‘The Final Table’ stands out as a captivating culinary competition and reality TV series, with Andrew Knowlton, a distinguished food critic, serving as the charismatic host. The show brings together twelve pairs of skilled chefs from around the globe, all vying to craft exquisite dishes inspired by a chosen country in each episode. Premiered on November 20, 2018, it indulges viewers in a visual feast through compelling video packages that unveil the entrancing narratives of the contestants’ culinary odysseys. This immersive experience goes beyond the kitchen, offering a window into the diverse backgrounds, inspirations, and pivotal moments that have shaped each chef’s unique approach to their craft.
As the culinary saga of the first iteration of the Netflix production reached its zenith, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats, the lingering question echoes: where are these culinary maestros now? Some have opened acclaimed restaurants, garnering accolades for their innovative approaches to cuisine. Others have embraced the world of media, sharing their culinary insights through books, television appearances, and digital platforms. Let us delve a little more into their lives.
Timothy Hollingsworth and Darren MacLean
Timothy Hollingsworth, acclaimed chef and father of four, is the culinary genius behind the renowned restaurant Otiumla. After a successful performance in the show, he co-founded Eat at Chain and even ventured into the world of merch with Baste. Hollingsworth has also served as a jury member for the Bocuse d’Or Team USA 2025 National Selection. At home, he imparts his culinary wisdom to his kids, turning family time into flavorful adventures in the kitchen. With a passion for both innovation and tradition, Hollingsworth is a true culinary maestro, leaving an indelible mark on the world of food.
On the other hand, Darren MacLean, the sole Canadian in the show, who lost to Timothy in just one place, has continued to carve his innovative path in the gastronomic world. He was already the owner of the 35th best Canadian restaurant, Shokunin when he entered the show, but he now has two more new restaurants, Greenfish, which he opened in 2019, and Nupo, which spread its wings in 2020, that have been listed in Canada’s top 100 eateries. Beyond the kitchen, MacLean has actively participated in cultural exchanges, including International Chef Exchange 2023. These endeavors reflect not only his culinary prowess but also his dedication to fostering global connections and embracing diverse influences.
Shane Osborn and Mark Best
Post Show, Shane Osborn, the mastermind behind Hong Kong’s acclaimed restaurant Arcane, has expanded his culinary empire with the launch of Cornerstone Hong Kong, a proud member of the Arcane family. As a culinary entrepreneur, Osborn co-founded Moxie Restaurant, and under its umbrella, he introduced Victuals by Moxie—a bespoke catering and events venture that adds a personalized touch to gatherings. The culinary prowess of Arcane, led by head chef Sebastian Lorenzi, has consistently earned them a spot in the top 20 at the prestigious Tatler Dining Awards for eight consecutive years. Osborn’s commitment to culinary excellence extends beyond his restaurants; he actively participates in cultural chef exchanges, enriching the global culinary landscape.
Osborn’s partner in the show, Mark Best, gained a new set of achievements after the show. He has embraced a new role as a Culinary Consultant with The Calile Hotel, which recently soared to number 12 in the inaugural 50 Best Hotels Awards. Not forgetting his roots, Mark returned to his alma mater, Murray Bridge High School. He shared his culinary insights and kindled inspiration among the students, leaving a lasting impact on the next generation of chefs. A fixture in the culinary scene, Mark is also an integral part of Tasting Australia and showcased his skills on ‘The Cook Up’ with Adam Liaw in April 2021. As he sets his sights on the future, Mark is excited to lead the culinary team as a culinary advisor at Melbourne’s prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Charles Michel and Rodrigo Pacheco
Charles Michel, a multifaceted culinary force, isn’t just about showmanship, but he’s delving into education by taking on an Ecology of Food Masterclass. Michel’s commitment to culinary education earned him a spot in the prestigious 50 Next Class of 2022, where he was recognized for shaping the future of gastronomy in the Empowering Educators category. Inspired by this, he’s set to launch new ventures in 2024—Ecology of Food in France and Yoga of Food in Malinalco, Mexico. Beyond his ventures, he collaborates with the Basque Culinary Center, contributing to their podcast. As a content creator, Michel now engages with his audience on Patreon, sharing his culinary wisdom and innovations with a global community.
On the other side, Rodrigo Pacheco, a stalwart in the culinary world, has dedicated nine years to BocaValdivia while emerging as a fervent advocate for sustainable eating. Post his culinary endeavors, he assumed the role of FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Ecuador, amplifying his commitment to sustainable practices. Pacheco seized the opportunity to share his wealth of knowledge through a master class, spotlighting sustainable gastronomy as a mechanism for conservation, research, and development. Engaging in Cultural Chef Exchanges, he recently contributed his culinary expertise to Canada, fostering global culinary connections. Pacheco’s journey reflects not only a passion for gastronomy but also a dedication to fostering sustainability in the culinary realm.
Esdras Ochoa and Rafa Gil
Esdras Ochoa, a culinary virtuoso, has left an indelible mark on the culinary scene. He’s currently associated with 1st & Beaudry, showcasing his talent in a new culinary venture. He has a number of restaurants under his name. Renowned as the founder of Mexicali Taco & Co. and Salazar Restaurant, Ochoa is a founding member of 11 Westside, a Mexican restaurant, and serves as the head chef at Mostly Harmless Bar. His influence extends to The Wilshire, a craft cocktail bar, and as a founding member of Rockefeller Bay Shelling Company Limited, he continues to contribute to the culinary landscape. Ochoa’s culinary prowess hasn’t gone unnoticed; he was featured in Voyage LA, further solidifying his place as a noteworthy figure in the culinary world.
Partner of Esdras Ochoa was Rafa Gil, a dynamic culinary personality who has transitioned into hosting events in collaboration with various chefs and restaurants, showcasing his versatility and passion for culinary excellence. At the helm of La Rambla by Catalunya, Gil has established a culinary haven. La Rambla has secured a spot in the esteemed 100 Top Tables by the South China Morning Post. Also, his Instagram is a visual feast for fans, featuring mouthwatering glimpses of his expertly crafted dishes, providing a delightful behind-the-scenes look into his culinary world.
Aaron Bludorn and Graham Campbell
Aaron Bludorn wears multiple hats as the Chef and Owner of the restaurants, Bludorn and Navy Blue. His culinary journey boasts a decade-long stint at Cafe Boulud NY, showcasing his dedication to the craft before stepping onto the show. Bludorn’s commitment to social causes is evident through his participation in the South Smoke Foundation. His culinary prowess received well-deserved recognition with the 2021 Eaters Award for Chef of the Year, cementing his status in the culinary world. Beyond the kitchen, Bludorn shares his insights on a noteworthy episode of the Chef Podcast with Andrew Friedman, offering a deeper glimpse into his culinary philosophy and experiences.
Bludorn’s companion in the show, Graham Campbell is now making waves with the flourishing success of his restaurant at Castle Hill Bistro. Showing his entrepreneurial spirit, Campbell has expanded his culinary footprint by setting up shop in McAllen, further solidifying his presence in the vibrant culinary landscape. He has recently embraced the joys of fatherhood, welcoming a son into his life. As a chef, entrepreneur, and new parent, Graham Campbell continues to leave his mark on both the culinary and personal fronts.
Manuel Berganza and Benjamin Bensoussan
Manuel Berganza, the esteemed Executive Chef at Azotea Grupo, is a culinary force that dives into diverse ventures after the show. It’s worth noting that Berganza underwent surgery in December 2020, a testament to his resilience and dedication to his craft. But against all odds, he recently expanded his repertoire by opening Valhalla, a chic beach club. Adding to his gastronomic portfolio, Berganza spearheads a new project at Justa Rufina Sevilla within the Radisson Collection. Beyond the kitchen, he’s actively involved in collaborations with various events, showcasing his culinary expertise on broader platforms. Through triumphs and challenges, Manuel Berganza continues to make a significant impact in the culinary world.
On the other side, Benjamin Bensoussan, the talented chef-owner of Honest Greens, has seen his culinary empire thrive by expanding the business to more than 10 branches in cities like Madrid, Lisbon, and Barcelona. The exposure gained from the show undoubtedly played a role in the success of his venture. Bensoussan has also showcased his culinary skills by cooking for Moveable Feast. In addition to his culinary achievements, he has a family, is happily married, and is the proud father of a son.
Monique Fiso and Amninder Sandhu
The Executive Chef and co-owner of Hiakai, Monique Fiso has now earned global recognition with the groundbreaking use of indigenous ingredients and the revitalization of Kai Māori.TIME magazine hailed her restaurant as one of the greatest places in the world. In 2019, She joined forces with the culinary titan Gordon Ramsay on the National Geographic Channel’s gripping series, ‘Uncharted.’ In this gastronomic adventure, Fiso and Ramsay embarked on a thrilling journey across diverse cultures, uncovering hidden culinary treasures. Also, her book Hiakai stands as one of the most important cookbooks in Aotearoa. Fiso, the first female chef to receive 3-Hats and Chef of the Year at the Cuisine Good Food Awards, embarked on days of cooking, foraging, and filming in the Wairarapa, collaborating with Huntress Wines and Yeti by showcasing her commitment to diverse culinary experiences. In her downtime, she loves to spend quality time with her forever teammate.
Monique Fiso continues to make waves in the culinary world by blending innovation with tradition, as she was nominated for Best Chef Awards 2023. On the other hand, Amninder Sandhu, a national award winner, has been making waves since her time on the show. Not only does she serve as a guest judge on MasterChef India, but she is also now the Chef Partner at Wildlife Luxuries and Bawri India. Also, when everything was under lock during the pandemic, she founded her own delivery service Iktara. Sandhu has further elevated Indian cuisine by establishing the dining restaurant Palaash inside the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagpur, with a vision to take hidden Indian flavors to global heights.
She’s a collaborator with various brands in India, including Signature and Food Superstars named her one of India’s Top 30 Chefs in 2023, securing the 19th spot. In Mumbai, Sandhu has expanded her culinary footprint with the opening of Bini Choley, a food stop. Further showcasing her creativity, she co-founded Nora, a project designed by herself.
Alex Haupt and Ash Heeger
Alex Haupt, the owner and chef of 101 Gowrie, has continued to thrive and grow with his restaurant even after his appearance on the show. His dedication and passion for culinary excellence have propelled the establishment to new heights. Alex’s journey showcases not just his skills in the kitchen but also his commitment to the ongoing success and evolution of 101 Gowrie.
In a culinary post-show journey marked by evolution, the talented chef Ash Heeger took a bold step in 2018, closing her restaurant Ash to open Riverine Rabbit. After a hiatus from cooking since the closure of the Rabbit in 2020, the chef decided to reconnect with the kitchen. In September 2022, a significant decision was made to reopen The Riverine Rabbit in Birmingham. This revival led to a series of dynamic events, including pop-ups, venue takeovers, and collaborations. Adding to the personal milestones, the Heegar also celebrated a momentous occasion by tying the knot with Dr. Erin in 2022. Both in her culinary ventures and personal life, this chef’s story is a fascinating blend of innovation, resilience, and love.
Jessica Lorigo and Johnny Spero
In a swift and inspiring career trajectory, Jessica Lorigo, once the mastermind behind the culinary wonders at Topa Sukalderia, has gracefully ascended to the coveted position of head chef at Gerald’s Bar Donosti. Beyond the tantalizing flavors she expertly crafts, Lorigo has been candid about her personal journey. In a vulnerable Instagram post, she revealed that 2022 was a year shadowed by her silent tussles with depression. Yet, like the expertly balanced dishes she creates, Lorigo’s resilience shines through, proving that even behind the kitchen’s bustling scenes, triumph and transformation are on the menu. Plus, she also has the full support of her partner in life, Miriam Sanchez Arnaez.
Her partner in the show, Johnny Spero, is now orchestrating a gastronomic revival with the meticulous reconstruction of Reverie Restaurant, which earned its well-deserved Michelin star in 2022. Beyond the kitchen, Spero wears many hats—literally. He is also the founder of Bar Spero. His creative flair extends to the world of fashion, collaborating with the esteemed clothing brand Esquire. Spero’s culinary prowess has not only graced the plates at Reverie but also the glossy pages of publications like Robb Report and Bon Appétit magazine.
Not content with just conquering the dining scene, Spero has ventured into the world of craft brewing, founding Night Hawk Brewery. His collaborative spirit extends to partnerships with other culinary luminaries, such as the dynamic collaboration with Saison, proving that Spero is not just a chef; he is a maestro orchestrating a symphony of flavors and experiences.
Shin Takagi and Ronald Hsu
Shin Takagi now holds the reins as the Owner and Executive Chef at Zeniya Kanazawa and simultaneously commands the kitchen as the Executive Chef at A Restaurant. Takagi wears the esteemed title of Chief Cooking Officer at Open Sauce, infusing innovation into every culinary creation. This maestro of flavors extends his influence globally as he took the stage at the World Congress of Relais & Châteaux in 2019 in London, where his insights and culinary finesse left an indelible mark on an audience hungry for innovation.
Not content with merely crafting exquisite dishes, Takagi’s discerning palate has earned him a role as a judge for the All Japan High School Washoku Grand Prix 2021 in Kanazawa, solidifying his impact on the next generation of culinary talent. Takagi’s global culinary presence was further underscored as a member of the World Culinary Council, showcasing his expertise on an international stage. In a move that reflects his commitment to sharing the culinary tapestry, Takagi has authored a collection of recipes under the evocative banner of Open Sauce, inviting the world to savor the essence of his culinary mastery.
Ronald Hsu is today the visionary force behind a trio of gastronomic gems—Lazy Betty Atlanta, Juniper Cafe, and Humble Pie Atlanta. With a finger firmly on the pulse of Atlanta’s culinary scene, Hsu has curated a collection of establishments that showcase his diverse and innovative approach to dining. As a chef and founder, Hsu’s impact is vast, as he was nominated for the Star Chef Awards in April 2023. Also, His culinary prowess reached new heights when Lazy Betty was awarded the prestigious Michelin star in October 2023, a testament to Hsu’s commitment to culinary excellence.
Collin Brown and Collibri Jimenez
Chef Collin Brown has etched his name as the Executive Chef of Turtle Bay UK, where his culinary expertise takes center stage, creating vibrant and flavorful experiences. Chef Brown also wears the dual hat of an awarded Chef and Restaurateur. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to found the Nanny Maroon Restaurant & Bar in the heart of Soho, showcasing his distinctive culinary vision.
Adding another dimension to his culinary repertoire after the show, Chef Brown has ventured into the world of spirits with Maroon Rum, a commitment to crafting unique and memorable experiences. As both a chef and an entrepreneur, Chef Brown’s impact extends beyond the plate, shaping the culinary and libation landscape with a blend of innovation and passion, so much so that he even cooked for the team of the movie ‘Fast X.’
Chef Colibrí Jiménez, Chef Brown’s partner in the show, is now the creative force behind the enchanting María Raíz y Tierra. Currently expanding her culinary horizons, Jiménez has embarked on a journey of continuous learning, taking classes in the vibrant culinary scene of Mexico City (CDMX). Jiménez’s culinary artistry knows no bounds as she globe-trots to bring her expertise to kitchens worldwide, collaborating with restaurants and infusing her unique touch into diverse culinary landscapes. Her commitment to global gastronomic exploration is underscored by a meaningful partnership with World on a Plate. As she continues to carve her mark in the culinary realm, Jiménez is on the brink of unveiling her latest venture Estudio Cal, a promising new chapter in her culinary odyssey.
James Knappett and Angel Vazquez
James Knappett has continued to pursue her passion for culinary even after the show. He has now become the sole creative force behind the delectable dishes at Kitchen Table 1, where every meal is an intimate and immersive experience. Sandia Chang, wife of Knappett, is also a prizewinning sommelier who elevates the dining experience, harmonizing each course with carefully selected wines. In a testament to his commitment to culinary education, Knappett has joined forces with The Mymuybueno Group, a culinary academy, bringing his expertise to provide classes that inspire and elevate the culinary skills of enthusiasts.
Beyond the kitchen, Knappett has welcomed two precious additions to his life since making a mark in the culinary world—a daughter in April 2019 and a son in April 2021. With a delicate balance between the warmth of family life and the precision of culinary artistry, James Knappett continues to weave his magic both in the kitchen and beyond.
Angel Vazquez now wears multiple hats as the CEO of Intro Restaurant and Augurio Restaurant. Vazquez also extends his culinary prowess to the world of catering, ensuring that his culinary artistry can be enjoyed beyond the walls of his restaurants. Diving into the realm of collaboration, Vazquez seamlessly weaves his expertise into various events, bringing his gastronomic flair to diverse occasions. Under the banner of Angel Vázquez Eventos, he not only orchestrates delectable dining experiences but also flexes his skills as an event planner, ensuring that every detail, from the menu to the ambiance, is a testament to his dedication to excellence. With a keen eye for culinary innovation and event execution, Angel Vazquez stands as a versatile and influential figure in the culinary and event planning spheres.
Read More: Top Chef Season 1: Where Are They Now?