Local celebrity chef Brian Malarkey starring as judge in new ABC show 'The Taste'

Malarkey opened Searsucker, other SD restaurants

SAN DIEGO - Local celebrity chef and reality TV star Brian Malarkey is preparing for his biggest role yet in ABC's new primetime hit, "The Taste."

The show's premiere will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC10.

Malarkey opened his signature restaurant Searsucker in the Gaslamp Quarter in 2010. Time Magazine named it one of the "hottest restaurants in the country." Other local successful restaurants followed, including Herringbone, Burlap, Gingham and Gabardine. 

Malarkey gained notoriety after his appearance on Bravo's "Top Chef" in 2007. On "The Taste," he will be on the other side of the table, judging and mentoring professional and amateur chefs. Other famous judges include Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludy Lefebvre. 

With that many cooks in the kitchen, expect drama.

"Ludy and I do not get along but that was destined from the beginning," said Malarkey. "Each of us has entirely different taste buds. What's it going to take for one person who pleases us all?"

He added, "When it comes down to one spoon, it's anyone's game."

Here is how the show works: Each judge coaches a team of four cooks. Amateur and professional chefs were chosen from a nationwide search.They face challenges and eliminations. In the end, it comes down to a single taste test of a ceramic spoonful.

Malarkey will hold a viewing party at Searsucker on Tuesday for the show's premiere. Guests will be offered free tastings and can play along while they are in the restaurant. 

His other San Diego-area restaurants will also host viewing parties for guests. The eight-episode show will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Malarkey, a married father of three, also just published a cookbook entitled, "Come Early, Stay Late."

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