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MTSU alumnus brings cooking skills to 'The Taste'

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Jay Qualls

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Known in the midstate for his tasty celebrity cake creations, Middle Tennessee State University alumnus Jay Qualls is bringing his culinary know-how to reality TV as one of 16 competitors on the cooking contest “The Taste,” which recently launched its second season on ABC.

Qualls, a 2003 graduate from the Jennings A. Jones College of Business who lives in Murfreesboro, operates a business specializing in custom wedding cakes.

He previously was a cast member on the TLC cable television hit “The Next Great Baker.”

“The Taste,” which premiered earlier this month, airs at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursdays.

The competition consists of four celebrity chef judges -- Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson -- who compete against each other by building and mentoring four-person teams based on blind auditions. Competitors, ranging from amateurs to professionals, compete for a $100,000 cash prize.

Qualls is competing on Lawson’s team and is described in an Entertainment Weekly online article as “quick-witted, totally open to criticism, and seems like he’d be a dream to work with.”

According to ABC, each episode features the groups facing team and individual challenges with a variety of culinary themes through several elimination rounds. At the end of each episode, the mentors judge the competitors’ dishes blind, with no knowledge of whose creation they’re sampling, what they’re eating, how it was prepared or whom they could be  eliminating.

To find out more about Qualls and his cake business, visit www.jayqualls.com.

Tagged under  Entertainment, Food, Jay Qualls, MTSU, Murfreesboro, The Taste

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