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The Taste season two finale Spillage

Tony was right, you can't win with chicken soup and steak. That's really unimaginative of Jeff. Louise screws everything up - lack of seasoning and undercooked lobster- but still edges out Jeff. I wish Pepin got rid of her so I don't have to listen to her 3 packs a day voice.

On the other hand, Marina literally has some big balls. Lee and Tony, with Marina's help, pulled out the pressure cooked tripe.

So for the final challenge, Lee and 3 pack Lou do steaks for dinner? Tony slams them.
Marina does egg roll with vinegar aioli for lunch and beef short ribs for dinner. I think they can tell Marina's cooking from the egg roll.

Lee finishes worst. Scratchy Lou wins. I'm shocked.

My guess: Tony bombed Marina and guessed wrong and picked Lou thinking it was Lee.

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  1. Bummer, from the comments I thought Marina had it. I guess I don't know what she knows that I know about what they know.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Firegoat

      Yeah, I wanted Marina to win -- no one knows what she knows! -- but I'm OK with Louise if Marina can't take first place.

      1. re: foodiefan6

        I have to give Lee credit for being a gracious third placer. But holy cow, did Ludo give it to Marina at the end or what? I know he thought he was just joking with her, but she just missed out on a huge prize. Too soon, dude.

        1. re: ennuisans

          Love it that Lee got some good ol' humility justice. I just don't like it when people flat out say "I'm the best one here, everyone knows it". And talking about Louise's lobster right behind her. Hate this guy. You got owned sucka!

    2. I think they should recruit Marina for Masterchef. I'd love seeing her go round with Bastianich

      7 Replies
      1. re: Firegoat

        Marina on Masterchef would be interesting, but I would prefer seeing her participate on the Next Food Network Star. I want to learn what she knows that I don't know. Yes, I very much wanted Marina to win the whole kaboodle. Fascinating person. Loved her feisty, confident and spirited approach to the competition.

        1. re: Olympia Jane

          I would watch her on either one. I agree. I want to know what she knows that I don't know that she knows.

          1. re: Firegoat

            I would watch her in a show with Pepin, who finally was able to put into words what her deal is--she's a hodgepodge of techniques from different cultures. A show where she cooks and he runs color commentary.

            1. re: ennuisans

              That would be awesome... someone phone Create or anything that isn't Food Network where Lee works.

              1. re: ennuisans

                And someone who showed *him* a thing or two he didn't know.

                That woman is just fab.

            1. re: Firegoat

              <I think they should recruit Marina for Masterchef. I'd love seeing her go round with Bastianich>

              I would pay good money to see that. Great thinking, firegoat

            2. I wish we saw more discussion about the "tastes." I have no idea why Louise' food was better, or by how much. Why they short shrifted the finale is beyond me.

              1. I agree that they knew Marina's three dishes from the egg/spring roll. But I also think that Tony wouldn't bomb Marina if her dishes were best.

                I really thought Marina had it. Liked that Tony told her what a phenomenal cook she was.

                What I *disliked* was Ludo taking Marina to task for not cooking who she is while credits were rolling. This coming from the person who tried to change Marina the entire season into cooking what HE said to cook vs. being her own person. :-/

                1. I really wanted Marina to win. I'd watch her cook anything.

                  1. Okay, I think it's crap that Louise won! Without Chef Pepin's help, she would have been screwed at the end. Time and time again, Marina has stuck by her cooking techniques and proven to actually cook some GOOD food. Personally, I don't think a mentor is needed during the last round because it is their last time should showcase what they've known this whole time. Whatever. Hoping to see Marina in the food world in the future! She really was a pleasure to watch.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: foodmonger1212

                      That's a good point. The mentor should be there to help before the cooking actually starts, perhaps with flavor pairings, and during the first hour, but the last hour should be all about them. The intensive help he gave her with her broken steak sauce was way more than anyone else got,so he won the contest for Louise.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Marina dismissed Pepin's help, Louise used him. The guest judges were introduced as mentors to be used in the kitchen and that's what Louise did. Why have a world class chef if you don't ask his/her advice? And Jeff (?) got a whole lot of help from Ludo in the first round when he "butchered" a chicken for him.

                        I'm not a Louise apologist; I liked Marina's attitude, wit, and approach to her dishes. In the end, though, none of us know how their food tastes, and we have to take the judges' word for it.

                        1. re: Chatsworth

                          I don't think anyone is faulting Louise for taking full advantage of Pepin's help. Heck, I'd pick his brain as much as possible if I were in her shoes. IMO, it was the fault of the challenge. If you are truly the champion, shouldn't the finished dish be your own work?

                          I like LW's idea of having the expert there for the first hour and then the last hour on your own.

                          1. re: Chatsworth

                            Louise used him to the nth degree, including fixing her screw-up on the sauce.

                            If that sauce had remained broken, would she have won? Who knows. But Jacques Pepin finished that dish for her.

                            Her cooking should stand on its own - broken sauce and all.

                        2. re: foodmonger1212

                          I agree they shouldn't have had chef mentors for the final. They should have stood on their own at that point.

                        3. I'm not a huge fan of this show but I did watch last night while we were getting ten inches of snow with twenty mph winds.

                          I really didn't care who won, but they showed too much superfluous video from past episodes. I wish they would have explained the judging of the food. They announced the third place finsh and then the win without explaining why they made their decisions.

                          1. what no mention of the "showmance"... Jeff is just happy he met Cassandra AWWWWWWW.

                            9 Replies
                              1. re: rasputina

                                Lee! yes ..thank you..why does lee look like he should be jeff???

                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                  I so agree. I kept calling them by the other's name. Why is that????

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    Because they were pretty interchangeable. Similar looks, similar egos.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I guess the Lee thing for me comes from Jeff's ethnic background -- yes, I know it's Japanese, but .... oh well. Nevermind :-D

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Don't worry, you can go visit the pop up resturants that Lee and Jeff are doing with Cassandra and then get their names wrong to their face.

                                        I have so absolutely no interest in those people. Marina ... I would watch her boil water all day. If she doesn't get a TV or cookbook deal out of this I will just be even more convinced that the food powers that be are idiots. I don't think she's an idiot tho, I expect she'll bust out her own cookbook and make a fortune.

                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                          I'd bet Bourdain would help her out with that if asked, like he did Marilyn Hagerty.

                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                            I dont think she'll do a cookbook.. she knows what she knows... she seems to just cook so naturally that it would be hard to break it down to be instructive... I guess that is what pairing her with a producer would do.... I know though that the cookbook for the restraunt that I work is really almost just a keepsake..if anyone actuallllly trys to cook from it they would be disapointed at the results...

                                            maybe Lee and Cassandra will a show on the cooking channel together "precious" ..and their good friend Jeff can come over with various dates to fabulous dinner parties and we can alllllll go awwwwwww how fabulous!

                                2. re: girloftheworld

                                  "no mention of the showmance"? That googly eyed sloppy kissing stuff in the green room between the two of them was absolutely nauseating. If I wanted to watch The Bachelorette I would.

                                  The bromance between frat boys Jeff and Lee was almost as bad.

                                3. I really did not want to like "The Taste" but as it happens, I did enjoy this season. What I didn't realize is that it's become an international franchise of sorts. I would absolutely love to watch the Chinese version!!! Hopefully, someday I'll have access to all shows (with subtitles).

                                  According to Wikipedia, there are international versions as follows:
                                  *France (M6)
                                  *Canada (CTV Television Network)
                                  *Australia (Nine Network)
                                  * Indonesia (IBC)
                                  *Britain (Channel 4)
                                  *China (味觉大战) (CCTV-2)
                                  *Germany (Sat.1)
                                  *Holland (RTL4)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MrsPatmore

                                    Oh, Germany! I'll have to check it out in the summer (if we have a tv in our pad, that is). German tv is pretty awful....

                                  2. The #1 thing about the finale that bothered me was that neither Lee nor Tony knew how to use a pressure cooker! I mean, seriously? Lee: You're going to compete on a show where time is everything and you don't bother to learn to use how to use the one piece of kitchen equipment that can reduce cooking times from hours to minutes. Huh? (I saw this same phenomenon on Top Chef this season). And Tony: You've been cooking for more than 30 years and you don't know how thing one about a PC? Shame on you.

                                    Oy vey, I wanted to jump up and down and shake both of them. I'm not unhappy that Louise won (although I'm not getting what is offensive about her voice?) but I would have been happier if Marina won. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Marina in the future. I liked the way she handled Ludo and would love to see her on Masterchef.

                                    1. Does anyone understand why the lovely and tasteful (pun not intended) trophy has *two* spoons? One I get, four would be accurate but dumb looking. But two?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: DGresh

                                        the mentor and the chef each are a spoon

                                      2. An issue I had with this challenge was the idea of boiling a meal (particularly dinner) down to "one taste". I'm not super fastidious about "not mixing" on my plate, but I don't typically grab a bit of kale and a bit of short ribs onto a fork intentionally. Does one really want to eat the main and the sides simultaneously?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: DGresh

                                          I thought it was funny that no-one seemed to have told Pepin that he was supposed to stuff the whole thing at once. He obviously wanted to "deconstruct" the food and taste the components separately. It also looked like he wanted a knife and fork.

                                          1. re: Chatsworth

                                            LOL I was laughing about the same thing. And I mean no disrespect to Pepin whatsoever! It was just very amusing it watch him pretty much pour the contents of the spoon out on the plates to take smaller bites and examine the food.

                                        2. I'm not upset that Louise won. I liked her well enough and liked the fact that she didn't seem full of ego, but think most of her food was middle-of-the-road and pretty mainstream. I don't think she was the best cook there but she played it smart by playing it safe and I wasn't particularly excited about her food.

                                          The stuff between Cassie and Lee was pretty nauseating. I'm just glad we didn't have to listen to Cassie's laugh for the last few episodes. I'm sure she's perfectly lovely in person, but the giggles and cuteness were a bit over the top.

                                          I was pretty surprised that Lee chose a simple steak for dinner after Tony had gone on and on about how Jeff would never win with Pepin with a steak. I realize he needed a hearty dinner entree after breakfast and the crab cake, but I think he should have chosen a different protein or featured beef in a different way. He did exactly what Tony said wouldn't win, and he knew that Tony was going to be judging the dish.
                                          That said, Louise did win with steak...

                                          1. I just want to know what Marina's skin care regime is. She looks fabulous.

                                            1. One of the things I liked about Marina is that even in the middle of the final competition she was helping other people, like Lee and his pressure cooker.
                                              Checked out her FB pages, she says she is coming out with a cookbook soon. Also see a comment from Lee's dad on her page about meeting her and she is very gracious about being happy to meet the father of such a nice and talented young man. Just seems like a very nice lady.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                One of the other (many) things that I liked about Marina was when she said something like, "we weren't really that poor growing up but my parents never told us that" (or words to that effect) when talking about why she was cooking rooster testicles. I also laughed out loud when she gave Jacques Pepin a bit of a lecture about never wasting even a tiny bit of food. LMAO. I guess she's never read his autobiography. I was wishing that someone made snails in the finale for the "poor" dish, in homage to The Jacques! (If you have his book, there's a great snail story on pp 232-233)

                                                1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                  your mention of the rooster testicles reminds me of Marina talking about that; it sounded like every morning her dad brought in a whole bushel of testicles for them to eat for breakfast. That's a whole lot of neutered roosters!

                                              2. I am obviously in the minority here but I didn't like Marina-she knows what she knows got a little old

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: madeliner

                                                  to be fair to her I think they just put that quote on "replay"

                                                2. After reading these comments, it is obvious folks are more interested in personalities, than what the show is about... the Taste. If this was American Idol, yes... viewers could have called in and voted for who they "like" the best. If the judges actually knew who cooked what, then they could have picked their fav. But since the winner was determined by a blind taste test, and NOT determined by previous cook-offs, the result was the result.