Check out how this Columbiana native became a contestant on Gordon Ramsay’s new show, Next Level Chef

Next Level Chef
Chef Jonathan Harrison, contestant on season one of Next Level Chef. Photo via Jonathan Harrison

We all know the esteemed chef, Gordon Ramsay—famous for his wit (and sometimes harshness) on Hell’s Kitchen. One local Columbiana chef can handle the heat—Jonathan Harrison. Check out how he landed this sweet gig on the inaugural season of Next Level Chef to compete for $250,000 and how he’s planning on taking his Southern culinary roots to the next level. Plus, keep reading to see how you can meet him right here in Alabama.

Before going Next Level

Jonathan Harrison Next Level Chef
We’d like to know what gourmet eats he’s whipping up. Photo via Jonathan Harrison

Harrison’s story starts right here in Alabama. Born and raised in Columbiana, Alabama (for those who don’t know—it’s just right of I-65 by Calera) and attended college at Auburn University. After graduating with a journalism degree in 2014, he decided that his career path would be better suited as a Realtor for RealtySouth, Alabama’s top Real Estate company.

During his time as a Realtor and before many pictures of some of his recipes surfaced, he spent his time on Instagram photographing many of Birmingham’s classics such as Bottega, Chez Fon Fon and Big Spoon Creamery—some of our local favorites too.

With this inspiration in mind, he started crafting his own recipes to take their place on his Instagram page.

Almost too pretty to eat 🤩

Next Level Chef
Barbacoa Chilaquiles…yum! Photo via Jonathan Harrision

Before he was selected as a Food Network contestant, Harrison experimented at home with foods and became a home chef. He documented these recipes on his Instagram—some that require no cooking at all and some that are even plant-based. It’s clear that he is very passionate about his food and the chance to represent the state of Alabama on national television through the culinary arts.

“I hope to represent Alabama well and move us forward as a state and a region. I want to use food as a way to bring people together and as a tool to take the south to the world and bring the world to the south.”

-Jonathan Harrison, Chef/Contestant, Next Level Chef

About Next Level Chef

Next Level Chef.
Harrison’s official headshot for Next Level Chef. Photo via Jonathan Harrison

Described as the “evolution in cooking competitions” by Fox, Next Level Chef will be hosted by Gordon Ramsay and accompanied by chefs Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais. This lineup alone is world class, but these contestants will be the future of the culinary industry. Contestants are scouted from across the country, taken under the the chefs’ wings and mentored, determined to rise above the rest. The grand prize? A whopping $250,000. If that doesn’t add pressure, I don’t know what does.

Want to watch Harrison but are away from the TV during the first episode? Problem solved—download FOX NOW and start streaming live or on demand today.

The first episode will air January 2 after NFL.

Meet Jonathan at the Alabama 4-H Center

Next Level Chef
In addition to his culinary work, Harrison has started another project of his own—house renovations. Photo via Jonathan Harrison

Want to find out what the buzz is all about? Jonathan Harrison is hosting a dinner and watch party at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbia, Alabama. Admission is $50 and you’ll experience a dinner prepared by Harrison himself plus watch the first episode with quite a gathering of proud Alabamians. He’ll also be answering questions and making his rounds during the commercial breaks to keep everyone entertained. Interested? Fill out this form and follow all instructions to RSVP.

“I’m so incredibly excited for this amazing new show to air! It was a life changing experience where I got to meet some of the most inspiring and talented people I’ve ever come into contact with and really grow as a person and chef.”

-Jonathan Harrison, Chef/Contestant, Next Level Chef

We can’t wait watch this new show air and are even more excited for local talent to be brought to the big stage. Congratulations, Jonathan—we can’t wait to see what you bring to the table.

Want more stories like this one? Make sure you keep an eye on our Instagram for the latest.

Olivia Moses
Olivia Moses
Articles: 17