Angela Pagan stands by her bold decisions on Next Level Chef, interview

Angela Pagan on Next Level Chef Season 3
Angela Pagan on Next Level Chef Season 3 / FOX

As a member of Team Blais, Chef Angela Pagan was ready to leverage her culinary knowledge and versatility on Next Level Chef Season 3 to her mentor’s first win, but it was not meant to be. Although the judges might have criticized her plating choices on her final dishes, the talented and determined chef appreciates that her success will not be limited by one food television experience.

Eliminated in the Greek food episode of Season 3, Angela spoke with FoodSided about her time in the competition. While the talented chef embraced the opportunity, she appreciated the competition aspect to the show. It was one of the reasons why she picked this FOX competition over other food television programs.

With $250,000 on the line, Angela understood that the winning the program coupled with the exposure would be good for her and her culinary brand. While she is a successful professional chef and businesswoman, there is a benefit to being seen every week on a hot FOX television show.

During Next Level Chef Season 3, Angela played the game well through most of the competition. Even though her team, Team Blais, spent plenty of time in the basement kitchen, the talented professional chef found that location the easiest.

When asked about the platform, she referenced the benefit of being in the basement. Specifically, she said, “if you’re on the top floor, people are overwhelmed by the numerous ingredients, which are all well-organized. It is overwhelming. That is why I hated being in the top kitchen. I flourished in the basement where everything was spaced out and already scattered.”

Although the platform can be chaotic, Angela did not let the “grab” get her flustered. As she explained, her focus was to deal with whatever ingredients were on her station.

Specifically, Angela mentioned that Richard Blais would always say how “composed” she was. Her response was, “what do you want me to do chef. I can’t start crying because I do not have a vegetable. I needed to put my mind elsewhere and get the wheels turning in a different direction.”

Angela believes that her culinary knowledge and versatility were an asset in Next Level Chef season 3. She stated, “I am not afraid of anything. I wanted to play it bold and not be safe. My experience cooking all types of cuisines was an advantage.”

Throughout her time on the food television show, Angela showed a variety of flavors. From Spanish to Asian, she can and does cook it all. When asked about her favorite dish, she was proud of the curry in a hurry episode.

She explained, “I really focused on my Thai Green Curry and soft shell crab, an ingredient that I love to cook. Also, I was proud of my street food dish because I went in a different direction. Everyone else offered an Americanized dish while I served an Irish street food. It was another example how I wanted to showcase my food experiences.”

During her elimination cook, Angela said that she stands by her decisions and flavor combinations. Specifically, she believes that trimming the fat cap on the rack allowed it to cook and rest within the 20 minute time frame. In addition, she felt all the ingredients worked together to make a composed, traditional Greek forward dish. Overall, it appears that it was a good dish, but not the chosen one in that particular moment.

Although her time on Next Level Chef has come to a close, Angela Pagan has a plethora of opportunities on her plate. In addition to working within the private chef sector, she has a line of spices and condiments. Also, she is going to showcase some of her celebrity clients on an upcoming YouTube cooking show.

In the end, Angela Pagan may not have earned the title Next Level Chef, but the FOX culinary competition is another chapter in her culinary journey. More success appears to be around the corner for her.

New episodes of Next Level Chef air Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. Episodes can be streamed the next day on Hulu.