The Taste (2013) s01e01 Episode Script

Auditions: Part 1

1 This is a cooking competition unlike any other.
Blend it! Blend it! Mind your business.
Let your food do the talking.
Because this is all about the taste.
That was genuinely revolting.
It's all about the taste and nothing but the taste.
Why? Because we're tasting the food blind.
- We have no idea who made it - Mmm.
What ingredients they might have used, nothing.
- Is that Gruyère? - What's the protein? - Lamb, beef? - I'm confused.
They could be a Michelin-starred French chef, or a home cook.
None of that matters.
Is it a home cook or professional chef? A home cook who's watched a lot of cooking programs.
Okay.
We're going head-to-head to find a winner.
I'm pretty sure I can't use the term "delusional (bleep)" on television.
This is all part of my strategy 'cause you know those bitches can't handle their liquor.
Mmm.
Mmm.
Mmm.
Lucky I've got a big mouth.
(Bleep) mess here.
He should (bleep) with your guys.
Oh, just a second.
Is everybody ready for this?! Cook, mother suckers.
Cook! Across America, thousands were invited to cook for us.
I am a lawyer.
I'm a private chef.
I'm just a home cook.
One cook will win $100,000, provided by Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise, and the all-new 2013 Ford C-Max hybrid.
And not forgetting the Taste Trophy.
Just one spoonful Just one taste May the best taste win.
ohh, ooh, ooh How you like the taste? I am so proud of you.
I know you're gonna do it.
To Octavio's success on The Taste.
- Yes.
- Yeah.
- Cheers.
- Salud! - Welcome to Los Angeles.
- Thanks.
I quit my job to come here, so this is the biggest thing I've ever done in my life.
Can I have eight scallops? Can you tell me where the Thai chilis are? I need shrimp.
This competition starts right now.
Look who's sitting up there.
Each of us will choose a team of four cooks to mentor through the competition.
I'm a little bit nervous about the time.
I hope I can pull this off.
Each cook must prepare four identical spoons just one delicious mouthful to tantalize our taste buds and win a place in one of our teams' kitchens.
We don't know how important this competition is to them or how excited they are to be here.
Quite frankly, we don't give a damn.
Only when we've secretly locked in our decisions does that hatch open, and then the cook is revealed.
The button is pressed again to reveal how we voted.
I should've chosen you and I didn't.
Judges' decisions have already been made.
Hungry? Smells good.
Very.
Always.
It smells nice, doesn't it? - Yep.
- Big day of tasting ahead.
My dress is elastic.
I've got lots of room.
Yeah, I'm canceling dinner tonight.
My name's Adam.
Also known as Chef Kas.
I live in Las Vegas, and basically what I do is I create food for awesomeness.
Also known as food for life performance.
When you put time and attention into food, it all tastes better.
The great thing about this competition is you're judged based on the taste of your food alone.
The mentors are gonna pick the winner without even knowing whose food they're tasting.
I'm just gonna let that sit for a few minutes.
Once they start eliminating people, they could be sending people from their own team home.
That's pretty awesome.
This is also where all the Capoeira comes in handy, because these things are not light.
I am gonna come at them full force, and they're not even gonna know what's happening because it's coming from the future through a time portal, smashing them in the face with awesomeness.
And there's nothing they can do about it.
To awesomeness.
This is a pineapple, maitake mushroom, ground turkey, sun-dried tomato, cac and cheese stir-fry, and I kind of call it a Kas-errole.
You can't necessarily put those flavors together in your head.
- But when you experience it - Mmm.
It It just kind of opens your mind up to a new dimension of food possibility.
I want them to say "wow.
" I know there's only 16 spots on the mentors' teams.
But I know that one of them's gonna want me, 'cause I'm just gonna bring the awesome.
I gave them Chef Kas.
I want them to say at least, "This guy is coming at us with something original.
" Hello, hello.
All right.
I'm ready for this.
- Here we go.
- The first one.
That was genuinely revolting.
All locked in? Let's get this over with.
Hi, chefs.
Welcome.
Welcome.
How you doing? - Good.
How are you? - Good, good, good.
Where are you from? I live in Las Vegas.
Are you a chef, a I am.
- In Las Vegas? - Yes.
Tell us Tell us a little bit what was going on here.
This was a pineapple, maitake, ground turkey, mac and cheese stir fry.
It's got It's got wit.
Yeah, I, you know, that was It was I don't know if this was the forum to try something new and experimental and out of the box, and that was just It was a roller coaster to nowhere to for me.
Um, definitely a pass here.
Kas.
- Yes, chef.
- Uh, did you try this dish before? - Did you make this dish already? Yeah? - Yes.
Yes.
(Bleep).
Really? Okay.
It is not for me.
Sorry about that.
Thank you, chef.
It just, it wasn't It wasn't for me.
I didn't I didn't get it.
I'm sorry.
Look, I gotta be honest with you.
You're a professional.
You should know what makes food good.
This is a mish-mosh of of flavors.
It's overcomplicated.
It's texturally unpleasant.
It's appalling, and you will not be cooking in my kitchen.
Thank you.
Look - He he - I'm angry.
You call yourself a cook? You If you're stoned at 3:00 in the morning, and you're emptying out your refrigerator - to make something - It's still not good.
This would still be sub-par.
There was no no college dorm in the world that this would pass for food.
I was hoping that they would see the the originality and the attempt to do something that was different.
You know, I make food for awesomeness, not just food for tasting good.
This was a food crime that we saw here today.
All right.
Here we go.
It's so hot in here.
I'm Sarah.
I'm 27 years old.
I'm from Ft.
Lauderdale, and I'm a food blogger.
I'm just ready to rock it.
Being a home cook, I don't feel like I'm at a disadvantage.
There are a lot of people here that have been cooking way longer than me.
But at the end of the day, it's all about, "How does it taste?" I am doing a seared scallop, and it's gonna have a peach and habanero salsa a little ginger in there with a basil oil and a marcona almond crumble.
It's so important for me to get on a mentor's team.
I mean, this is my dream.
This is my dream on the line, you know? Let's do it.
Okay.
Down the hatch.
Mm-hmm.
I needed more acidity.
The scallop was perfectly cooked.
Yeah.
I don't like scallops, and I am having a very hard time making up my mind about this.
It's kind of, well, really cooked, like 50/50.
See the color both sides.
50/50.
Are you saying you didn't like the way the scallop was cooked? - No, I love it.
- Oh, yeah.
- You speak English? - You know Oh! Game on.
I love it.
Are we all in? You ready to see our scallop cook? - Welcome, welcome, welcome.
- How are you doing? I'm great.
How are you? - And your name? - I'm Sarah.
So can you tell us a little bit about, uh, your scallop dish here? Just simple seared the scallop.
The salsa is peaches, ginger, habanero, lime juice, honey.
There's a marcona almond crumble on the bottom.
That's kind of music to my ears.
I love all the I like the sweet, the heat, all of that.
- I like a little bit of crunch.
- Yeah.
The scallop was cooked perfectly.
So I really see you as somebody I would, uh, like to work with and could potentially join Team Malarkey.
- So - Oh! You've got an in right here.
Wow.
Are you a professional? No.
That was a very professionally cooked scallop.
I thought it was a very sophisticated dish.
I could've used a little more heat.
Thank you very much.
But that's a no for me.
For me, taste is really about balance.
Right.
With the fruit, you didn't really need honey as well.
If anything, you needed more lime juice to bring out that sweetness.
Right.
So it's a no for me today, but thank you.
Thank you.
I was very impressed about your technique, the way you cooked the scallop.
So I would say, yes, I would take you in my kitchen.
- Oh, my God.
- Wow.
Now it's getting interesting.
At this point, it is up to you.
You have to make a decision between Ludo or Malarkey.
All right.
All right.
So I love seafood.
Seafood's kind of my specialty.
Team Malarkey is kind of the way I think you need to be leaning.
Okay.
What do you want to do? Do you want to learn how to cook? You want to be better? Yeah.
Just for you know, you know, I work with a great chef in France.
I'd really, really love to, uh, help you and hope to give you so many inspiration and creativity and and do the road together.
Please.
Okay.
Um Well I don't always do seafood, and a lot of the other food that I do is comfort food and different things that are not just seafood, so I don't know if maybe I would be a better fit with Ludo.
Yes! Yes.
Ahh.
You are a very smart girl, Sarah.
It's the French accent.
I don't know.
La la la! Oh, if you're not on my team, now you are my enemy.
- So - Ohh! No, come on.
It doesn't work like that.
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
We're going to have fun together.
- Thank you.
- See you in the kitchen.
- I like having fun.
- Thank you, Sarah.
Yeah, you know, I like her, guys.
You know, she had good energy.
I mean, I was very impressed about her technique.
It's inspiring.
You can cook fantastically whether you're a chef or a home cook.
That's fine.
I'll take some pros.
Aah! - Feelings hurt? - No.
No, no.
I kind of liked that.
I liked it.
When she said that she wanted to go do some comfort food and stuff, I was like, "Go play with Ludo.
All right?" Oh, my God.
To have two of them press the green light, this is amazing.
I'm just so excited to show America that if you have the desire and the dream, and you have the desire to cook, you can.
It's that French accent the woman thing, and I don't know.
Yeah, this is a problem, though.
Trust me.
It's a problem.
You know what, Brian? Sometimes they don't understand me, too, so Nobody understand me.
You understand what I'm say? Yes, I understand what you're saying.
I understand.
"Ludo, I can't understand.
" I understand perfectly.
Is everybody ready for this?! I'm an executive chef.
I've currently got five restaurants in San Diego.
I'm very ambitious.
I'm bringing it big-time.
Brian Malarkey.
Boom.
He certainly You know, has got a lot of drive.
Fire it up! Uh, I don't know nothing about him.
The fact that he has five successful restaurants says a lot about him.
He's there to defend the professional chef, and I'm here to defend the home cook.
I love fat.
Unlike the other mentors, I don't have any experience in a professional kitchen.
What I have is such a passion for food.
Nigella Lawson is a British domestic goddess.
She has a naughty side.
I feel kind of tingly.
When I was young, I was really in love with her.
She knows so much about food.
Underestimate her at your peril.
Fail is not an option.
Any other cliche you'd like to spout? Huh? Don't cross the line.
Don't cross the line.
I'm the chef/owner of Ludobites and Trois Mec.
I work with all the grand master French chef.
Ludo is classically trained.
Ah! Single-handedly pioneered the pop-up restaurant.
A veteran of that top tier of French gastronomy.
The military equivalent would be West Point.
I'm always right! As gorgeous as he is, he will fight me at every available opportunity.
But let me finish! (Bleep).
Can I finish? I'm a big nasty slut.
Take me now.
I'm a 30-year veteran of professional restaurant kitchens.
At no point in those three decades was I a great chef by any means.
Oh! I've traveled the world, eating and drinking to excess in some of the best restaurants in the world.
Tony is absolutely the Mick Jagger of food.
Cheers.
To victory.
One of my idol.
But he takes no hostages.
I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated that dish.
I don't believe there's anything, uh, in the rule book about, uh, saying you can't kick your mentor in the testicles.
In a perfect world, who's coming along next that ends up on your team? I want to have a refined chef with technique.
- I'd like a French guy, whether male or female.
- Yeah, wouldn't you? I need somebody with some technique and I need a little bit of flair.
I'm looking for somebody who can cook pasta.
Flipping an omelet.
Gotta love life when you're flipping an omelet.
My name's Kyle.
I live in Los Angeles, California.
And I'm the executive chef at 54 Twenty in Hollywood.
I've worked my butt off for ten years.
I'm here for validation.
There's a lot of people that don't understand my food.
So if I can come out of it on top, then maybe I'm onto something.
Today I'm making a chicken-fried watermelon with pickled watermelon rind.
It's only five ingredients.
It's super easy.
But you get contrast of texture, flavor, temperature.
You get it all in in one bite.
I think it'll be perfect.
I take a lot of pride in the way I see food.
It's a little bit out of the box.
It's different.
They're either gonna appreciate it or they're gonna hate it.
I'm not sure which.
So that's a surprise.
You don't know what you don't know what is inside, guys.
It's a real surprise inside, guys.
My food will speak for itself.
Mm.
People do a lot of talking, but it all comes down to the taste.
And I know my food tastes good.
I'm in a meltdown.
I'm confused.
It's interesting.
- It is interesting.
- For me? Yeah.
Seriously - It is interesting.
- Flavor, texture.
Texture and flavor.
- Was there watermelon in there? - That's what I got.
There was, like, a pickled watermelon in there.
I'll tell you right up front, I think it's I think professional.
We'll see.
Let's, uh, let's see who is behind the door.
- Professional.
- Chefs.
- It's a chef.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
- What's your name? Uh, my name's Kyle Schutte.
- Kyle? - Yeah.
Professional? Professional, yeah.
What did I say? And what was the dish? What did you just serve us? Chicken-fried watermelon with pickled watermelon rind.
This dish says a lot about me as a cook.
There's basically five ingredients in there.
And you get a contrast of flavor, texture, temperature.
It sounds really good.
I mean, it's I Very creative dish.
Thank you, chef.
Uh, Ludo, what do you think? I really enjoyed this dish.
I mean, you really take a risk.
I really respect that.
I made a big mistake.
I pushed my button no.
I did a mistake, I mean.
- Nigella? - I love the texture.
I loved the way it was so crisp and and light.
The watermelon rind in the middle just was a bit too sweet.
And I applaud you and I hope I don't lie awake tonight thinking, what have I done? You're not take him? No? Listening to you describe the dish and and seeing your your passion with it, um, it was just the dish was just kind of out of my Out of my comfort zone a little bit, I guess.
I think that's where I wanted it to go.
So tough decision, but I I had to say no on that one.
I feel so bad.
I think, guys, you're making a big mistake, guys.
Clearly there's a lot more going on inside that head.
You have a lot more to give.
I liked the dish.
I was thrown by it.
But I have to say, I missed the point.
I missed the boat, and I fear I've made a terrible mistake.
Sorry.
Really, best of luck.
Thanks, chefs.
Ouch.
- Hey.
- Hey.
- Hey! - What up? What up? Bourdain was like, "You're going places," but, uh, the place I'm going right now is home.
It's not what I expected.
That would've been a good guy to have on your team.
Yes, 'cause he would've been He would've brought a lot of good ideas, - he would've been fun.
- Professional, smart Smart.
Competent, had tech He had it all.
I'm livid with rage.
Oh, it's all good.
I gotta find a way to dust myself off, go back to work somehow.
But I did not expect to go home at all.
I mean, I can't lose faith in myself because four very intelligent people didn't quite understand a dish.
Each of the four mentors are looking for four cooks to join our kitchens.
I'm not looking for one winner.
I'm looking for four winners.
It's not just the 16 cooks competing.
It's the four mentors as well.
I need to win this thing.
I mean, I have no choice.
And then the battle is on.
Every week, we'll be tasting blind, and if we haven't done our job and prepared our team to do the best, we could eliminate one of our own.
Oh! Oh, this is just unbelievable.
It's game on.
I'm Khristianne.
I'm 30 years old.
I'm from West Hollywood, California.
I'm the personal chef to Charlie Sheen and the royal family of Saudi Arabia.
Having high-profile clients comes with high demands.
Whatever they want, however they want, you just have to make it happen.
I'm making a corn puree with, uh, seared harisa scallops with, like, an orange glaze and duck chicharones to top it off.
If I were to describe myself, it would be the Kanye West of cooking: Cocky yet inspiring.
It's like Hunger Games here.
I want this more than anything.
I mean, I've worked so hard, so long in mastering my craft that, you know, I'm pretty confident at this point.
If I were to just present myself, I mean, it would be a no go.
I am fully tatted, I'm Asian, lesbian, so you got, you know, triple minority threat right there.
It being a blind taste test would work to my advantage because they don't see who's behind it, and the food will really shine.
Not bad.
I mean, it's not bad.
I like it.
I don't know what button to push.
It tastes like restaurant food to me.
Yeah, uh, good thinking.
And not a bad restaurant at all.
Yeah, let's take a look.
Everybody in, in, in? Locked in.
Hello.
Welcome.
What's your name? Khristianne, and I'm a personal chef.
Can we ask who you're a personal chef for? Charlie Sheen.
That's a wild dinner party from time to time, huh? What What's the crackling on top? What I rendered up some duck fat from the duck skin so it's duck chicharones, which I cooked the scallops in.
I put some orange rinds with the duck chicharones, and then, uh, a little glaze with the duck fat.
Very professionally executed dish with great flavors.
I really enjoyed it, and I do not know what's wrong with me.
I I I flubbed.
It showed a real keen sense of of texture, which is incredibly important with food.
But I'm afraid it's a no for me.
I'm sorry.
I thought it was fun.
I liked it.
Uh, the The creamed corn was a little bit too rich.
But if you come play with me, maybe we can, uh, work on that, all right? So that's a yes? That's a yes.
So I love your dish.
It was great.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
I will steal this recipe from you.
Thank you.
You scared? You scared what I'm going to say now? Huh? Uh-huh.
You ready? But I say no already.
Sorry.
Yeah! All right.
So that's perfect.
Again, we're gonna refine it.
We're gonna take it.
We got it, all right? We're gonna make Charlie proud.
Yeah! - Well done.
- Winning.
Winning! Oh, that's a good one.
That's right.
Oh, ho, ho.
Sister Khristianne.
I like that.
Good job.
I love you.
We've got something nice and solid.
Solid bases, I like it.
Congratulations.
You lost your cherry.
I did.
I did.
I was just going to say it.
I'm Jeanette.
I'm from New Milford, New Jersey.
I'm a journalist and I'm 64 years old.
I'm not a professional cook.
I cook for my family and I cook for my friends.
You like it when I cook a good meal.
Don't you? Still waiting.
What do you mean, still waiting? I have to be a busy lady because I have to bring in the bacon.
Even though I'm Jewish, I gotta bring in the bacon.
My husband got really sick two years ago, and we went into foreclosure.
So we're losing our home of 23 years.
This is my chance to grab the brass ring and take it home for my husband.
And I'm getting all verklempt, and I don't want to be verklempt.
So what I want to make sure of is that I'll be able to take care of him the way he took care of me for the last 43 years.
I am so excited to be here.
Somebody opened a door to opportunity, and I'm walking right through it.
I'm making a noodle pudding called lokshen kugel.
It's normally a plain salt-and-pepper one.
But I'm adding a twist with jalapeño peppers and with a mushroom sauce.
I want to be on Anthony Bourdain's team because we're both from Jersey.
Oh, God.
Oh, God.
Please.
I think I gotta throw another couple of eggs in here.
Please, God.
God, God, please.
I want my dream TV show.
It's called Jeanette's Kitchen.
It's where I get to interview people and feed them what their mothers made for them.
They help me cook, I talk to them, and they tell me everything.
I've never cooked under this kind of pressure before in my life, because Jewish food is slow food.
It's like the Pointer Sisters, you need a slow hand and a lover's touch.
Look.
It is what it is.
It worked.
It worked.
It worked.
Okay.
Four.
I'm gonna dance.
I think that a blind taste test is fair.
If you make a dish that really stands out, at least you have a chance.
I know this dish.
This is very familiar to me.
It's country specific, though.
It's not a Hungarian or I just taste the spice, but that's it.
Yes.
Are you making your mind up or have you made your mind up? Yeah, I've made my mind up.
You have? Not that I want to be bossy or anything.
Hello.
- Hey.
- Hi.
Welcome.
Can I ask you your name? My name's Jeanette Friedman, from New Milford, New Jersey.
And is this Italian inspired? No, absolutely not.
It's Jewish peasant food from Eastern Europe with a twist.
Uh, where in Eastern Europe, and what is the name of this dish? The name of this dish is salt-and-pepper lokshen kugel with a kick.
- Kugel.
It's kugel.
- Lokshen kugel.
It's kugel, but salt-and-pepper kugel can be very boring, and I love heat.
And I know you love heat, Anthony.
So I chopped in the jalapeños and I served it with a mushroom sauce.
What was the principle spice you used? I I used an adobo spice in there.
Wow.
Um That's just not gonna be right for my kitchen.
That's a no.
Thank you.
Jeanette, it was not for me.
Sorry.
You say you don't want it boring.
- You are not boring.
- Not boring.
But there's certain elements and tradition that, for me, make something no longer what it is.
The twist subverts it somehow.
So I'm I'm sorry, but it's a no for me today.
But thank you.
Uh, I'm sure you've made a lot of people happy with this dish over the years.
There's no doubt in my mind.
It's the best I've had, uh, in a in in a while.
When it comes to Eastern European, uh, Jewish classics, I'm a traditionalist.
So you lost me at the adobo.
By the way, I grew up in New Jersey.
I'd love I'd love to eat at your house sometime.
You're welcome any time you want to come.
Thank you.
She was nice.
- Yeah, she was.
- Yeah.
I'm sorry Anthony wants traditional Jewish food.
Nobody's doing traditional Jewish food anymore.
Bye-bye, everybody.
So where are we? Well, you've got one on your team.
I've got nobody.
I've been strategizing, and now I'm desperate.
- I gotta find somebody.
- It's difficult, isn't it? But none of us are settlers, you know? We need to score and we need to score soon.
My name's Todd.
I'm 33 years old, from Miami Beach, Florida.
This year, I was named hottest chef in Miami, which was a fun little accolade, for sure.
Today I'm making an ahi tuna tataki with some yuzu-ginger sweet potatoes, and a white truffle ponzu with some coconut cream curry and candied ginger.
So there's a lot going on.
With one bite, it's all about different flavors and contrasts crunchy, chewy, creamy.
There's so many different things that go into the actual taste of something, so it's, like, you want a nice balance, and you want it to be flavorful.
Wow.
It went by fast.
When Anthony Bourdain tastes my food, I want him to go, "That's awesome.
" Sweet potato.
Even, like, a citrus oil.
Do you know what kind of fish we have here? I don't know what fish we have.
Is it tuna? I'm transported to a ryokan in Japan.
I really love the ginger in the beginning.
I'm I'm I'm at the stage when I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.
It's complex.
Here we go.
Ready for the big reveal.
I haven't locked in.
I haven't locked in.
Wow.
You're really having a hard time with this.
I dare say, I am having a hard time.
Okay.
Okay.
Okay.
Just say "yes.
" - Hello.
- Hello.
Can you tell us, uh, what we just had here? Yeah, it's a tuna tataki style, uh, tuna, with a ginger-yuzu sweet potato puree.
Just in the position I'm in right now, I had to pass.
But I think you got a good chance here, my friend.
Well, you know, I am not smiling because I I did something stupid, and I should've chosen you and I didn't.
And I have, to use an English expression, buggered up.
Well, I appreciate it, Nigella.
Oh.
I'm cross.
I thought this was a truly, truly excellent dish, and I, too, am kicking myself for missing out on the opportunity to work with pl what is clearly a very palated, professional cook.
Thank you very much.
I love creativity.
And, uh Oh, he's getting him.
He's getting him.
- Sorry? - You're gonna get him.
I love creativity.
I really respect that, - because it need to make sense.
- I can't bear it.
He's gonna get him.
And I'm really surprised by the flavor you put together.
And I would never put this flavor together, never.
Thank you.
I just have one problem.
I did not recognize the the tuna flavor.
It was just lost in this dish.
Just for that, I need to say no.
Sorry.
I mean, I know, it's just Thank you very much.
Can't we have a wild card? 'Cause I need you in my kitchen.
And I am feeling really upset and it's I g the fear Of "We've got lots more to taste" put me off, and I should've gone with my instincts and my heart.
You are not the only, uh, person at this table, - who will be saying good-bye to you with regrets.
- We I am so - I am so sorry.
- You're all very, very We've done you a disservice.
- Keep doing a good job, man.
- I'm sorry.
I know.
- I need but you know what? - Oh, but he would've been good.
He's he's the one I need.
He's the one I need.
- Yeah, you need a guy like like him.
- I need him.
I could've used him, too.
I could listen to Nigella all day.
She was so sweet, just really warm, comforting.
Um, it's unfortunate that she didn't pick me, um, but I understand.
Everybody has good days.
Everybody has bad days.
You just move on and keep making another great plate.
Hey, yo, man.
You guys got any pork belly? Yeah, I got some pork belly.
I need some thyme.
- I'm doing a lasagna, right? - Mm-hmm.
And I want a really special cheese in it.
This one right here, like a taleggio.
This is really nice.
Nice and chewy.
Different kind of texture, too.
Perfect.
I'm done.
- Thank you.
- Thank you so much.
- You have a good day.
- Okay.
My name is Renatta, and I live in Houston, Texas, and I'm a home cook.
That means I sit at home and cook.
I don't like to put myself in a box and say I have a cooking style, because I will see something on TV, and I will just be like, "You know what? I'm-a try that.
" And I'll cook it and serve it to you as if I've been cooking it all my life, and I just learned it an hour ago.
I'm cook my mashed potatoes with the cabbage and along with the chicken with a sauce over it.
Got that grease popping.
Yes, I want to win this.
One bite, one taste, one spoon There it is.
When the mentors take the first bite, they're gonna say, "Mmm.
This is good.
You're a home cook?" I'm gonna say, "Yeah.
" Ooh, we have mashed potatoes now.
- It's not.
- Isn't it leek? These are leeks.
Mmm.
Mr.
Mustard hates me, uh, in this case, and and the feeling is mutual.
Hello.
Ah.
- Welcome.
How are we doing today? - Bonjour.
Fine.
How are you all? Good.
Your name? Renatta Lindsey.
Um, can you tell us a little bit about the dish? The dish is mashed potatoes with cabbages, carrots, and chicken, with a sauce over it.
Are you a home cook or a professional? - Home.
- Home cook.
Don't say it apologetically.
You can invite me down to your house anytime.
But definitely a pass here.
Okay.
I would be very happy to come over to your house and eat.
It was a little too much mustard for me.
- Got it.
- So I must say, you won't be joining me on my team, but thank you for that.
Ah! Okay, thank you.
Gosh.
You know what? I will say no.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
Okay, taking a risk doing mashed potatoes, 'cause it's We all know what that's like, and we all have our own version.
We have our family's versions.
Yes.
Now there's something quite interesting about comfort food.
That made me very happy.
She's for you, this one.
Hit it.
Hit it.
- Please.
Come to my kitchen.
- Let her say it.
Yay! Come on! - Perfect.
- I want more.
- Whoo! - What a surprise.
I can't wait to have you in my kitchen.
Thank you.
Bye.
That was something my grandmother would've cooked me.
My grandmother cooked better than that.
Aww.
Aah! Yes! Nigella is a match made in heaven, and I am so thankful that she chose me.
Oh, my God! Everyone assumes that professional chefs will always win.
This is about the taste, and as we all know, some of the tastiest food is cooked at home.
I'm Markus Ford.
Chef the M.
F.
to you.
I came here to, uh to live the dream, man.
I am going to do a rosemary lamb.
We're gonna do some baby chops accompanied with a crab and cranberry ravioli.
Why am I here on The Taste? For the experience of it all and to make some new friends.
I'm sorry.
I couldn't even say that with a straight face.
Are you kidding me? I'm here to win this.
Mmm.
It's only about one thing, and that's the taste.
And I think that food has gotten so far away from that, that we really need to get back to basics.
That's lamb? I can do tomato.
I can do savoy cabbage.
Cheese.
Mock macaroni and cheese, but not with macaroni.
A piece of sliced lamb on top? I found it rather comforting.
Who Who did this? - Hello.
- Hey, how are you? What's your name? My name is Markus.
Are you a professional chef or a home cook? Professional chef.
So, uh, what was your dish exactly? It was a crab and cranberry ravioli with a seared lamb.
There was a goat cheese in the ravioli and what you thought was cabbage was actually caramelized brussels sprouts with a bit of honey and balsamic.
Lamb is a very powerful meat, and crab is a very delicate fish.
And the the the cheese and the brussels and everything kind of going on in there was not a balance that I was looking for.
But, uh, be adventurous, my friend.
Okay.
Thank you.
I mean, Mark, this competition is about the taste.
And for me, your dish was not tasty enough.
Uh, I need to say no.
Sorry.
I actually found it very comforting.
You know, I licked this clean and I loved it.
While I found it comforting and lovely to eat, I did not taste the meat, I'm afraid.
So thank you very much.
Oh, thank you very much.
The components of that, uh, mouthful of food, I would never have guessed it was as pleasant to eat as it as it was.
He who dares wins.
Unfortunately, that is not the case with this dish.
But I applaud you for grabbing the challenge by its throat and giving it a good shake.
My chefs, my mentors, I thank you.
- Oh, thank you.
- Thank you so much.
I can't take rejection.
I cannot take it.
It's like a kick in the crotch.
So, Chicago, when I come back, your boy needs a big hug, 'cause this was hard.
This was difficult.
One of the reasons that it's kind of playing into the favor of the home chef is because it's It's that one taste and we're not getting to see the plate presentations in this fancy restaurant Well, but, yes, some chef are bad, huh? Yeah, some chefs are bad.
And, you know, there's good chefs.
Many home cooks are bad.
So let's face it.
We We don't know if you've ever worked in a restaurant.
All your experience, however fat your resume, however well you can sell yourself all of that is utterly meaningless.
And it's kind of interesting to me how this is unfolding so far.
Well, my name is Aram, and I'm a private chef.
My name is Ben de Vries.
I'm a chef.
I live in San Francisco.
For the past 15 years, I've been a chef.
Corporate executive chef.
I've heard that a lot of professional chefs haven't had the opportunity to go through yet, but I think, they haven't met me yet, so we can just add another one to the list.
I am gonna make wood-grilled chicken thighs.
Today I'm doing a filet Wellington.
It's a dish that I've cooked a few times at the restaurant.
I'm doing a coffee-and-ancho-crusted duck breast.
I was let go from my job because I wanted to come and do this.
I don't think home cooks have a chance to compete against me.
It's just a different ball game.
Every home cook's gotta learn a little lesson from the pros, their way.
Oh, my goodness me.
Oh, my.
Who made the decision I believe that, right off the bat, that they'll be like, "This guy's it.
" Are you a professional chef? - I am a professional.
- Where? Right now, I I manage a bakery.
I I did not get this dish so I need to say no.
Sorry.
I just didn't see it with you.
All right.
It's not for me today.
In the end, I I just don't think it came together.
So long.
I am disappointed.
I would cook that dish, you know, in my restaurant, you know, a million times.
And so I have nothing to say to the mentors.
I'm pissed because of the the people that I've seen make it through are are hacks.
Of course I'm angry with this decision.
Nigella chose a woman who made mashed potatoes.
I think my dish was a bit more complex than that.
Look, you are a professional chef.
Working as a manager of a bakery does not make you a professional chef.
It does not make you a professional cook.
I'm pretty sure I can't use the term "delusional (bleep)" on television, but I think you might have just now.
I don't know.
My name is Mia.
I'm 26 years old.
And I'm from San Francisco, California.
I went to Harvard.
It's indicative of the fact that I am an inquisitive, um, and curious and passionate person.
I'm also a yoga teacher.
I have to say, I have a little crush on Anthony Bourdain, so wouldn't be too disappointed if he chose me.
So I'm making an Indian-spiced lamb with a paprika and roasted cauliflower sort of pilaf, almost.
Finish it with a mint-cilantro chutney and a little bit of a ginger-infused butter over the top for a little extra rich goodness.
I'm using a lot of spices and ingredients that you wouldn't necessarily think would come from me.
This is the one bite that determines whether I'm staying or going home.
And I really, really, really want to stay, so Okay, let's get these spoons on the tray.
Ahh.
I want them to eat their spoon, and be like, "Where is the second spoon?" Texturally confusing, muddled.
I am not sure how I was feeling with that.
Curry, cauliflower will work together.
Yeah.
So, you know But I mean, you don't taste the beef oh, I thought you did taste the beef.
I needed a bit more salt just to marry everything.
I don't know.
Do you know Ahh.
Any Any thoughts on what kind of contestant we have back here? - I'm thinking a chef.
I'll tell you why - Yeah.
'Cause the The Everything was chopped so fine.
Ah, yeah, you're right.
Yeah, I think we're in agreement there.
Wow.
Hello, hello.
- Come on.
- Come on, guys.
No.
- Hi.
- Welcome.
- Hi.
- Welcome.
Welcome.
- Hi.
- Uh, what is your name? My name's Mia.
Do you work as a chef? You work in the industry? I don't.
I'm a home cook.
- Home cook? - Yeah.
Not that that's a bad thing.
Could you do a menu description for us on what we just had? Sure.
Um, it's a rack of lamb, which I crusted in some spices coriander, fennel seed, black peppercorn, cumin.
I drizzled with a little ginger and cinnamon-infused butter, and have a mint-cilantro sort of sauce over the top.
Too much for my taste.
I'm gonna have to let that one pass.
My My taste buds are still asking what just happened.
Hey, if you can't take the heat Oh! Stay outta my kitchen.
The combination of flavor - Yeah.
- I mean, it makes sense.
Yeah.
But, uh, for me, was just not well balanced.
I'm so sorry I need to say no.
Sorry.
Sorry.
Mia, maybe this is cowardly of me, but I'm afraid I didn't.
But I wish you a lot a lot of luck.
All right.
Sorry, Mia.
If, uh, what I just tasted is an indicator of a wider repertoire, then that is surely a very good thing.
I thought your dish was absolutely delicious.
Thank you.
Uh, I wanted more of it, and I would be very pleased to have you in my kitchen.
Yeah! Yeah! There we go.
On the board! You and me, Tony.
I can't even wait.
We're gonna get along just great.
I'm happy to hear that.
- Yeah! - Congratulations.
You know what, Tony? I th I think you make a good choice.
That's a cook who's not afraid.
- So that was all - Yeah, I agree with you.
She went big.
Whoo! Oh! I mean, the fact that I've beaten some professional chefs, I don't think I'm, like, better than all professional chefs.
I I actually have, like, a crapload of stuff still to learn.
But, um, it would be pretty pretty sweet to win.
Nigella, Nigella, out of the four people who've been chosen, only one professional.
It's It could be the battle of the home chefs here.
The tastings are well underway.
We each need 4 cooks to join our kitchen.
I would be very pleased to have you in my kitchen.
- Yeah! - Yeah! I like it.
That's a yes.
All right.
Winning.
- Let her say it.
- Come to my kitchen.
- Yay! - Yeah! I want more.
I really see you as somebody I would like to work with.
I was very impressed about your technique.
You have to make a decision between Ludo or Malarkey.
- Ludo.
- Yes! We hand-pick our teams based on one mouthful.
The only criteria is how the food tastes.
We have no idea who made it, what ingredients they might have used.
Each of us will choose a team of four cooks to mentor through the entire competition.
Cooking's about to be gentle, not aggressive.
Don't make it too pretty.
Appearance is nothing to do with this.
And every week, it's all decided through a blind tasting.
So the risk of eliminating cooks from our own team is real Unbelievable.
Very, very sad.
Because all that matters is the taste.
My name's Nathaniel, I'll be at your service this afternoon.
I'm Nathaniel.
I'm 23 years old.
And I'm a home cook from Huntington Beach, California.
I would much rather be in the back of the house cooking than in the front of the house waiting tables.
All right, ladies.
- Let me know how you like that, okay? - Yeah, sure.
I'm doing kind of my version of, like, a shrimp toast.
This is something that I'll be, uh, kind of trying out on the judges.
I don't like to eat the same thing twice, nor do I like to cook the same thing twice.
Getting a workout over here.
Oh, my God.
I'm shaking so much.
You just get that one spoon and that once chance.
Well, I got the shrimp, and I got - It was shrimp.
- A very soft A very soft bit of - Corn cake, corn - Corn meal? Bread of some sort, but Polenta? Corn? Something's poached in there.
- Like it's almost It's not a grape.
- Yeah.
Uh, look, mystery to me.
45-year-old lady.
- Hey! - Hi.
Not what I expected at all.
No, no, me, too.
Welcome.
What's your name? Nathaniel.
And are you a professional? Are you in the business? I'm a home cook.
Uh, I'm a food server in a restaurant.
What did you make for us today? Yeah, it's kind of my version of, uh, shrimp toast.
So it's butter-poached shrimp, uh, on a little bit of a lightly curry-and-coconut- spiced French toast.
And then I did kind of, like, a citrus-marinated cherry tomato with a-a little bit of a Thai basil pistou.
Sounds like a great idea.
Your execution was a little complicated.
It was a little muddled for me.
I'm gonna have to pass.
If I was in a restaurant, I would see this dish on the menu and read it.
I will take it for sure.
But I think you're missing some, uh, energy to turn it on on on the dish, so just for that, I need to pass.
I think what happened was, the the pistou and the cake all became kind of one.
You lost some of the crispiness on that, and not a really nice combination, especially in the spoon.
Stick with the tables for now, but keeping learning, all right? You know, I I thought there was a lot of big flavor, and I like big flavor.
I love the taste of the sea.
But you know what? It didn't work for me.
Thank you.
But you're very young, and you You know, you will get there.
Thank you very much.
- It was It was greasy.
It was oily.
- Yes.
It was a greasy It went over the I love fat, and it was greasy.
Definitely not gonna let it knock me down.
I know I can become a great cook.
I need to fall in love with the spoon, and then Then I just follow my heart.
My name is Ninamarie.
I'm a professional chef.
I'm 28 years old.
And today I plan on kicking some butt, taking some names.
Hi, my name is Paul.
I've been working in the restaurant industry since I was 16.
Today I am making seared Chilean sea bass with butterscotch and pickled apple-cilantro relish.
I am making you some pecan-and-lemon-crusted Chilean sea bass with artichokes wrapped in Ferrari prosciutto.
I'm kind of excited for the blind taste test because maybe all these people have been lying to my face for all these years.
I can finally see what people think about my food.
I feel that I can be a top-notch chef.
Somebody's just gotta pry it out of me.
Wow.
That's really stretching the limits of spoondom.
Is that par Was that parsnip at the bottom? It had a bit of celeriac.
I like the pepper.
Got a little spice to it at the end.
Was it like a soft goat curd? Some kind of chutney? - Hello.
- Hi.
Can we get your name, please? Ninamarie Bojekian.
Summarize the dish.
What kind of fish was that? Chilean sea bass.
The bottom of it in fresh butterscotch.
It's topped with pickled apple-cilantro relish and a little bit of Bulgarian feta.
Very, very nice.
Um, it's the butterscotch that you lost me at.
I needed that zing.
I said no.
Thank you.
You know, I hate butterscotch.
I hate butterscotch with fish.
I have no idea where you pulled these ingredients and these combinations from.
In the end, uh, I I have to say It strangely worked for me.
Yeah! I thought it was delicious.
Seriously? Yeah.
Thank you very much.
You're welcome.
You surprise me on this one, Tony.
Ahh.
You really surprised me.
Hello.
How are you? - Hello.
I'm good.
How are you? - What's your name? Paul.
- Paul, professional? - Professional.
Can you tell us a little bit about your dish? Pecan-and-lemon-crusted Chilean sea bass with artichokes wrapped in prosciutto.
- Paul, it was just so much on one spoon.
- Yeah.
Um, a little bit of refinement.
This is all about, you know, the the taste and not putting so much into everything.
At the end of the day, I'm gonna give it a pass.
I thought the dish tasted fine.
But I'm afraid that's a no from me.
Paul You did so much work on this dish, you know, and I really respect that.
Thank you.
Really love it.
Seriously.
I mean, you really impressed me.
Thank you.
And, uh, I would love to have you on my team.
- Ludo's going.
- Ludo's going for it.
Okay, okay.
When you see somebody have talent, - I take it.
I'm sorry.
- You're right.
I got it.
I got it.
Malarkey here wants refinement.
I hear a word "refinement," I want to reach for my revolver.
I don't want refinement.
I want - I'm saying in this application right here.
- I want I want It's very It's very impolite, you know, to cut people when they talk.
It's very impolite, uh, Malarkey.
Oh, I'm very, very sorry about that.
I want pleasure, flavor, the The joyousness.
You've got it.
And I want some of it.
Really? You agree with me? So, Paul, it's for you, and, you know, you have to go by your instincts.
We go by ours.
You must just do what you think.
Yep.
I mean, you have two different kind of, uh, people here, you know? She's English.
I'm French.
Yep.
So, you know, you know French.
We are very known for our food.
Not really the English, you know? - Ooh.
- Ohh.
I just want to encourage you to find your own voice.
So, Paul, you choose.
Well, Nigella, I've heard I've heard lots about you.
I worked at a restaurant for some really French, amazing chefs.
And I have to go with that.
- Yeah! - I learned so much from them.
- I have to learn from Ludo.
I'm sorry.
- Good job, Paul.
Team Ludo.
- Congratulations.
- I'll still eat your food.
Paul, I'm very excited to work with you.
Seriously, I I love your dish.
- Oui, chef.
- See you in the kitchen.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
When I say "refinement," I'm saying it's It's one spoon.
- I want to eat that roast.
- You're gonna eat that food, guys.
- I want to eat that comfort food.
- Guys - I want to have fun.
- We don't know what we have there.
- Hey, Ludo, no, no.
It's very rude to - Maybe that's interrupt people while they're talking.
Let me tell you something.
Nobody tell me what to do.
I love it.
Having two chefs fight over you is possibly the best feeling you can have with your clothes on.
Uh, could I get a cheeseburger, hold the cheeseburger, and a fry, please? Hey, I'm Sieger.
I'm a 25-year-old sous chef here in Chicago The best sous chef in Chicago.
I do everything: Milling flour, pastas, orders, inventory.
I'm like the superhero.
Captain American of Nellcote.
See, look at that beautiful pizza.
Went to school for business 'cause I thought it was what I wanted to do.
And then from there, I learned that I hated it, would never want to do it.
So then my mom was just like, "You love cooking.
It's what you can do.
You might as well try it out.
" I always knew that you were going to do great things.
I'm a mama's boy for sure.
Not a weird, creepy mama's boy.
A healthy mama's boy.
Just don't forget where you came from.
Okay.
When I win this, I'm gonna open up my own place in Chicago.
I'm doing watermelon and tuna crudo.
So, like, "crudo," is, like, obviously raw.
It's gonna be fresh.
It's gonna be crisp.
It's gonna have some smooth aspects.
It's gonna be crunchy.
You're gonna have, like, a little bit of sweetness and some salty, so I think all around, it's just gonna be, like, the perfect taste.
I like to get stuff done.
I want it to come out beautifully.
Not as beautiful as this.
You know, I bring that to the table.
But then with it being a blind tasting, it doesn't matter if I had, like, one eye and a hunch and no teeth.
Like, as long as it tastes good, that's what matters.
I'm gonna I'm shutting my eyes for this one.
I mean, maybe it's me, but I have no idea what I eat.
Somebody tell me what is the fish inside this thing? A tuna? It's like a hamachi or tuna.
Belly of something.
Got great sourness, which I always like.
Yeah, my eyes are glazing over just thinking about this dish.
What What do you think, professional or an amateur? I hope he's not a professional, but I hope so.
- I hope not.
- Okay.
Hi, chefs.
Welcome.
What's your name? Uh, my name's sieger.
It's German.
It means "the champion" or "the winner.
" - Very good.
- And professional or, uh Sous chef.
What was the dish you made for us? It was a tuna crudo with watermelon.
It was kind of like a take on a melon salad.
For this venue, I think it was a little too precious.
I think you were a little too restrained with your flavors.
Uh, sadly, you will not be joining me in my kitchen.
All right.
Tuna is very delicate, and then you hit it with the Kind of the heavy kind of tapenade, uh, lost the The delicate watermelon in there.
Um, just not the balance I was looking for.
So not on my team.
All right.
I just think one bit of extra texture would've made it less expected.
Perhaps be braver.
You I mean, the thing surprise me, you talk about crudo.
Have you been to Italy? Yes.
Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
- Okay.
- I don't see any olive oil and no acidity.
For that, I'm sorry, I'm not going to take you in my, uh, in my kitchen.
Sorry.
Good luck.
Okay.
Thank you very much.
My feelings are, I don't know, a little disappointed in myself.
Well, that's it.
After this, it's just back to work.
So I got that waiting for me.
My name is Cynthia.
I am a stay-home mom.
And I am from Brazil.
You know, taking care of my husband and my family It's really important to me.
I am cooking a dish called shrimp and yucca gratin.
It's a Brazilian dish.
I am doing this for my husband and my son.
I wanted them to be very proud of me.
I am just happy that I finished it.
I'm very confident that my food is gonna shine.
Are the portions getting bigger? Is that some lobster going on? It's, uh, is that lobster or shrimp? This is one where I'm very excited to learn exactly what we just had.
Hi, greetings.
What's your name? My name is Cynthia Presser.
And where are you from? I am from Brazil.
Can you tell us a little bit about your dish? Yes, this is shrimp and yucca gratin.
The shrimp was cooked in tomato sauce and brandy and mascarpone.
And then I made the yucca puree.
For me, it was not enough flavor in this dish.
Bye, sorry.
But I love Brazil.
It's a no for me, too.
Okay.
The The dish did not sing to me.
Thank you.
No.
Coming from one of the great and most glorious, uh, centers of gastronomy in the world I think you You could've, uh, impressed us a lot more.
I, too, am gonna pass.
Thank you for sharing with us.
Thank you.
I'm feeling a little bummed, because, of course, I wanted to move on.
I will take all this experience in, and this is gonna just push me forward.
My name is Micah.
I live in San Francisco.
I'm a design director and I'm 31 years old.
My dish is a Moroccan-inspired pan-seared filet, um, with a vanilla bean-parsnip puree and snap peas with a ras el hanout sauce.
If I don't make it, then I'm not sure what I'm gonna be doing when I get home, because I've given up my job to be here.
It looks like something dripped in there so it's burning a little bit, which scares me because I hope that flavor does not get into the beets.
I'm plating my $100,000 spoon.
Whoop.
Hands up.
Hands up.
Their one-taste element of this is so incredibly frightening that the pressure's really on for me.
I needed fire somewhere.
Something, I mean Do I taste vanilla? - Yeah.
- That's what I was just thinking.
You think it's a it's a home cook or a professional chef? I think it's home cook who's watched a lot of cooking programs.
There you go.
- Hey, how are you? - Good.
How are you? Welcome.
What's your name? Micah Kasman.
Are you a professional chef or a home cook? I am a home cook.
- Really? - Yeah.
Oh, you surprise me totally.
Thank you.
Is this mashed potatoes with vanilla, is that? - It's actually parsnips with vanilla.
- Parsnips.
Sorry.
The inspiration came from wanting to add a sweetness to the dish, because there's salty in the steak and, uh, a little bit of saltiness in the in the beets.
Your dish was a little boring, but this vanilla thing pop up like this, you know? It was literally a bombshell in the dish.
It was surprising.
It was.
But I would say no.
- Sorry about that.
- Okay.
For me, the vanilla Uh, is not necessary.
A parsnip is really sweet anyway.
So I'm not gonna ask you to play with me in my kitchen.
All right.
I agree with, uh, Nigella.
It was too much for me, personally.
Okay.
So I'm gonna have to pass.
That's three regretful nos.
And I want to know, Malarkey I didn't like the vanilla at all, but I loved the way you cooked the meat.
I like the way you kind of thought through it.
We just need to dial it in a little bit.
She doesn't like vanilla on, uh, her savory.
So make sure in the next round, you don't get busted! - Thank you! - Yeah! Thank you.
You've got a good one there.
I like it.
I like it.
I can work with that one.
That's perfect.
I like it.
Oh, no.
I got in.
Ahh! Thank goodness.
I quit my job for it.
Thank goodness.
I feel like I'm one step forward into tasting, like, the final prize.
I always believe that, in life, you need to take risks to get your reward.
And I feel like I'm doing that right now.
My name is T.
J.
Tieman.
I'm 37 years old.
I work in a waste water treatment plant.
And your crap is my bread and butter.
Uh, basically what I do is, take the raw sewage and separate it into, from solids to liquids and, uh, make it eco-friendly.
Everybody poos.
And everybody's gotta eat.
I tell you what, I'd much rather work in a kitchen, cooking food and dealing with what goes into the body, rather than the end result here of what comes out of the body.
I count the minutes till 3:30 in the afternoon.
End of the day, my favorite part.
Go home, walk in the door.
It's, you know, "Daddy, it's great to see you," and that's That's the best thing ever.
I love cooking.
- Extremely awesome.
- I'm glad you like it.
Winning this, it would mean the world to me and my family.
It's just something that I have to do.
I am gonna make some chicken mole with a little salsa on the side.
I'm making this dish 'cause it's near and dear to my heart.
My family loves it.
I love it.
And it's a fantastic dish.
My dream job is to be in the culinary world.
Mmm.
Hell, yes.
I'm gonna corral the chicken.
Four.
My dish is gonna get me in the competition.
I I'm here to stay.
I don't know what it was.
At first I thought it was gonna be a satay, - and then something went - Okay.
- Funny.
- No, let's go - Let's just - I I am so speech Let's Let's Let's go see what it is.
Hello.
What's your name? My name is T.
J.
Tieman.
Tell us about your dish, because, uh, I mean, I'm sorry.
Maybe it's me.
But I have no idea what I ate.
I made a chicken mole, and a very light salsa.
The chicken, it was little dry.
It wasn't for me.
Sorry.
That's all right.
I appreciate it.
These were not flavors, uh, I either recognized or or enjoyed.
Sorry.
Okay.
I appreciate your honesty.
I didn't get the mole.
Definitely passing on this.
Uh, next time, uh, thigh meat is your friend.
Um, much more forgiving and much more flavorful.
Um, but, uh, you know, best of luck to you, all right? I understand.
Thank you very much.
Thank you.
What inspired you? My fiancee is Mexican, and I fell in love with the food.
On a day-to-day basis, I work in a waste water treatment plant, so I am a home cook.
That's not Don't say that apologetically.
A home cook is a is a good thing to be.
I'm s I'm I'm not gonna waste your time.
I really wish you well.
It's not for me.
So thank you for coming on, though.
- Thank you very much.
- Thank you.
You're you're clearly showing a a lot of passion for what you're doing, and and I think that's gonna pay off.
I appreciate it.
Keep going.
- Bid you well.
- Take care.
I mean, I I was I was nice.
- No one would want to hear - No, no, no, I don't Oh, you can't be mean to that guy.
I'm not here to break somebody, you know? But - I mean, look.
This is like a baby's nappy.
- I know.
You know what? Some things go wrong sometimes.
They Things go wrong for everyone sometimes.
I'm happy as hell.
This This was This was the best experience I've ever had, other than meeting my fiancee and having my two beautiful kids.
I'll tell you what I had nothing to lose.
Nothing to lose.
My name is Laura Lafata.
I am making a grilled oyster with a few little surprises on it.
My My mouth was destroyed with a big chunk of shell.
Thank you.
My name is Andreas.
I was born and raised in Colombia.
I'm making a seared tuna tartare.
When you want to impress somebody with t with tartare, bring some flavor.
My name is Crystal.
I am making a Vietnamese chimichurri seared scallop.
Oh, my God.
Sorry about the scallop.
It's fine.
Anyway, you know, that's what dentists are for.
My name is Marja Sampson, and I'm known as the dumpling diva.
That should speak for itself.
I was waiting for a dumpling, just not this dumpling.
I'm afraid that I'm gonna decline.
I got stabbed by something.
That was frightening.
I'm gonna bleed out before we find out who's behind the door.
Something sharp stabbed me.
Ooh.
Sorry about that.
Oh, what the (bleep)? My name is Diane.
I live in New York.
And I'm a chef consultant.
I am here to kick some ass and win and, uh, take everyone down.
I would describe myself as a truck driver in a pair of heels that is sexy, kicks ass, and failure's not an option.
Today I am making you, uh, pan-seared lamb chops that are cumin dusted with a Persian cucumber-yogurt salad.
Having a blind taste and a single bite does not worry me.
Only because I think I'm that good.
I'm the best chef here, for sure.
What y'all doing over there, man? Mind your business.
Are you over here in my station? I can be kind.
But in general, I'm I'm a (bleep).
Mind your (bleep) business.
Whether they're a home cook or whether just a (bleep) personal chef, they need to go home.
Oh, here she goes.
To the competition, I would say, "Put your knives down.
The game's already over.
" I would want to be mentored by Anthony Bourdain.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
I don't think the four judges are just gonna like it.
They're gonna love it.
It's like tzatziki with fig in it.
No, it's great great Great tzatziki.
Great tzatziki.
Has everyone locked in or We're all in.
I'm really curious who could've put it together.
Can I ask your name? Sure.
It's Diane Dimeo.
Diane, now tell me about your spoonful.
The spoonful, uh, was a a variation between tzatziki and a mast-o-khiar, which is obviously Persian.
Um, lamb, and, uh, a bit of julienned scallions and some fig.
Yeah, I could taste the fig, for sure.
And what made you put these ingredients together? What's your inspiration? To me, I think each taste should have an element - of some savory, some sweet.
- Mm-hmm.
Sometimes, um, a little bit of acid.
Um, and something that kind of gives it even more of a kick, whether it's a spice, um, or a scallion, per se.
Yeah.
I loved the balance between the sharpness of your tzatziki and the sweetness of the fig.
Where you lost me, and I'm gonna declare myself out here, is, I feel the acid just dominated a little too much.
Okay.
So, I mean, it was great flavor.
And your Your tzatziki was amazing.
Amazing good.
Thank you.
Lamb was cooked perfectly.
But I need to say no for one thing.
Because I think you put too much tzatziki in the spoon.
And you did not balance, uh, the lamb.
The lamb should shine a little more.
That's the protein.
Okay.
That's so sad, because seriously, I mean, your tzatziki was amazing.
Thank you.
Um, I'm going in the it was swamped also.
You're clearly a very interesting person.
You think a lot about food.
You know a lot about food.
In the end, it is all about the flavor.
I really like your flavors.
I'm very happy in that, uh, that spectrum of flavors, and I am very excited to have you join my team.
- I knew.
- When Tony is quiet He just goes quiet.
He just goes quiet.
He goes quiet.
I knew it.
You're gonna cook fantastic food.
You know what? I'm so happy, uh, Tony pick you.
- I'm happy, too.
- Because you just have it.
It's who I wanted to pick me.
What?! What? Well, now It took me 1/16th of a second to make this decision.
Couldn't be happier.
- Thank you.
- Welcome.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
Aah! Oh, my God.
I'm sorry.
There is no competition now.
I'm gonna bring it so hard that, at the end, I want to be the only one standing.
Yeah! Real chef is in the house.
That's right.
My name is Shawn.
I'm 43.
I'm an executive chef at restaurant downtown in L.
A.
Right now it's It's extremely important for me to get into one of the mentors' kitchens for my children.
My family's my number one thing, you know.
My son, he loves to cook.
Open your mouth, Noah.
Taste it.
What do you think? Good.
- All right, guys.
- Me, too.
- You want to taste it, too? - Yeah.
- Okay.
Okay.
- Yeah, yeah.
Close your eyes.
I definitely feel blessed that I have the family that I have and the support that I have.
You know, so I have to do this for the whole family And for all of us.
- Can Daddy cook? - Yeah! Okay.
Okay.
Today I'm doing something different, something I've never done.
A little bit of a seared ahi tuna.
Put some spices on it, some pickled cucumbers, some jicama.
It's to make me or break me.
Ah! We're done, baby! One bite.
Wow.
That bite has to be pretty perfect.
- Tasty.
- Yeah.
I like the pepper.
The fire bomb.
My tongue get a little numb, no? Not you? Let's take a look behind the hatch.
- Yeah, indeed.
- Wow.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
- What's your name? - Shawn Davis.
Do you cook professionally? I do.
I would've thought so from from the food.
Yeah, well, it's a seared ahi.
The crust is pink peppercorns, fennel, coriander, and juniper.
Ah, juniper.
Juniper.
Juniper.
It's rolled inside of a jicama.
And then it's also topped with a cucumber pistou, micro green, a little bit of jalapeno I I thought that was an absolutely, uh, delicious, delicious dish.
I do not know what's wrong with me.
I I'm worried about you being on somebody else's team.
I I blew it.
It was luscious.
It was a treat.
Now having said that, I'm pulling myself out of here simply because I didn't feel that's what I'm looking for now in my kitchen.
The flavors were fun.
My mind was melting and twirling.
The juniper was definitely a twist.
Come on over, my friend! Yeah! - Come on, Ludo.
- Uh-oh.
Look, um, what kind of food you do usually? "French-style" cuisine.
Um Welcome to Team Ludo.
Yeah! French style! Okay, you have to make a decision between Ludo or Malarkey.
All right.
All right.
Kitchen Malarkey wants your flair.
You fit in there.
We've definitely got the the power to take this thing all the way.
You need to choose me, my friend.
What you want I say to you? You know, you like French food? I like food, you know.
I mean, food period, you know.
I mean, come on.
Well, look, you know, so Look, it's your choice.
For my fit, I'm gonna have to go with Ludo.
- Hey! There you go again! - Ohh! Now I beat you two times.
You will go down, my friend.
Down! Good-bye.
- I like that.
- It was good.
It was really good.
Hi, baby! I'm pretty excited right now.
I'm bringing it for sure.
I'll be honest with you, guys.
I feel a little like one of my idol And his name is Napoleon.
I think I think I have a great army with me, guys.
- He didn't end well.
- No It didn't end well for Napoleon.
- I know, but - I do.
I do.
I do.
May I remind you that Napoleon was destroyed by the great British general, uh, at Waterloo? Can I finish? Okay.
- I'm the new Napoleon.
- Mm-hmm.
With my technique here in the kitchen or whatever, I'm going to win this one.
My name is Renee.
I'm from Chicago.
And I am a professional cook.
I'm making a pistachio-crusted Halibut.
I quit my job to come here.
So this is kind of really a new beginning for me.
I'm taking a leap of faith here and hoping that it works out for my best.
Chilean sea bass shows back up.
It's a Chilean sea bass, you think? - No.
It's not Chilean sea bass.
- I don't Halibut? Yeah.
I would say more Halibut.
I think so.
Ready to see? Ready to see? - Hello, hello, hello.
- Hi.
Can you give us your name, please? I'm Renee.
I'm from Chicago.
Are you, uh, working in the industry, in the culinary field, just a up until last week, I was.
I was a culinary school instructor.
- Really? - Yep.
No, I actually quit my job to try out for this.
- Wow.
- Well Rolling the dice.
Taking the big chance.
The one place you kind of lost me was the cut on the Is it fennel and leeks on the bottom? Or the Uh, it was fennel and pea shoots.
- Fennel and pea shoots? - Correct.
I'm gonna wind up passing on you.
Best of luck.
I really enjoyed your dish.
It brought me to the To Provence, the South of France.
That's what I was hoping for.
I'm going to disappoint you, I'm afraid.
But I already have regrets.
- Thank you.
- Excellent dish.
Excellent.
I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna ask you to play in my kitchen.
Loved the crunchiness of the fennel.
It was not too much.
Nothing fancy.
Yeah.
I I need to go say no because nothing was fancy.
That's the problem.
You need to put some some something of it there.
I mean, your dish was well executed.
I feel bad for your school, they have lost you, because I'm sure you're a great teacher.
(Bleep).
I say no.
Sorry.
We've been sending people home all day long for doing something wrong.
You put in a really extraordinarily fine showing here today.
You are in L.
A.
Stay here and come to work with me.
I will hire you.
Done.
Okay.
You have a job.
- I'm excited.
Much better.
- I'm gonna hold you to that.
Yeah, do, please.
Please do.
Do.
Now you can cry with happiness.
I will be happy to teach you about, you know, a little See you soon.
- Aw, you're such an angel.
- Aw, Ludo.
- No, seriously, no - No, she was good.
She did nothing wrong.
- I feel like crying now.
- I'm looking for people right now.
So, you know, I'll take her.
I'm really, really excited that Ludo offered me a job.
So I'm gonna be a pain in his butt until he takes me up on it.
My name is Lauren.
I'm 23 years old.
And I'm a home cook from Laurel, Mississippi.
So this is my trailer.
And my boyfriend lives right next door.
If I can make magic happen in this tiny kitchen, I'm pretty sure that if you put me in a kitchen with fancy utensils and nice equipment, my food will be that much better.
I've never read a culinary textbook, however, I do believe I have the raw tools to be a great chef.
Every time I turn on the stove, the smoke alarm goes off.
Most people would get stressed out by hearing that noise, but, uh, you just gotta keep your cool in the kitchen.
I am making a chocolate decadence cake with a pistachio ganache.
I love desserts.
I love chocolate.
I'm a chocoholic to the core.
Uh, some of the chefs might think that, uh, I don't know what I'm doing because I'm doing something simple like desserts, but I think a dessert is actually a little bit more challenging.
So I think it'll show the chefs that I'm capable.
And I think they'll be impressed by it.
Everything's at stake for me.
I need this.
I absolutely, absolutely need this.
If I showed you my bank account right now, I'm pretty sure there's $32 in it.
Since I live in a trailer, I'm relying on this competition.
There's no room for mistakes today.
No room.
That's not what I want.
That's not at all what I want.
I stressed.
I overstirred it.
It got clumpy.
That's That's what happens.
You can't stir caramel.
I want Nigella to pick me so bad.
Nigella, please pick me! I like the fact that it's a blind taste test because they're not gonna know that I'm only 23 years old, that I've never been to culinary school.
It's one bite that dictates my fate.
Not heavy on the sugar.
- Seriously, yeah.
I mean - Not heavy on the sugar.
Good texture.
- Mm-hmm.
- I like it.
Think we're A professional pastry chef here, or or or I would like to think not.
I would like to think a home baker.
- I would love to think that because - Hmm? Because I thought it was restrained.
It was It was restrained and clever and balanced, and that makes me feel it wasn't someone trying to reinvent the wheel.
I think home cooks sugar it up.
- Get out of here.
- Controlling the amount of sugar Yeah, I don't know.
I don't know.
That's how it is around my place.
- Shall we see? - Yes.
Ahh.
- Hello.
- Ahh.
So happy.
So first, please, before even you tell me your name, tell me, are you a chef or a home cook? I'm a home cook.
Whee! You win.
And what is your name? My name is Lauren.
Lauren, tell me about your spoonful what was in it, why you chose it for us.
Uh, well, I did a flourless chocolate cake.
I wanted it to be rich and creamy and indulgent, so I put some cayenne pepper in there.
And I love pistachios, and I'm a little nutty, - so I thought it represented me pretty well.
- Nice.
I like that.
Fun.
I just I think that's me on a spoon, if you will.
I think you are a very good pastry chef - and that it was a delicious dessert.
- Oh, my God.
I'm bitter about the fact that you can do something that I cannot do.
But I'm not a dessert guy.
Thanks so much, but I'm afraid that's a no from me.
Thank you.
Thank you, sir.
I think it's clever and fun.
Um, I'm a I'm a savory chef.
I wouldn't know really what direction to take you.
Right.
I don't know if you have other skills to take us down the line.
Yeah.
So on that note alone, um, I am gonna have to pass, though.
All right.
- I love it.
- You love it? I love it.
Seriously.
I mean You loved it? I was very impressed about this this this spoon.
Seriously.
You put some spice into it.
I mean, it was rich but light, too.
I mean, seriously, I mean, I'm in love with with this girl.
I mean, it was amazing.
I love it.
I mean, seriously, a chocolate cake I would put in my restaurant on the menu.
I mean, I love everything.
But I'm sorry.
I don't look for pastry chef.
I'm sorry.
- I know.
- Oh, you bastard! - Just walked her to the plank.
- You still made me cry.
It's okay.
You still made me cry.
It's okay.
But I will find you for the recipe.
I'm going to find you.
- Okay.
- Yep.
I will say no.
Sorry.
Your spoon was brilliant.
Why didn't you pick me? Just say yes, please, for her.
When you came here today, what did you think, what did you want what were you aiming for? I want to win.
I think I can.
I I think I can win this.
I'm so thrilled he didn't pick you, - 'cause I want you in my kitchen.
- Aah! Yeah! Lauren, you're going forward.
I know you can cook other things.
To do a cake and be that restrained It was amazing.
You know, it shows that you understand flavor.
I know that you're gonna make food that really tastes incredible.
So I've I'm I'm really looking forward to, uh, you know, playing with you.
Thank you.
I love you, Nigella.
Ohh.
I want to grow up to be you.
You know what? I think you make a great choice.
I you did.
You did.
You nailed it, though, in that she didn't go overboard on the sweet.
She nailed that that that that heat.
It wasn't, by a long shot, too sugary.
And if she's capable of that, why shouldn't she be able to cook other things brilliantly? I got it! Nigella picked me.
Oh, my God.
She seriously picked me.
She seriously I'm competing against the, like, most talented people.
I can't believe it.
Oh, my goodness.
Mm.
They have multiple restaurants, and they have years of training, and they picked me.
I'm so proud of you.
- I'm so excited.
Ooh! - Thank you.
I'm so thrilled that they picked me.
I can't believe it.
Winning this prize is like the world to me.
I mean, if I left today, I would go home to a trailer in Mississippi.
And, you know, having a brand-new car and having that money would change my life dramatically.
I think more than anybody else I this competition.
I'm quite sure of that.
Are you Everybody's happy with, uh, their choice? - I'm really happy.
- I'm happy.
- You are? Yeah? - No regret, like I mean I have some regrets, but I'm very happy with my my brace.
Slash and a smoke? Good.
- I might have to take longer - Yeah, yeah, I'm getting a little tired.
'Cause I think they want to change my underwear, just to warn you.
Time is running out.
One more spot each.
Now the fight begins.
I want to vomit with terror.
Let's go! He's playing with my balls.
Aah! Cooks against cooks.
Anthony's team's going down today.
I think I'm the strongest in this competition.
Mentors against mentors.
This pissed me off.
You fear this guy.
He should go (bleep) home, your guy.
- I'm not your friend.
- Aah! Every week, it's all decided exactly the same way, through a blind tasting.
- Lamb? Beef? - I'm confused.
We have no idea what we're eating or who cooked it.
So we risk eliminating cooks from our own teams.
Unbelievable.
Til only one remains.
- Ooh, baby! - You want to win, yes or no? So now you get to (bleep) listen to me in the kitchen and do what I say.