a spoonful of sugar

13 Jan

Hello everyone!  Fanny is back.  Miss me?


Oh, OK.

So, after a brief period of hibernation, I decided the time had come to get back into the swing of things – I admit, I’d been sidetracked by Tom Kerridge and Masterchefs Australia and Professional but the triple whammy of Bourdain, Lawson and Lefebvre was too much to resist.  Yes, The Taste has come to town.

Originally created for American TV Channel 4 ditched the four judge idea and the slimmed down panel are the aforementioned Anthony Bourdain (now known as Tony), Nigella Lawson (now known as Poor Nigella) and Ludo Lefebvre (widely known as WHO?).  Having worked together on two seasons for the ABC channel there is clear familiarity between the three with much eye-rolling and banter which, I think, work well.


“all I needs is a spoon and the right pot”

The show’s premise is all about simplicity and back to basics; you can learn all the techniques you want or create a five course menu but The Taste is all about ONE SPOONFUL OF FOOD.  So, it’s a shame that the show itself seems a little confusing.  Don’t let that put you off.  Episode one in summary:

  • 25 contestants
  • professional or home cooks
  • one hour to create your food
  • judges taste with their backs to a glass wall
  • contestant can hear the comments then enter the room
  • feedback and verdicts given
  • if more than one judge says yes, contestant chooses which mentor to follow
  • each judge is looking for four contestants
  • successful contestants are given an apron

Ah, aprons.  Where would you be without an apron?  I never wear a bloody apron.  Simon Hopkinson never wears an apron.  Give them something useful, like a meat cleaver.  Yeah, let’s see a home cook from Wolverhampton jump for joy and hug Nigella with a big git knife in their hand.  Maybe not.

Having watched Top Chef Masters I’m aware of Chef Ludo.  Based in California, he’s a fiery Frenchman with tattoos, pretty good at cooking … and likes to swear.  “PUTAIN!”  How I laughed and declared “aw, that’s what Laure shouts all the time in Spiral!”  Anthony (he will always be Anthony to me) likes to curse too.  Good on Channel 4 for keeping in the swears, particularly after an 18 year old was given three ‘NO’s.  He shed a tear or two, got some words of comfort and an eyeful of Ms Lawson’s cleavage and off he went. Bourdain’s thoughts?  “Get a fucking grip!” or words to that affect.

Ludo Lefebvre   Anthony Bourdain

Our contestants came in all different shapes and sizes with different backgrounds and experience.  We got to laugh at the professional cook whose face turned from confident smugness to crestfallen indignation as the last spot went to Kalpna, a very nice home cook and her pathuri which looked great.  It’s a shame that Ludo can’t seem to grasp the concept that there are thousands of home/amateur cooks in the UK that could give the professionals a run for their money.  Well, it’s a shame but it’s also funny; “WHA???  Not a professional?  I DON’T BELIEVE IT.” Believe it Ludo as you shovel that duck with sprout and cherries into your massive gob.  It might be hard to create one spoonful of food but it’s a bloody big spoon.  OK, it’s not a ladle but a it’s a bloody big spoon.

Time will tell if this tasty morsel will catch on as it has across the pond but I, along with Ms Lawson, have high hopes [‘Lawyers for Fanny’ say this is no reference to Poor Nigella’s recent legal woes … honest].



2 responses to “a spoonful of sugar

  1. The Infinite Curve

    January 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Watching the first episode, Tony Bourdain seems to be caught between his normal genial/cynical personality and playing the ‘heel’. Feels a bit forced. We’ll see how this pans out…

  2. syllabubdobdee

    January 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    GAMES OF SPOONS, call it by its name 😀

    I really enjoyed the first two eps: tho US friends were astonished it had been given a UK reboot, the original version being very boring, they said. Perhaps the three judges have found the rhythm of their chemistry — Bourdain saying fuck a lot, Ludo obsessively discovering anti-French sentiment, Nigella the den-mother of us all; it’s a bit cartoony (spectre of Gregg looming) but Ludo especially is hilarious to watch, every emotion charging across his face. I like the spoon idea, and the backs turned: of course it doesn’t really remove non-food aspects of judgment and favouritism, but it does tangle them pleasantly.


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