Myersvision: The Final Table

Sometime last week Audre Myers, a regular contributor of movie reviews and delightful miscellany to this site, sent me an e-mail asking if she could submit reviews of entire series of shows, not just movies.  Audre actually did just that some time ago when she submitted a review of a season of Stranger Things, which I highly recommend you read.

Regardless, I of course told her yes—enthusiastically!  I have a pretty open submission policy here, and I’d let an author as seasoned as Audre write about paint drying (she could probably make it entertaining!).  Naturally, a Netflix series fits the bill.

Thus, I’m dubbing Audre’s Netflix/television reviews “Myersvision,” since I have a mania for turning everything into a series.  Whenever Audre sends these along, I’ll schedule them under that title.

For the first installment, we have a review of a cooking show featuring the best of the best—not just self-promoting nuisances like on Chopped from Food Network (although they make some pretty awesome stuff on that show, too, there’s just usually one or two contestants who are ostentatiously self-confident and, therefore, annoying).  I think readers will appreciate the twist to this show’s grand prize.

With that, here is Audre’s review of the Netflix series The Final Table:

I am a big fan of cooking competitions but the contests you find on television and most stream[ing] services are our typical short time cook and win $10,000 or some other ridiculous amount of money. I’m not complaining … I started being a foody watching those shows.

But Netflix introduced me to the ‘thinking man’s’ food competition. Welcome to The Final Table. Twelve pairs of international chefs compete cooking food they may – or may not – have any familiarity with. In season one, the competing chefs are: Benjamin Bensoussan (France) and Miguel Berganza (Spain); Monique Fiso (New Zealand) and Amninda Sandhu (India); Ronald Hsu (America) and Shin Takagi (Japan); Mark Best and Shane Osborn (both Australian); Rafa Gil (Brazil) and Esdras Ochoa (Mexico); James Knappatt (UK) and Angel Vazquez (Mexico); Aaron Bludorn (America) and Graham Campbell (UK); Alex Haupt (Australia) and Ash Heeger (South Africa); Jessica Lorigo and Johnny Spero (both America); Colin Brown (Jamaica) and Collibri Jimenez (Mexico); Timothy Hollingsworth (America) and Darren MacLean (Canada); and Charles Michel (France) and Rodrigo Pacheco (Ecuador). These chef pairs know each other from their personal and/or professional lives.

Each week, the chef pairs are tasked with cooking a meal chosen by natives of the country being highlighted. For instance, the task for the country of Mexico was a taco (judged by the three natives of the country), for the UK, the task was English Breakfast (our ‘cousins’ have convinced us to refer to this as ‘the full English’). Each pair of chefs (some have Michelin Stars, others have other accolades) creates the item using their own ‘voice’ as well as using ingredients common to the highlighted country. Some of the contestants are successful and of course, some are not. Three pairs of unsuccessful chefs are chosen to cook a second meal, based on the suggestion of that country’s world famous chef. Again, in Mexico, the world famous chef is Enrique Olvero and in the UK, the world renowned chef is Clare Smyth. How they fare at that judging decides which pairs will continue in the competition and which pair will go home.

The food, the ingredients, the talent – all these things make The Final Table a joy to watch. And here’s what’s special about this competition – there is NO monetary reward for winning the competition; instead, the winning chef gets to sit with the nine world renowned chefs at The Final Table. Think being made a god and joining the others on Mount Olympus. You can’t put a price on that.

We learn so much about the countries that are highlighted and the world renowned chefs and the inspirations of the competing chefs. Fun and informative.

You can watch this an episode per week if that’s what you like – I binge the whole thing every time I watch it.


25 thoughts on “Myersvision: The Final Table

  1. Myervision – that’s got a good ring to it! 🙂

    The Final Table sounds like a good cooking show. I hope the UK participants got the full English right though. No chips or hash browns. That’s McDonald’s food. No, stick to the basics. Bacon, eggs, sausage, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, black pudding and fried bread. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it! 🙂

    Tina says black pudding is an affront to the full English but what does she know? You can’t have a steak without a little blood and the same goes for the full English! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of everything that constitutes a full English, I’d agree with Tina that the black pudding could be removed. I remember getting some in Ireland, thinking it was some manner of sausage. What an unpleasant surprise! But y’all do love boiling stuff in blood over there, don’t you?

      I do like the inclusion of mushrooms. Yum! It might sully the purity of it, but I think some hashbrowns would make an appropriately American innovation. ; D

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nooooooooooo!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        As it is, I only have black pudding when I’m eating out. Tina won’t have them in the house. I might have to start thinking about priorities here – which is more important? Black pudding with my breakfast or Tina?! 🙂 🙂 (I’m going to get clouted for that!)

        Liked by 2 people

    • I’m getting Stranger Things for Tina at Christmas. I’m hoping it’s as good as you say it is, even if SHE is in it. 🙂

      Do The Walking Dead next. That’ll be fun to talk about under the line. What do you think is the most disturbing episode of TWD?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think Stranger Things is very good – I’ve enjoyed every time I’ve marathoned , lol. I hope she enjoys as much as I have and do.

        I’m wanting to do a review of the The Walking Dead. I don’t need the last episodes for what I want to explain about it. I’m normally a person of few words but there are (at least) two views of TWD that I want to express and I think I may take Port’s kindness ‘a step too far’.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Audre, it’s pretty hard to “take Port’s kindness ‘a step too far’.” I can handle it! I want to read your controversial opinions about a beloved (albeit probably now overdone?) series. I’d rather run something with a little spice than something bland and flavorless.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    There’s one thing about TWD that annoys me though. How they view language. They’re willing to show blood and guts but language is sensitive to the makers of this series. The ‘f’ word, to my knowledge, is only used once (by Rick when the group have been locked up by the cannibals at Terminus) and I’m sorry, in that environment, you’d hear more than that. Also, when Negan eventually meets the group and does his meeny miney mo before he clubs one of them to death, even he, with all that power, is afraid to use the rhyme as it was first intended. Who is there to offend in a post apocalyptic world? The scriptwriters were free to allow Merle the use of colourful language because they could paint a picture of him as an ignorant Republican type but in other characters, they were overly cautious.

    I’m not a fan of overly cautious writing. If you create that sort of world, you have to open up the possibility that it might not be as PC as you’d like.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You and I come to ‘language’ from two different directions. There are 171,146 words, currently, in the English language. Do you mean to tell me that the only way to express oneself when outraged or angered or whatever the situation may be, is to say those words that you defend? I have to say, you are such a good writer – and writers are lovers of words or they wouldn’t bother – I can’t imagine ‘those words’ as being the best way to express yourself.

      We also come from very different generations. When I was growing up, one never swore in front of elderly people because it was considered VERY disrespectful. One dropped one’s voice if other people were nearby so only the person you were talking to could hear the expletive you were going to use and we never, ever swore to or in front of our parents.

      Another difference in our views of language is … I’m a Christian woman. This does not make me better than you, I just know that I can’t be pleasing God if I’m using that kind of language. I don’t want to see it (‘that’ word is popping up more and more in YT thumbnails – have you noticed?), I don’t want to hear it.

      What especially surprises me is … the English are MASTERS of sarcasm and irony, lol. Y’all are like skilled surgeons making an incision, lol. Why, with that kind of background, would anyone resort to foul language? Play to your strengths, lol.

      I have always appreciated the fact that there’s so little foul language in TWD. Things started to change in season 10 and it’s worsened in this final season 11. I lament it but I have to finish the series so there you go.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree to a point. There are better ways to express oneself than going for the obvious but in a position of peril, you wouldn’t be looking to revert to the softer tongue, so to speak. Have you ever stubbed your toe on a table or door and uttered an expletive? I think most of us could probably answer that in the positive.

        All I was saying, regarding the situation that the survivors find themselves in, is there are environments and circumstances where you wouldn’t be able to help yourself. That’s what the writers got wrong, in my opinion. You wouldn’t swear and I’m sure characters like Gabriel and Hershel wouldn’t either. But the majority of them would. They provide a sort of realism in the show because they highlight that anyone can be killed or taken. Unfortunately, their caution on the language isn’t realistic especially when you consider the kinds of people you get in the show.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think I have to side with Audre on this one. That said, it *is* authentic for a character to drop a panicked “F-Bomb” when facing extreme duress. But I’ve been dismayed with the coarsening of our culture at large, and with how casually people use “that word.”

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Off topic.

    Since I can’t post links here without the comment disappearing, go onto Youtube and type:

    1930s Haunted House Halloween Ambience | Black & White Films With Relaxing Spooky Sounds ~ 3 Hours

    It’s superb Halloween backing sound and the animation is pretty cool too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll add one more thing to our conversation, Audre. You’ve read many of my comments and articles. If you calculated a percentage, you’d probably find that I swear on around 2% if that of the comments and pieces I put out.

    I try not to swear if I can help it but sometimes, my mood calls for it. I don’t set out to offend. I just say things as I see them, sometimes in the strongest possible terms.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ‘I think I have to side with Audre on this one. That said, it *is* authentic for a character to drop a panicked “F-Bomb” when facing extreme duress. But I’ve been dismayed with the coarsening of our culture at large, and with how casually people use “that word.”’

    But think about the situation. You’re in a post apocalyptic world. Laws and rules don’t matter anymore. You have different types of people, many of whom have devolved into animals. Do you really think they’d think twice before swearing? I don’t.

    Agree to disagree.

    As for the coarsening of our culture, I’d take the odd swear word over the degeneracy we see propagated nowadays, like the LGBTQ culture and gender alterations, notwithstanding the promotion of abortion. When you look at what this world has become, a little profanity pales into insignificance compared to everything else.

    Liked by 2 people

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