Next Level Chef contestants hold dinner event in Columbiana

Published 1:24 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By MEG HERNDON | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Jonathan Harrison and Amber Rebold first met as contestants on Fox’s latest cooking competition show, Next Level Chef. Since that first introduction, a fast and strong friendship formed, which has led to many collaborative moments between the two since the show ended.

“We just vibe, and I know that’s kind of silly to say, but we do,” Harrison said. “You don’t find a lot of people that you vibe that hard with in life and…”

“And you have to in the kitchen,” Rebold added on to Harrisons’ sentence. “Friction in the kitchen tastes bad.”

On Friday, March 22, Harrison and Rebold held a six-course spring pop-up dinner at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana.

For the 40 guests, the two chefs prepared a mouthwatering menu which consisted of seasonal spring rolls with nasturtium, watermelon radish and a trio of sauces, asparagus salad with parmesan, herbs and toasted pecans, coconut carrot soup, herbed ricotta with crudites, honey turmeric chicken with Mumbai masala roasted potatoes and cucumber raita, braised spring lamb with spring vegetable risotto, balsamic strawberry shortcake with basil whipped cream and hibiscus ginger sparking granita.

Harrison and Rebold began brainstorming the pop-up in September 2021 but fully began to plan more in-depth in January when their schedules lined up.

The two had previously held a Valentine’s Day culinary experience in Lubbock, Texas, Rebold’s home state, with other Next Level Chef contestant, Angie Ragan.

During the night, Rebold remarked that although she comes from Texas and thought she understood the meaning of southern hospitality, Columbiana was a different beast altogether.

“Oh my God, I want to move,” said Rebold. “(Columbiana’s) so friendly, just the warmth has been really amazing.”

During her typical nine to five, Rebold works for a startup that works in the conservation space. She said that everyone in her professional and personal life has been supportive of her throughout the journey she has been on.

“They’ve been telling me for a long time that I need to do something with it,” Rebold said. “It never occurred to me to in any way to monetize passion like that.”

Throughout the night and the many courses, the pop-up guests enjoyed their many dishes which were introduced each round by the chefs. Harrison and Rebold also held a Q&A at the end of the dinner where guests were free to ask the two any questions that they had in general or about Next Level Chef.

Two guests even came all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be a part of the experience.

This was not the last collaboration planned between Harrison and Rebold. The two have another plan in the works for a similar dinner event in Austin, Texas, Rebold’s hometown.

Keep up with the two’s future collaborative events by following them on social media. Find Harrison at @chef_jonathanharrison on Instagram, and find Rebold on Instagram at @amberlanetxyall.