'The Taste' cooking competition reality show debuts on ABC menu


"Cooking is about making people happy, about giving pleasure," said celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

But on ABC's new reality competition show "The Taste," happiness and pleasure don't always come easy. Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson are among the four chefs lending their palates to the show.

The professionals selected teams after a nationwide casting call. The cooking hopefuls had just one bite to grab their would-be mentors' attention -- for better or worse.

"Before we chose our teams, during this sort of audition period, there were a couple of dishes that were pretty bad, but, no, the level of cooking was pretty good. I mean there were dishes that I didn't like particularly, but no, these were good cooks, and I think that weighed heavily on us as were judging because they were all good cooks," said Bourdain.

"Even if we said something harsh, we did it blind. We didn't know who we were talking about. We never made personal remarks. We just kept with the food," said Lawson.

After the teams are chosen, the groups face various culinary challenges. At the end of each episode, the mentors judge the dishes blind. That means they could be sending their own team members home.

Both Lawson and Bourdain offered their own words of wisdom about trying to cook "out of the box."

"Taste, taste, taste again. And a lot of people when they're intimidated about cooking is that they seem to forget that actually all you need to do is taste as you go along and then you'll know that you're cooking something you want to eat," said Lawson.

"No matter how jaded you are as an eater, no matter how wide your experience, sometimes a simple good thing is as good as it gets," said Bourdain.

The tasting begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC7.

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