Editor's note: This article has been revised to reflect the following correction, which appears in Tuesday's print edition. The panel of judges on the ABC reality series "The Taste" consists of chef Anthony Bourdain; British food star Nigella Lawson; expert chef and author Ludo Lefebvre; and author, chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. Because of a reporter's error, the list of judges appeared incorrectly in a front-page article Sunday. The Statesboro Herald regrets the error.
A little Bulloch County flavor could be featured on a new ABC reality show, “The Taste,” when Statesboro cooking enthusiast Rebekah Faulk brings her flair for food to the table.
Faulk, who writes a bi-monthly food column for the Statesboro Herald as well as a food blog, both titled “Some Kinda Good,” auditioned for the show after being selected by show officials who reviewed a YouTube video of a recent “Statesboro Cooks” segment, she said.
The cooking reality show, which features a cooking contest, premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan 2.
Faulk helps produce “Statesboro Cooks,” a Georgia Southern University student-run show on which she is a guest host.
Since contract requirements prevent Faulk’s giving details about the show before it airs, she said people “will just have to tune in” to see what happens, but she did spill the beans about the dish she prepared for her audition – shrimp and grits.
“It’s my signature dish and represents me and where I come from,” she said.
Auditioning for reality shows is old hat for Faulk. She auditioned for the show online, and while it is her first cooking reality show, she has auditioned for “The Voice,” “American Idol” and “Nashville Star.”
Since it was her first try at a cooking show, she wasn’t very optimistic, but “Music and food are my two passions,” she said. And she decided to go for it.
On “The Taste,” 16 competitors from professional chefs to down-home country cooks concoct their best dishes to impress four of the world’s most notable chefs — chef Anthony Bourdain; British food star Nigella Lawson; expert chef and author Ludo Lefebvre; and author, chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson.
According to “The Taste’s” website, the twist to the show is that all the dishes will be judged in a blind taste test. “In this pressure-packed contest, the taste of a single spoonful can catapult a contender to the top or send him packing,” according to statements on the website (http://abc.go.com/shows/the taste).
“Each of the four culinary superstars and mentors — 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, not knowing whose food they’re sampling, what they’re eating, how it was prepared or whom they could be eliminating, according to the website.
Again, Faulk can’t yet say how judges liked her shrimp and grits, but “I was very excited for the judges to taste it,” she said. “It was the experience of a lifetime. I got to fly to Hollywood, California and got to meet some amazing people and compete with some really talented people.”
The show was filmed at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. “Everyone was really kind, and I have a really nice feeling about what they had to say about my dish,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.”
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.