Anthony Bourdain asks chefs to impress his ‘jaded palate’

Anthony Bourdain serves as judge on the new culinary competition "The Taste," premiering Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

No stranger to television, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain takes on judging full-time alongside Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey for “The Taste,” which pits home cooks against professional chefs in a contest where every dish is sampled blind in a single bite. To get the conversation started about this latest entry in the cooking competition genre, we sat down to lunch with Bourdain for a meal of dishes inspired by the judges’ recipes, including Bourdain’s coq au vin — which was fine but not outstanding, though Bourdain didn’t prepare it himself, so we can’t really judge him on it.

With all the shows you’re already involved with, why take on this one as well?
I think because it seemed like such an uncharacteristic and foolhardy thing. I travel with a crew of four people [for "No Reservations"] — more or less the same four people for the last 10 years. I never knew any other way of making television, so to go from that into this gigantic set that looks like the end of a Bond film — you know, inside the volcano — with a giant crew, a big network thing, to say it was a challenge would be an understatement.

How did the home cooks measure up against professional chefs?
The people that did well were aggressive with their seasoning. They were looking to make an impression and they were very forward with their flavors. We were fooled all the time with that. “Oh, this is a professional.” No, it turned out. We were four very jaded palates, and I think that the cooks who figured that out were the ones who did well. These are people who’ve eaten a lot of food. Truffle oil is not going to work with these people. People who cooked looking for an emotional response, I think, were the ones who did well. I think we were all very emotionally involved in the progress of this show.

Were the challenges designed to take into account both types of contestants?
The challenges were all designed beforehand, and there were a couple that were geared more toward home cooks. A comfort food challenge is obviously in a zone where a home cook is just as likely to be good at it as a professional. I’m not going to say which one, but there was one challenge where it was just a slaughter-fest, where everybody across the board just really had a hard time with it, and there was a lot of weeping and rending of garments. I’m talking about the judges. [Laughs]

What did you think of the team you ended up coaching?
I love my team. I would stand there that first day and think, ‘I don’t want any of them to ever go home. I don’t think I could bear it if any of them ever go home.’ Of course, even in the best-case scenario, at least three of them are going to have to. It’s horrible. I hated it. I became the biggest wuss immediately. That was the biggest surprise to me, that I ended up giving a s—. Like, a lot — like, in a really big way.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…