After weeks of grueling competition, only four chefs remain in The Taste’s Finale: Khristianne, Gregg, Sarah, and Diane. The theme of the final challenge is Tapas, in which the chefs must prepare elegant tapas bites using each of the following ingredients: Mozzarella Cheese, Iberico Ham, and Spot Prawns. Jose Andres, world renowned chef and restaurateur, appears as guest judge to determine the winner of the Team Taste Test, and then to assist the chefs with their dishes for the Blind Taste Test judged by the four mentors. Jose’s least favorite dish from the Team Taste Test will be eliminated, and only three chefs will go on to compete in the solo Blind Taste Test.
The Team Taste Test
The four finalists prepared the following tapas for Jose to sample:
Diane: Spot prawn with basil puree and tomato caviar; Iberico ham with quail egg and caviar; Mozzarella with mind and walnut accents.
Khristianne: Mozzarella with balsamic grapes, almonds, and fried basil; Iberico ham in tomato sauce with quail egg and caviar; Spot prawn with chimichurri, tomato, and blood orange.
Sarah: Mozzarella mousse with tomato confit on pesto bread; Iberico ham around a cheese stuffed date; Spot prawn with chorizo and orange cream sauce.
Gregg: Mozzarella mousse with lemon preserve and almonds; Spot prawn with potato chip and caviar; Iberico ham with poached quail egg.
After tasting the chefs’ Team Taste Test tapas, Jose chose to eliminate Gregg. Jose commented that the proportions did not allow him to taste the main ingredients and the three essential ingredients were not properly balanced with acidity.
The Blind Taste Test
With the support of their family and friends, and the guidance of Jose Andres, the three remaining contestants prepared the following tapas menus for the final Blind Taste Test.
Sarah: Arctic Char with fingerling potatoes, mushrooms and jalapeno salad; Spiced Duck Breast with braised fennel and red wine vinegar; Beef Tenderloin with creamy shallot confit.
Khristianne: Pecking Duck with chive pancake, pear, and radish slaw; Seafood Bouillabaisse with sea bass; Braised Short Ribs with bok choy, mushrooms, and squash puree.
Diane: Sea Urchin with butter mousse, lobster, and caviar; Seared Scallops with quail egg and daikon salad; Halibut with porcini and lobster sauce.
After careful deliberation, the judges were able to decide which chef would be awarded the winner. Sarah came in third place, Diane came in second place, and Khristianne was selected as the first winner of The Taste. As the winner, Khristianne was awarded The Taste trophy, the new Ford C Max Hybrid, and $100,000 courtesy of Hellmann’s. Congratulations to Khristianne and to all the chefs that participated in The Taste!