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The Taste is coming back -- minus Malarkey

I know it was announced that they renewed "The Taste" a while back. Nigella and Bourdain were in because they were producers I think. Looks like there will be no more Malarkey going on.


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  1. I would distance myself from that hot mess, too.

    7 Replies
      1. re: Worldwide Diner

        It's funny you should point that out because I considered for a moment coming back and saying something to the effect of Malarkey being a great contributor to the hotness (and not in a good way) of that mess. :P

        With or without him, I think the show is a mess. Much as I love much of Bourdain's work, being a team player does not appear to be his forte.

        And the concept and editing remind me of some awful and campy foreign variety/game show.

        1. re: inaplasticcup

          Concur but nobody gives up TV $$$..especially, if they have a $100k monthly lease payment..how does that even pencil out?

          1. re: Beach Chick

            Yeah. I think WorldWide Diner corrected my assumption that he walked from the show. I have to say, he was generally painful to watch in a show that was also generally painful to watch.

            1. re: inaplasticcup

              The show was a complete mess, but if you're commited to saving it and are committed to Bourdain and Lawson, then out of Malarkey or Ludo - Malarkey was both weaker and a bit to similar in style to Ludo.

              1. re: cresyd

                Agreed that between Malarkey and Lefebvre, the latter should stay.

                But I personally think this show stunk from conception. :P

                1. re: inaplasticcup

                  I was open to the concept - but it did not work out. And any retooling of the judges that allows Bourdain to keep his judges chair isn't going far enough. Lefebvre and Lawson worked well with one another, and made for decent enough TV.

                  At best Bourdain came off as bored.

    1. That was such a stupid show. I can't believe it's coming back.

      1. I liked the concept of the blind tastings, but the execution of that idea was clunky, at best.

        1. I'd say that show couldn't possibly distance itself from all the malarkey.
          Oh, you mean Chef Brian Malarkey.
          Never mind.

            1. No loss I find him completely annoying and juvenile.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rasputina

                more interesting than Bourdain, imho.

              2. I often tell students, it was "an excellent rough draft."

                How many times did they chop [um-- what term did they really use?] a contestant and simultaneously say
                "that was the best..."
                "this was a great concept..."
                "I'm not sure why I'm letting you go..."

                I think Bourdain was too cavalier, Nigella was usually sincere about taste, and L/M were looking for elements beyond taste--plating [or how it looked On A Spoon], use of "top" ingredients,
                or what skills the spoon implied that the chef had.

                I hope that there is tighter ... scripting?... this season. The first season looked a lot like a "Hey, this is a great idea, let's film tomorrow!" mashed up with the hubris of successful chefs and popular TV hosts.

                As my father likes to quote, "I was desperate; I didn't think it through."

                2 Replies
                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                  The audition sessions were absolutely dreadful and was where the blind tasting was the worst. Because the judges were basically left with only 2 options - no, I don't want you (whether the food was gross or just average) or please be on my tiny team of 4. But that no answer had to cover "ew yuck", "good but not great", "not my style of food", etc.

                  I think it would have been better for the filmed "audition" phase to be two steps. First step "no, you're out" or "good enough to move on". Then have a second stage where there's a difficulty increase or some sort. Basically anything so that there's not just two episodes of that audition repetition.

                  1. re: cresyd

                    Or have them make 2 sets of the same spoon. So the judges could winnow, as you suggested, and then in the 2nd sweep taste again and choose. And YES teams need to be much larger in the beginning. With the loss of a judge, dare I say a Dozen in the first round? They could have double elimination the first two competitions- then they'd be down to 10 and quickly down to a manageable 8. Or even a SuperCut where they went from 12 to 8.

                2. I couldn't really get into this show, the judges were all bitchy and mean most of the time - especially the french guy. I understand the producers want to ham it up with the drama, but the show just seemed to have a negative tone to it.

                  1. Turns out Malarkey actually was fired.

                    Wonder who the new chef will be?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Firegoat

                      Given that Lawson and Bourdain are executive producers - if they wanted to fire a judge they were left with Ludo and Malarkey. Ludo was the only semi-good thing about the show, so that left Malarkey.

                      Bourdain was far and away the worst judge. He looked like he was perpetually in the midst of a quaalude haze.

                      1. re: cresyd

                        Malarkey wasn't a showboating loudmouth on Top Chef (iirc) so I think his actions on The Taste feels contrived. And I had no doubt that he was fired since he's too much of a media-ho to quit a prime-time show.

                      2. re: Firegoat

                        I'm curious as to why he's flattered as to who his replacement is.

                        "The Taste wanted to get a bigger-name chef. I just found out who it is and I’m flattered who it is… I respect him immensely."

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Well now we know: it's Marcus.


                          I can understand him respecting his replacement, but I don't understand how this will add "firepower" to the show. Maybe by firepower he means someone who will attract ratings, where I think of it as meaning someone who will liven up the show. I like him fine on Chopped but for the Taste, I guess we'll see.

                          1. re: ennuisans

                            Respecting Marcus is one thing. Malarkey being flattered that he's the replacement? That's what I don't get. Does Malarkey think he's on the same plane as Marcus Samuelsson?

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              I don't get Marlarkey's logic either. He has to assume that he is equal in stature with his replacement - which is just silly, but maybe he's just trying to spin it. In any case, they've just replaced one media-ho with another media-ho, albeit a more talented cooking-wise one.

                      3. Quite honestly, I'm very surprised this show was renewed for a second season. Actually, I'm shocked. The show was absolutely horrific, with two exceptions. Ludo...and Jeanette Friedman, who was given the heave-ho during the first episode. (I met Jeanette during the call-backs during the first season--we had a blast. She made the cut, I made the last 100). Hopefully, they will have revamped the entire set, Bourdain will have gotten his bad self back instead of the wishy-washy personality he took up on last season!