Witness another Ludo hysteria and a bloody New Year in the new episode of “The Taste” Season 3 Episode 4 “Happy New Year,” which aired last Jan. 1, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC. In this episode, Nigella is worried for her last salvation in the kitchen, judges think it is fun to have “Ludo vs. Ludo” in the taste off, two cooks cut themselves and Ludo falls on the ground again in an intense battle.
After the cooks and mentors gathered inside The Taste Studio at Los Angeles, California, Anthony wishes them a happy new year. Then he introduces the theme of the episode, which is, obviously, “Happy New Year.” He proceeds to welcoming a talented chef who won a James Beard Award and is the co-host in ABC’s “The Chew.” Everyone gives a round of applause as Chef Michael Symon enters the room.
Chef Symon announces that he wants a dish that he will remember for the rest of the year. Anthony reminds the cooks that they will only have one hour to complete their dish. The winning team will have a master class with Chef Symon, and they will be mentored by the award-winning chef during the solo challenge. The mentor of the losing team will be forced to eliminate one cook.
Each mentor will introduce a specific theme for their team. Marcus wants beef three ways for his kitchen; Ludo, shellfish and caviar; Anthony, egg dish; and Nigella, seafood and champagne sauce. Each cook must create their own version of their mentor’s dish.
It is time for Chef Symon to blindly taste the four chosen dishes from each team. For Ludo’s team, Ben made a butter-poached crab with caviar. Chef Symon loves the crunch of the vegetables and the combination of flavors. However, the protein is a little bit overcooked. Ludo disagrees because he thought the meat was cooked perfectly. Next is Tristen’s NY strip, beef heart and bone marrow with broccolini purée and red wine dish. Chef Symon loves the dish. However, he thinks it needs more salt. Marcus is mad because he believes he constantly reminded his team to always make sure their dish is seasoned well. He is worried that one simple mistake will not make their team win. Chef Symon proceeds to taste P. K.’s sabayon with lobster. He thinks it needs more salt and acidity to balance the flavors. After tasting Eric’s tagliolini with uni butter from Anthony’s Kitchen, he has nothing bad to say. Ludo thinks it is a smart move from Anthony to suggest uni, caviar and pasta for his team.
Team Anthony wins. Chef Symon commends Anthony’s mentoring skills. Ludo thinks it is painful to lose against Anthony. The second best bite of the day is Tristen’s dish. Tristen promises to “salt bomb” his next dish. The worst dish is from Team Nigella. It means Nigella has no more representatives from her team.
“I’m used to it,” Nigella says with a pained voice.
After the judges assemble on stage with Chef Symon, Anthony says his “condolences” to Nigella because she is officially out from the competition. P. K. cannot stop thanking Nigella for believing in her capabilities as a cook.
While Team Anthony is having their master class with Chef Symon, the cooks in the break room think Anthony is a smart mentor. However, Natasha says it took a long time for his team to win a challenge. All the cooks agree that Eric is the “dark horse” of the competition for winning several challenges. They want him to go home.
In the solo challenge, Anthony’s team, including Chef Symon, is fascinated with Tom who inserts a sausage through the deep hole at the center of the meat. Chef Symon leaves Tom to have a “moment” with his meat and laughs. Meanwhile, Tristen is trying to make sausages through a machine but resorts to “plan 1.5” because of the technical problem. Chef Symon tastes Vanessa’s ground beef and cringes because the meat is hard. Suddenly, Jen screams for the medic because she cut her thumb. While someone is treating her wound, she still cooks her food. Back to Vanessa’s dilemma, her plan B is to cook a rib eye. While Jen is talking about how a perfectly cooked food at home becomes “dog shit” in the competition, Natasha tells her to stop talking and start plating. She is worried that Ludo will scold Jen one more time because of unfinished plating. Chef Symon tastes Tarik’s dish and worries that it does not have enough texture, and the meat is slightly overcooked.
The four mentors start tasting the dishes. The first dish to blindly taste is Ben’s tom yum soup with fried shrimp and coconut milk. Anthony loves it a lot. However, Marcus criticizes that he only loves Asian flavors all the time. He thinks the ratio of the protein and broth is not balanced. Ludo tells Anthony that he is “boring.” He wants more garnishes on the dish.
After tasting Vanessa’s rib eye steak with fennel salad, cumin yogurt and anchovy, Nigella thinks the salad overpowers the perfectly cooked meat. Marcus and Ludo agrees. Anthony does not want to wake up to Vanessa’s dish after a New Year’s Eve party.
Judges think that Tarik’s spice-rubbed venison with celery purée and pomegranate gastrique is not seasoned enough, especially the purée. Nigella thinks it needs more spice and salt. Ludo does not like the texture of the meat.
Three mentors absolutely love Tom’s sausage-stuffed pork tenderloin with barbecue sauce and coleslaw. Ludo shamelessly licks his fingers after stuffing the meat in his mouth. He loves the tenderness of it. However, Anthony thinks the sausage is an unnecessary component to the dish.
At first, the judges are speechless with Dan’s roasted cod with beets, quinoa, kale and dried fruit. They cannot identify what protein is used. Nigella thinks the meat is overcooked. Marcus thinks three components in the salad are too much. Anthony wearily says it is a fish with fruit salad.
There are mixed reactions with Natasha’s Moroccan lamb meatball with vegan pesto. Marcus loves the cucumber on top, but the rest is dry. Nigella says the sauce has too much acidity and salt. Marcus takes back what he said because it is dry in the right places.
The meat is overcooked in Eric’s seared venison with brussels sprout and apple compote. Ludo and Nigella have a vaguely intense reaction with “lentils for New Year.” They cannot identify how the meat was cooked. Anthony thinks it is too sweet. Marcus likes the garnishes, but the meat is not the star of the dish.
The judges absolutely love Jen’s chicken pot pie cupcake. They think it is perfect for New Year. However, Nigella wants the crust to be crunchier. Anthony loves the fact that the dish is neither cold nor hot.
Nigella does not like the acidity in Tristen’s pork and prawn sausage with black-eyed peas and lentils. However, Ludo thinks it has a nice flavor. Marcus says it is not cooked properly.
While the judges deliberate on the best and worst dishes, the cooks in the break room commend Jen for a job well done. Gabe thinks Jen is surely not going to be in the bottom. Everybody notices Natasha and Vanessa being too quiet. Natasha is nervous while Vanessa tries to reason out that her dish is not bad.
Finally, the best dishes are announced. Anthony chooses Ben’s dish. Marcus and Nigella’s favorite spoon is Gabe’s. The best part is Ludo chooses Jen’s dish. Ludo is very pleased to hear that Jen is thanking him for her comeback.
Anthony chooses Tarik’s dish as his worst. Dan is Marcus and Nigella’s worst dish. Ludo chooses his own teammate, Natasha. He is devastated that two of his cooks are in the bottom. He says he is tired of being in the taste off. While the worst cooks are convincing the judges why they should stay, Natasha cries because she regrets not using her remaining time to check her dish.
While the judges are deliberating who to put in the taste off, Anthony says Ludo’s worst enemy is himself. He thinks it is fun if they will make Natasha and Dan compete. However, Ludo thinks Tarik being in the bottom despite Chef Symon’s supervision is “shocking.” Even though Marcus thinks it is exciting to put Ludo vs. Ludo, his worst cooks are Tarik and Dan.
After the cooks gather in the room, the judges announce that Tarik and Natasha will be in the taste off. Tarik is chosen because he had the advantage of Chef Symon’s class, but he still failed.
For the taste off, the key ingredient will be pork chop. Tarik is at a disadvantage because he is a Muslim. On the other hand, Natasha hates pork. Ludo and Anthony go to their designated stations to coach their teammate. Nigella reminds the cooks they will only have 40 minutes to finish their dish.
Ludo asks Natasha what she will make. Natasha has no idea what to do. Ludo explains to her in detail what she must cook. While prepping, Ludo asks Natasha to move faster. He tells her to get bourbon in the pantry. He gets angry when Natasha takes a long time inside the pantry. When she returned, she brings whiskey. She says she does not know what bourbon is. While putting butter on the pan, she scoops messily that makes the butter go in different directions. Ludo kicks the trash can when she takes too long to put the fire on medium.
Suddenly, Natasha cuts her finger while slicing the garlic. Ludo demands the medic to treat her faster. Natasha tries to run away from the medic to get some stuff, but the medic stops her after his tools fell on the floor. The medic grabs her away from the pan and into the pantry. Ludo is getting hysterical because the pork will be burnt. He criticizes the medic for taking a long time to put a bandage. When Natasha resumes her station, Ludo yells at her for leaving the pan without putting it on the burner. Ludo’s hysteria gets on the next level when Natasha’s sliced apples were tossed into different directions while stirring the pan. He suddenly falls on the floor. Anthony makes fun of him, telling him that the position suits him.
In Anthony’s station, Tarik slices the meat. Everyone is happy with the outcome. However, Ludo laughs at them, claiming the pork is overcooked.
Marcus, Nigella and Chef Symon are ready to taste the dishes. Tarik’s seared and baked pork chop with prune pan sauce and apple chutney is too acidic for the judges. Chef Symon thinks it is too salty. However, the pork is cooked nicely. On the other hand, the meat in Natasha’s seared pork chop with sautéed apples in bourbon sauce is perfectly cooked. However, Nigella thinks the sauce is too sweet that it tastes like dessert. Other judges agree with her. The garnishes also have a nice texture. The dish overall needs more seasoning.
In the end, Natasha is sent home. Anthony announces it was his first time in the taste off and does not like it at all. From 16 cooks, it is down to nine.
Who will be eliminated next? Catch the next episode on Jan. 8, 2015.
There you have it for the recap on “The Taste” Season 3 Episode 4 “Happy New Year,” which aired last Jan. 1, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC. For more updates about this show, including spoilers and recaps, follow Movie News Guide (MNG).
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Lamonttroop