Next Level Chef Season 3 episode 2: Home cooks handle the pressure

From bargain basement ingredients to Sunday suppers, Next Level Chef Season 3 episode 2 tested the home cooks’ tenacity. When the pressure was high, some cooks embraced the moment and others buckled.
NEXT LEVEL CHEF: Gordon Ramsay with contestants in the “Next Level Chef" episode of Next Level Chef airing Thursday, Feb. 1
NEXT LEVEL CHEF: Gordon Ramsay with contestants in the “Next Level Chef" episode of Next Level Chef airing Thursday, Feb. 1 / FOX

After the social media chefs earned their opportunity in the FOX food culinary competition, Next Level Chef Season 3 episode 2 showcased the home cooks’ skills. While these cooks might have the toughest critics at home, Gordon Ramsay, Nyesha Arrington, and Richard Blais have high standards. It is not easy to impress this group, nor is it easy to earn a spot in the next round.  

To kick off the three levels of competition, the home cooks started in the basement. While the play on words of trash ingredients for the trash man might have received a chuckle, the reality is that the basement is a true test. Anyone can make a great meal with elevated ingredients and the Rolls Royce of pans.  

In the basement, the challenge was to calm the nerves. The frustration was evident at every turn. Overall, the dishes were fine. Nothing was totally impressive, but it was good enough to survive.  

The middle kitchen was all about Sunday suppers. It would have been nice to see more conversation about this topic. Given that these dinners were relatable to many FOX viewers, a few tips or tricks might have made for more viewer engagement.  

Sunday supper is a plate of nostalgia. The stories told around the table flavor the meal. It might not be plated with tweezers or have the most expensive ingredients, but it is a priceless meal.  

A few stories about why a particular dish related to that family moment or the tradition behind the recipe could have served the competition well. It might have endeared one of these home chefs to viewers and created a fan favorite.  

For the last challenge, it seemed like a free-for-all. While the ingredients were elevated, it seemed like the home cooks were better suited for the middle kitchen. Many of the dishes were good, but it might have been a touch of luck. Cooking a lamb chop for the first time and nailing the correct temperature does not happen often.  

It seems more often than not; the home cooks were cooking by a wing and a prayer in the top kitchen. Given that both the professional chefs and the social media chefs have experience, the scenario might arise where the home cooks need a stronger guiding hand from the mentors.  

Then again, the home cooks might be wanting to absorb all that cooking and food knowledge. Instead of being stuck in their ways like a professional chef, the mentors might be able to mold the home cooks into the ultimate Next Level Chef.  

Five home cooks join the draft. In Next Level Chef Season 3 episode 3, the professional chefs look to impress the mentors. Be sure to watch next Thursday at 8 p.m. or stream on Hulu.