.

                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                      Thanks Trish! It's funny b/c out of the "group" I was in for the original call, 4 of us were picked to go on to the call back. I'm hoping to see one of them on TV but the suspense is crazy:)

                                                                      1. re: jarona

                                                                        If you aren't already, you can follow them on Twitter at @_TheTaste.

                                                                        Oddly, in a Twitter post on 7/31 they announced they are still taking applications for the show.

                                                                        "Don't miss your chance to be a part of ABC's The Taste! Last week to apply- fill out an application at http://abccookingshow.com ! Do it NOW! "

                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                          Oh...I don't tweet--don't you need texting to tweet? I'm totally anti-texting--lol! That 7/31 thing about still taking applicants is extremely interesting. I know Bourdain is having a lot of input--maybe he hasn't been crazy about the applicants. I also have not seen any commercials for the show either in the fall line-up. My guess is that it will be a replacement show. Very interesting!

                                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                                            You can tweet from a computer. Just go to twitter.com

                                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                              thanks for the heads up! Just did it:):):)

                                                                              1. re: jarona

                                                                                Not sure what's going on but they tweeted this a couple hours ago:

                                                                                "Happy Thursday, lovely cooks & chefs!!! Don't miss out on your chance to be on ABC's The Taste: http://www.abccookingshow.com/how-to-..."

                                                                                So I sent them a tweet asking if they still wanted people to apply because the site says the deadline has passed. No response yet.

                                                                2. re: jarona

                                                                  Hi everyone,

                                                                  I auditioned in Chicago and had the exact same experience all the way through having to submit a mortifying video of me cooking at home :) I haven't heard a peep and I'm a bit disheartened by the recent Tweet asking for more submissions.

                                                                  For those who got the callback and had to submit the video, did the casting folks tell you when they thought they'd be making a decision? The person at my interview said they were shooting for 8/10. I completely agree that this was a fun experience. One of the people next to me had tried out for Hell's Kitchen and she said it was totally ridiculous (perhaps, just like the show?).

                                                                  Good luck to all!

                                                                3. Did anyone make it????Just wondering!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                    If I am right, I believe that if anyone did make it, they would be contractually obligated to be quiet about it until after the show airs. I know that for certain shows, the financial penalties for revealing anything about the show before the show airs are quite draconian.

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      Roxlet, that could be true and it might not be true, it won't keep me from asking. ;-)

                                                                      Also, these folks could just say hi... right?? ;-)

                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                        I remember after an episode of Top Chef where the winner (Blaise, I think) hadn't even been able to tell his wife what happened-- and this was at the point when he was in the top 3. They don't want any chance that the suspense of the show will be affected, and there are large contractual issues that prevent people talking about it. I spent 20 years in the TV programming business, so I know how these things work.

                                                                  2. I am very late to this thread, but Trish, Jarona and others who applied. I am in awe. If any chowhounds made the show and are contractually obligated to keep quiet about it, when will we know if any chowhounds are in? Once the show has started, or after it's over?


                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                        Or those of us who got called back could pop in and say "I didn't get in" :o)
                                                                        Always worth asking.

                                                                        1. re: auriasmlysnktchn

                                                                          Yes, and I hope they will. Unless of course they all got in and are contractually bound... in which case I send them all my love and support.

                                                                          Well now, helllloooo Auria, how you doing...???