Independent Plus Channel 4's 'The Taste': Judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain

By Ellen E Jones

With Team Nigella already whipped into a state of expectant devotion by her court appearances, her show couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. But The Taste, which began on Channel 4 tonight, is no ordinary Nigella Lawson cookery show and no ordinary competition, either. The contestants may come from the ranks of professional chefs or enthusiastic home cooks, but all will be judged, sight unseen, on the flavour of a single spoonful.

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A bid to crowd-fund an eaterie where people can enjoy tea and cuddles with cats is gathering momentum

Tong Chee Hwee: 'Poached nashi pears with bitter almonds are a great way to fend off winter colds'

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Wine: Something for the weekend

Night in

Wine: Something for the weekend

Night in

County Championship round-up: Mitchell leads from front on fruitful day for Pears

Daryl Mitchell, the Worcestershire captain, carried his bat through a completed innings for the second time in his career as his side fought desperately for points in the only Championship cricket in the country yesterday.

The Orange Pippin apples were badly affected during Britain's sodden summer

Soggy summer takes a huge bite out of British apple harvest

Britain's sodden summer is producing one of the country's worst fruit harvests, with shortages and higher prices on the way for favourites such as Cox's Orange Pippin apples.

The great Bradley Wiggins is a class act on the track and the road

Chris Hewett: Boris's 'conservative lesson' is confounded by Wiggins and Co

These Games have been, are being and will be politicised to within an inch of their lives

Ashwell Prince hit a priceless century for champions Lancashire

County Championship round-up: Regal knock from Prince puts Somerset on the back foot

It's make or break time for Lancashire. Last year's winners of the County Championship will turn up at Liverpool today knowing a victory over Somerset could preserve their First Division status, while defeat is unthinkable.

Plantain crisps with guacamole and salsa

Plantain crisps with guacamole and salsa

Serves 10-20

Listening to Britney Spears' greatest hits was so much more appealing than doing that economics essay…

Top ten tips for procrastination

Procrastination is not just the avoidance of essential, dull everyday tasks such as essay writing or washing. For students it is an art form to be carefully cultivated.

Wayne Amiel in the Clapham garden he has been lovingly tending for five years

'My best find was in a skip': Wayne Amiel reveals his dedication to abandoned plants

I used to know the streets round London's Clapham Old Town reasonably well, wheeling pushchairs past the grand façades of The Pavement, balancing small children on swings in Grafton Square, haring after scooters in Rectory Gardens. Someone once told me this was the oldest squat in London. I like Rectory Gardens – the random collections of stuff tacked on to walls, the small bits of garden laid straight on to the street, shored up with timber offcuts, casually, promiscuously planted with marigolds and lettuce, petunias and parsley.

Britvic sales hit by rain and recall

A wet-weather sales plunge has piled on the pain at Britvic, the soft drinks firm which is already reeling under a £25m bill to recall childrens' drink Fruit Shoot.

Robinsons Fruit Shoot recall to cost Britvic £25m

The maker of Robinsons Fruit Shoot today warned the profit impact of recalling packs with a new cap design is set to rise to up to £25 million.

Pierre Hermé, the 'picasso of pastry': 'Lime is the best seasoning. I can put it with any fruit and it will improve it'

My Life in Food: Pierre Hermé

Dubbed by French Vogue the "Picasso of pastry", Hermé was first apprenticed to a master pastry chef at age 14. He is praised for his chocolate desserts but worshipped for his macarons. He opened his first shop in Tokyo in 2000 and has since opened six more in Japan, one in London's Belgravia, and six in Paris. Hermé is the only pastry chef to have been made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.

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