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Press

The Taste TX: 11 Mar 2014, Week 11

CorporatePortal

Episode 10/10, Tuesday 11 March, 9pm, Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain conclude their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

After nine weeks of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos there are four cooks remaining in the battle to walk away champion.

Befitting the celebratory nature of a final, the first challenge that the four cooks face is to make a canapé that perfectly complements a glass of champagne. The guest chef that has the less than onerous task of judging this is legendary chef and mentor of Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay, Pierre Koffmann.

It is the last time the mentors will be working with their cooks, meaning there is one last time for Ludo to get frustrated. Time up, Chef Koffman blind tastes all four of the cook’s canapés, but can only grant two of them places in the final cook off. With dishes including a delicate salmon rillette with caviar and sesame prawn toast, it’s not an easy choice. Having chosen his favourite two spoonfuls, two cooks are left on the brink of elimination but there’s a twist in the tale as it’s revealed there is one more place available in the final three.

To secure it they are both set the same test – to cook a classic ham and cheese omelette. This may sound straightforward, but never has so much been at stake on the cooking of an egg as one person will lose their chance to become the first winner of The Taste.

For the remaining three the judges have one last chance to sample their food and see who can deliver perfect tasting food. Each cook must create a three course meal – one spoon as starter, one as main course, and one as dessert. One of the cooks has something of a nightmare as the pressure gets her, so it’s a head to head – but who will triumph?

At the end only one cook can walk away as champion of The Taste.

Episode 9/10, Tuesday 4 March, 9pm, Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain continue their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

Each week, a collision of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos are cooked up as contestants battle it out to please the palates of the mentors. But the pressure is on as they can only present one spoonful of their food - and every tasting is done blind, Anthony, Ludo and Nigella never know whose food they are eating.

Today is The Taste’s semifinal and the five cooks remaining must battle it out to win one of four places in next week’s grand final. This week’s theme is simplicity and the guest chef is the Michelin-starred owner of Murano and protégé of Gordon Ramsay, Angela Hartnett.

Angela kicks off the semi-final by challenging the cooks to produce a dish using a choice of just three ingredients from the limited selection that she has provided. The tension is palpable as whichever cook wins immunity today will be immediately be guaranteed a place in next week’s final. But it’s not just the cooks who are feeling the pressure, Ludo and Nigella have to make the tough decision of which one of their two remaining cooks they will put forward. Will they go with their head or their heart?

Time up, Angela blind tastes each spoonful of food and picks her favourite who is rewarded with immunity from this week’s elimination meaning they are The Taste’s first finalist.

The five cooks then have ninety minutes to complete this week’s Elimination Challenge, but they must use that time to create three dishes, using one central ingredient cooked in different ways. As usual, at this point the mentors can no longer help out in their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

The pressure is on as the contestants have to deliver nine spoons to the judges, all of which have to be perfect if they are to win a place in the final. There are some interesting taste combinations on offer as everyone is striving to impress the judges – but will pan-fried liver with raspberry be a culinary idea too far?

Each spoon is blind tasted by the mentors, and the three cooks whose food is considered the worst are put up for elimination. With a place in the final at stake, the pressure gets to the cooks and nerves reach an all-time high. But someone must go and at the end of the episode, one cook is devastated when they fall at the last hurdle.

Four girls remain, all of whom are elated and now stand a real chance of being crowned the UK’s first winner of The Taste in next week’s final.

Episode 8/10, Tuesday 25th February, 9pm, Channel 4

Following last week’s elimination there are now six cooks left in the competition all desperate to keep their place in the competition to make it through to next week’s semi final.

This week’s theme is meat and the guest chef here to set the immunity challenge is Fergus Henderson – the pioneering founder of London’s St John Restaurant, critically acclaimed for its devotion to offal and rarely used cuts of meat.

Fergus challenges the cooks to produce a dish using offal in two hours. Desperate to impress his culinary hero, Anthony watches his cooks like a hawk. His two remaining cooks tackle tripe, something he helpfully advises should have a "wet dog funk" about it to impress. Meanwhile, Nigella is coaching her cooks in the skill of dissecting testicles – something the more faint hearted gentlemen might want to look away from - whilst Ludo’s kitchen get to grips with pigs blood.

The mentors make the difficult decision of choosing the best spoon from their kitchen, which Fergus then blind tastes. The creator of his favourite spoonful of food is rewarded with immunity from this week’s elimination.

Next up, the contestants learn of the elimination challenge - they each have just one hour to create a dish using the finest cuts of meat. At this point the mentors can no longer help out in their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

Everyone is feeling the pressure as a place in the semi-final is in touching distance. With such high stakes and expensive steaks in play, one of the cooks makes an interesting choice and turns the world's best beef into a burger.

Each spoon is tasted by the mentors, and the three cooks whose food is considered the worst are put up for elimination. Because the food is tasted blind, and the mentors have no idea who has cooked what, there is every chance the mentors could put their own cooks in danger.

With such expensive meats to play with, the mentors are frustrated when some dishes fail to deliver and one mentor is left with a particularly tough decision. After the mentors bid a sad goodbye to one cook, the remaining five celebrate booking their place in the semi-finals.

Episode 7/10, Tuesday 18th February, 9pm, Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain continue their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

Each week, a collision of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos are cooked up as contestants battle it out to please the palates of the mentors. But the pressure is on as they can only present one spoonful of their food - and every tasting is done blind, Anthony, Ludo and Nigella never know whose food they are eating.

Following last week’s elimination there are now seven cooks left in the competition, all of whom are desperate to avoid having their dish voted as the worst in the elimination challenge at the end of the show.

But first, they’ll have to impress in the immunity challenge. This week’s theme is leftovers and the guest chef is Simon Rogan – known for his love of foraging and one of the chefs at the forefront of Britain’s culinary renaissance.

Simon challenges the cooks to produce a dish using leftovers. The contestants each have just 60 minutes to produce one spoonful of incredible tasting food, with the help of their mentors. When time’s up the mentors each select the best spoon from their kitchen - the one they believe has the most chance of impressing Simon. The cooks use a range of ingredients from fish heads to cod cheeks.

Simon tastes each spoon without knowing who’s prepared them - and picks his favourite who is rewarded with immunity from this week’s elimination.

The seven cooks each have just one hour to create a dish using leftover wine. At this point the mentors can no longer help out in their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

Each spoon is tasted by the mentors, and the three cooks whose food is considered the worst are put up for elimination. Because the food is tasted blind, and the mentors have no idea who has cooked what, there is every chance the mentors could put their own cooks in danger.

At the end of the episode seven cooks go down to six.

Episode 6/10, Tuesday 11th February, 9pm, Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain continue their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

Each week, a collision of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos are cooked up as contestants battle it out to please the palates of the mentors. But the pressure is on as they can only present one spoonful of their food - and every tasting is done blind, Anthony, Ludo and Nigella never know whose food they are eating.

Following last week’s elimination there are now eight cooks left in the competition all of whom must cook up a storm in order to keep their place in The Taste.

This week’s theme is chocolate, and the guest chef is Eric Lanlard – one of the world’s leading patissiers. Eric challenges the cooks to produce a savoury dish using chocolate – his favourite ingredient.

The contestants each have just 60 minutes to produce one spoonful of incredible tasting food, with the help of their mentors. When time’s up the mentors each select the best spoon from their kitchen - the one they believe has the most chance of impressing Eric. Nigella is in chocolate heaven whilst Anthony, not a fan of sweet things, is in chocolate hell.

Eric tastes each spoon without knowing who’s prepared them - and picks his favourite who is then rewarded with immunity from this week’s elimination. His decision leaves one mentor in particular furious.

The eight cooks each have just one hour to create a sweet dish using chocolate. At this point the mentors can no longer help out in their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

Each spoon is tasted by the mentors, and the three cooks whose food is considered the worst are put up for elimination. Because the food is tasted blind, and the mentors have no idea who has cooked what, there is every chance the mentors could put their own cooks in danger. The mentors are impressed with the standard of chocolate dishes and even Anthony has a smile on his face at the end.

At the end of the episode eight cooks go down to seven.

Episode 5/10, Tuesday 4th February, 9pm, Channel 4

Following last week’s elimination there are now nine cooks left in the competition and in the first portion of the show, it’s up to Nigella, Ludo and Anthony to make sure that their teams impress this week’s guest chef judge - American chef and co-founder of the Michelin-starred River Café, Ruth Rogers.

This week’s theme is legacy and having an Italian mother-in-law who heavily influenced her so much, Ruth understands the importance of passing recipes down through the generations. She challenges the cooks to produce a dish using tomato sauce – which she describes as a key component in her “most perfect meal”.

The contestants each have just 60 minutes to produce one spoonful of incredible tasting food, with the help of their mentors. With Nigella being a personal friend of Ruth’s, the pressure is on for her kitchen to deliver, whilst competitive Ludo goes all out to beat Anthony. When time’s up the mentors each select the best spoon from their kitchen for Ruth to blind taste. Her favourite is rewarded with immunity from this week’s elimination.

In the elimination challenge the nine cooks are to create a dish based on a recipe that they have “inherited” from someone in their family. At this point the mentors can no longer help out in their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

The contestants chop, cook and co-ordinate their dishes and with such a meaningful challenge, emotions run high - particularly in Ludo’s kitchen as one person finds the task especially hard.

Time up, Nigella, Ludo and Anthony take to the Tasting Room to sample the spoons that range from a lasagna to mince pie. Although some dissatisfy, the tastings end on a high when Anthony gets an unexpected mouthful, which renders him speechless.

The three offerings that the mentors consider to be the worst are revealed and because the food is tasted blind, there is every chance they could have put one of their own cooks in danger.

Consultation over, nine cooks become eight, leaving one mentor bitterly disappointed.

Episode 4/10, Tuesday 28th January, 9pm on Channel 4

Following last week’s elimination there are now ten cooks left in the competition and Nigella, Ludo and Anthony are ready to do all they can to ensure that no one from their kitchen goes off the boil and leaves the competition this week.

This week’s theme is spice, and in the kitchen to set the immunity challenge is award-winning guest chef, author and ’Master of Spices’, Yotam Ottolenghi. Keen to put their understanding of flavor to the test, he asks the cooks to produce a sweet dish that uses spices in just 60 minutes. The spoonful of food he deems to be the most delicious will win its creator immediate immunity.

With the countdown underway, the mentors coach their teams to deliver the best they possibly can. But some of the cooks are struggling to find that perfect balance of sweet and spice and at the end of the hour, Nigella is forced to make a last minute decision. Ludo continues to push his cooks to their limits, which leaves him open to disappointment.

Blind tasting over, Yotam awards one cook with immunity before leaving them to focus on the next challenge. Now, they must cook up a spicy, savoury dish to serve to the mentors. From this point onwards, the mentors can no longer help out their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

As the temperature rise in the kitchen downstairs, the mentors discuss their hope to taste food with identifiable and well-balanced spices. Anthony in particular is looking for something with real heat.

Time up, the mentors begin the blind tasting, giving their verdict on spoons ranging from pigeon carpaccio and nam jim chicken curry to sea bass with pickled mushrooms and an apple and parsnip puree. Whilst some impress the mentors, others end up a sore disappointment. As ever, the mentors have no idea who has cooked what and must decide on the worst three dishes.

The three contestants face a nervous wait as the mentors debate and deliberate over who should go home. When ten become nine, one kitchen is left devastated and another jubilant as they have the only full team remaining.

Episode 3/10, Tuesday 21st January, 9pm on Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain continue their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

Each week, a collision of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos are cooked up as contestants battle it out to please the palates of the mentors. But the pressure is on as they can only present one spoonful of their food - and every tasting is done blind, Anthony, Ludo and Nigella never know whose food they are eating.

Following last week’s elimination there are now eleven cooks left in the competition and in the first portion of the show, it’s up to Nigella, Ludo and Anthony to make sure that their teams go all out to impress this week’s guest chef judge – celebrated two Michelin-starred chef and home-cooked food lover, Michael Caines.

This week’s theme is comfort food and Michael challenges the cooks, with the help of their mentors, to create a spoonful of pie in just 90 minutes. As the clock ticks, disaster strikes in Anthony’s kitchen when a dish is burnt beyond repair and - keen not to see the same happen in his own kitchen - Ludo gets a little hot under the collar and panics.

At crunch time, each mentor selects the one spoon from their kitchen that they believe has the most chance of impressing Michael. Nigella chooses a Cheese & Onion pie with apple chutney from her kitchen; Ludo a Chicken Curry pie and Anthony a Moroccan Lamb pie. The winner is rewarded with immunity from this week’s elimination.

In the next segment, the eleven cooks each have just one hour to create a spoonful of food that represents their interpretation of ‘Comfort Food’. At this point the mentors can no longer help out in their kitchens - the cooks are on their own.

Nigella reveals that she wants something authentic, flavourful and straight-forward; Ludo is looking for something family-orientated and rich, while Anthony is hoping for something simple, not fanciful and that he can picture eating on the sofa in his pyjamas.

The mentors blind taste each spoonful of food, which includes a ginger and black pepper rice pudding with cherries and kirsch, ultimate quiche Lorraine and posh cheese on toast. Some spoons are cooed over, whilst others evoke sad disappointment, but as ever, the mentors have no idea who has cooked what.

The three cooks whose food is considered the worst are put up for elimination and one mentor finds themselves in the unenviable position of having two cooks in the bottom three. Following a difficult deliberation; eleven cooks become ten – leaving only one mentor with a full kitchen.

Episode 2/10, Tuesday 14th January, 9pm, Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain continue their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

Each week, a collision of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos are cooked up as contestants battle it out to please the palates of the mentors. But the pressure is on as they can only present one spoonful of their food - and every tasting is done blind, Anthony, Ludo and Nigella never know whose food they are eating.

Tonight sees the mentors and their cooks working together for the first time, with the theme of ‘Classics’. Guest chef, Richard Corrigan - the king of giving a modern twist to classic dishes - reveals the cooks first immunity challenge: reinvent a classic seafood cocktail.

As the contestants take to their respective kitchens, Nigella is quick to offer constructive advice to her team, but Ludo and Anthony take more of a tough love approach to try and ensure one of their own contestants cooks up a victory – and immunity.

At the end of the hour, each mentor picks the one spoon they believe has the best chance of winning over Richard Corrigan. Tasting over, the three contestants representing Ludo, Anthony and Nigella’s kitchen nervously await Richard’s verdict as he reveals who has won immunity.

In the second challenge - the elimination challenge - the twelve cooks must create a spoon based around the theme of putting a modern spin on a classic dish of their choice. But they’re on their own now as the mentors take on the role of judges and leave the kitchen for the comfort of their private room.

As the clock counts down, Nigella, Anthony and Ludo are presented with a menu outlining the dishes they will taste but NOT who is cooking them. With expectations high, and no holds barred, the mentors speak their minds and share concern about some of the dishes.

Downstairs with the contestants hard at work, there’s smoke in Anthony’s kitchen as Justin cures his salmon, and panic from Kelly in Ludo’s kitchen when her pastry doesn’t cook properly, but there’s no time to be nervous as the one hour time limit approaches.

Time up, Nigella, Ludo and Anthony take to The Tasting Room to begin the blind tasting. There’s deliciousness and disaster as a sticky toffee pudding goes down a treat and a Thai-inspired steak tartare has so much onion in it, it is mistaken for something entirely different.

Unknowingly, the mentors criticise dishes from their own kitchen, then face a difficult decision as they choose the bottom three. With all the spoons being tasted blind and the judges having no idea who has cooked what, two of the mentors find themselves with cooks in the bottom three and must now decide who made the worst dish and should therefore leave the competition.

The high of the best dish being revealed is quickly followed by the lows of the elimination which leaves one mentor feeling extremely disappointed and with only three cooks in their team.

Notes:

Nigella’s kitchen comprises: 28 year old Supper Club host Claire from Brixton, London, 47 year old Science teacher Kalpna from Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, 32 year old cookery tutor Kelly from Bristol and 29 year old tax accountant Raj from London.

Ludo’s kitchen comprises: 24 year old nanny Chloe from Thames Ditton in Surrey, 43 year old deli-owner Debbie from Bolton, 34 year old children’s nurse James from Shrewsbury, West Midlands and 28 year old private chef Kirsty originally from South Africa now residing in West London.

Anthony’s kitchen comprises: 27 year old charity worker Barry resides in London, but is originally from Ireland, 25 year old café chef Dixie from East London, 27 year old ex-finance analyst & food blogger Guan originally from Malaysia but now resides in London and 28 year old junior sous chef Justin originally from Derbyshire, now living in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Episode 1/10, Tuesday 7th January, 9pm, Channel 4

Three of the world’s greatest culinary talents - multi award-winning food writer, TV cook Nigella Lawson; critically acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre; and legendary food maverick Anthony Bourdain begin their search for the first British winner of The Taste - the high stakes cooking competition where The Taste is the only thing that matters.

Each week, a collision of fiery cookery challenges, blind-taste eliminations and simmering egos are cooked up as contestants battle it out to please the palates of the mentors. But the pressure is on as they can only present one spoonful of their food - and every tasting is done blind, so Anthony, Ludo and Nigella never know whose food they are eating.

Tonight, 25 hopefuls battle it out to take one of 12 places up for grabs in the competition. Where they’re from and how they’re trained doesn’t matter - only those who can deliver the most impressive spoonful of sensational flavour will make the cut and earn a spot on a mentor’s team.

They include Kalpna, a 47 year Science teacher from Greater Manchester, Dale, an 18 year old catering student from Glasgow, Dixie a 25 year old café chef from, East London, Barry, 27 year old charity worker from London, Tara a 43 year old catering company owner from Bristol, James a 34 year old children’s nurse from Shrewsbury, Simon a 43 year old private chef from Marlow and Chloe a 24 year old Nanny from Thames Ditton.

32 year old cookery teacher Kelly kicks off the competition by preparing a spoonful of tea-smoked Duck breast, sprouts, pickled cherries and chocolate. As Nigella, Ludo and Anthony sample the spoon in The Tasting Room, a nervous Kelly waits to receive her feedback and hopes desperately that at least one of the mentor’s will reveal a YES from their menu and offer her a place on their team.

As the contestants continue to filter in to The Tasting Room, the pressure gets too much as 18 year old student Dale, who breaks down in tears even before the three mentors have made their decision - attracting the sympathy of Nigella, but definitely not that of straight-talking Anthony.

It’s not long before the mentors begin fighting over contestants as they are wowed by the standard of the spoons presented to them. Ludo reveals his competitive side as he goes all out to try and entice one particularly popular contestant to join his team.

As the coveted final spot is taken, Nigella, Ludo and Anthony reveal their teams and prepare to lead their contestants in to battle as the real competition to find the first British winner of The Taste begins…

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