You’ve probably seen a ton of cooking competitions, but Next Level Chef by FOX TV just might be the next big thing. It certainly seems so, as the show was renewed for a second season in March 2022.
The famously outrageous Gordon Ramsay has taken FOX TV by storm, with millions of viewers tuning to his new show. It’s no secret that cooking show fanatics are eating up the antics taking place during these untamed cooking competition episodes.
In this article, you’ll learn more about “Next Level Chef,” including its judges, what happened in season one, and what you can expect in season two.
What Is the Premise of “Next Level Chef?”
British chef, executive producer, and TV personality Gordon Ramsay set the stage for another epic cooking competition where he showcased his incredible kitchen over three stories high!
The competitive cooking show featured top-level home cooks, line cooks, food truck owners, and social media stars. These chefs cooked all kinds of dishes — from shrimp salad to pork roasts and just about everything in between.
Ramsay was joined by other renowned names in the food world: Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais. Together, this trifecta of judges took contestants through a mentoring journey as they sought to discover the food world’s newest superstar.
Each round, the teams are challenged to create a dish for the judges. The best dish keeps one entire team safe from elimination.
In the end, Pyet DeSpain emerged as the winner of the first season of the competition. Pyet went home with the prize money of $250,000 and a year of mentorship from the trio of Ramsay, Arrington, and Blais.
“Next Level Chef” Host and Mentors
For a show like “Next Level Chef,” which brings together interesting and talented culinary apprentices, nothing short of the best chefs and mentors fits the bill. The show had three chef hosts, each providing mentorship for five contesting cooks, making 15 altogether.
Here’s a quick highlight of the triad host and mentors on “Next Level Chef.”
About Gordon Ramsay
International chef Gordon Ramsay is the leading host and mentor on the show. While he’s now globally renowned, the TV celebrity didn’t start from the top. Gordon began his culinary career with a local takeout restaurant as a dishwasher.
His rise to fame is best traced to 1999 when he participated in the miniseries “Boiling Point.” Since then, he’s featured in several catchy TV series, such as “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Hell’s Kitchen” (the U.K. and the U.S.), “Gordon Behind Bars,” “MasterChef,” and more.
Ramsay was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006 by Queen Elizabeth II. In the same year, he also won the Independent Restaurateur of the Year (Catey Award). He’s married to Tana Hutcheson, and together they have five children.
At the beginning of season one of “Next Level Chef,” the TV star said, “Every great chef started at the bottom and worked in the toughest kitchens to level up.” If you have seen Gordon Ramsay in action, you know that he takes “tough” to a whole new level when it comes to cooking. This energy just might be the inspiration behind this cooking show.
About Nyesha Arrington
Nyesha Arrington is an American chef/restaurateur, TV personality, and host from Southern California. She’s best known for competing in “Top Chef” (season nine), as well as appearing on “Selena + Chef.” She’s now also one of the co-hosts and co-mentors on “Next Level Chef.”
The culinary celebrity has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Cooking Channel, GQ, Life & Thyme, Eater LA, and Essence Magazine for her achievements in the culinary industry. She’s also had partnerships with Tastemade, Facebook, PBS, and Nike — which are all testaments to her prowess in the industry.
Arrington owns and runs her own catering and consulting business: Leona and Native.
About Richard Blais
Perhaps best known for emerging as Bravo’s “Top Chef” winner, Richard Blais is an American chef, restaurateur, television personality, and cookbook author. Blais is also now a co-host and co-mentor on “Next Level Chef” alongside Ramsay and Arrington.
Blais was the runner-up for season four of “Top Chef” before winning the show several seasons later. He’s also competed in other cooking shows, such as “Top Chef All-Stars,” “Chopped All-Stars,” and “Iron Chef America.”
Blais currently owns and runs his own culinary company — Trail Blais — which is located in Southern California. When he’s not cooking, he’s either writing, training for the next marathon, or watching his favorite English Premiership football team, Arsenal. He’s married to Jazmin, and together they have two daughters, Riley and Embry.
Most Notable Season One “Next Level Chef” Moments
Across a total of 11 episodes, the show reached its climax on March 2, 2022, with just three contestants left, out of which Pyet emerged as the Next Level Chef.
Below is a highlight of how the chefs were eliminated:
- Gary Marandola —eliminated on January 5, episode two (“High Steaks”)
- Roice Bethel — eliminated on January 12, episode three (“Infinite Pastabilities”)
- Sergio Steel — eliminated on January 19, episode four (“Fowl Play”)
- Devonnie Black — eliminated on January 26, episode five (“The Next Level Burger”)
- Amber Rebold — eliminated on January 30, episode six (“Drop in for Brunch”)
- Jonathan Harrison & Zachary Adams — eliminated on February 2, episode seven (“A Seafood Tower”)
- Ae Southammavong — eliminated on February 9, episode eight (“When Pigs Fly”)
- Tricia Wang — eliminated on February 16, episode nine (“Fusion Confusion”)
- Courtney Brown, Angie Ragan, and Kenny Everett — eliminated on February 23, episode ten (“Rotten Tomatoes”)
“Next Level Chef” Episodes with the Most Surprises
While all the elimination rounds were full of surprises, episodes seven and 11 had the most surprises.
Episode seven (Jonathan Harrison’s shock eviction):
Of all the evictions, Jonathan Harrison’s exit came as a shock. The show had barely commenced when Harrison’s five-star cooking caught the eye of both Chef Blais and Gordon Ramsay. It seemed Harrison would go all the way in his contest for the prize. However, the Auburn alum crashed out of the competition during the seafood double-elimination challenge as his shrimp-and-grits turned out salty.
Episode 11 (Pyet “the underdog” beats Mariah and Reuel to the prize):
Judging by how Mariah and Reuel made their way to the finals, many fans had tipped them as strong candidates for the prize. Both contestants only came up for elimination once or twice, and each time, they came out on top. Surprisingly, in the end, it was Pyet (whose name had barely ringed a bell during the entire competition) who emerged as the winner.
Will There Be a Season 2 of “Next Level Chef?”
Following the huge success of season one, the show has been renewed for a second season. The announcement was made public by Rob wade, President of FOX Alternative entertainment.
In his words, “We’d like to thank our partners at Studio Ramsay Global, and, of course, Gordon, our talented chefs, and our amazing crew, for an epic season one. And we know season two will continue to be ‘next level’ television.”
Ramsay also had this to say, “With audiences as excited about the new show as we are, we can’t wait to introduce another group of incredibly talented chefs in season two.”
Where Can You Watch the Next Season of “Next Level Chef?”
Catch all the saucy episodes of Next Level Chef on FOX TV or Hulu. You can also stream the show by renting or purchasing on Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, iTunes, and Google Play.