Who is Kamahlai Stewart? Next Level Chef contestant was once on TV news when a police chief harassed her

Kamahlai Stewart is set to participate on Next Level Chef season 2
Kamahlai Stewart is set to participate on Next Level Chef season 2 (Image via Michael Becker/Fox)

Kamahlai Stewart will be appearing as a contestant on Next Level Chef season 2, which premieres after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 10.30 pm ET. From episode 2, it will air every Thursday at 8 pm ET on Fox and will be available to stream on Hulu the following day. The new cooking competition show will feature 18 chefs creating incredible dishes to win $250,000 grand prize.

Kamahlai was previously seen on TV News in 2021 after she recorded a viral video of Homestead Police Chief Jeff DeSimone yelling at her while she was pregnant. She was reportedly waiting for her five-year-old son's medication at a pharmacy center. After the officials held a meeting, the chief was suspended for three days without pay.

She runs Muhall's House of Soul Catering with her husband and will now be seen competing on Next Level Chef alongside other cheftestants. The contestants will be split into three teams, with Gordon Ramsay mentoring one team, chef Nyesha Arrington guiding the second, and chef Richard Blais with the third team. Kamahlai will be on Blais' team.


Next Level Chef contestant Kamahlai reportedly started recording the incident with the police chief when he approached her

Next Level Chef contestant Kamahlai was waiting for her five-year-old son's medication at the Giant Eagle drive-thru window at the Waterfront when Police Chief Jeff DeSimone confronted her. As seen in the video, her son was in the back seat coughing when the chief asked her to hurry since she was taking too long.

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As per NBC affiliate WPXI, the chief wasn't wearing his uniform and was in plain clothes, which is why Kamahlai wasn't aware of him being a police chief until he called the cops on her. The action drew widespread criticism from local residents who pointed out that Jeff DeSimone had previous instances of anger issues. He was then suspended for three days without pay.

In an interview with Action 4 News, the Next Level Chef contestant opened up about the incident and said:

"He originally turned his lights on and got out of the car the first time and cursed me out. And I was like, 'oh no I don't feel safe now so I need to get my phone out and record this guy because I don't know what he's capable of or what he's going to do."

Kamahlai began recording on her phone as the chief approached her car and began cursing. Later in the viral video, he was seen shouting at the pharmacy employee that her prescriptions weren't ready.

Addressing DeSimone, the chef told the outlet:

"What were you thinking to put myself, my unborn child and my 5-year-old ill son in danger like this? I was shocked, appalled. I can't believe you, of all people—you're the chief of police—for you to turn on your lights and try to intimidate me was totally an abuse of power."

The decision to suspend Police Chief Jeff DeSimone was also criticized by the Black community, who demanded that he be fired, considering he had previously exhibited inappropriate behavior. Some described the suspension as a "vacation" rather than a punishment.


Kamahlai talks about her experience competing on Next Level Chef

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In an interview with Trib Live, Kamahlai opened up about her experience competing on Next Level Chef. A producer contacted her on her Instagram page, which she thought was a prank. Upon realizing it was legitimate, she filled out a questionnaire about running House Of Soul catering with her husband, Maurice.

The contestant will soon open a new event space called Top Tier Venue in Swissvale and has previously competed on Very Local’s Plate It, Pittsburgh. After she was selected as a finalist, a few Zoom calls and phone interviews later, she landed in London in September 2022 to begin filming.

Reflecting on the premiere episode on Sunday, Kamahlai explained what it was like to be guided by Richard Blais and work at the top level. She said:

“It’s like fighting for your last meal. I grabbed the ground turkey, but it wasn’t top tier. I’m at the top level. I’m trying to present a top-level plate. I’m like, what the hell are you gonna make out of this?”

Kamahlai considers working on Next Level Chef an "awesome opportunity." As per the publication, she hopes that her stint in the cooking competition will help grow her business. She also wishes to open a cooking academy where she can teach teens how to cook and minimize their dependence on fast food.


On Next Level Chef, the contestants are divided into three chefs' teams and compete on three different levels. The elevator with the ingredients stays on one floor for 15 seconds and the contestants have to grab as many as they can until then to make their dishes.

Watch the cheftestants compete at the season premiere of Next Level Chef season 2 this Sunday at 10:30 pm ET on Fox.

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