“The guy’s got a temper,’ says Anthony Bourdain of the very, very French ludo Lefebvre. Let’s hope to see some fireworks between the two along the way.

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PHOTO: Craig Sjodin/ABC

The Taste Season 2 Auditions Recap

Here’s a refresher of the judges names in case you didn’t keep them in your mental hardrive: Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Our first serving was what Anthony Bourdain immediately called a, “hipster dish.” He also said, “It’s a professional, no one else is messing around with a quail egg.” Nigella and Ludo both gave a yes. And Jeff picked Ludo.

Reina Bazzi had style. Not sure what to call it. But it was definitely…something. Polka dots, a red rose in the hair…she had …let’s call it flair. It was beef with pomegranate and some other questionable stuff. But her choice of protein made three of the chefs stumble. Luckily, Nigella saved the day, and Bazzi is headed to Nigella’s kitchen.

Next, a man that could double as Santa Claus, and a flair for cooking jalapenos. He recently lost his wife to a disease, and the show lets us know he’s lonely by showing shots of him fishing alone, sitting on a porch alone….he’s so, so alone. His dish had a fried oyster, jalapeno, and Thai flavor. This time, Nigella let this contestant go. But Frenchie decided he would, “like to make you better.” Oui. As Marcus also accepted him, Frenchie was shaking with anger. The James Beard Award was namechecked by Marcus…and surprise, surprise, Chef Marcus got a new guy for his kitchen. And the Texas man went on, never ditching the glass of wine in his hand. We’ll have to see how that pans out…

Claiming that he could be anyone’s “high bishop” chef Sevan Abdessian created “The Tower of Power.” Among the adjectives that he believes would apply to him, he included well-traveled, pompous, eclectic and stylish. Loving him yet? Doesn’t that arrogance just sway your heart? Of the food (Ahi Tuna Tower) Sevan said, “It’s gonna taste like a tropical spoon of love with the ocean inside it.” However, Bourdain said it had “every food crime.” Quickly, the chef’s eliminated him from their kitchen’s. Eloquently, Bourdain concluded, “No, no, no, no, no, no.”

Then we had a quick montage of people who apparently had no interesting backstories. Sea Urchin Mousse, Miso Soy Cream Cod, Saffron Cous Cous with Lamb… But before you think this is a quick bit to show chefs who weren’t selected, slow your sea urchin mousse roll…all three got through the audition round.

Sara – Marcus’s Kitchen
Crystal – Nigella’s Kitchen
Brad – Anthony’s Kitchen

Shellie Kitchen run a food truck, and calls it “stoner comfort food.” Don’t pretend you don’t know what it is. Pork Chorizo with Prawns and Wontons is what she offered up…except she forgot one dish. Not a great start. Bourdain likes rebels, and decided she’d be a good risk to take. With a last name like “Kitchen” how can you pass up all the pun opportunities?

Vidya Krishnnan is a hot vegetarian home chef. While cooking, she caught something on fire. Good start, Vidya. Trying to make us relate, she mocks her parent’s voices about how they want her to keep getting educated. The dish was an Indian Chickpea yogurt thing. With her big glasses, jean vest, and neurotic attitude…she would be good on the show. Anthony was the one who almost wanted her, but he could not overcome his prejudice for vegetarian’s. The ABC execs must be pissed. I know I am.

Cassandra Bodzak has a vegan fish, and is all about kale awareness. She made vegan cupcakes, which her father thought was, “like bringing a knife to a gun fight.” It was a Mexican Chocolate Cupcake with Lime Buttercream frosting. Marcus tries to justify the cupcake, bringing Bourdain to give us this quoteable moment, “It’s like I have an amputated arm squirting blood all over the place, and you’re saying ‘At least it’s not cancer!” Ludo said he wants to be healthier, and brought her to his kitchen. “You have clasped a viper to your bossom sir, and it will bite you,” threatened Bourdain.

Eager to get into Nigellas kitchen, Audrey (a Nigella fangirl to the core) used techniques she learned from, you guessed it, Nigella Lawson. But then there was a manipulative bit about how Audrey’s Mom died of Cancer and loved Nigella and seeing Nigella today woudl make Audrey feel like she was seeing her Mom, again. What about the food? She made Greek Meatballs with Flatbread Chips. Her energy was great, and she even called Bourdain, “Tony.” Sadly, Nigella said no. Marcus decided to pick her up, though. Maybe ABC thought out this drama in advance. Now Audrey can try to beat Nigella at her own game.

Lee is a metrosexual chef who skateboards. A ghee poached Lobster tail in bacon chowder with potato chive crisp was dished up for the judges. Nigella called this a “seductive” dish. He was the first cook to ever get four yes’s. Naturally, Bourdain won Lee over. Frenchie got mad, Nigella gave a halfhearted plea. But none of that mattered. We all know who the favorite chef is. And it ain’t the angry man we can’t understand. It’s the angry man who makes us laugh.

Jay Qualls is a flamboyant wedding cake designer. He makes cakes specifically for country singer’s weddings. He made finger pork potstickers. The only thing he feels is missing to his dish is glitter. The chefs loved him.

Kyle Schutte came back to redeem himself, but Ludo spit his out. That was a devastating blow.

Louise Leonard makes food for commercial …as a food stylist, she cares about what food looks like. But now it’s gotta be about the taste. She made beer-grazed meatballs with radish apple slaw. Team Ludo for her.

Team Anthony

Brad
Shellie Kitchen
Lee Knoeppel
Dana Micek

Team Nigella

Reina Bazzi
Crystal
Jay Qualls
Jacquelyn

Team Marcus

Don Pullum
Sarah
Audrey Johns
Shehu Fitzgerald:

Team Ludo

Jeff Kawakami
Cassandra Bodzak
Louise Leonard
Marina Chung

REACT: Who is your favorite to win? I’m placing all my bets on Lee Knoeppel.



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