San Diego Celebrity Chef Richard Blais Will Be Judge On New Primetime Gordon Ramsay Cooking Competition 'Next Level Chef'

September 1, 2021

San Diego-based celebrity chef Richard Blais has signed on to be a judge on Gordon Ramsay's newest primetime cooking competition series Next Level Chef, premiering in 2022 on Fox Network.

A former winning contestant and frequent guest judge on Bravo's hit cooking competition Top Chef, celebrity chef and San Diego resident Richard Blais has been appointed to replace Italian-born chef Gino D'Acampo on Fox's incoming cooking competition Next Level Chef. ITV star and Ramsay pal D’Acampo had a family commitment that prohibited him from traveling to the United States for filming. Blais will join Ramsay and Nyesha Arrington as judges in the series, which will see line cooks, home chefs, social media stars and food truck owners compete against each other to be crowned the food world’s newest superstar. Set to debut in 2022, Next Level Chef is produced by Studio Ramsay and Fox Alternative Entertainment and will feature a culinary gauntlet, set on a stage over three stories high, with each floor containing a different kitchen with an ever-changing array of ingredients.

A current resident of San Diego, Chef Richard Blais is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and may be most known as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars in 2011. Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and frequent culinary television personality, appearing in such programs as Iron Chef America, Chopped All-Stars, Top Chef, MasterChef, Guy's Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen and Cooks vs Cons. He has worked in the kitchens at such acclaimed restaurants as The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli. Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated popular eateries including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique located in the Southeast and in San Diego he helped build the Crack Shack brand and launch Juniper & Ivy in Little Italy. Most recently, Chef Blais opened steak and seafood restaurant Ember & Rye in Carlsbad as part of Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa's $50 million renovation

Chef Gordon Ramsay will also soon be opening a San Diego restaurant. The multi-Michelin-starred celebrity chef will open a his largest Hell's Kitchen Restaurant to date next year in San Diego County inside Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Valley Center. The new bar & restaurant will take over the casino's buffet area, which closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The San Diego County Hell's Kitchen will be the fourth location, with others located in Dubai, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.