The Final Table
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|The Final Table|
|Directed by||Russell Norman|
|Presented by||Andrew Knowlton|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Robin Ashbrook and Yasmin Shackleton|
|Running time||53–59 minutes|
|Release||November 20, 2018|
The Final Table is an American cooking competition and reality television series hosted by food writer and critic Andrew Knowlton, and filmed in Los Angeles, California for Netflix. The first season was released on November 20, 2018. It features twelve international teams of two professional chefs each competing to create elevated dishes based on the country chosen for each episode. The first round is judged by a three-person panel—a food critic, and two culturally significant citizens, all representing the episode's country—assessing each team's interpretation of their chosen nationally significant dish. Interspersed among the cooking activities are video packages featuring the culinary biographies of the contestants.
The second round of each episode is The Final Plate Challenge. A chef, who already has an honorary seat at The Final Table, picks an ingredient representing their country's cooking culture, and then judges each team's dish highlighting that ingredient, eliminating one or two teams. In the first seven episodes, the bottom three teams are up for elimination in the second round, in the eighth and ninth episodes, only one team is not up for elimination.
For the finale, the nine renowned chef judges from each episode return, and are featured at The Final Table along with signature dishes they had each created that changed the food world. The final two competing chef teams break up and compete as individuals. Each of the four contestants must prepare a signature dish that defines them as a chef, and will “cause ripples around the culinary world”.
Each chef was paired with a fellow chef that they knew from their personal or professional life before the event. The 12 teams were:
| Benjamin Bensoussan |
| Mark Best |
| Aaron Bludorn |
| Collin Brown|
| Monique Fiso |
| Rafa Gil |
| Alex Haupt |
| Timothy Hollingsworth|
| Ronald Hsu |
| James Knappett |
| Jessica Lorigo |
| Charles Michel|
|No.||Title||First Round Judges||The Final Plate Judge||National Dish||Final Plate Ingredient|
|03||"United Kingdom"||Clare Smyth||English breakfast||English pea|
|05||"India"||Vineet Bhatia||Vegetarian murgh makhani (butter chicken)||Coconut|
|06||"USA"||Grant Achatz||Thanksgiving dinner||Pumpkin|
|08||"Japan"||Yoshihiro Narisawa||Kaiseki||Sea urchin|
|09||"France"||Anne-Sophie Pic||Hare à la royale||Egg|
|10||"The Finale"||N/A||All the Final Table chefs||N/A||N/A|
|1||Darren MacLean (Canada) and Timothy Hollingsworth (United States)||[a]|
|2||Shane Osborn (Australia) and Mark Best (Australia)|
|3||Charles Michel (Colombia & France) and Rodrigo Pacheco (Ecuador)|
|4||Esdras Ochoa (Mexico) and Rafa Gil (Brazil)|
|5||Aaron Bludorn (United States) and Graham Campbell (Scotland, United Kingdom)|
|6||Manuel Berganza (Spain & Singapore) and Benjamin Bensoussan (France)|
|7||Monique Fiso (New Zealand) and Amninder Sandhu (India)|
|8||Alex Haupt (Australia & Germany) and Ash Heeger (South Africa)|
|9||Jessica Lorigo (Spain) and Johnny Spero (United States)|
|10||Shin Takagi (Japan) and Ronald Hsu (United States)|
|11||Collin Brown (Jamaica) and Collibri Jimenez (Mexico)|
|12||James Knappett (United Kingdom) and Angel Vazquez (Mexico)|
- The contestants cooked the best dishes in the challenge.
- The contestants were nominated, but cooked the best dish of the final plate round.
- The contestants were nominated, but they weren't eliminated and they didn't cook the best dish of the final plate round.
- The contestants were eliminated in the final plate round.
- The contestants were safe.
- The winner was part of the team.
- The contestants were finalists, but did not win.
- The contestants were already eliminated in previous episodes.
- Only Timothy Hollingsworth won, Darren MacLean was a runner-up along with Shane Osborn and Mark Best.
Upon release, the show received a mixed response from critics. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 50% approval rating based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 4.67 out of 10.
In a review for The Guardian, critic Lucy Mangan described the show as "bombastic and barely watchable", giving the show two out of five stars. In a more positive review, David Sexton wrote in the Evening Standard that fans of MasterChef will "love this". David Levesley of GQ noted the high and low points of the show, writing that it contained "the perfect blend of trash and intellect".
Awards and nominations
|2019||71st Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directing – Reality Programs||"Japan" |
- "The Final Table: Has Netflix reinvented the recipe for food programmes?". The Independent. November 16, 2018. Archived from the original on June 18, 2022. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
- "'The Final Table' Is a TV Spectacle That Shows Room for Improvement". Eater. December 1, 2018.
- Griffin, Annaliese (November 28, 2018). "Seven cringe-worthy moments in Netflix's awful food competition show, "Final Table"". Quartzy. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "The Final Table: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- Mangan, Lucy (November 21, 2018). "The Final Table review – big, bombastic and barely watchable". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Celebrity chefs go nuclear on Netflix' The Final Table". Evening Standard. November 22, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- Levesley, David (November 28, 2018). "Netflix's latest cooking show is the perfect blend of trash and intellect". British GQ. Retrieved February 3, 2019.