The Taste (British TV series)

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The Taste
Voices ofGeorge Irving
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes10
Running time60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)CPL Productions
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format16:9 (HDTV)
Original release7 January (2014-01-07) –
11 March 2014 (2014-03-11)
Related showsThe Taste (U.S.)
External links
Production website

The Taste is a British cooking game show that aired on Channel 4 from 7 January[1] to 11 March 2014.[2] The judges and mentors are English chef and TV personality Nigella Lawson, American chef and food writer Anthony Bourdain and French chef Ludo Lefebvre.[2][3]


The UK version followed the U.S. format, but with only 12 contestants (three teams of four) taking part.[2] The general format sees contestants (a mixture of professional chefs and home cooks) present spoonfuls of food to impress the judges, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre, and avoid weekly elimination.

The first episode, the auditions, somewhat resemble the blind auditions featured in The Voice, with a number of hopefuls preparing spoonfuls of food and the mentors judging them, unaware of the person who has cooked it. Afterwards, the judges meet the cook, and decide if they want them as part of their team or not. If more than one judge offers the contestant a place on their team, they get to choose between them. This process continues until the judges have four people each in their kitchens.

The following episodes consist of two challenges. In the first challenge, with the help of their mentors, the contestants prepare a spoonful of food to impress a guest judge. Each spoon must follow a particular criterion or brief chosen by the guest judge, relating to the week's theme. The mentor of each kitchen (Lawson, Bourdain and Lefebvre) then pick the best spoon from their kitchen to be presented to the guest judge. The guest judge then tastes each spoon and decides which is the best. The contestant who made the guest judge's favourite spoon receives immunity from the week's elimination.

The elimination challenge consists of the contestants preparing a spoon that fits in with the episode's theme. The mentors blind judge each spoon, and decide on the best dish, and the bottom three dishes. The bottom three discuss what went wrong with their respective mentors, and the mentors decide who to send home.


Nigella Lawson is the head judge and mentor. She is joined by Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre, who both appear alongside her in the US version. The show ran for ten episodes which span 60 minutes;[2] each team will have four contestants. Channel 4 will broadcast The Taste UK in 2014 and then broadcast the original US version later in the year.[4]

There was some speculation after Lawson's divorce case with Charles Saatchi, specifically the release of photos which appeared to show Saatchi with his hands around Lawson's neck, that she may not continue with the show, but Channel 4 continued with production;[5] and confirmed that the show would continue to be shown on 7 January 2014.[6] A friend is quoted as saying "She's worried that the publicity over the trial might mean poor ratings for her new Channel 4 series – the British version of the American format – and it might be cancelled".[7]


The series began on 7 January 2014 when the three mentors picked the four contestants they wanted to join their kitchens.

Name Occupation Age Mentor Status
Barry Johnston Charity worker 27 Bourdain Eliminated 1st
on 14 January 2014
Claire Coutinho Supper Club host 28 Lawson Eliminated 2nd
on 21 January 2014
James Sherwin Nurse 34 Lefebvre Eliminated 3rd
on 28 January 2014
Justin Akpa Junior sous chef 28 Bourdain Eliminated 4th
on 4 February 2014
Raj Bahra Tax accountant 29 Lawson Eliminated 5th
on 11 February 2014
Kirsty MacKinnon Private chef 28 Lefebvre Eliminated 6th
on 18 February 2014
Guan Chua Food blogger 26 Bourdain Eliminated 7th
on 25 February 2014
Kalpna Mistry Science teacher 47 Lawson Eliminated 8th
on 4 March 2014
Chloe Campbell Nanny 24 Lefebvre Third place
on 11 March 2014
Dixie Innes Café chef 26 Bourdain Runner-up
on 11 March 2014
Kelly Sealey Cookery tutor 32 Lawson Runner-up
on 11 March 2014
Debbie Halls-Evans Delicatessen owner 43 Lefebvre Winner[8]
on 11 March 2014


A British version of ABC's The Taste was commissioned by Channel 4 in July 2013. This marked Lawson's return to Channel 4 after a decade away from it.[9][10][11] The format was sold to the UK broadcaster by its distributor, Red Arrow International. The series was filmed during September and October 2013 at the Pinewood Studios.[12] The promotional trailer caused a stir on Twitter due to its risqué nature.[13]


  1. ^ "Channel 4 sets a date for The Taste". ATV Today. 13 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Channel 4 commissions The Taste". Channel 4 Press. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  3. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (18 July 2013). "Nigella Lawson makes comeback to Channel 4 with US cookery contest The Taste". The Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Nigella Lawson To Bring US Cookery Show 'The Taste' To The UK". 18 July 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Nigella Lawson: A brand blemished but unbowed". Khaleej Times. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Nigella's dramatic court admission that she took cocaine is unlikely to wreck her career as she tries to crack America, say PR experts". Daily Mail. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  7. ^ Sanderson, Elizabeth & Johnson, Angella (30 November 2013). "'It's turned into the Nigella Lawson trial': Friends speak out as TV cook prepares for the fight of her life". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  8. ^ "The Taste: Debbie crowned winner of Channel 4 cookery show". Digital Spy. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Nigella Lawson's The Taste is commissioned by Channel 4". Daily Mail. 18 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Nigella Lawson back with Channel 4 after 10 years to be judge on The Taste". Daily Mirror. 19 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Nigella Lawson brings Taste to Channel 4". The Herald. 18 July 2013.
  12. ^ "The Taste UK records at Pinewood". Pinewood Group. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Nigella Lawson's 'orgasmic' advert for The Taste". The Daily Telegraph. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.

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