‘Next Level Chef’ season 2 episode 3 recap: Who went home in ‘No Pain, No Grain’? [LIVE BLOG]

Tonight on “Next Level Chef,” contestants are tasked with taking a humble sandwich and making it an upscale, Next Level Sandwich! All the ingredients packed between pieces of bread should be packed with flavor and a thing of beauty. One chef will be eliminated in the all-new “No Pain, No Grain” episode of Next Level Chef airing Thursday, Feb. 23 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Follow our live blog below for a full recap.

Joined by two elite names in the food world, chefs Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais, Gordon Ramsay and his co-mentors leave no stone unturned, as they’ve scoured the country and hand-picked the best home cooks, social media chefs and professional chefs who will be on each of their teams. The winner will receive a $250,000 prize and a one-year mentorship.

Here is the remaining roster of contestants (or scroll through the gallery above for more info on each chef):

Team Arrington: April Clayton, Nuri Muhammad, Omi Hopper, Pilar Moega, Shay Spence

Team Blais: Christopher Spinosa, Darryl Taylor, Matt Groark, Mehreen Karim, Tineke Younger

Team Ramsay: Cassie Yeung, Mark McMillian, Michelle Calcgni, Preston Nguyen, Tucker Ricchio, Vinny Alia

SEE Everything to know about Gordan Ramsay’s ‘Next Level Chef 2’: Meet the 18 chef-testants competing

8:00 p.m.Previously on “Next Level Chef”! Heart and soul were at the center of the challenge, as the chefs prepared a dish from a country who pride themselves on cooking with love, passion and of course, heat. Mexico! In the cook-off, Cassie defeated Alex Morizio, sending the 48-year old home cook from Brooklyn packing. Cassie also secured the middle kitchen for Team Ramsay in the next challenge while Team Arrington will go from the middle floor to the basement. But enough about last week. Let’s get this sandwich party started!

8:05 p.m. — The chefs are welcomed back for a new challenge this week. Gordon congratulates Cassie for surviving last week’s cook-off, which she says traumatized her. Gordon explains they’ll all be creating an upscale, next level sandwich. Vinny admits his favorite is a good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly, which won’t cut it today! The chefs have 40 minutes — with Team Blais in the top kitchen, Team Ramsay in the middle and Team Arrington in the basement.

8:15 p.m. — The platform makes its way down each floor, with chefs frantically grabbing ingredients. Darryl, who had all the best ingredients at his disposal on the top floor, forgot bread! What was he thinking?! He’s a professional chef that owns an upscale catering business in Atlanta. Many know him as “Chef Drama.” I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? He reveals that he received a kidney transplant in 2019 and has a new lease on life. Well, his “Next Level Chef” life won’t last much longer if he doesn’t figure out how to make a sandwich without bread. Meanwhile, Vinny is the cook for his fire department in Massachusetts, and he admits that although he’s typically calm under pressure, he’s a little nervous about this competition. Next, we realize Cassie has made the same mistake as Darryl! She has no bread, which makes Gordon recall one of his most famous insults to date, “Idiot sandwich!” Cassie thinks she can save herself by making a wrap.

8:25 p.m. — Mehreen learned to cook from her mother, who is from Bangladesh. She wants to show Muslim women they can take their careers to the next level. Back to Darryl, he’s upping the ante and has decided to make his own homemade bread. Let’s turn these lemons into lemonade! This could make or break him. Down in the basement, April tells Nyesha she has pork, but she actually has lamb. She insists she knew what her protein was, but she gets nervous when the judges talk to her. Yikes! Who knew this sandwich challenge could be so troublesome!

8:30 p.m. — Midway through the challenge, chefs are told they must make something with a pickle. What will they come up with? We get some background on Shay, who is a social media chef who says he found his passion in cooking after struggling to land on a career. He hopes to win this contest to pay for his upcoming wedding. Why do people spend so much money on weddings? Anyways, Richard is still worried about Darryl, whose bread isn’t coming along like he had hoped. Time expires and the chefs toss their plates on the platform. Pilar’s pickled cauliflower falls to the ground. Oh geez! It’s judgement time!

8:35 p.m. — The judges will now taste each sandwich. Team Arrington is first. Pilar’s albacore BLT is missing the pickled component, but the sandwich is delicious. Unfortunately, it lacks the acidity of the pickled cauliflower. Shay’s pork duo “doesn’t go” but Gordon loves the cook. April’s sloppy joe is soggy and Gordon won’t even taste her pickled chili, saying it would “obliterate anybody’s palate.” Omi’s meatball sandwich is well-seasoned. Nuri’s soft shell crab sandwich is “delicious” and the pickles are “outstanding.”

8:37 p.m. — Team Ramsay is up next, beginning with Vinny’s fish sandwich, which needs seasoning and acid. Preston’s strip steak sandwich is cooked wonderfully and has “beautiful brightness.” Mark’s catfish sandwich isn’t impressive visually, but it tastes great. Michelle’s pork is cooked beautifully, but Richard thinks it tastes too “healthy.” Tucker’s hangar steak is a well-executed thought and “delicious.” Cassie’s pork tenderloin sandwich is breadless and she also forgot the parmesan cheese crisp. Flavor-wise, it’s fantastic, but is it a sandwich?

8:42 p.m. — Team Blais is next, with Darryl’s surf-n-turf open-faced sandwich getting called a “missed opportunity.” Chris’ crispy shrimp po’ boy is “textbook” and Gordon calls it “a sandwich to die for.” Nyesha says it’s “visually stunning.” Matt’s cheesesteak is not visually attractive, but it’s tasty. Tineke’s lobster roll is “beautiful” and “so well cooked.” Nyesha is impressed with the pickle. Mehreen’s hot fried turkey sandwich is visually “beautiful” and the turkey is “nailed beautifully.”

8:50 p.m. — The top sandwich of the night belongs to…Nuri and his soft shell crab! That means Team Arrington is safe from elimination and will rise from the basement to the top floor in next week’s challenge. Nyesha is in tears. She loves this guy! Gordon throws Vinny into elimination and Richard chooses Darryl to face off against him. For this elimination cook-off, they will each make a spicy chicken sandwich. Gordon and Richard will blind judge each dish once this challenge is complete.

9:00 p.m. — Vinny and Darryl have each plated their spicy chicken sandwiches. It’s now time for Gordon and Richard to taste them. It’s a difficult choice — Richard chooses Vinny and Gordon chooses Darryl. Nyesha will break the tie — and she sends home Darryl. “It wasn’t spicy,” she says.

9:01 p.m. — Darryl is the third chef eliminated from “Next Level Chef” season 2. Next week, Team Arrington will be on the top level, Team Ramsay will be in the middle and Team Blais will cook in the basement.

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby