Only one person appears throughout all 10 episodes of Netflix’s culinary spectacle The Final Table: Andrew Knowlton, the show’s energetic, sharply dressed master of ceremonies. Here’s everything you need to know about the food writer-turned-TV host-turned-hotelier/restaurateur.
Who is Andrew Knowlton?
Before coming to The Final Table, Andrew Knowlton spent 18 years working for Bon Appetit covering national restaurant and dining trends. (Although he’s no longer involved in the day-to-day operations, Knowlton is still listed as the glossy mag’s “editor at large.”) Knowlton appeared in several Bon Appetit videos over the years, and longtime food TV watchers may also remember him as a frequent judge on Iron Chef America from 2007 to 2012.
What was his rise through the world of food writing like?
Born in Gainesville, Florida, and raised in Atlanta, Knowlton moved to New York to attend NYU in the mid ’90s. After college, he got a job at the literary magazine Lingua Franca but was fired after getting caught photocopying menus, so he took a job at a restaurant in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn called the Grocery. It’s here that Knowlton learned all about kitchen and restaurant operations, and he also met future wife Christina Skogly on the job. In 2000, Andrew got a two-day-a-week internship at Bon Appetit, which he parlayed into an assistant editor role and eventually the restaurant editor position.
Knowlton’s long-running column The Foodist covered trends at popular restaurant across America, and since 2011, he wrote the magazine’s “Hot 10” list, a roundup of the country’s best new restaurants, all while contributing articles about everything from the cult of Hillstone to what it’s like to spend 24 hours working at Waffle House. In his farewell letter to Knowlton, earlier this year, Bon Appetit editor Adam Rappoport wrote, “In our industry there are people like me — who like to think they know what they’re talking about — and there are people like Knowlton, who make it their job.”
Is there anything else I should know about this guy?
After stepping down from his full-time position at Bon Appetit, Knowlton and his family decamped to Austin, Texas, where he and his wife opened the trendy Carpenter Hotel, which includes the all-day restaurant Carpenter Hall.