Chef Chris Tzorin celebrates the Next Level Chef journey, interview

Chris Tzorin Next Level Chef Season 3
Chris Tzorin Next Level Chef Season 3 / FOX

When Chef Chris Tzorin entered the Next Level Chef kitchen, expectations were high. Learning from his father, a Michelin Star chef, and having had a successful culinary career, his knowledge and experience earned him the first pick on Gordon Ramsay’s team. Looking back at this Next Level Chef journey, Chef Chris appreciates that the highs and lows are valuable to continuing to move forward.

With Next Level Chef, the rules of the competition look to level the playing field across the different chefs’ backgrounds. The platform might create havoc in the moment, but the competition comes down to creating the best dish in the moment.

Having competed in other food television competitions, Next Level Chef presented a different opportunity for him. When asked why he wanted to step into this FOX culinary experience, he said, “I really wanted to showcase what I am all about with my cooking. Over the years, my cooking has matured and I wanted this opportunity to cook with Gordon Ramsay. I grew up watching him. My dad once asked me who was my culinary hero. Other than my dad, it was Gordon Ramsay. My dad told me if I really wanted to access my dreams that I should manifest cooking with Gordon. It always stuck with me.”

When given that opportunity, Chef Chris knew that the pressure was on when he was picked first. As he explained, “I’m usually a fun, bubbly person when I cook, but that went out the door. I knew that I needed to be focused. It was game time.”

As seen on Next Level Chef Season 3, Chef Chris had ups and downs throughout the season. Although he was eliminated in a pizza episode during the chicken parmesan challenge, he does not have hard feelings about his time on the show.

Chris explained, “my best cook was the draft right at the beginning. But, I had highs and lows. The grabs were everything. Every time I would grab with confidence and then I would look at it and think that I grabbed the wrong thing. Looking back at the pizza challenge, I should have grabbed calamari and grabbed something other than the biscuit dough.”

“I was really in my element during the steak challenge because I ran a steakhouse for many years. I was in my element in the tropical fish challenge. As you watch the show, you can see where I was out of my element. But, I did the best that I could with those ingredients.”

As many of the Next Level Chefs have commented, the platform grab is hard. Whether they zone out in the moment or just blindly take anything in their reach, the concept is meant to push them out of the comfort zone.

Chris appreciated that challenge. He said, “this whole experience showed that I am able to grow. There was a learning curve. But, it is not about what you know, it is about how you grow from it.”

No matter what ingredients he was dealt, Chef Chris went into each challenge with one purpose, to “cook with heart.” As viewers have seen on the show, his emotions are poured into each and every dish. Successes and failures can come and go, but his passion for cooking remains resilient.

That positive perspective seems to influence his culinary career. As he grows his Taste Collective concept, it is more than providing impeccable dining experiences. Chef Chris focuses on how he can give back to others.

Reflecting on his culinary career, Chef Chris said, “I was very arrogant at one point in my career and it did not take me too far. Over time, I started to mentor other young chefs and it humbled me. I wanted to give back to my community and inspire the next person. It does not matter if you win or lose, it matters who you inspire.”

“Through Taste Collective I want to share my knowledge with other people. I might look like the tough guy, but I want to speak the truth and be that humble guy.”

While Chef Chris might be humble, he is building a successful culinary business. From his food truck to a personal chef component to even joining forces with former Next Level Chef contestant Lauren Smith for an aviation culinary business, his culinary future is soaring. If it was not for this FOX culinary competition, some of these endeavors might not be on the horizon.

Although Chef Chris Tzorin might be humble with his success, the reality is that he appreciates the highs and lows within the culinary industry are part of the journey. Right now, he is riding the wave of success and hopefully there is more smooth sailing ahead of him.

Chef Chris Tzorin competed on Next Level Chef Season 3. New episodes of the FOX culinary competition air on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT and can be streamed the next day on Hulu.