The Taste RECAP 2/20/14: Season 2 Finale

The Taste RECAP 2/20/14: Season 2 Finale

On ABC tonight THE TASTE returns tonight with another new episode and their season 2 finale.  On tonight’s show episode cu;inary legend Chef Jacques Pepin, guest judges a Rich & Poor Cooking Challenge in the season 2 finale.  Did you watch last week’s episode?  We did and we recapped it for you right here for you.

On last week’s episode Beer was the featured ingredient of this week’s challenge. With six remaining cooks in the kitchen, the mentors and their teams get out of the studio and into some of their favorite Los Angeles-area restaurants for beer and food pairings. From salty animal flesh and shellfish to spicy and exotic foods, the competitors were feeling the pressure knowing that this week’s challenge would determine who would be sent home and who would move on to the finale. Chef Jonathan Waxman was the guest judge for this challenge and served the remaining cooks a curve ball they never saw coming as time ticked down during the group challenge.

It’s all come down to this. With only four cooks remaining in “The Taste” kitchen, the mentors give their teams their final group challenge; creating Rich & Poor dishes inspired by various ingredients including tripe, liver, wagyu beef, scallops and foie gras. This week the finalists have the added pressure of cooking for a culinary legend, the one and only, Chef Jacques Pepin.   As a surprise, the final three who make it through the group challenge will be tasked with creating breakfast, lunch and dinner – all within two hours – and in front of a live studio audience that includes some familiar faces from this season

Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when The Taste Season Two episode 7 returns to ABC. While you wait for the recap, let us know what you think of The Taste?

RECAP: The Taste finale is tonight, Marina, Louise, Jeff and Lee will be fighting. Tonight is a battle between Ludo and Tony; both are equally very competitive and want to win. The chefs go to their mentors’ trailer; Ludo talks to his team and says that they need to work their best. Tony tells Lee that he needs to step it up tonight; he needs to show off skill and technique. Ludo tells his team that tonight is the time to do their best, there is no room for failure. The chefs come out and are standing before the mentors who arrive after, Tony tells them welcome back and congratulations on making it to the finals. Tonight there will be a winner of The Taste. The mentors have brought in the family members of the four remaining chefs; they seemed very shocked to see their family to be there. Jeff says that it’s stressful with his family, and former contestants being there in the audience. Jacques Pepin will be tonight’s guest mentor to taste their first dish of the night. Jacques is a legend in the culinary world. The chefs have an hour and thirty minutes to cook, but first Tony and Ludo will talk to their teams to tell them what to do. Ludo wants his team to do something french this time, he shows them how to make a simple, but tasty dish. Anthony wants to go old school with this challenge. Ludo is very competitive and the chefs on his team can see this, Ludo can’t stress how important it is to taste their food. The challenge is about rich & poor, Anthony shows Lee how to make a rich dish and a poor dish. Lee is going to take a risk with this challenge; they’re going to cook using something they’re not comfortable with. The hour and thirty minutes of cooking begins for the chefs.

Ludo says that the challenge is to make a poor dish and a rich dish; the chefs need to use the techniques they’ve learned. Ludo tells his team for there to be no burning of the food. Louise is making a Liver and onions dish for the poor, and a butter poached lobster for the rich dish. Jeff is planning to make a chicken soup for the poor dish and he’ll be making wagyu beef and foie gras for the rich dish. Marina is planning to make an animal parts stew for the poor dish, and a seared scallop foie gras for her rich dish. Lee is making a seared scallop for his rich dish, for the poor dish he’s making a Portuguese tripe stew.  Lee is using a pressure cooker and he needs it to work, but it looks like he doesn’t even know how to work it and neither does Tony. Marina quickly helps Lee with the pressure cooker, and then gets back to her kitchen quick. An hour is left, Jeff has Ludo on his ass today; in fact Ludo is on everyone’s ass he wants to win this so bad. Ludo wants to beat Tony; he wants to impress Jacques a fellow French man. Ludo goes up to Jeff and tells him he can’t go home today, he doesn’t want him to. Lee knows that cheese and fish don’t mix, he’s going to make parmesan with fish, Tony is worried, but he trusts Lee with his decision. Ludo looks like he’s snapping; I’ve never seen someone this competitive.

There’s about twenty minutes left, everyone is trying to complete their dishes. Ludo tells Marina that she’s got this, and is able to win this competition. Anthony tells Lee to take out what he’s got in the pressure cooker, but Lee wants to leave it in for five more minutes because it might make a difference. Lee decides to finally open the pressure cooker, it looks like it worked. Time is almost up and everyone needs to rush, five minutes are left for the chefs to cook. Now Jacques will blind taste the chef’s dishes, they’re all nervous. Jacques appears and he prepares himself to taste, he tastes Marina’s dish first and he finds her poor dish is very well balanced and seasoned. Then he tastes her rich dish, he finds it to be very interesting. Jeff’s dishes are up first, his first dish doesn’t seem to have enough salt in it and then he tastes the rich dish, and he finds it to be very good. He tastes Lee’s poor dish now, he can taste its tripe. He tries Lee’s rich dish next, he finds the scallop well cooked. Louise’s poor dish is up for tasting, he finds it’s not salted enough. He tries her rich dish and finds that the lobster is undercooked.  Now Jacques best dishes are, he loved Marina’s dish. The next best dish is Lee’s dish. Now it’s down to Jeff and Louise, who will go home.

Jeff is the least favorite dish of Jacques, Ludo is completely shocked about this outcome and no one saw that coming. Jeff is crushed and feels extremely disappointed; he’ll be going home now. Lee is upset; he really wanted it to be Jeff at the end with him. Jeff says goodbye to the mentors and the other chefs; he’s not going to argue because it was a legend who tasted the dishes. It’s sad that it’s over for him now; he learned a lot from Ludo and is glad to have been taught by him. Jeff is about to leave his family come in and talk to him telling him how Lee must feel more crushed than he does. Marina, Louise and Lee are in the finals now. The final challenge is now Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner; they have two hours to cook three spoons to represent these meals of the day. The remaining chef’s head to the break room and the mentors go to the trailers. The chef’s family come in to see the chefs; they’re excited to see them. Lee can’t believe his family drove all the way down here. All the families are proud of their chefs. Lee feels like he can win this, but his father tells him not to be too cocky. Marina wants to win this competition and to move into a bigger house with her children. Now the chefs must get back and prepare themselves for their next challenge.

Cassie comes into the break room to see Lee; she comes and gives him a hug. Cassie gives some motivation for Lee; he looks like a whole lot better. Marcus says it was shocking having Jeff go home. Now the remaining chefs get to have a master class with Jacques, Louise talks about how much of a privilege it is to learn from Jacques. Lee also mentions how awesome it was to learn from Jacques and how cool he looked while cooking. Lee is planning to make a crab cakes with avocado for lunch and has no idea what’s for dinner. Louise wants to do seafood for dinner, Jacques tells her to plan out what she’s going to do for her dishes.

The mentors come out and Tony tells them that this is going to be their last and most important challenge. No matter what happens, he thanks them all for cooking their hearts out tonight. Now the chefs must make a dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The mentors go into their lounge to wait for the chefs to finish cooking; Ludo mentions how he’s surprised Lee made it because of how cocky he is. Lee is making a parmesan flan for breakfast, crab cake for lunch and a wagyu strip steak for dinner. Jacque feels good about what Lee is doing. Tony wants Lee to win because he’s on his team. Lee has come a long way; he was at a point where he didn’t want to cook anymore. Lee found his love for cooking in this competition. Everyone is excited to see what Marina is going to be doing today. Marina is making English muffin with egg for her breakfast; she’s making a fried spring roll for lunch and short ribs for dinner. Jacques feels the most worried about Marina, because of all the techniques she’s using. Ludo feels surprised how Marina the underdog is doing very well.

Lee is having a hard time getting some crab meat for his crab cakes, but it seems that he’s left his flan in the oven for far too long. Turns out that his flans are perfect, he completely lucked out. An hour is left now, Louise wants to make a fried quail egg for breakfast, oyster po’ boy for lunch and for dinner steak and potatoes. Jacques feels that Louise is focused and has a good plan. Nigella talks about how this an endurance test, but the adrenaline alone will keep them going. Jacques felt Lee was plating a little early, but Lee feels like it’s the only way he can get this dish done. The mentors talk about hoping not to have a steak, but Louise and Lee are planning to make a steak for dinner. Louise is listening to all of the advice that Jacque’s giving her. Jacques likes how much of a good listener Louise is. There are five minutes left for the chefs to cook.

The sauce for Louise’s sauce broke, she has no time to redo it, and she needs to plate her dishes. Lee is plating his dishes and he’s very nervous. Louise is saved by Jacques advice. Time is up and the chefs have finished plating, sadly Marina didn’t taste her dish because she had no time. The mentors come out and are now going to be tasting the dishes blind. The mentors start off with tasting Louise’s dishes first, the mentors taste her breakfast dish first and they seem to really like the dish and how well balanced it is. Now they’re tasting her lunch dish, they say it was daring and the proportions were really good, it could have used a bit more mayo. Now they’ll be tasting Louise’s dinner dish, the mentors find that it was executed very well. Marina’s dishes are up now; they’ll be tasting her breakfast dish. The mentors seem to like the balance and crunch to the dish. Now they’ll be tasting her lunch dish, the mentors feel like it wasn’t as good, but Ludo and Tony liked it. Now they’ll be tasting her dinner dish, they find the meat was cooked beautiful and it had great flavor. Lee’s dishes are up next.

The cook who’s come in third place is Lee, Lee looks completely shocked and everyone else was shocked also seeing that he came in third. Lee mentions how this experience changed everything for him, because it made him find his passion for cooking. Now it’s down to Marina and Louise. In the end the winner of The Taste is Louise, which there’s no surprise at all because she was the only one who listened to all the advice that Jacques gave her in the kitchen.