18 April 2020

Weekend Cooking: The Final Table (Review)

Review of The Final Table: A Netflix OriginalIt's the end of another week of stay home, stay safe, and though we're not having any particular disruptions in our everyday life (I've been working from home for decades, Mr. BFR is semi-retired), we do miss socializing with friends, going to the farmer's market, and grocery shopping in comfort.

We tried home-delivery of food this week, and while we were pleased with the processes (though not that happy with the extra costs), the shoppers couldn't find substitutions for two needed items--one of those items was 8-inch flour tortillas. Umm, I can't believe there were no tortillas of any size or type or no wraps at all in the entire store. The grocery's app shows those item in stock. Oh well, I'll figure out something else to do with the enchilada ingredients.

This week I decided to give the Netflix original series The Final Table a try. The setup is generally the same as other such elimination shows: You start with 24 successful chefs (some with Michelin stars) and end up with one winner.

Andrew Knowlton from Bon Appetit magazine is the host of the The Final Table. Although I have no doubt he knows the food world, he didn't display a particularly dynamic personality and doesn't draw us into the competition. He is joined in the first part of each episode by three celebrity judges and by a world-renown chef for the second part.

The contestants cook in teams of two and prepare a signature dish from the country of the week; the first episode, for example, featured Mexico and the teams were asked to make tacos. That dish is judged by the three celebrities. The bottom three teams then cook again for the famous chef, making a dish from the week's country that focuses on an ingredient of the chef-judge's choosing (for Mexico it was napoles/prickly pears).

Although the contestants start out in teams, at the end there is only one winner.

While I was interested in some of the innovative dishes, I was not caught up into the competition and didn't have a favorite contestant or team. Yes, of course, I watched only one episode of The Final Table, but there just wasn't enough there to make me want to come back for more. I risked spoilers and read a variety of reviews about the series--apparently I'm not the only one who was not impressed. If you have an hour to kill, you might want to give it a try, but don't go in with any kind of expectations.

Here's the trailer:

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Mae Travels 4/18/20, 6:12 AM  

Your review is fun, but definitely didn't encourage me to watch the series -- or even to watch one episode. Sad because I would love to find another Netflix food series that I haven't watched yet.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks 4/18/20, 7:13 AM  

It's so interesting to me to see what food runs out and try to speculate on why. I have noticed however a seemingly direct correction between what I think I want or need and what isn't available! :--)

Clarissa 4/18/20, 7:48 AM  

Homemade tortillas are delicious!!!! Not as easy as opening a bag, but worth doing if you have time.

The only food competition show I’ve ever liked is Nailed It. :)

Jackie McGuinness 4/18/20, 8:01 AM  

I watched the entire series, although it was in the kitchen as I did other things. It wasn't bad, but agree it lacked energy and enthusiasm.

So far so good at finding groceries. Some things have been missing at Costco, like shredded cheddar???

We are being encouraged to do takeout/delivery in support of small businesses but we rarely ever did this in the past. There is a lack of gluten free options. I also like to cook.

Tina 4/18/20, 8:10 AM  

Bummer on the tortillas. Do you have a Mexican or Cuban market nearby? They might have some, we are always searching out a particular brand of Cuban beans so check at those markets. I also miss browsing at Farmer Market stands. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever get back to the old way of life.

bermudaonion 4/18/20, 9:19 AM  

We sure do miss getting together with friends and going out to eat, etc!

We've been getting groceries delivered for a while and the inventory on the apps aren't always accurate. Our shoppers have sent us photos of empty spaces and possible substitutions.

Carl enjoys those elimination shows - I'll ask if he's seen this one.

Stacie 4/18/20, 10:16 AM  

We did our first grocery pick up this week. My items that they didn't have were ranch dressing and ketchup. It had to be the size I chose in the app because I can't imagine they were completely out. I even marked to allow substitutions. Also, I ordered 4 avocados and they gave me 4 hard as a rock ones that I still can't use. When I shop I buy a variety of softness to use throughout the whole week. But, otherwise, it was pretty slick to just pull in and get groceries. We live too far away to get it delivered or I would love that!

I've been watching The Great British Baking Show as my entertainment during this time. I know I'm late to the party, but I've never had the time before. I'm on season 7 and loving every episode.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 4/18/20, 10:27 AM  

We house share with our adult kids, they are "essential" workers and as such we have not noticed a change in life either. Except I miss my little trips to thrift stores to find that unique piece I can't live without or just to window shop. I have not gotten brave and tried delivery of groceries, but our little town is fairly risk-free for a quick jaunt to shop. I look for the day to come about when we are done and life returns with outings.

gluten Free A_Z Blog 4/18/20, 10:28 AM  

Cooking has become a major focus of our life right now. I'm becoming very resourceful. Produce seems to be the only thing I need to compromise. I have plenty of beans, rices, quinoa, etc. but being a vegetarian, I find despite my frozen vegetables, there are things I miss. In general, I am grateful to be living in a comfortable place with a beautiful view of the ocean and plenty of food.

Deb in Hawaii 4/18/20, 11:52 AM  

I am still only working at home a few days a week as our business is deemed essential and I have to switch off with others to have someone in the HR office during working hours. Since I am out already a few days I have yet to try grocery delivery although I am getting tempted. ;-) It is pretty random what the stores are out of here too. I have been trying to get red lentils for a couple of weeks now but although the dried beans & legumes shelves have gotten restocked I've had no luck in finding them.

Laurie C 4/18/20, 6:52 PM  

Aargh. Google ate my comment because I was signed into my work gmail and tried to sign in with my personal email and got my password wrong. I'm getting tired of working from home, but I do like not having the commute and not having to pack meals.
My husband goes to the supermarket every two weeks now instead of 2-3 times a week, so that's been an adjustment for him. I'm having fun trying to use up stuff we've had for months and never used. Two things he couldn't find at the market today that surprised him: rolled oats (old-fashioned style) and Honey-Nut Cheerios.

Debra Eliotseats 4/20/20, 6:30 PM  

Why have I not heard of this? I might give it a go. I love food competition shows but your review does give me pause.

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