Richard Blais shares his thoughts on why Next Level Chef is a hit, interview

Richard Blais returns as a mentor in Next Level Chef Season 3. During a recent interview with FoodSided, the celebrated chef and restaurateur shares why he believes this FOX culinary competition is so successful.
Richard Blais, chef mentor on FOX's Next Level Chef
Richard Blais, chef mentor on FOX's Next Level Chef / FOX

As Next Level Chef Season 3 is set to premiere on January 28, the FOX culinary competition raises the bar yet again. For Richard Blais, one of the show’s mentors, the format and quick paced challenges may have chefs pushing to complete their dishes, but the thrill of competition is just an engaging aspect. He believes that one factor has people watching episode after episode.  

While Next Level Chef might be a Gordon Ramsay production, the quick-witted, adaptable, and thoughtful Richard Blais can steal the spotlight. Although in previous seasons he loved the warm glow from the basement’s lighting, that tenacity of overcoming the warped pans and dull knives made his chefs tougher. Sometimes the journey is just as important as the accolades.  

Over the years, Blais has been a mainstay in culinary competitions. Even though his chef pedigree was sharpened in highly rated restaurants around the world, viewers were wowed with his elevated techniques and innovative takes presented on the plate.  

As a mentor on Next Level Chef, Blais uses that background to his advantage for his team. Given that the competing chefs come from the restaurant world, social media segment, and home, that diversity requires someone who can speak to all three scenarios.  

When asked during a recent interview with FoodSided, Blais did not at first see how he, personally, hits all three areas, but came around to the idea.  

Blais shared, “I’ve never heard anyone describe my work on the show in that way, how I touch on all three of those things but I guess that it is true. I think that it helps to have been in their shoes. I had not thought about the social media perspective, but it I think that is right as well. I love restaurants, so I can easily relate to the professional chef.”  

“This season, I am really trying to work on relating to them. It is not just the physical parts. We all have cooked fish before, but cooking in a competition is different. With all the lights, fast movements, your heart rate quickens and your brain reacts. Mistakes can happen. I’ve been there; I know what if feels like. I have really worked hard this season to relate to the chefs in that personal way.”  

As Blais helps to guide the chefs through the stresses of the Next Level Chef competition, he believes there is one primary reason why people turn into the FOX television show episode after episode. While dishes might miss the platform and chefs might get stumped by the ingredients, it is not just the food that is captivating.  

Blais believes, “the cast is the heartbeat of this show. We continue to find an amazing cast of cooks and chefs. Within that group, we feature home cooks, professional chefs, and social media chefs. The social media chefs have been key. Some have millions of followers. Everyone has someone to root for or get behind. I think that the fan base is really adamant about rooting for certain people.”  

“Gordon, Nyesha, and I, as mentors, get to ride by their side throughout the whole journey. I do not believe that there is another cooking show that does that.”  

Everyone will have to turn into the Next Level Chef Season 3 premiere on January 28 to see the new cast. With the new twist that each chef needs to earn their spot on a team, the new element might have an early favorite missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.  

Next Level Chef Season 3 premieres on Sunday, January 28 after the NFC Championship game. The subsequent episodes will air during its regular time slot of 8 p.m. on Thursday nights. Episodes can be streamed the next day on Hulu.