The Final Table? Sounds ominous…
It might sound like it might be found in the ‘Thriller’ category, but The Final Table is actually billed as being one of Netflix’s most ambitious food shows yet.
Is it anything like Chef’s Table?
Absolutely not. It’s a 10-part series featuring 24 chefs from around the world- five women, and 19 men. They will be given a country-themed, culinary challenge each episode, and will be judged by a critic from each respective country the challenge is themed on. Jay Rayner will fly the flag for the UK, for example, while Fargo star Colin Hanks will represent the US.
So how does it work?
The chefs will be paired up to work in teams of two, and will be given a series of elimination challenges. At the end, the chef that wins will be allowed to sit at the ‘Final Table’ with nine of the world’s best chefs.
Who’s on the table? Apart from the obvious Clare Smyth.
Sitting alongside Smyth is Anne-Sophie Pic of La Dame de Pic; Vineet Bhatia formerly of Zaika and Vineet Bhatia in London; Helena Rizzo from Brazil’s Mani; Enrique Olvera from Pujol in Mexico; Andoni Aduriz from Mugaritz in San Sebastian; Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago; Carlo Cracco from Ristorante Cracco in Milan; and Yoshihiro Narisawa from Narisawa in Tokyo.
Are there any interesting UK chefs hoping to join the table?
From the UK there is Collin Brown, executive chef of the Cottons group of Caribbean restaurants and chet patron of Canary Wharf restaurant Ayanna’s. We’ve also got Graham Campbell, who saw The Ballachulish House gain a Michelin star under his tenure at age 25 , making him the youngest Scottish chef to receive the accolade. Also hailing from these shores is James Knappett, head chef of Bubbledogs and its intimate chef’s table dining room, Kitchen Table.
Anyone else we might know?
Aussie chef Shane Osborn left the UK a while ago, but will be back on our screens for the show. The chef had a star-studded career here, having been part of the team that won a star at L’Oranger in London in 1996 before leading Pied a Terre to gain its first star in 2001 and its second in 2003. The chef is regarded as one of Australia’s highest-achieving culinary exports for the stars he’s racked up, and he now oversees his restaurant, Arcane, in Hong Kong. He founded it in 2014.
Anyone else of note to look out for?
The show will be presented by Andrew Knowlton, editor at large of Bon Appetit, which is quite a big deal. Also keep your eyes peeled on the UK ambassador panel for prolific foodie and crisp connoisseur Gary Linekar and (inexplicably) Cat Deeley representing the UK.
What about from other countries?
Well, Brazil has the beautiful Alessandra Ambrosio as an ambassador.
Now that's someone you wouldn't see on Bake Off...