Ludo has reached his limit, and Team Anthony is in shreds in the spicy new episode of “The Taste” Season 3 Episode 5 “Latin,” which aired last Jan. 8, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.
The episode kicks off with Anthony welcoming the cooks in the theme “Latin.” Nigella introduces an expert of Latin cuisine to be the guest judge. Chef Javier Plascencia enters the room.
Each mentor except Nigella goes to their kitchen to explain their team’s specific theme. Ludo wants broth ceviche, Marcus, Latin seafood and Anthony, riff on a taco. The cooks must create their own version of the team’s theme.
In Anthony’s Kitchen, Tom is pressured to keep it simple for Anthony. He was scolded by his mentor before the episode’s competition because he kept on messing his food with complicated flavors. Anthony starts to make Ludo jealous by making a white lie that Eric lived in Mexico for nine years. He boasts that Eric is going to make tacos for the whole team.
Another Ludo hysteria emerges when he keeps on disturbing his team with nonstop criticisms. He gets mad with simple mistakes. He even kicks a trash bin without any reason. He walks out. He says he is sick of the “same shit.” After several minutes, he returns to taste the dish that will represent his team. He tried his best to “let go.” He chooses Benjamin because he has the best broth.
Meanwhile, Eric is disappointed that Anthony chose Vanessa’s dish just because he has simpler ingredients. His experience in Central America did not give him the upper hand to make Anthony choose him.
It is time for Chef Plascencia to taste the top three dishes. Vanessa serves tripe and short rib taco with salsa. Chef Plascencia likes the crispiness of the tortilla, but he finds the dish too salty. Then he tastes Benjamin’s broth with hamachi, uni flan and jicama. He thinks it has nice acidity and balance of flavors. Next, he tastes Gabe’s branzino with corn and uni purée. He enjoys the flavors.
After deliberating for a few seconds, Chef Plascencia chooses Gabe as his best taste. Team Marcus will have a master class with him, and they will have him as their mentor during the solo challenge. The worst is Benjamin’s.
Ludo asks each of his teammates who they want to eliminate. None of them wants to speak. Ludo is quietly annoyed by his team’s silence. Suddenly, Dan whispers to Jen to say his name. Jen still does not want to speak. Dan tells Ludo that it is okay for him to go home. Even though Ludo cannot point out any bad thing about Dan, he eliminates him. Jen is surprised.
After the master class, the cooks start to compete for the solo challenge. Jen wants to get out of her comfort zone, so she makes tortillas. She successfully makes small-sized tortillas and starts frying them. She thanks television for her success.
Vanessa is having a difficult time finishing her dish. Eric thinks she is a mess. He notices that Vanessa always has a problem with time management. Vanessa calls for help from her teammates, but they are too busy finishing their own.
It is time for the four mentors to blindly taste the dishes. Benjamin’s dish is braised pork shoulder with tomatillo sauce and corn salsa. Although Nigella wants to have more heat, the judges love the dish overall. Marcus says it is a good start.
Next is Tarik’s chorizo and morcilla-stuffed squid with roasted corn salad. Marcus commends the effort and “guts” to cook squid. Ludo and Nigella think it is bland and needs more texture.
It is time for Gabe’s esquites with rib-eye steak, charred octopus and salsa verde to be tasted by the mentors. After tasting, Ludo makes funny noises. Anthony thinks that the lacking elements on the previous dish is found on Gabe’s. He wants a “big bucket” of it. All the judges enjoy it.
For Eric’s braised oxtail and pork belly empanada with roasted corn and poblano salsa, Ludo thinks it has great dough but “no personality” in the filling. Nigella says it only “tasted dough.” Anthony jokes about it having the disadvantage of coming after the previous dish because it is like coming after Hendrix.
Tristen’s conchinita pibil with octopus, black bean purée and onion has so much complexity in one small bite which is good. All the judges are amazed with the dish.
Jen made rib-eye taco with mango, roasted corn and poblano salsa. It has mixed reactions about the tortilla. Some find it greasy; some find it tasty.
For the last dish, Tom is pressured while the judges taste his pescado frito with tostones and salsa fresca. Ludo’s face wrinkles for a while before saying that it tastes boring. He also says it is too “watery.” Nigella says the texture is lost because of the liquid.
After judges’ deliberation, the cooks are called back from the break room to hear the best and worst dishes. Team Marcus creates a landslide because Gabe has two gold stars from Anthony and Marcus while Tristen has two as well from Nigella and Ludo. Ludo makes a facepalm. He is obviously tired and “hurt” with Team Marcus’s accomplishments. Some cooks even make fun of Gabe by referring to his gold stars as the “galaxy.”
For the worst cooks, Anthony and Ludo choose Tom. Marcus thinks Vanessa is his worst. Eric is chosen by Nigella. The worst dishes all come from Team Anthony.
“Bad day at the office,” Anthony says wearily.
Ludo says Anthony is one of his closest friends, but he does not feel bad at all because he thinks it is time for Team Anthony to lose. He cannot help but laugh.
After Anthony asked the worst cooks who they want to eliminate, Tom and Eric thinks Vanessa must go because of her time management issues. Vanessa tries to convince the mentors that she is the most passionate because she sacrificed many things for the competition. Eric is furious with what she said. He tells the mentors that he is not afraid to go to the taste off because of his passion.
Anthony sends Tom and Eric to battle. His strategy is to use Eric whom he believes as his strongest to eliminate Tom. The key ingredient for the taste off is chorizo.
It is time for the judges to taste the dishes. Eric’s dish is chorizo and sautéed squid with rice, black bean purée and salsa. Ludo says he did not taste the chorizo at all in the first bite, but its flavor emerges in the end. On the other hand, Tom’s dish is chorizo potato hash tostada with black bean paste and fried egg. Some judges think it is chewy.
In the end, Anthony’s strategy works out. Tom is eliminated. He is still happy with the outcome because he lost to a great competitor. He compares himself to a samurai who wants a good death.
Who will survive from the semi-finals? Catch the next episode on Jan. 15, 2015.
There you have it for the recap on “The Taste” Season 3 Episode 5 “Latin,” which aired last Jan. 8, 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