‘Humble, focused and earnest’ Next Level Chef winner revealed
Social media chef Jade Greenhalgh has been described as “humble, focused and earnest” by Gordon Ramsay after being crowned the winner of Next Level Chef.
The 34-year-old from Lancashire fought off the competition during the final of the ITV cooking show, which sees aspirational chefs battle in a variety of challenges under mentorship from Ramsay, Nyesha Arrington and Paul Ainsworth.
Following Jade’s win, 56-year-old chef and restaurateur Ramsay, who had Jade on his team during the series, said: “Jade is the absolute character that Next Level Chef personifies: humble, focused, earnest.
“Earnest is something that you don’t see a lot in today’s world, especially in cooking as it’s all flamboyant.
“Her approach is just so goddamn down to earth. There is something quite steely about her focus.”
While American chef Arrington, 41, said: “Jade, her focus and her energy.
“Yes she was able to transform beautiful ingredients in the way that she does, but the intangible was the love that she put into the food.
“Without sounding too cheesy, it is truly her superpower.”
Fellow mentor and chef Ainsworth, 44, added: “Jade is a worthy winner.
“I really, really wanted Jade on my team, and even though she wasn’t, we had a good bond.
“When you see someone like Jade who had her break on social media in lockdown, cooking on a budget winning a show like this.
“I’m just so pleased I got to witness her trajectory.”
The series, which originally aired on American TV network Fox, arrived in the UK for the first time earlier this year.
The show is set across three kitchens on three different levels, from a top-tier kitchen “utopia” to a basement level with “scraps” – as contestants vie to progress to the next level.
It is set to challenge the contestants’ creativity, agility, flare and expertise and determine how the budding chefs fare under the best of circumstances – as well as what they can create in the worst.
Following her win, Jade said: “It’s been life changing.
“Although I absolutely loved cooking before the competition, creating recipes, now it’s just taken it to another level.
“I found it challenging but I feel like I learnt so much along the way.”
Detailing the toughest element of the show, she said: “I’ve never pushed myself ever in my life as much as I did in that competition.
“So probably for me, it was the long hours – they take their toll and I’d just flop into bed every night because you are just absolutely exhausted.
“Physically but also mentally because you have to give it your all every time you cook.
“But it’s so worth it, every second. It was amazing.”
Jade also admitted that being on Ramsay’s team was a great experience.
“At first, I felt it wasn’t real. Then after I got over the shock of being in the same room as him, it just felt really comfortable,” she said.
“He was such a supportive figure. He really took on the mentorship role, he was so helpful.
“I did think it was going to be really scary and daunting but you just get into it and it felt really comfortable.”
As the winner, Jade will receive a cash prize of £100,000 and a one-year mentorship under all three judges.
Next Level Chef is available to stream on ITVX.