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…