ABC's The Taste managed to actually get renewed for a second season, but one of the judges, chef Brian Malarkey, will not be returning. Malarkey, who helped mentor season one winner Khristianne Uy, will not be joining confirmed judges Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson on season two. Said Malarkey in a statement, which makes it seem like he was not invited back: "I am of course disappointed to part ways and not return..." And according to Eater LA: "supposedly Trois Mec chef Ludo Lefebvre is set to return as well."
Aside from an affinity for naming things after fabric, the former cheftestapant (season three of Top Chef has a lot to deal with these days. First off, there's his upcoming LA project. Then there's his Austin restaurant, Searsucker, which got off to kind of a rough start. And don't forget the crazy mix of things happening out in San Diego: Just recently, his Enlightened Hospitality Group not only cut the strings on La Mesa's Gingham, they also rebirthed Burlap into another Searsucker. And not one, but three of the group's chefs have decided to move on from their respective restaurants. But Malarkey is remaining positive; just take a look at his farewell statement:
Being a part of ABC's The Taste was a great experience, especially mentoring one of my chefs all the way to the finish line and taking home the win. I am of course disappointed to part ways and not return for season 2, but onward and upward! I'm looking forward to pursuing future television projects and continuing to grow our restaurant group, which has had its most successful year to date. Austin has welcomed Searsucker with open arms and we're excited to open a restaurant in Los Angeles at the end of this year.
Season two of The Taste is still casting.
· Brian Malarkey Not Returning to The Taste [Eater San Diego]
· ABC's The Taste Axes Chef Brian Malarkey as Judge [Eater LA]
· All The Taste Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Brian Malarkey Coverage on Eater [-E-]