PHOENIX - A new show thrusts a local chef into the national spotlight. Chef Brian Malarkey, the mastermind behind cult favorite Searsucker, makes his food judging debut on ABC's "The Taste".
The show seats Malarkey alongside star chefs Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre.
Contestant chefs will face the judgment of the fearsome foursome in a format that mirrors NBC's hit talent show, "The Voice." In both programs the judges blindly pick their favorite performers, but in this case, it's chefs, instead of aspiring singers. The judges then mentor the contestant chefs.
As far as the judges go, this won't be Brian Malarkey's first time in front of the camera, but it will be his first time sitting next to huge food celebs like Anthony Bourdain.
"Its kind of funny," said Malarkey, "I'm telling people about the show and I'm sitting in the promos right next to him!"
He made it to the finals on "Top Chef" and he's not just occupying the judge's seat for his charm. His eccentric and sometimes over-the-top personality balances out with a commanding knowledge of food. After all, Malarkey successfully launched Searsucker in San Diego which became so famous among visiting Phoenicians, he opened one up in Scottsdale last year.
In fact, Malarkey was in the process of opening Scottsdale's Searsucker when he learned he would be a judge on the show.
The Taste premiers tonight at 7 p.m. on ABC 15.