When it comes to reality competition shows having something to do with food, the Food Network still reigns supreme with Chopped, Iron Chef America and other similar programs. Yet Netflix has been steadily making claims with documentary series like Chef’s Table and Ugly Delicious, and competition shows like Nailed It more recently. Now, the streaming giant will plant an even bigger flag with The Final Table.
What is The Final Table about?
Hosted by former Bon Appetit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton and produced by MasterChef alums Robin Ashbrook and Yasmin Shackleton, The Final Table is a global culinary competition that features many of the world’s top chefs. 12 teams of two will square off with one another by cooking a variety of dishes from Mexico, Spain, England, Brazil, France, Japan and the United States.
The Final Table cast
As for the contest’s titular goal, the last chef standing will earn the 10th spot at The Final Table alongside world-famous chefs Enrique Olvera of Mexico, Andoni Aduriz of Spain, Clare Smyth of the United Kingdom, Helena Rizzo of Brazil, Vineet Bhatia of India, Grant Achatz of the United States, Carlo Cracco of Italy, Yoshihiro Narisawa of Japan and Anne-Sophie Pic of France. Presumably, should The Final Table return with more episodes, future prizes will either expand said table’s size.
If the overdramatic title weren’t enough, simply watching the trailer Netflix released last month should convince you just how over-the-top this series is. Dramatic music, quick cuts between chefs cooking and judges eating, celebrity cameos by the likes of Hasan Minhaj and Dax Shepard – it’s all there. Everything fans of reality cooking competitions have come to expect from shows like Iron Chef and Guy’s Grocery Games will recognize it here and, as a result, want to eat it all up.
Because the thing is, as predictable as these programs are, we love them. Even though they have become as formulaic as the police procedural championed by the Law & Order and CSI franchises, the target audience already knows what to expect. And even though they already know what’s coming, they will be watching everything new that comes their way.
Food Network knows this. That’s why they’ve been putting out show after show for the past few decades, and why so many of them have stuck around long enough to foster growing foodie fandoms and spin-off into other series. Netflix is only beginning to achieve similar success with its food-centric documentary and cooking competition programs, but with The Final Table, it looks like the streamer may finally be giving its cable-based rival a run for its tummy.
The Final Table release date
The Final Table premiere is set for Tuesday, Nov. 20, on Netflix.