On ABC tonight THE TASTE returns with a new season, it is the season 2 premiere called, “Auditions.” On tonight’s show 16 contestants battle it out for a place in the kitchen during the season 2 premiere.
If you have never watched the show the show has 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.
On tonight’s show 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.
Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when The Taste Season Two returns to ABC. While you wait for the recap, let us know what you think of The Taste?
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates
The judges walk in to sit down and prepare themselves for the auditions, they’ve got to choose four chefs to join their team; they’ll choose the chefs blind they won’t know who cooked the dish they can only choose from taste. Jeff Kawakami is the first one whose up, he’s been in the kitchen ever since he was young and has been working in kitchens ever since; he had a bad pass with drugs and alcohol as a teenager, but he’s cleaned himself up and is ready to compete in The Taste. He’s going to make deconstructed bacon fried rice, with soy sauce, bacon, rice and quail eggs. Jeff mentions how this is a huge opportunity for him, that this could change his life if he gets through. Jeff completes his hour of preparation and the judges are eating it, Anthony says that it’s a “hipster dish”. They all lock in their decisions and meet with Jeff, they get to meet with Jeff and he talks about his inspiration for the dish and what contains in it. Anthony says the quail egg was executed perfectly, though he was looking for more. Marcus found the rice was a bit too dry and says no. Nigella doesn’t agree with Marcus and says it would be an honor to have him on her team. Ludo says a yes and hopes Jeff will want to be taught by him. Jeff now needs to choose between Nigella and Ludo; Jeff admits that he’s scared of Ludo in his face because of how rough he is; though he chooses Ludo because he believes he can learn from him. Jeff celebrates with his sister, and he’s surprised he chose Ludo, but needs the push from him. Nigella talks about how it’s important to be surrounded by other mentors who are so gifted, she mentions how Anthony is the Keith Richard of food; Ludo talks about how good of a chef Anthony is because he knows people and life well. Anthony says that Nigella is a great chef; Ludo says she’s a diva and Marcus mentions she’s talented. Anthony loves Ludo he’s an important innovator, Marcus says that you can tell he’s one hell of a man. Anthony says that Ludo has a temper. Marcus talks about himself, he’s got a successful restaurant in Harlem called The Red Rooster. Anthony asks what the other judges are looking for, Ludo is going to choose from his gut feelings and not think too much about the person.
Reina is up next and she’s a professional home cook for her friends and family. Reina wants to work with Nigella because of how much they have in common. The judges are going to taste Reina’s food, Reina wants them to be surprised and impressed by the taste. A Marcus mention how it wasn’t pretty, but it was tasty. Reina appears before the judges and talks about how she’s a home cook from Venezuela, her dish is a Mediterranean tenderloin Anthony says no, Marcus says that her choice of protein was a bad mistake and says no, Ludo thought the rice was too dry. Nigella says that the rice could have used more chicken stalk, though she mentions how Reina has cooking in her blood and that they’d be a good fit in the kitchen. Reina is extremely excited because she really wanted Nigella to choose her and to work together. Reina comes out and hugs her family after getting through.
Next up is Don who’s a from Texas and is a wine maker, he says that he cooks and makes wine due to the pure joy of doing it. Don talks about his wife Diana how they got married when they were younger, though nine months ago he lost his wife. He stopped cooking for a while, but he continued it to get himself out of his depression. He says that he enjoys cooking for people, it may not be the prettiest dish; but the taste should be great. Don walks in with his family waiting for the judges to taste his food. Marcus says the portion is off, but the taste is fine. Don appears before the judges. Don made a deep fried oyster with a jalapeno sauce. Anthony says the taste was a little un wieldy for him and there was too much oyster for him and says no. Nigella found there was too much sweet in the sauce and says no. Ludo says yes, that he wants to make Don a better chef because he liked the taste with his dish. Marcus talks about how the taste was missing that pull, but he wants to also make Don into a better chef. Ludo and Marcus fight it out trying to convince Don to join their team, in the end he decides to go with Marcus in the end. Don announces to his family that he chose Marcus; he admits he was embarrassed how they both fought over him.
Nigella wants to find someone whose food leaves her with wanting more, next is Sevan Abdessian; he’s going to make a dish called the Tower of Power. He’s extremely over confident, his dish is going to be a tuna tartar; he believes that he’s going to run season 2 of The Taste and will annihilate the competition. Nigella believes there was too much acidity; Anthony says that it went was horrible. Sevan was far too confident in himself; all the chefs hated the dish.
It cuts showing three contestants creating their dishes, Sarah, Crystal and Brad. They’re confident in their dishes and hope they’re chosen, Marcus says a yes to Sarah and Nigella says yes to Crystal. Anthony, Nigella and Marcus wanted Brad; he chose to go with Anthony in the end. Shellie is up next, she talks about how her food is “stoner” food, and she works in a food truck. She talks about her home life, how she’s got kids at home and how she can’t spend too much time with them due to work. Shellie made a chorizo butter sauce with prawns, Anthony wants to know why there was no show plate; but she was out of time and couldn’t get it out. Ludo says it was bland for him, Nigella liked the big mouthful of food but there was no balance, Marcus didn’t like how focused the plate was. Anthony wants to take Shellie with him, she’s going through.
[9:05:30 PM] Curtis: Anthony, Marcus and Nigella have two chefs on their team already, but Ludo only has one. Vidya is going to be trying to make a vegetarian dish though she knows what the competition thinks about vegetarian cooking. It cuts to a clip of season 1 where Anthony would never choose a vegetarian or vegan chef. They meet Vidya who’s a none professional cook, her family wants her to go back to school; but she wants to pursue her dream. Nigella feels the chutney was a little overwhelming, Ludo thought the food was too sweet for him. Marcus loved what she did with it, but has to say no because of the sweetness. Anthony says that he regrets to not going against his thoughts of vegetarian cooking, he chooses no. Vidya looks a little upset that she wasn’t chosen, but she’s glad for trying to take the opportunity.
Cassandra Bodzak she’s up, she talks about how her fish named Terminator is a vegan somehow. She loves making vegan cupcakes, her father believes that her vegan cupcakes up against bacon is like a bringing a knife to a gun fight. Cassandra hopes Anthony enjoys the cupcakes, because she knows what he thinks about vegans and vegetarians. Anthony instantly chooses no. Cassandra steps up in front of the judges and introduces herself, Marcus chooses no, Anthony says it’s not for him, Nigella believes that the she wasn’t seduced by her food and Ludo doesn’t care about how you cook whether there’s fat or not. Ludo decides to choose her and taker her on his team. Cassandra is happy to be the first person to get on the show using vegan and or vegetarian cooking.
Next up is Audrey Johns from California; she has a little girl named Sophia and husband named Chris. She really wants to get into Nigella’s kitchen, she’s going to be making something to appease to Nigella. She talks about how her mother was diagnosed with cancer during her college years; she had to drop out of college. She spent time with her mother watching Nigella all the time before she passed away. Audrey walks in and introduces herself she made a Greek meatball with flat bread chips, she taught herself how to cook from Nigella’s book. Ludo says no, Anthony mentions how it was too healthy for him, Nigella didn’t mind the dry flat bread, but she would have put oil in the flat bread. Nigella says no, it didn’t work for her. Marcus says that there are a lot of technicalities that aren’t up to par in the dish, but he decides to taker her in his kitchen. Audrey comes out and celebrates with her family.
Lee Knoeppel is a waiter, who’s always wanted to cook. He talks about how being a waiter isn’t him, he wants to be the one cooking the food. He’s going to be making a poached lobster tail with potato chive crisps and a bacon chowder. The judges seem to have taken a liking to his dish. Lee walks in to introduce himself, he made a butter poached lobster with a bacon corn chowder with a potato crisp. Nigella says that the dish seduced her and wants him in her kitchen, Marcus likes how the dish was balanced between professional and homey; he wants Lee in his kitchen. Ludo admits his dish was amazing, but he doesn’t like Lee’s attitude; but wants him in his kitchen. Anthony wants Lee on his team as well; all four judges want Lee on their team. Lee is the first chefs to have all judges say yes, they’re all fighting to have Lee on their teams.
Lee is ecstatic to be picked by them all, but in the end he decides to go with Anthony, Ludo doesn’t seem pleased with the choice; but accepts it.
Next up is Jake Qualls who calls himself a Cake Decorator, he’s done wedding cakes for celebrities before; he wants to impress the judges with a ginger pork pot sticker. He talks about how he’s gone through a lot, he went through surgery that aided him in losing a ton of weight and also came out as gay. He was married and had two children, but he tried to eat away the gay. After losing all the weight and coming out, he’s got a lot more to prove. Jake appears and introduces himself to the judges; Marcus loves his style but believes the ginger was too over powering. Anthony says that the ginger was strong, but he is crazy for dumplings and wants Jake on his team. Ludo admits the dough was chewy, but he says the dumplings are great and wants him on his team. Nigella wants to have Jake on her team badly, saying that they’re meant to be together. Nigella, Anthony and Ludo are fighting for Jake; but in the end he chooses to go with Nigella.
The judges talk about their high expectations for food; it shows three contestants making food that didn’t go well at all. Kyle Schutte is up next, he’s coming back from not making it through in season 1; he wants to prove that he can do this. The judges taste Kyle’s food; it’s a reconstructed caprese salad. Anthony says that it’s an awesome thought idea, but it’s not good. Marcus doesn’t like his food. Nigella says that she didn’t get it and decides to not go with him. Ludo also decides to choose no. Anthony says that the food tasted like it was cooked by a man who’s never had sex in their life, Kyle tried to redeem himself, but instead made an ass out of himself.
Dana comes in and introduces herself and mentions how she doesn’t like working with male chefs. Ludo is happy that he chose no, Nigella the only female on the judges panel chooses no. Marcus wants her to join his team; Anthony says that he understands why she doesn’t like male chefs, but wants Dana on her team. Marcus and Anthony are trying to fight for Dana to join their team; Dana decides to go with Anthony because of their similar love for Cleveland.
Shehu Fitzgerald is up next, talks about living in the projects and how he wants to do this for his daughter. Shehu makes a seared scallop with a celery root puree. Shehu introduces himself to the judges; Nigella wants to have him in her kitchen. Ludo says that it was a little too flat and it needed some texture so it’s a no. Anthony passes. Marcus says that Shehu has all the skills and passion to become great, he wants Shehu to join his kitchen. Shehu decides to go with Marcus. Marcus is feeling very good about his team so far, Marcus and Anthony have their four cooks Nigella needs one more and Ludo needs two more.
Jacquelyn was chosen by Nigella and now her team is complete; Lugo has to choose two more cooks and the pressure is on. Louise Leonard works as a food stylist, she makes food for commercials and pictures; she wants to be on Nigella or Anthony’s team, and doesn’t believe she’d be good with Ludo. Little does she know that Ludo is the only person with a team left open. Louise introduces herself; she made a beer braised pork meatball. Anthony says that he’s got a full team, Marcus says his team is full, Nigella sadly has a full team; Ludo wants to know if she’s ready to learn, Ludo decides to take Louis on his team. Ludo now has only one slot left open for his team.
Three contestants are up fighting to get into Ludo’s team, Ludo decided to not go with either of them. Ludo keeps trying food and denying people, he’s waiting to find something amazing. Marina Chung is up next, she’s a home cook who’s been cooking for several years. She believes she can win the competition, because she can cook foods that people normally aren’t comfortable with. Michelle another contestant is trying to get on Ludo’s team with her cooking, it’ll be down to both Michelle and Marina. Marina and Michelle arrive and introduce themselves to the judges, Ludo decides to go with Marina because the taste of her dish was great. Anthony is feeling good about his team, Marcus wanted to have a diverse team and believes he accomplished that; Nigella is happy with her team, Ludo is also happy with his team.