Currently ... Watching: 'The Taste' part of new recipe at ABC

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 1, 2013 

If shows like "Elementary" and "Wipeout" are any indication, there seems to be nothing major television networks enjoy quite as much as creating new shows based on the tried-and-tested premises of already-successful properties.

Hence, ABC's "The Taste," a Frankenshow combining the best elements of NBC's talent competition "The Voice" and Bravo's iconic cooking reality show "Top Chef" that premiered last week to some of the ailing network's biggest ratings in recent memory.

The appeal of the show isn't hard to figure out.

Take four respected food personalities -- in this case, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, Brian Malarkey and Ludo Lefebvre -- and add a pool of professional chefs and home cooks with varying degrees of culinary competency from which our esteemed panelists must assemble their respective teams.

They must make their selections based on a single mouthful of food and without the benefit of knowing anything about the dish they've just eaten or who prepared it.

There are some revelations -- such as a teenage Mississippi trailer-dweller who wows all four judges with a flourless chocolate cake -- and more than a fair share of disasters. One chef, who dabbles in "awesomeness," attempts to fuse macaroni and cheese and stir fry. Guess how that worked out.

Putting aside the annoying made-for-TV tension between the judges and the show's bad sci-fi movie set design, "The Taste" has shown promise and will likely be a hit among those who already enjoy "Top Chef" or Food Network's "Chopped."

"The Taste" airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Patrick.

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