People, I was so excited for The Taste for two reasons: 1) Nigella Lawson, 2) Anthony Bourdain. I’m chuckling to myself because I can just hear Anthony Bourdain talking now about how the bloggers are going to be all over this shit (read Medium Raw). And here I am, a blogger, all over this shit. So, let’s talk about this:
1) The format really requires a Ryan Seacrest, or at least a Ted Allen. There is so little dialogue between contestants and judges that you really need someone you’re a bit emotionally attached to, to work as liaison between contestants and judges in order to deliver the following missing ingredient.
2) The human element. American Idol (of which The Taste is kind of the foodie version) does a great job of making contestants very human. We get to know them, and like them, some even as early as their first audition. While I may be exaggerating by saying this element is completely missing, I can definitely say that if The Taste were on a spoon in front of me, I would judge it’s flavor as a little out of balance…in need of more acid…salt…something that makes me want to come back for more.
3) What will make me come back for more (shallow, shallow woman that I am): Nigella, because she’s beautiful, and for the way she appeals to the home cook (because, need I remind you that while many of my counterparts were attending culinary school, I was raising babies and hustling to learn how to cook?), Tony for his balance of soft-hearted and sparkly-eyed honesty, and his, well – straightforward, sarcastic, and who-gives-a-fuck honesty (and that gray hair, dodgy past…gah, he’s such a lady-killer); and Ludo with his French beauty, delicious accent, and loyalty to French cuisine.
I’ll give this show one more shot to be good. Sidenote: Did anyone else think they chose people with the strangest personalities (especially the women) to compete? I mean, grandma with the sparkly headband was cute…I wanted to hang out with her, laugh, and enjoy her quirkiness, but a cooking show? Really?
The hard thing about bringing home cooks and professional chefs together, is that you might have a hard time narrowing your viewer demographic (although, I’m one to talk about things like that with my cover-whatever-the-hell-I-feel-like food blog of mine) but I’m excited to see what happens when the teams of contestants start cooking with the chefs.
Till next week.