How a 'Top Chef' Contestant With Long COVID-19 Competed Without His Taste or Smell
“Terrified is the best way to put it. I still don't know how some of that stuff tasted like,” chef Jackson Kalb said.
A chef suffering from long COVID-19 didn’t let his lack of taste and smell prevent him from competing on “Top Chef Houston.”
“I woke up one day and all my taste and smell was gone,” Jackson Kalb said.
Kalb would have to face the ultimate challenge of cooking well without the two important senses.
“I think it's mostly based on instinct,” Kalb said.
He also says he couldn’t tell if anything was good before presenting to the judges.
“Terrified is the best way to put it. I still don't know how some of that stuff tasted like,” Kalb said.
Sometimes he’d have a fellow contestant try something he prepared.
“Mostly when I was testing with the other chefs it was to kinda see, ‘Hey is this seasoned enough?’” Kalb said.
And when he suspected his team was going to lose, he revealed the bombshell news to his teammates that he had COVID-19 a few weeks before shooting began, and his taste or smell hadn’t come back.
“It was kind of this weight on my shoulders and this burden. And I didn’t like hiding that from these people,” Kalb said.
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