What Nyesha Arrington Is Really Like On The Set Of Next Level Chef - Exclusive

There's a part of "Next Level Chef" that you don't get to see on camera. Actually, as Season 2 contestant Omi Hopper recently revealed to Mashed, it's more than just a part. You don't even get to watch a 10th of everything that goes on between Gordon Ramsay, Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais, and their teams in the three-tiered kitchen. "We would start downstairs in the lobby of the hotel by 7:30 a.m. ... [and] we wouldn't be back until about 8:00 at night. It was very long days of filming. Overall, the experience was incredible but exhausting, and it plays mind games on you," Hopper reflected.

When you tune into the contestants competing in the "The Platform"-style competition, you witness their sweat, tears, and flub-ups on screen. Behind the drama, says Hopper, is a completely different kind of show. "You have to think of the competition as a true mentorship," she told Mashed. "What you see on camera is the shortened version, but while we were living there in real life, it was a true mentorship for real." The social media chef from Rhode Island landed on Nyesha Arrington's team, and she dished to Mashed about what it was really like to be around the celebrated chef during the show.

Nyesha Arrington has a softer side than you might think

When Mashed talked to Nyesha Arrington before Season 1 of Next Level Chef debuted, she told us that she'd joined the show on the condition of mentorship. It was "a no-brainer," Arrington said, to set a positive example of leadership in a developing chef's journey. "I came up under a very, how do I say, a fiery regime for most of my career ... I think that there's fear-based leadership and I think there's love leadership. And I think for me in my chef journey, the love leadership is really what inspires people. So, the idea that I get to help change people's lives."

According to Omi Hopper, Arrington was true to her word. "She is tough, but she leads with the heart," Hopper revealed. "She's so good at knowing when to jump in and see the need. She sees the need and she feels it, in such an amazing way." Hopper added that when Arrington does step in and "correct" someone, she does it "from a place of love, and you know that it's coming from a place that she wants to see you do better."

New episodes of "Next Level Chef" air on FOX every Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. ET.