The Taste: meet the mentors – Anthony Bourdain

"I’m not trying to be the bad guy, but there are certain combinations of food that I’m so appalled by that I feel personally, disproportionately betrayed"


Name: Anthony Bourdain


Age: 57

Famous for: All sorts of things. Bourdain is an American chef, author and general TV personality. He is probably most well known for his TV show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, but he’s also written books Kitchen Confidential, A Cook’s Tour and Medium Raw, as well as had his work published in The New Yorker, New York Times and The Times. He’s known for his outspoken, sarcastic and obscenity-loving style. 

In his words…

The Taste: “It all has to do with how wisely we pick our teams. We’re choosing them based entirely on one mouthful of food from someone we know nothing about. It could have been an incredible mouthful of food that leads us to believe all sorts of things about them that may turn out not to be true at all. But it’s then our job to mentor them, raise them up, guide them through the various elimination challenges.”

Mentoring style: “I like to think I’m a sympathetic, nice, warm, cuddly guy, and I try to be civil. I understand these guys are cooking their hearts out. That said, there are a few hot-button things that just make me see white. I’m not putting on an act, I’m not trying to be the bad guy, but there are certain combinations of food that I’m so appalled by, particularly when it comes from a talented professional who should know better, that I feel personally, disproportionately betrayed, and I have been unkind.”

Fellow mentors: “What’s more fun to argue about than food? If we all went out for dinner together, we would probably have some kind of spirited disagreement about some aspect of the food. It’s a particular joy arguing about food with Ludo, because it’s so deeply felt.”

Food guilty pleasure:At home, really bad macaroni cheese. Really, embarrassingly bad macaroni cheese. Like macaroni cheese at KFC. I’ll put my hood up and sneak in. Something really nasty like that. Dirty hot dogs, a good, greasy burger.”

The Taste begins tonight at 9:00pm on Channel 4