Back in its second season, and also with a brand new, two hour format, "The Taste" is open to everyone - from home cooks to professional chefs - in an effort to find some of America's most naturally gifted cooks. 16 culinary hopefuls will ultimately win the chance to show off their skills in "The Taste" kitchen where one blind spoonful of food can determine whether a competitor stays or goes home.
The series features no-holds barred Chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre, and joining "The Taste" this season, Chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. These four stars of the culinary world will compete, mentoring a team of four contestants apiece as they vie to create the best tasting dishes in a state of the art kitchen.
In the two-hour series premiere, the heat is on when contestants put their best culinary foot forward and create their best dish for Anthony, Nigella, Ludo and Marcus to taste. At the end of the night, 16 will be given a place on one of the mentors' teams. One single spoonful will decide whether or not they make it past the audition phase and on to the competition.
It's the first round of competitions for the 16 culinary hopefuls who have secured a spot in "The Taste" kitchen. The teams will face both group and individual cooking challenges as they gear up for battle.
First challenge: Each mentor joins their team in the kitchen for the first time, shares their own memories of the foods that remind them of home, and gives their team a specific dish to put a personal spin on. Second challenge: Without the help of their mentors, the competitors have to prepare the dish that most represents their own memories of home. From soup and roasted meats to a multicultural mash up, in the end, two competitors will be sent home.
Fourteen aspiring chefs prepare their mentors' favorite guilty-pleasure dishes that include caviar, foie gras, and sweet and salty creations.
The mentors are challenging their teams with creating delicious dishes inspired by classic "street food." Sandwiches, seafood - and, of course, the classic English delicacy of fish & chips - are on the menu this week as 12 remaining competitors battle it out for the chance to stay in "The Taste" kitchen another week.
Chef Roy Choi is guest judge this week where Anthony Bourdain shares a secret weapon with his kitchen. Spam!
The heat in the kitchen is definitely on as the remaining nine competitors continue to fight to stay in "The Taste" kitchen one more week. But in a shocking and unexpected turn of events, one cook decides to mysteriously leave the competition, leaving everyone wondering what happened.
With this week's challenge centered on vegetarian cooking, some mentors are taken out of their comfort zone as the teams create dishes inspired by things like curry and pasta when Chef Yotam Ottolenghi guest judges
Who doesn't love dessert? Bring your sweet tooth this week as the eight remaining competitors are given the challenge to create mouthwatering desserts highlighting ingredients like fruit and sweet & savory combinations. Chef Christina Tosi guest judges a delicious battle in which two competitors will be sent home, and the remaining six will head to the semi-finals
The six remaining chefs prepare meals that feature beer and also go good with it.
The mentors give their teams their final group challenge - creating rich and poor dishes inspired by various ingredients including liver, wagyu bef and foie gras. Chef Jacques Pepin is the guest judge as the final three are then challenged with creating breakfast, lunch and dinner within two hours in front of a studio audience full of familiar faces from throughout the series.