The Final Table: Netflix’s Dramatic Culinary Show
Chef’s Table. Salt Fat Acid Heat. The Final Table. The highlight is that all these shows have a different concept and are unlike the most popular culinary show, Masterchef, plus they’re available on demand on Netflix.
When I heard that Netflix was launching another cooking show, I was excited to watch it and even more excited to see Chef Amninder Sandhu a.k.a. the best female chef in India, compete with popular chefs from all over the world. You can also catch Chef Esdras Ochoa who is the new chef at Bandra’s Sancho’s on the show!
The Final Table is a cooking competition, where 24 top chefs from around the world compete to win the title. The chefs are divided into 12 teams, where they’re paired with a chef that they already know but belongs to another country or culture. So, the chefs’ have to rely on each other’s strength as well as weaknesses and that’s one of the strongest points of the show.
Each episode concentrates on one country’s cuisine and this further leads to extremely interesting cultural mashups. The teams are first supposed to cook something from that country and then, they’re judged by a panel that is native to that country including two celebrity chefs and one food critic. Of course, there’s one episode dedicated to India and that features Hasan Minhaj, R Madhavan and Rashmi Uday Singh.
From the first round, three teams that made the worst dishes compete in the final round, where they are judged by that country’s Final Table representative. Finally, one team is eliminated in each episode. Now, that sure sounds interesting but…
There’s always a but! The length of the episodes and the sheer dramatic treatment doesn’t work in the favour of this Netflix show. Think: Long pauses and dramatic food shots that don’t live up to the standard set by Chef’s Table. And, for someone who’s watching the show only for those spectacular shots of food, you’ll be highly disappointed. There are almost no aerial shots!
Most episodes are 50 minutes to 1 hour in length and with not much to focus on (only two challenges), it can tend to be a little boring. Moreover, most of the chefs are ignored in the initial episodes.
But, I am definitely super proud of Chef Amninder Sandhu, who makes some exceptional dishes on the show and when you learn about her journey as a female chef, you’ll be touched and inspired at the same time.
Overall, The Final Table features great talent including the chefs and the judges but it’s the treatment of the show that could’ve been much better. Watch it only for the chefs!