Gordon Ramsay’s New Fox Cooking Contest – The Reality Is Blurred

Fox Next Level Chef Host and Executive Producer Gordon Ramsay begins with the claim: “Every great chef started at the bottom and worked in the toughest kitchens to raise their bar.”

While I’m sure this statement is the experience of some chefs, it seems kind of an over-generalization. But it’s at least an idea, and at first glance it seems illustrated by the massive array of his new reality contest: a three-story stack of reality TV kitchen appliances, complete with mirrors from behind that film the cameras behind.

But Next Level Chef (Fox, Wed 9) This deck is not used very well at all, wasting many of the opportunities it creates.

Next Level Chef mentors Richard Blaise, Gordon Ramsay and Nisha Arrington
Next-level chefs direct Richard Blaise, Gordon Ramsay, and Nisha Arrington (Photo by Michael Baker/Fox)

at the bottom of the Next Level Chef The set is a kitchen designed to be, well, trash, from an actual trash can to essentials, like milk jugs that look really dirty. It has quite a few tools, and the ones there are not so great, like dull knives.

The middle kitchen is a normal restaurant kitchen, the upper level contains what is supposed to be an impressive kitchen, and while it certainly looks better than the others, nothing visually beats the other kitchens I’ve seen on reality TV shows.

Each kitchen connects to a dining hall, which drops through a hole in the middle of each group, to deliver proteins and vegetables. It seems that every kitchen has a great deal of staples available to the chefs, such as spices, oil, flour and cream, which are not mentioned but are clearly used.

This platform starts at the top level, and pauses at each level, giving the chefs in this kitchen 30 seconds to take what they want. Each of them is allowed only one protein, so the higher level cannot store everything.

That should leave the worst ingredients, like Spam, for the lower kitchen, although by the time the stand got there for the first challenge, there was plenty: lamb, ground turkey, broccoli, pasta, pumpkin, peppers, chicken tenders . (This may all sound familiar to you if you watched the horror movie on Netflix Platform.)

So what are these kitchens and this setup is being used for? Very normal show.

Next Level Chef contestants have 30 seconds to grab ingredients from a moving platform, which stops long enough to go through and grab them
Next Level Chef contestants have 30 seconds to grab ingredients from a moving platform, which pauses long enough to browse and grab. (Image via Fox)

like in chef, Gordon Ramsay is the central part of a three-person panel, join them in the Next Level Chef top chef Alum and Chefs Nisha Arrington and Richard Blaise.

In the first episode, each of these chefs selects a team of contestants to guide through the competition, which will award the winner $250,000. Teams will gain immunity, and one chef will return home in each episode. This all seems very basic.

Their chefs come from a variety of culinary backgrounds, which Gordon Ramsay treats as a magical idea, as if Food Network contests haven’t had social media stars or food truck operators among the contestants for years.

In the first episode, before teams are selected, the contestants are randomly assigned to the kitchen. But this random assignment continues. Fox’s description of future episodes says, “Each team is randomly assigned to a kitchen, where they will need to demonstrate their ability to create magic in any environment, even when the odds stack up against them.”

That means there is only one team that has the odds stacked against it, right? But what does that prove? Why did the show spend “literally $4 million just to install this steel,” Gordon Ramsay told Thrillist?

Perhaps assigning you randomly to the basement kitchen is a bigger challenge, but the challenge for a third of the contestants while the others aren’t much of a competition.

Ramsay also says, “Any chef can excel in the best of circumstances, but only a next-level chef can make magic in the worst.” So is the point of this competition to find out how much chefs fail in a good kitchen and chefs succeed in a bad kitchen?

But a basement kitchen certainly isn’t a guarantee of failure. In the first episode, one chef in the downstairs kitchen, Roice, doesn’t get his protein, which editor and Gordon Ramsay treat like a total crunch, and then cooks up one of his best meals, making a slice of broccoli and puree.

Kitchens only present minor snags, and mostly act as backdrops, especially considering the dishes in the first episode all look pretty much the same, no matter where the chef cooks.

Next Level Chef Not the kind of empty exercise Fox does alternate character It was, but I don’t understand why the show does so little with its own ego. Why don’t runners make their way up the kitchen ladder, says Ramsay in the introduction?

Perhaps a more creative distribution of ingredients on the elevator presents a greater challenge, or some kind of challenge in the middle of cooking with ambiguous ingredients, for example, appearing and needing to be combined.

Watching the first rush of ingredients, I wished producers would use the elevator in reverse: start it up from the bottom, let the trash kitchen chefs get their best produce and proteins, and give the chefs in the upper kitchen literal scraps.

What if all the contestants started in the middle kitchen, then moved up or down based on their performance, only those in the basement were eligible to be eliminated, and those at the top won benefits or awards? Like tough as nailsThis can keep more reps for longer, and challenge them in different ways.

Some of this will probably happen in a future episode, but there’s no sign of that in any of the episode descriptions that Fox released. For now, we are left with only random kitchen tasks to produce the same type of dishes.

Next Level Chef She has a lot of potential, and she can get to that — or she can still be just fine.

The show’s remaining strains make us this average big and important, and it hurts sometimes to watch how hard they all try. (I can’t believe it’s 2022 and we’ve learned a few performances The Great British Bread Show, which lets contestants practice two of the three challenges in advance, allows them to use whatever ingredients they want, and still produces plenty of drama and entertainment.)

I’m a fan Next Level Chef Because it’s not a reality TV contest from Fox that’s all about guessing the identity of the performer. But is it really that different from Fox’s cooking competitions Hell’s Kitchen And chef? Both eventually bored me by repeating them.

Next Level Chef It can go quickly in the same path. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely not next level.

Next Level Chef

Gordon Ramsay’s three kitchens add up to one regular cooking contest. B-

What works for me:

  • group design
  • Nisha Arrington and Richard Blaise selected as mentors
  • The contestants seem to be talented and probably have fun

What could be better:

  • In fact, use levels purposefully, not randomly
  • Doing something more interesting with component distribution or elevator
  • Less than pretending that everything is so important and dramatic

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