The whirring of the platform as it descends, the mad scramble to pick ingredients for a dish someone is only crafting in their head at that moment.
Next Level Chef is a different beast than other cooking shows and even different from other Gordon Ramsay shows.
It takes the excitement up several levels by the nature of its format, but even more by the skill required to do so much on the fly.
Contestants on Hell’s Kitchen can guess what’s coming their way.
Some of Chef Ramsay’s signature dishes are always on display, and even when they’re told to craft a dish that will wow Gordon and his fellow judges, they aren’t always on their own.
It’s a little bit closer in scope to MasterChef, which offers surprise boxes and tests the skills of masterful home chefs.
As the platform descends, the only thing on their mind is to grab the very best (and easiest to impress) protein and then pray to the platform gods that the ingredients they need to craft their perfect dish are available.
Everything they want to complete a dish isn’t there. And when it is, someone else could have taken it.
Sharing is caring, but nobody cares to give their competition a leg up when their place in the competition depends on it.
Because Next Level Chef is next level in every way.
FOX knows the allure of excellent Chefs in a competition. They house almost exclusively the wide range of Gordon Ramsay delights.
This year, they’re also giving Next Level Chef a swinging start, as the third season premiere returns on Sunday, January 28 (10/9c), immediately following the NFC Championship Game on FOX.
Even better, it’s a super-sized premiere, so if you plan on recording it, be sure to get the final ten minutes of the competition scheduled.
It’s in overtime, if you will, and with this show, every second counts.
The series will have its time period premiere on Thursday, February 1 (8/7c).
And if you haven’t figured it out yet, Next Level Chef is the next evolution in cooking competitions, as Ramsay has designed a one-of-a-kind culinary gauntlet set on an iconic stage. Over three stories high, each floor contains a stunningly different kitchen.
This season will differ slightly from the preceding two because Ramsay constantly reconsiders what competition elements raise the stakes.
Previously, competitors’ first run at the platform came without an audition period. Making it to the show got you to that platform for the all-important first grab for the first round.
That’s about to change.
For the first time ever, Next Level Chef will hold audition rounds in the first three episodes, where Home, Pro, and Social Media chefs will compete against one another within their group for the chance to be drafted by one of the mentors.
It’s hard to tell if the three groups will be competing against each other on the same night by platform or whether there will be three different auditions for the Home, Pro, and Social Media groups.
It doesn’t matter. The result is the same. Whoever is on the bottom floor feels the heat to move up, and the neglected kitchen tools could put them at a disadvantage.
Those on the top floor all too often feel the world is their oyster, and only the most determined realize that the best cookware and appliances can sometimes make you foolhardy, disregarding the competition below.
That’s why they need the help of the very best to make the most of every minute of the competition.
Joined by two elite names in the food world, chefs Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais, Ramsay and his co-mentors leave no stone unturned as they each recruit a group of talented chefs and take them under their wings.
We’ve got your exclusive first look at the new season, and it’s everything we’ve been waiting for.
Check out the clip now.
Who is ready for the next level of Next Level Chef?
Next Level Chef is produced by BiggerStage and Studio Ramsay Global. Gordon Ramsay and Matt Cahoon serve as executive producers on Next Level Chef.
Who will you be rooting for? The Home, Pro, or Social Media Chefs?
We cannot wait!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.