Gordon Ramsay is back on ITV
The notorious celebrity chef and serial entrepreneur is back on our TV in a brand-new series. The famous firebrand of Hell’s Kitchen fame says that he has mellowed from his younger self. The cooks he is mentoring in The Next Level Chef may want to be the judge of that.
The new show is an American import that runs for eight episodes on ITV. Ramsay leads proceedings, helped by Paul Ainsworth and Nyesha Arrington. The show bills itself as “the world’s toughest cooking competition” and has twelve chefs competing. The format sees 12 cooks competing to win £100,000 and mentorship with Ramsay, Ainsworth and Arrington.
Kitchens on all levels
The 12 contestants are split into three teams. Each team is led by one of the big names, and they have to cook in a three-storey kitchen. In fact, there are three kitchens stacked on each other which is where the ‘next level’ title comes from. The top-floor kitchen is what you would expect to find in a top-end London restaurant. It is all stainless steel, with clean surfaces and high-quality equipment. The basement kitchen is basic and akin to a neglected student house with cheap blackened pans and warped work surfaces. The mid-level kitchen is somewhere in between the two extremes.
Going up, going down.
The challenge for the contestants is to prove they can cook even in the most demanding circumstances. The participants are not all professional chefs. Some are described as home cooks, while others are social media chefs. They have to cook various dishes, and one chef is named the winner in each episode. The winning chef’s team gets to cook in the top kitchen the following week. The team containing the worse chef has to work in the basement kitchen for the next episode.
While Gordon Ramsay needs little introduction, his fellow professionals might not be so well known to the TV audience.
Who is Gordon Ramsay
Ramsay is famous globally, has restaurants in the UK, America and Australia, and has collected many Michelin stars across his empire. He originally rose to fame in the 1999 TV series Boiling Point and is defined by his bluntness and fiery temper. He has his own TV production company and has starred in Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word.
However, Ramsay has extended his brand franchise beyond what might be expected of a TV chef. Not only does he have a range of kitchen merchandise, but he has also used his talent to be involved in game formats. He recently announced a partnership with the Sandbox, which will see his avatar appear in the Metaverse. In addition, an official Hell’s Kitchen video slot can be played at some of the best slot sites in the UK.
Who is Paul Ainsworth
Paul Ainsworth will be a familiar face to MasterChef, Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen viewers. However, this is the first time he has been in a lead role. He worked for Ramsay for six years and did a stint for Gary Rhodes before following Marcus Wareing to his Michelin-starred Berkeley.
Born in Southampton, he moved to Padstow in 2005. His restaurant, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, has held a Michelin star for the best part of a decade. He is also in charge of the Padstow Townhouse and a local pub called Mariners, which he runs with his wife, Emma.
Who is Nyesha Arrington
Nyesha Arrington is a Californian chef whose recipes have appeared on the pages of GQ and the LA Times. She is no stranger to TV screens across the pond. Winner of a cookery competition called Knife Fight in 2013, she then appeared on the American Series Top Chef. Ramsay says she is a ‘rockstar restauranteur’ and calls her ‘one of America’s hottest cooking talents”.
Ramsay and Arrington worked together on the original series of Next Level Chef, which was aired on Fox TV in the USA.