OMG, it’s True. ‘The Taste’ Will Return

By Karen

I’ve been hoping it was just a rumor, but ABC really has renewed Anthony Bourdain’s wretched cooking competition for a second season. They’re even churning out fantasy hype like it’s “America’s greatest new cooking show” and the contestants will be “mentored by the biggest stars in the business.”

Hellooo?? What “business,” exactly? ABC, do you have any idea when Bourdain last worked in a kitchen? Or what talent(s) his current celebrity is built on?

(Hint: It ain’t cooking.)

The official casting call has gone out for the next batch of hopeful, hapless schmucks.

The dates aren’t set yet, but they’ll audition victims in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville — that last locale undoubtedly to snag a trailer-trash token for diversity, à la last season’s Lauren, who turned out to be surprisingly adept.

They’re still clinging to the faux-democratic approach of giving everyone from “college students to restaurateurs” a shot. It just virtually guarantees wildly varied results and unfair outcomes.

But I detect maybe two rays of hope for this train wreck:

1. Tony and Nigella Lawson alone appear in the promo (below), with no mention of Season 1 judges Ludo Lefebvre or Brian Malarkey. Have they dumped the dick and the dead weight?

2. Tony and Nigella say the show is “all about the food.” Does the food have a hope of showing up on PLATES this time?

I’ve lately been following Gordon Ramsay on Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef (the latter of which I soon loathed as much as Top Chef for its stupid gimmicks and one cold, bald, prick of a judge who thinks he can see into men’s souls).

But the thing Ramsay’s machine excels at is selecting cooks with personalities, and then giving them the screen time to make viewers care.

Let’s hope Season 2 of The Taste brings the cooks off the back burner and lets the show be about THEM.

Not about judges hanging out for fun and profit, fulfilling their ABC contracts by throwing out offhand assessments of morsels so small they often couldn’t identify them, and disappointing a gamut of celebrity chef wannabes who made the mistake of thinking The Taste’s absurd format gave them a prayer of being discovered.

In case you missed Season 1, want to know who won it? Not one of the earnest, talented home cooks, or even a restaurant worker. No. The winner was Charlie Sheen’s personal chef.

So much for diversity.

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31 Responses to OMG, it’s True. ‘The Taste’ Will Return

  1. Imabear says:

    As a native Nashvillian, I’m kind of surprised about the inclusion but, believe it or not, Nashville has what I gather is a growing and already impressive foodie scene. It was even written up in the New York Times last summer. Who’d have guessed?

  2. catsworking says:

    Imabear, if they were going for a token Southern city remotely in league with the other three, New Orleans or even Charleston would have made more sense. When anybody thinks of Nashville, the food isn’t what comes to mind. Maybe some day, but not today.

    I’m thinking they felt like they hit pay dirt with Lauren last season and they’re hoping to score another self-taught trailer-park rube to throw a bone to us unfoodies in the uncivilized parts of America.

    No matter who they cast, if they don’t give this show a significant makeover, I’m going to take a pass on it. I find the very thought of it highly irritating. Not so much for Bourdain opting for a big payday, but Bourdain acquiescing to perform in such utter dreck. Selling grossly overpriced candy bars is one thing, but hyping what he undoubtedly KNOWS is a piece-of-shit show insults the intelligence of his fans. Shame on him.

    As he says, he’s a bus that will make many stops, and not everybody will go along for the whole ride (or something like that), but how many stops in unsavory neighborhoods will it take before he’s seeing his integrity in the rear-view mirror, and we’re watching old reruns of No Res to see Tony before he became a caricature?

    Speaking of which, I’ve caught a few episodes I’d never seen of A Cook’s Tour (this week in Cambodia, taking some dinky boat up another filthy river), and I keep marveling at the stuff that comes of out his mouth that he would NEVER say today. He was an ugly American back in the day. Really interesting to see how much more tolerant he’s grown in the job.

  3. adele says:

    Imabear, I was in Nashville about a year ago, and you’re absolutely right — the town has quite the burgeoning food scene. We tried to get reservations at The Catbird Seat, and it was impossible. Ended up at the restaurant at the Hermitage Hotel and had a really good (though perhaps overly buttery) meal — and the lobby is gorgeous.

    I’m more surprised that The Taste is coming to Chicago again, but I guess it’s kind of a transportation hub. Once again, I’m considering going to the open call — we’ll see whether I do it.

    And Karen, I was pretty sure that The Taste would be renewed, just because it’s only for 8 weeks and makes a good fill-in. I just hope we skip the auditions phase and go right into the show. Another two weeks to get to know the contestants would help along with more emphasis on preparation and getting to see some real mentoring. I guess Tony just finds doing the show, fun, fairly easy and very lucrative. Now,if he and Nigella just try to do a better show . . .

    You’re also right about how much more cosmopolitan Tony has become since the early days. If you do it right, travel should change you for the better, and almost no one has traveled as much as he has.

  4. Bacardi1 says:

    Well, this is good to hear. Yet one more worthless program I don’t have to worry about watching or recording – lol!

  5. catsworking says:

    Well, I’ll tune in, but if there hasn’t been some substantial retooling, I’m tuning out.

    My latest TV obsession is Season 2 of Breaking Amish. Yes, you read that right. More to come…

  6. Zappa's Mom says:

    OMG….youre watching Breaking Amish? Isn’t it dreadful? I love it!

  7. Bacardi1 says:

    Since I do like the folks who post on this blog, I won’t get into what I think about the general character of folks who are driven to watch these unbelievably stupid idiotic reality tv shows.

    They’re not “reality” in any way shape or form, they bring people down to the lowest common denominator possible, & as for the people who watch them? WAY TOO SAD. Get a life, instead of watching the sad sack lives of others.

    And I don’t mean that in a mean way. I mean it in an HONEST way. Sitting around watching any of these stupid reality shows – regardless of which ones – is a total brain drain. It’s not entertainment, & isn’t educational – unless it shows you what NOT to do with your life.

    Get your ass off of the couch & DO SOMETHING. Volunteer. Read a book. Plant something. Cook something. But PLEASE – don’t sit around watching STUPID reality tv shows!!!!!

    Okay – off of my soap box.

  8. chinagirl says:

    The promo clip is not much different from the first one!! Sad it’s getting another chance at failure. Yes Karen it will have to have a big makeover, and yes shame on him!!

  9. catsworking says:

    Bacardi, you’re preaching to the choir here. We all know these shows have no redeeming value, but I spend every working day frying my brain as a writer. In my down time,do I feel compelled to fill every minute with meaning and purpose? No.

    Watching people more pathetic than I am may be all that stands between me and total burnout. Sometimes the brain just needs a rest.

    The cats haven’t been blogging lately because we all decided to take a break from the violence, dishonesty, greed, and depravity in the news. The world has become such a fetid cesspool, the cats are saying there’s no point in having 9 lives if they have to be lived on this planet.

    The beauty of so-called “reality” shows is that they’re NOT real. They’re stupid and pointless, but sometimes that’s just what we need.

  10. Zappa's Mom says:

    Well,Bacardi,with your soapbox and all,I mean this in “an HONEST way” I love to fry my brain with the stupidest shit tv has to offer. I work a full time job,a part time job,help to care for my bed-ridden elderly mother and I am a homeowner.I don’t mean this in a “mean” way,but kiss my digital converter. I read books,I cook, I don’t volunteer because I don’t do shit for free.

    Here’s your soapbox back

  11. chinagirl says:

    Wow, saw on the late news last night about Nigella and the spat she had with her husband. It got physical and she doesn’t look good on the front page of a british paper. Hope she is well to do the next season of “The Taste”!!!!!!!!!

  12. Trishia says:

    I didn’t know Nigella was married lol. Karen I totally agree about AB selling out – jeez, how low can ratings be on a show and still get a renewal?

    “I keep marveling at the stuff that comes of out his mouth that he would NEVER say today. He was an ugly American back in the day.”

    I was thinking the same thing, esp with the Cambodia epi. He was making ‘ew gross’ type comments about some of the food – yet he has no problem lecturing others on how to travel.

    I actually have a chance to go to Cambodia thus summer bc a friend is volunteering there but I’m so afraid of malaria (not to mention the insanely long flight), I’m probably going to pass. I have not needed malaria drugs yet for any of my trips and that whole deal just terrifies me. But I feel like a wus.

  13. catsworking says:

    Trisha, keep in mind that when Bourdain made A Cook’s Tour, it was his first time in those parts of the world. As a kid, I think he only got to spend summers in France because that’s where his father was from. He wasn’t lecturing anybody about travel during the Cook’s Tour days because he was a very minor cable celebrity.

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to go to Cambodia. That’s a grueling trip.

    chinagirl, I saw a story about Nigella this morning on the news, and they said her husband grabbed her by the throat 4 times in a restaurant and nobody came to her rescue. This was strange, because she is THE biggest food celebrity in England.

  14. chinagirl says:

    OK. I don’t know where to put this but have to share. Just saw on “The Braiser” webite, AB just had his first jiu jitsu lesson and OB tweeted it to the world. As they say, there’s no fool, like an old fool, and I guess if you can’t beat them join them. Old people shouldn’t be doing this, guess he is trying to prove he can keep up with his young wife and daughter who is also doing jiu jitsu!!!!

  15. catsworking says:

    chinagirl, I saw that. Bourdain’s going to turn 57 next week, so maybe it’s a reaction. Or maybe he’s training to defend Nigella in case he’s ever around her abusive husband.

  16. MorganLF says:

    Trisha,
    Since you are soo disdainful of Bourdain, may I politely ask… Why the f do watch him? May respectfully submit you go to Cambodia
    (in your dream mind)? You tool.

    Zappa well said and props to you!

    As for the Taste.. If nothing else is on, I’ll watch it…if only to see if Nigella’s husband the ridiculously rich Iranian bully/terrorist has left permanent scars on her neck.

    Nigella, you are rich and fabulous in your own right. Leave that abusive limp dick old man!

  17. MorganLF says:

    Trisha,

    One more thing: let me disavow you of the notion that this is a Boudaim bashing blog. To the contrary it is, was and will probably always be a fan girl/ boy platform.

    You are an insidious vegetarian douche bag, always inserting your venom.

    Besides anyone that allows themselves to be identified with such a fatuous moniker as “Trisha” needs an immediate bitch slap, a post for which I would happily apply!

  18. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I wondered where you’ve been. Welcome back. Now that New Jersey has lost Tony Soprano to keep people in line, thank God it still has you. ;-)

    I don’t know what to make of Trisha (or “Trishia” as half her comments are labeled — not sure if there’s an evil twin thing going on or what). It does seem strange that she watches Bourdain in spite of hating him so much.

  19. MorganLF says:

    I am in Morning for Gandolphini. I really dug the guy. Solid blue collar Jersey guy, but what a talent. I was an ardent Sopranos fan, who wasn’t? I’ll miss him.

    You know I’ve bee reading her comments (Trisha/Trishia) and I was wondering when she would pull her head out of her ass long enough to realize this blog gets a lot of traction because of Bourdain, and that most of us are die hard fans.

    Sure we comment if something seems sub-par and we long ago discussed the sellout thing. After all, he addresses it in the beginning of Medium Raw when he states as a father all bets are off and he’d willingly shill for hemorrhoid cream it it pays for college.

    To his credit he hasn’t done anything that embarrassing. So he’s picking up a little prime time cash? Big f’ing deal. There are worse shows than the Taste, like that stuuuuuupid never ending celebrity whore platform, Dancing with the (d-list) stars and its shitty skating spinoff uggh! Now if Tony ever did that show… I’d shun him.

    Is she so full of self righteous vegetarian gas tha she hasn’t read the other years of posts? Does she somehow think she’s scoring points and getting over with her caustic cracks that surely offend any of his admirers. Her smugness put me over the top.

    I tried, I really did try to bite my tongue but I failed. I wonder if she’s from Canada?

  20. Bacardi1 says:

    Temporary thread hijack – but another HUGE Gandolfini fan here – especially “The Sopranos”. Have the whole series recorded.

    For other fans, right now (started at 6 p.m.), the “Bravo” channel is showing “Inside the Actor’s Studio” – an hour-long interview with Gandolfini. He was never press-friendly, & this is probably one of – if not the only – live interview he ever did.

    If you miss it now, Bravo will be repeating it a couple of times – check their website for days/times.

  21. catsworking says:

    Bacardi, thanks for the tip on the Actor’s Studio interview. I think I will try to catch it. I was very late coming to The Sopranos (and Sex & the City) because I didn’t get HBO. But I’ve seen both in their entirety now and LOVED them.

    Gandolfini really was one of a kind. A throwback to those actors of the Golden Age who were such distinctive personalities that, when they died, nobody could ever replace them.

    Morgan, I know you did you best, and thank you for holding off as long as you did. But the Jersey Girl was bound to come out sooner or later.

    Yes, on the whole Cats Working is extremely PRO-Bourdain. Always have been.

  22. Bacardi1 says:

    It was a very nice interview – especially since more than half of it was about all the films & live theatre work (Broadway included) that Gandolfini had done, & not just about “The Sopranos”. Worth catching.

  23. trisha says:

    Wow someone’s off their meds. It always strikes me as odd when people defend a famous person as if they know them personally or are related to them. Why does it matter to you whether a total stranger likes him or what they say about him? It’s almost like a religion – toe the party line or don’t say anything. I am a fan of AB’s books and show, however that doesn’t mean I don’t have criticisms.

    I didn’t realize this blog was an all-butt-kissing-all-the-time venture, particularly given that earlier posts from years back are just one insult after another – tons of them – about Ottavia and Tony – how he screwed over his first wife for a younger model and all manner of catty comments about her, and assumptions about both of their personal lives and motivations with no basis in fact. So it seems a little disingenuous to then say to any new poster, don’t do as we did, do as we say.

    If every post was nothing but effusive lips permanently affixed to AB’s posterior, what exactly would the point be? That would be very boring. If you can’t handle my tame remarks about AB, I can only imagine your conniptions at other online content where he’s concerned. I can’t imagine spewing that level of venom at someone simply because they say something I don’t like about a celebrity who is not a personal friend or relative. It’s bizarre to say the least – far more so than using a handle to post on a blog.

    Wait, you’re from Jersey. Typical. Congrats for reinforcing the stereotype.

  24. catsworking says:

    Trisha, thank you for responding so civilly (relatively speaking) to Morgan. You aren’t her first victim here, and you won’t be her last. I’ve met her and she’s just as direct and merciless in person.

    I’ve always tried to be fair about Bourdain. As you pointed out, I was totally gobsmacked when, as an innocent fan, I started poking around the Net a little to find out more about him, and Nancy and Ottavia fell into my lap. And then much cattiness ensued. I had a soft spot for Nancy because we’re the same age, and Ottavia is young enough to be my daughter. I’ve seen enough of men pulling that stunt to be thoroughly sick of it.

    But then I met and spent about 3 hours with Ottavia, mostly talking. In spite of all the MMA and tough-girl persona, she’s a lovely person, and Tony was clearly nuts about her. Still is. They have a strange and wonderful relationship that works for them.

    In Morgan’s defense, she has been around the Bourdains quite a few more times than I have. They have both been so kind to all of us Cats Working people who’ve met them that we DO feel as if we know them — if only a little.

    I think you and Morgan both raise a lot of good points, and I’m sorry you got onto this wrong foot. I considered censoring some of it, but I don’t usually do that unless it’s WAY over the top.

  25. MorganLF says:

    Tri-shi-aaaaaa,

    Are you trying to change up Tricia..to Trishia? Is your father Jon and your mother Jayne? Anyone who needs to misspell their name to be unique isn’t.

    So you read the posts but clearly saw only what you want and failed to note the 180 we all did and the evolution of the relationship.

    Do you listen when people speak? Or are you so enamored of your own voice (as you apparently are with your own words) that you ignore any noise not generated by you?

    I have met him on at least five occasions one of those times privately and face to face, several of those times were with Ottavia. They know me by name and are always warm and friendly. I don’t kid myself, I’m a fan girl nothing more.

    As for taking a dig at Jersey…..how sophomoric, trite and obvious. Your pallid attempt at a clever quip gave me douche chills.

    PS: Fancy a Chardonnay shampoo?

  26. Chinagirl says:

    Wow, Morgan could you explain your June 23rd. post “wonder if she’s from Canada???

  27. catsworking says:

    Chinagirl, I had to go back to read Morgan’s post because I didn’t remember what she said about Canada. Rest assured she was not slamming Canadians in any way. Let me give you the backstory…

    Once upon a time, Cats Working had a Canadian reader who was a regular, but got on our bad side over some matter concerning the Bourdains (now I can’t remember what it was) and was the only person to ever be banned from making comments here. That has since been relaxed (because I can’t remember what his offense was — I don’t hold grudges like that), and he occasionally checks in with a comment.

    Morgan was undoubtedly referring to him, suggesting that maybe he’s back trying to stir the pot under an assumed name.

    I think she was joking because 1) He’s never been as articulate as Trisha, and 2) He’s a big Bourdain fan and a meat-eater, so it would be totally out of character for him to get on a high horse about vegetarians, and 3) After all this time, letting bygones be bygones, I hope he realizes there would be no point in it.

  28. Chinagirl says:

    Thanks for clearing it up.

  29. Bacardi1 says:

    Not only is “The Taste” returning, but Bourdain has actually been nominated for an Emmy award. I find this truly sad.

    http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/07/top-chef-bourdain-emmys.html?mid=grubstreet–20130718&om_rid=AABAxt&om_mid=_BR6DxpB8z$oIHd

  30. adele says:

    Bacardi, I was surprised, too — but then the Emmys are kind of a joke, aren’t they? I suspect M. Bourdain had a good laugh about that nomination.

    I was very pleased, on the other hand to see that Parts Unknown got multiple noms. I think that Tony and the Zero Point Zero team really raised the bar for that show, and I look forward to the next season.

  31. catsworking says:

    Guys, I’m hoping to put out a post on this very topic later today. More later…

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