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Dec 12, 2012 07:42 PM

The Taste - coming 1/22/2013 on ABC

It sounds even less promising than The Chew. They should call it The Spew. Bourdain (I've been saying for years that he resembles Tom Bergeron's hedonistic older brother, in which respect the gig's a logical fit), Malarkey, Lawson, and I can't remember who, all celebuchefs, mentor contestants competing to win with the dish they produce. The gimmick is that the judges are blindfolded when sampling the food. BFD, IMO. Don't imagine the likes of Achatz and Adria would approve of deleting the visual element.

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  1. I actually like the idea that they are tasting blind. To me that is not a gimmick. It eliminates the extraneous biases - sometimes subtle, sometimes not - that we all have. I'm sure judges on Top Chef try their best to overlook their dislike of a given contestant, but let's face it - they have three or four eligible for elimination and sometimes there is no error that is more egregious than the others, or two of the dishes were equally bad. Surely, at least subconsciously, the "let's get rid of this jerk" factor must kick in. Conversely, with the contests up for the best dish, there are often two or more that are of equal creativity and prep, and surely they must - again subconsciously - go with the crowd-pleasing contestant or the one who has tried really hard but hasn't won anything yet. So blind-tasting actually seems like an improvement.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Just Visiting

      I agree. I think it's a great idea to have blind tasting by the judges.

    2. Are they actually blindfolded, or just trying the dishes blind - meaning they don't know who made the dish?

      5 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        I hope they can see the food (because the visual aspect is important) but not know who prepared it nor what ingredients and methods were used. This is the way I interpreted the press release. But I don't know for sure.

        1. re: drongo

          That's the way I interpreted the commercial I saw for the show as well.

        2. re: LindaWhit

          The tasting blind reminded me of the current show where judges are listening blind; that is part of the judging process on The Voice.

          1. re: HillJ

            Exactly. Judging on their voice, not whether they are "camera-ready" for videos, etc. As drongo noted, visual is important for a plate of food, but not knowing who the chef is will be interesting. The blind tasting would be well served to be used in a few more TC challenges as well. But as Tom C. has said, eventually they get to know the "style" of the chef after a couple of QFs and ECs.

          2. I auditioned for this show along with a gazillion other people. Didn't make it. Wondering if anyone from CH made it?

            4 Replies
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              Trish, this is not in any way meant to be critical of you, but may I ask what you hope to achieve when you audition for a cooking show? I ask because it is pretty obvious that some contestants are chosen for looks or backstory or quirkiness... not criteria that would be used by executive chefs interviewing potential hires. Is it your goal to attain a position in a professional kitchen, a cookbook contract, or other career step, or do you regard it as an adventure or opportunity to see what goes on behind the camera in TV production?

              I don't have cable but did watch the first season of Hell's Kitchen and a few other network cooking competitions. Between the living accommodations, the scut work assigned to losers in team competitions, and the scorn heaped upon contestants by imperious celebuchefs, I am surprised that people are eager to participate. What am I missing?

              1. re: greygarious

                Everyone has different reasons. No ulterior motives for me. I like Tony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson and thought the show would be fun. I like to cook so this particular show piqued my interest. I also love the show Jeopardy and would love to be on that someday. Not to get rich, not for the exposure, but because I love trivia and I would enjoy the challenge and .. the fun.

                I once went to a taping of The Daily Show and asked Jon Stewart why on earth people agreed to have his "reporters" interview them, because they really made fun of them and portrayed them in a negative light. (I.e. an interview with a man who threatened to sue the town of Greenwich, CT because his "I Voted Today" sticker ruined his jacket.")

                Jon said, "Because people want to be on TV." And for some people, that's the allure. Not everyone though.

                I am a journalist, and former chief elected official. I don't need any time in front of the cameras. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, dirtied it, washed it, mortgaged it, and lost it.

                There is no doubt in my mind that some of the chefs auditioning were doing so to benefit their careers. Some home chefs too.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  I can't speak about cooking shows, Trish, but I was on Jeopardy! in the early '90s. It was absolutely the most fun I've ever had in public. Go for it!

                  1. re: rockycat

                    Hey, me too with Jeopardy in the early 90s! I didn't do so well, but I made it a great vacation in LA.

            2. Maybe if you had actually seen the trailer for the show you'd have at least a clue of what its about. Nowhere do they say anything about being blindfolded -- the "blind" part is they don't know identity of the person/team that created it, or what's in it.

              And the 4th mentor is Nigella Lawson -- obscure, I know.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rjbh20

                Why the hostility? I read a couple of on-line stories that mentioned blind tasting/judging. It's easy to make a mistake about something like that. Besides that, who cares that much about a program that has not yet been telecast?

                I notice one of the judges/team leaders is going to be Ludovic Lefebvre. Every time I have seen him in a cooking situation on TV he has been one of the most unpleasant chefs I have ever seen. I suppose we'll see if his disposition has improved.

                1. re: rjbh20

                  greygarious mentioned Lawson. The 4th mentor not mentioned in the original post is Ludo Lefebvre

                    1. re: LikestoEatout

                      I think that was meant ironically...

                  1. <The gimmick is that the judges are blindfolded when sampling the food.> Why? If the judges could be kept from knowing whose dishes they were tasting, that might create some impartiality. Blindfolds, imho, are just dumb. I think how the food looks on the plate is also important in judging how good it is.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      Uhm, no, the judges aren't blindfolded. It will a 'blind' judging just as you suggest.