Tuesday | 9pm | Channel 4
Nigella on her fellow judges, Anthony and Ludo
Can you explain what the show is about?
Nigella Lawson: We taste all the food blind, and we have just one mouthful, on a spoon, from each cook. We don't know who's cooked what. We have no idea if it's been cooked by a home cook or a chef or some other catering professional.
This continues throughout the whole competition. So you might easily eliminate someone from your own kitchen, someone you're mentoring. So we really are judging only on the food.
Anthony Bourdain: 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.
NL: And the one mouthful thing means you have to think about food in a slightly different way. If you were cooking someone a meal, as you eat, the flavours develop, and you would not want everything to be turned up too high.
When you have one spoonful, you don't want it to be turned up too high, but on the other hand, you can't say 'Oh yes, they'll feel the heat by the third spoonful', because there isn't a third spoonful, so everything has to be delivered upfront.
AB: You're telling a big story in one mouthful of food. The ability to tell that story concisely, without over-complicating it or leaving anything important out, is an adjustment the cooks have to make. But it also makes it a level playing field between professional chefs and home cooks. Technique is of little importance, presentation is of absolutely no importance.