There is no shortage of shows about food and cooking on Netflix and elsewhere. One of the more recent food shows on Netflix is The Final
Table, which was added to the online streaming platform earlier in 2018. This competitive cooking show takes chefs from all over the world, who are challenged to cook in pairs and create national dishes from different countries in each episode. The show demonstrates cuisines from all over, from India and Japan to France, Spain and Brazil. The winner of the competition gets to take their space at The Final Table, along with the nine VIP judges.
One of the great things about The Final Table is its coverage of different types of cuisine. People who already love food shows likely come across a range of food from around the world, but even they might not necessarily have the most accurate picture of what food from different countries really looks like. Each episode of The Final Table is focused on a single country, with one of the nine judges who comes from that country judging for the episode. With an expert in the local cuisine for each episode, you know they know what they’re talking about.
The judges are British chef Clare Smyth, French Anne Sophie Pic, Spanish Andoni Azuriz, Enrique Olvera from Mexico, Helena Rizzo from Brazil, Vineet Bhatia from India, American Grant Achatz , Italian Carlo Cracco, and Yoshihiro Narisawa from Japan. The judges are also joined by a food critic and two celebrities from their home country. The competing chefs are also from around the world, paired with others who share a similar cooking style or who they have met before. Because the restaurant world is so small and close-knit, a lot of the judges know some of the contestants too, but they do their best to judge fairly.
The Final Table could broaden watchers’ horizons about food from the around the world. Traditional dishes are set for each episode so the audience gets to learn more about the typical cuisine of each country. The show gives a slightly new twist on the typical cooking show, although it might not be as radical as previous shake-ups like Chef’s Table. But it’s still a fun look at how chef’s skills can be tested and everything is presented in a fun way. Getting to see a different cuisine every episode keeps things interesting for the viewers.
It’s also worth thinking about how this shows in general present the professional culinary world to the public. While it’s fun to watch professional chefs compete, it’s not exactly a realistic look at what chefs really do in their everyday lives. It’s not like deciding to play US lottery online and winning big, although there can be luck involved. You need to work hard, either attending culinary school or working your way up from the very bottom. To make a name for yourself, you likely need to connect with the right people, securing mentorship from someone who can give your career a boost.