Whole Story

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ABC's The Taste: In It To Win It!

By Brian Malarkey, February 12, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Brian Malarkey

The TasteCatch the new reality cooking competition, “The Taste,” on Tuesdays, (8-10 p.m. EST) on ABC. We’re excited to have some of the show’s participants – competitors and mentor-judges alike – share their stories with readers of the Whole Story blog. Learn more about “The Taste” on ABC’s website.

We’ve heard from contestant Sarah Ashley Schiear. Now here’s mentor and judge, Chef Brian Malarkey.

One of my goals as a chef, and as a mentor on The Taste, is to take a look back and pass on some of what I have learned over the years – from my successes and, maybe even more importantly, from my mistakes!

To me, an important part of being a chef is to fill my mental toolbox with as much information as I can and pass on this information to young up-and-comers; to coach and hopefully inspire! To give advice so that they don’t make the same mistakes. To teach discipline, “comfort in chaos,” and to focus and make calculated moves so time is not wasted and efficiency is enhanced. To season! To see, hear, touch, feel and most importantly to taste. To adapt at a moment’s notice, to laugh and have fun! To eat and live life to its fullest.  

But I must not forget to strike a balance between sharing examples and my personal preferences, while still being open-minded to new ideas and techniques. That’s what it means to be a mentor!

Brian MalarkeyBeing a mentor on The Taste is a bit of a different game. I’m not in my own kitchen working with my own team on a common goal of making the best food possible in order to please guests and build an incredible “social dining” experience. Nope! This is a competition! A game! And it’s a game against some of the best culinary icons in this country and across the pond.

Take Chef Bourdain: he’s a decent chef (ouch!) and by far one of the greatest and most worldly culinary visionaries of our time, plus he eats at the best restaurants in the world on an average day.

And then there’s Nigella Lawson, the “other Queen of England.” She is the queen of approachable, full-flavored, “homey” food. Not to mention she’s a great teacher and a shining star.

Last but not least, and the one I fear the most, Ludo Lefebvre! The French mad man, a leader of some of the greatest kitchens of our time, a technical wizard, an award-winning chef and an arrogant peacock!

I have to guide my team against the teams of these three. I have to educate them on what the other mentors like and dislike. I have to teach them to mix it up and confuse the enemy or face possible elimination.

In this game I’m not changing my team’s style to fit my kitchen, I’m “mentoring” them to cook their style with a twist of Malarkey! I’m trying to get them to The Taste trophy, the prize money and, most importantly, bragging rights for me! The battles are intense and the talent is awesome. And it all comes down to just one simple thing… the taste.

What is your best piece of cooking advice?

 

 

 

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5 Comments

Comments

Barbara says ...
To please take criticism,and learn from it.
02/13/2013 5:21:10 PM CST
Myra says ...
Cooking is an art. Some have it but most don't. An excellent cook can draw many. Try very hard to create a dish for everyone.
02/13/2013 7:38:55 PM CST
Jason says ...
As a single guy and home cook, I absolutely LOVE to cook!!! I am completely self-taught, and agree w/ Myra..."Cooking IS an art". A suitable quote I like as well.. "Variety is the spice of life!" :)
02/17/2013 6:40:00 PM CST
Paula Ainsworth says ...
Brian. There are MANY baby boomers with the brains and determination to learn from u. How do I start to learn to cook beyond meat and potatoes?
02/17/2013 9:48:17 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PAULA - Since Brian is a contributing blogger, he will not be checking in on this post that often. I would suggest utilizing our recipe portion of our site where you can search for TONS of recipe options that you can read through to meet your culinary experience. As always, check with your local store to see if they are offering any cooking classes or in-store demos that would be helpful to you. Our team members love food so they are a great resource while shopping if you have certain culinary questions!
02/18/2013 4:42:43 PM CST