Famed culinary experts Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey are confirmed to join no-holds-barred chef Anthony Bourdain and British food star Nigella Lawson as mentors on eight episodes of ABC's innovative new cooking competition show, "The Taste." Bourdain and Lawson are also executive producers. The new one-hour alternative series from Kinetic Content will premiere in 2013 on the ABC Television Network.
On "The Taste," each of the four culinary superstars - Bourdain, Lawson, Lefebvre and Malarkey - will coach a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call as they vie to create the best tasting dish. In each episode, the groups will face team and individual challenges with a variety of culinary themes through several elimination rounds. At the end of each episode, the mentors will have to judge the competitors' dishes blind, with no knowledge of whose creation they're sampling, what they're eating, how it was prepared or whom they could be eliminating.
Lefebvre is the pioneer of a guerrilla style "pop-up" restaurant event called LudoBites that currently takes place at locations around Los Angeles. His newest book release, "LUDOBITES: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre," is the story of the seven LudoBites events that showcase Lefebvre's wildly inventive food with recipes that merge the techniques he has perfected in his years at the finest French restaurants with the simplicity forced upon him by the limits of a pop-up kitchen. Lefebvre trained at Restaurant L'Esperance with Marc Meneau, Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire and Arpege with Alain Passard, and Le Grande Vefour with Guy Martin in France. He moved to Los Angeles to work at L'Orangerie, where he became head chef at 25, and at the age of 26, was named as one of the world's 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateaux. Under his guidance, L'Orangerie became one of the top-rated restaurants in California, receiving the Mobil Five Star Award. He then moved on to Bastide, where he also received the prestigious award. He was a nominee for the James Beard Foundation Rising Chef Award in 2001, and is the author of the cookbook "Crave."
An award-winning maverick chef, Malarkey is one half of the brain trust that in less than two years has conceived five wildly successful restaurants in San Diego, including Searsucker, Burlap, Gingham, Gabardine and Herringbone. Each has opened to rave reviews, and Searsucker was named "the country's No. 2 hottest restaurant" by Time Magazine and OpenTable Diners Choice Awards. On the horizon is national expansion to 15 restaurants over the next five years, including a Searsucker in Scottsdale in November, plus the release of Malarkey's first cookbook, "Come Early, Stay Late." Growing up on a ranch in Bend, Ore., and spending summers enjoying the fresh seafood on the coast, Malarkey discovered his love for food and cooking at a young age. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. He was later hired as sous chef at Oceanaire Seafood Room in Minnesota, before opening their San Diego location as executive chef and operating partner. Under his direction, Oceanaire received more than 60 industry awards in less than five years.