The return of Nigella Lawson to our screens last night, whipped into a frenzy by her recent court case and revelations couldn’t have arrived at a more oppertune time. But the Taste which started on channel 4 last night is not like any cookery programme or competition I have seen before. The concept it seems is a mash-up of many a reality TV competition (think the Voice + master chef x The Face).
A mix of home chefs and professionals take on the challenge of producing a single spoonful of food to decided their fate in joining the team of one of the three judges. If all 3 judges like their food, then the tables turn and the judges have to appeal for them to join their team. Cue the banter!
Nigella, is flanked by food writer Anthony Bourdain and flamboyant Frenchman Ludo Lefebvre, who are not yet that well-known in the Uk, but more so in America, where original US version of the Taste was aired. Because of this, the three mentors already know each other well, and this was evident in their bickering. Ludo sulked like only a Frenchman could when he didn’t get the cooks he wanted for his team, and I agree with Nigella’s apt description of him. He’s very, very French”. No other words could do him justice. Ludo and Anthony didn’t hold back when it came to criticism of the food, and Nigella a slightly softer touch in the middle. It wasn’t surprising to see her maternal instincts appear to console a desolate sobbing 18-year-old boy after a bit of a slating from the other judges.
The verdict: A slightly shaky format, but the judges grew on me and left me intrigued to watch just that bit more. There seemed a fair bit of The Taste hating out there on twitter last night, but I’ll be tuning in for more next week, if only to see Chef Ludo do some more French shouting and sulking.
What did you think about The Taste? Would love to hear your opinion in the comments section!