As Austin grows, so does our community of culinary artists. Now local chefs have a shot at fortune and glory with a casting call for a major culinary competition.
A casting team for ABC’s The Taste will visit Austin on Saturday, June 28 to host an open casting call for the reality show’s third season. Taking place at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, the show hopes to tap into Austin's rising culinary scene and find contestants who will compete for a $100,000 grand prize when season three returns in December.
"The Taste hasn’t been [to Austin] before, so it’s a fresh city for us. We also love how the city is devoted to fresh, farm-to-table dishes," says casting producer Rebecca Greenberg.
Aside from fame and money, contestants will also have the opportunity to learn from a team of judges that includes Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Marcus Samuelsson and Ludo Lefebvre.
On The Taste, each judge recruits a team of chefs based on blind taste tests of their dishes, afterwards coaching them through weekly team challenges before a final round of individual competitions. Bourdain and Lawson also serve as executive producers of the show.
Austin is one of only five cities that will host a casting call (other cities include Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Boston); and this is the first time the casting team has searched for contestants in Central Texas. "We’ve just heard about how the city is blowing up," casting producer Rebecca Greenberg tells CultureMap. "Many coworkers and chefs who’ve worked on the show constantly talk about the growing scene there, and we’ve been thinking about expanding the area that we looked for talent."
"The Taste hasn’t been there before, so it’s a fresh city for us. We also love how the city is devoted to fresh, farm-to-table dishes," she adds.
Greenberg says while it’s a great opportunity for professional chefs to gain publicity, it’s also a great learning opportunity for home cooks. "We are looking for executive chefs, but we’re open to many of the home cooks who may have never been to a formal cooking school."
Since many professional chefs have busy schedules, Greenberg says that the casting team will contact local chefs ahead of the open casting call to work around their schedules. Potential contestants can pre-register online to make scheduling easier. Interested chefs should circle June 28 on their calendar and be ready to bring a prepared dish that shows off their talent and "taste."