The Taste Episode 5: The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Recap: ‘The Taste’ Episode 5: The Art of the Sandwich

Reprinted with permission from

Do you like sandwiches? Of course you do, because you’re an American with a mouth and at least a few good teeth left. Well lucky for you, this week’s episode is all about the humble sandwich.

Team Challenge

The cooks are tasked with creating the perfect bite of an American classic sandwich: the club, peanut butter and jelly, or some kind of “salad.” Guest judges Mario Cabone and Rich Torrisi, chef/owners of Torrisi Italian Specialties, will be doing the tasting off of teeny tiny plates instead of spoons. The winning cook gets immunity.

the taste judges

In Malarkey’s kitchen, there’s lamb in a muffin pan, roast pork, and chicken curry. Ludo’s kitchen is cooking up a tuna salad with mayonnaise, Thanksgiving on a bun, and a lot of hostility. According to Gregg, it’s how French chefs communicate. Nigella’s two-person kitchen is making chicken, and chicken. Bourdain’s team is making shrimp egg salad (which sounds disgusting), pork taco, pork belly, and we learn that Tony doesn’t like brioche. Okay, so that’s no sea bass, and no brioche. Duly noted.

The judges will get to taste Diane’s pork taco, Huda’s fried chicken sandwich, Khristianne’s chicken curry, Gregg’s tuna sandwich. The judges choose Gregg’s sandwich, which makes people want to sucker punch Gregg in the gut more than normal.

Individual Challenge

The individual challenge is a lot like the team challenge—make a sandwich in an hour. But without the restraints of the classic American-style sandwich, the cooks get a little more creative. After a flurry of kitchen activity (including a few cooks making their own bread in an hour!), it’s hands up and sandwiches down. So how did they do?

  • The judges can’t figure out what’s in Adam’s cubano.
    Is that chicken or turkey?
  • Khristianne’s pork belly and chicken liver mousse is a big hit.
  • Gregg’s curried lamb on naan is all about ego, according to Gregg who is the foremost expert on both Gregg and ego. The judges do not like it and the bread comes across as pastry.
  • Lauren’s Mediterranean lamb on naan kicks Gregg’s lamb on naan’s ass.
    It’s the kind of sandwich that would make me reconsider my social plans so that I could enjoy it.
  • Jeff’s hot beef sandwich hits some happy notes with pesto ad caramelized onions.
  • NinaMarie’s beef carpaccio is a hit and a miss. Ludo likes its mushiness, but Malarkey thinks the mushiness is too mushy.
  • Sarah’s fried oyster taco is not exactly a sandwich, but it is rather tasty.
  • Diane’s bahn mi is waaaaay too bready.
  • Adam forgot to put the bacon on his steak and fried green tomato sandwich, but the judges like it anyhow.
  • Mia made lamb and eggplant on naan, which underwhelmed the judges and left Nigella with a charred flavor in her mouth.
    Seriously? More naan? Is this the next big thing? Like we’re going to start seeing naan pop-up restaurants all over Brooklyn?
  • Uno’s steamed beef bun impresses the judges because she made her own bread, even though she really just baked it from premade pizza dough.
  • Huda made a chicken pesto sandwich that Tony mistakes for tuna because it’s undercooked.
    Mine was a raw chicken sandwich.

the taste contestants

The contestants aren’t pleased with the judges’ comments.

With the judges full and the cooks jittery, it’s time to see which two cooks are going home this week. Bourdain’s best is Lauren, and his worst is Huda. Malarkey chose Jeff’s steak sandwich as his favorite, and Mia gets a thumbs down. Ludo also liked Jeff’s sandwich, and picked Gregg as the worst which, yeah. That feels kind of good. Nigella’s best is Nina Marie, and her worst is Diane.

With two thumbs up, Jeff’s simple steak sandwich is the winner. Gregg has immunity, so his lousy lamb is safe. That means it’s between Mia’s charred lamb and eggplant, Huda’s undercooked chicken pesto, and Diane’s bready bahn mi.

the taste winning dish

The decision is unanimous, and Huda goes home. You just can’t serve raw chicken on television. Also out is Mia, whose burned bread is unforgivable. This leaves Nigella with a team of one, Lauren, who has been hit-or-miss all season. That should make next week very interesting.

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