Coming courtesy of Channel 4, and with a format taken from the American version, is The Taste – a reality cooking show featuring judges Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre.
This glossy new series seems to be aiming to incorporate the dramatic flair of X Factor and the warmth of The Great British Bake Off in order to create some sort of intense fusion of uncontrollable weeping and ridiculously small portions. The premise of the first episode is 25 cooks (from professional chefs to home bakers) going head-to-head in a fight for 12 places on the judges’ teams (4 for each judge). After the gruelling elimination, the remaining cooks then battle it out in the upcoming episodes to stay in the competition and receive the coveted winner’s title. In case that wasn’t dramatic enough for you, following the premise of The Voice, the judges will taste the spoonfuls without knowing who cooked what – oh, and the contestants are also sitting right behind them while they taste – awkward.
Overall, The Taste has all the elements of a great reality-cookery show – the conflicting judges (sugary sweet Nigella vs. Mr. Stone-Face himself, Anthony Bourdain and the ‘very, very French’ Ludo), the dramatic, hunger inducing close-ups of food, the weepy contestants and the ever elusive hope of culinary success. Altogether, despite being slightly clichéd, systematic and possessing a weird mash-up of existing shows, The Taste is propelled by its charmingly charismatic judges and the new element of the one spoonful of food to decide whether you make it onto someone’s team, or end up going home.