Next Level Chef UK: air date, trailer, contestants, judges and all we know about the cookery contest

Nyesha Arrington in a green jumpsuit, Gordon Ramsay in a blue jacket and jeans and Paul Ainsworth in a grey top and dark trousers stand in front of the towerng kitchen in Next Level Chef UK.
Judges Nyesha Arrington, Gordon Ramsay and Paul Ainsworth put the contestants through their paces in Next Level Chef. (Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Next Level Chef has become one of the most high-octane cookery shows in the US and now a British version is here to follow in its footsteps.

The show sees contestants compete on different floors of a three-storey kitchen as they try to impress judges Gordon Ramsay, Paul Ainsworth and Nyesha Arrington.

So following in the footsteps of US show Next Level Chef, here’s everything you need to know about Next Level Chef UK….

Next Level Chef UK — when is the start date?

The eight-part series starts in the UK on ITV1 on Wednesday, January 11 at 9 pm. 

The show will then air in the same slot each Wednesday evening and will also be available to stream on ITVX.

Next Level Chef UK — who are the judges? 

Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, who also hosts the US version and is best known for his uncompromising style in Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, will oversee proceedings and judge the contestants’ offerings.

He will be joined by acclaimed chef Nyesha Arrington, who judges the American series and has been featured on The Taste and Chopped Next Gen.

Completing the trio is Ramsay’s former protégé Paul Ainsworth, who now runs his own Michelin-starred restaurant in Cornwall and has appeared on the likes of Saturday Kitchen and The Great British Menu.

“Nyesha is incredibly talented, steely, feisty, warm, comforting and just direct  — everything you'd want in an amazing chef, an absolute talent. And then Paul Ainsworth has a huge heart. This guy's determination is incredible. I knew having him alongside Nyesha and I would just work,” says Ramsay.

Next Level Chef UK — how does it work?

The competition sees 12 contestants enter a giant kitchen on three storeys — a basement with basic equipment, a middle floor containing standard appliances and a top level with high-end utensils.

After the chefs are divided into three teams, each working on a different floor, a platform descends through the levels, from which they have 30 seconds to grab ingredients, before making a dish in 45 minutes. 

“At the beginning of my career, I started in the basement. Then you work up to this semi-decent kitchen, and then 20 years later, you build this state-of-the-art kitchen, and that’s how the idea for this was born,” reveals Ramsay. 

“They're cooking what they're grabbing and by the time we get to the basement, there are minimal ingredients, but that's where you find out the most about yourself. This is about bringing the best out of individuals.”

The chefs then face a race against time to make sure their dishes get served to the judges.

“It’s so tough. You’ve got to get your finished dish back onto the moving platform before time runs out,” says Ainsworth. “It’s a challenge, but it’s amazing what they produce.”

The contestants wearing white tops and grey aprons stand in a group in front of the three-storey kitchen in Next Level Chef.

The contestants get ready to impress the judges in Next Level Chef. (Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Next Level Chef UK  — is there a trailer?

Yes, and if the trailer is anything to go by, this show is going to have us on the edge of our seats! 

As the contestants cook up a storm, each hoping to find themselves in the fancy kitchen on the top level, no one wants to get sent to the basement kitchen... or find themselves on the wrong side of Gordon Ramsay for that matter! 

You can watch the ITV trailer here... 

Next Level Chef UK — who are the contestants?

The contestants range from professional chefs, to social media stars and even home cooks.

“One guy travels the world cooking on a mega yacht but you also have home cooks who just bring joy in their cooking," says Arrington. 

“The levels of the kitchens level the playing field for the chefs. Pros probably think they'll kill it but they might be put in the basement and have to use their ingenuity, while home chefs suddenly have all these tools at their disposal, so they can up their game.”

The chefs are:

Contestant Callum in a white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)


Callum, 26
Prestwick, Scotland
Ex-chef and Paralympian

Contestant Gold in a white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Gold, 50
Kings Langley, Hertfordshire
Home Cook

Contestant Gurpreet in a white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Gurpreet, 25
Gravesend, Kent
Restaurant Demi chef de Partie

Contestant Jade in a white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Jade, 34
Near Ormskirk, Lancashire
Social media cook

Contestant Kelly in a white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Kelly, 45
Dunmow, Essex
Home Cook and ex-pro

Contestant Layla in a white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Layla, 41
London
Events Caterer

Contestant Ronan in white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next level Chef

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Ronan, 25
London
Home Cook

Contestant Selwyn in white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Selwyn, 63
Lympsham, Somerset
Private Chef

Contestant Temi in white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Temi, 27
London
Social media chef

Contestant Tia in white top and grey apron in front of kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Tia, 50
Birmingham
Home Cook

Contestant Toby in white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Toby, 22
Liverpool
Restaurant Sous Chef

Contestant Tony in white top and grey apron in front of the kitchen in Next Level Chef.

(Image credit: Studio Ramsay/ITV)

Tony, 40
Theddingworth, Leicestershire
Superyacht chef

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.


Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.


Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.


In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.