Next Level Chef episode 5 recap: Building the ultimate burger

NEXT LEVEL CHEF: L-R: Mentor Gordon Ramsay with contestants Devonnie and Kenny in the “The Next Level Burger” episode of NEXT LEVEL CHEF airing Wednesday, Jan 26 (8:00-9:00 ET/PT) on FOX © 2022 FOX Media LLC. CR: FOX.
NEXT LEVEL CHEF: L-R: Mentor Gordon Ramsay with contestants Devonnie and Kenny in the “The Next Level Burger” episode of NEXT LEVEL CHEF airing Wednesday, Jan 26 (8:00-9:00 ET/PT) on FOX © 2022 FOX Media LLC. CR: FOX. /

While the various kitchens present their own obstacles, Next Level Chef episode 5 asks the cooks to master an iconic dish that can be presented in a plethora of ways. Although the backyard barbecue might offer a tasty burger, only a next level burger will impress these discerning palates.

As the episode opens, the three judges, Gordon Ramsay, Richard Blais and Nyesha Arrington cooks their takes on a Next Level Burger. While each burger is very different, there were a few tricks and tips that the chefs revealed. From using a torch to melt the cheese to the importance of texture, home cooks need to watch and re-watch these few minutes of the show. They hold a treasure of food cooking tips.

When the cooks head to their respective kitchens, it is interesting that the teams did not move to a different location from the previous challenge. Although the locations didn’t change, it doesn’t’ assume that the same outcome will come to fruition.

The dash for ingredients is still causing havoc for the cooks. Although some cooks are becoming more adept, there are still too many simple mistakes being made. No one should forget a bun in the burger challenge. Just because some people are low carb conscious doesn’t negate one part of the challenge. It was clear that the dish was a protein, condiments and bread.

In some ways, making the total combined choice was key to success. Just like a bad cook on a burger is unforgiveable, choosing the wrong bun for a burger is another cooking error. Given that the judges take just one bite, it needs to deliver flavor, texture and total deliciousness.

Like previous challenges, there was a mid-challenge twist. The cooks had to incorporate a potato element into the plate. Although there was this curveball, it wasn’t clear that the judges looked at the potatoes as a factor in their decision. Or, maybe that potato conversation was just too bland to include in the final cut.

Given that there are still too many cooks in the kitchen, only the top and bottom chefs seemed to be featured on Next Level Chef episode 5. Anyone who watches food television appreciates the scenario. The extra air time is either good or bad for a favorite cook.

In this case, the highlight of the episode was Pyet and her Waygu burger with wojapi. Like Chef Blais joked, everyone was going to research that ingredient. For those who didn’t, wojapi is a thick berry sauce. Often served with fry bread, it is usually made with chokecherries and root flour.

While the judges raved about Pyet bringing her heritage into the burger, it is interesting that there were chokecherries in the kitchen. That item doesn’t seem to be likely in a pantry nor on the platform. Maybe Pyet had a special stash.

As Pyet soared to the win, another cook plummeted to the bottom. Jonathan had started Next Level Chef with such promise, but this burger had a Gordon Ramsay spitting it out. That type of reaction definitely earns a cook a date with the elimination challenge.

The other bottom chef was Devonnie. Given that her turkey burger was raw, which meant that no one could eat it, it was logical that she would be up for elimination.

For the elimination challenge, the cooks had to create a tuna burger with a slaw. While they used the term burger, it was really a piece of seared tuna on a bun.

Looking at this challenge, it was interesting that Devonnie got so much help from her team. From seasoning to the thickness of the tuna, it was almost cooking by committee.

As the final dishes were presented to Gordon Ramsay and Richard Blais, the commentary was interesting. While the cook of the tuna was good, it was the differences in the small details that made the difference.

Both Ramsay and Blais agreed, Jonathan’s tuna burger was best. Devonnie was eliminated.

It is interesting that now Team Ramsay has the least cooks on Next Level Chef. While things can change time and again, this competition seems to be unpredictable. But, one thing remains. Each cook has to deliver a great dish to move forward.