Richard Blais dishes on some twists to classic football food, interview

As Richard Blais returns as a mentor in Next Level Chef Season 3, the celebrated chef offers some suggestions for football food options that are healthy and delicious.  In the FOX culinary competition, he is ready to mentor his chefs and teams to a Next Level Chef victory.

Richard Blais on Next Level Chef Season 2
Richard Blais on Next Level Chef Season 2 / FOX

With Next Level Chef Season 3 premiering after the NFC crowns its division champion and sends a team to the Big Game, Richard Blais is ready to set the table with some delicious food options. Even though the football competition might be fast and furious, the FOX culinary competition is equally nail-biting. Luckily, Blais has a plan to serve some delicious football food and guide his chefs to victory on Next Level Chef.  

Football food can tend to focus on a few areas. Chicken wings, pizza, dips, and more might be quite tasty, but they can sometimes stray from some people’s eating habits. Even though no one is saying that only salad should be on the menu. But, a few swaps can keep those favorite foods front and center.  

Ahead of the Next Level Chef Season 3 premiere, Richard Blais spoke with FoodSided about the upcoming new season and offered some football food suggestions ahead of the big games. Recently, Blais, in collaboration with his wife Jazmin Blais, published Plant Forward: 100 Bold Recipes for a Mostly Healthy Lifestyle.  

Blais shared that the book is a platform for showcasing vegetables as the star of the plate. It is not about completely eliminating a food from the people’s lifestyle. Instead, it is about creating recipes that are vegetable forward.  

When asked about some food ideas for football watching, Blais commented. “I love chicken wings and I think that you could do healthy chicken wings by baking them, which I think that they are better that way.” 

For a vegetable forward twist, Blais shared, “my book does have cauliflower nuggets, instead of chicken.” That swap is something that many people have come to appreciate. 

Blais went onto suggest, “we have a burger recipe that is half mushrooms and half burger.” In some ways, that recipe could be an idea that people use far beyond football season.  

Overall, Blais believes, “I really don’t think that you have to compromise on flavor or nostalgia with game day foods. You can do food that is healthy and delicious and still fit the theme of the event.”  

Richard Blais on Next Level Chef Season 3
Richard Blais on Next Level Chef Season 3 / FOX

Richard Blais on new twists for Next Level Chef Season 3 

Next Level Chef Season 3 premieres after the NFC Championship game, and the action is going to be fast and furious from the first moment the chefs appear on screen. Since the chefs have to earn a spot on their mentor’s team, the pressure is high.  

Blais is looking to create his team from scratch, and he shared a few characteristics that he was looking for in the chefs. After all, Blais wants to spend less time in the basement and more time in the top kitchen.  

Blais said that he was looking for chefs who, “have a wide range of culinary knowledge. When you can cook different genres of cuisine and have that experience, you just have a great attitude and mindset about going forward and moving fast. You need to embrace the game and have good sportsmanship in playing the game.”  

Another aspect that Blais thinks is vital is the chef mentor relationship. Blais said, “it is really important for our chefs is the ability to work with the mentor, which during the auditions is going to help us because we are going to be able to talk to them. Some people want more guidance than others. Some people are reluctant or hesitant to help. I think that the auditions will help us find the best chefs.”  

Will someone from Team Blais earn the title in Next Level Chef Season 3? Tune into the premiere episode following the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 28 at 10 p.m. The series will return to its regular time slot on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. All episodes air the next day on Hulu.