Warrior Chef Redemption: Afterword

Since we have concluded yet another season of the Warrior Chef series, I wanted to include another afterword to commemorate the ending of our very first redemption series! I’m sure that there would be mixed emotions on how to feel, especially since all of the contestants going into the season were seen in a more favorable light, given their previous runs.

It was not an easy decision, choosing who to eliminate. Characters like Rose, Karen, Fanny, and Lucas, I really did like writing about them, so having to send them home as early as I did was tough. Characters like Amanda Bolen, who I wrote to be this cool and collected badass, I wish I could have made her progress farther in the competition, but compared to contestants like Phung and Tadashi, who were outright monsters in the competition, I knew other contestants were going to struggle a lot to even compete on their level. Phung in particular, was actually written based on a previous culinary student of mine, who despite having no professional kitchen experience, was always perfect when it came to her execution. She was as much an enraged psycho-bitch in real life as her portrayal here, and her real life counterpart would probably be the first to let you know that.

When I originally wrote this season, I actually intended for Jo to be in the final three, and for Kira to be eliminated in the first round of the finals. However, I decided to create a little more drama, I would take Jo’s character and make him much more…insufferable. He actually had almost as many wins as Phung did, but I rewrote the script a bit once I had finished my original rundown of the season so that all of Jo’s challenge wins would actually be distributed between Kira and Phung, just to make Kira a much more worthy finalist as well. I chose to do this mostly because of Kira’s experience; her character was a 3-star Michelin cook. She could not lose to somebody as generic as Jo, no matter how hard of an underdog angle I tried to envision it.

Either way, when it came down to Phung and Tadashi as the finale two, I had to make a decision on who, in my eyes, deserved to be a winner more. Tadashi ultimately gained Redemption because he was a harder working cook. That coupled with the fact that if the Redemption Rounds did not exist in his season (which was actually the case in Phung and Kira’s season), he would have won, made me feel guilty of not giving him the crown this time around. He was just more consistent, which I hope you all would agree with.

Below, I attached a chart including the wins, losses, highs, and lows of each contestant, as well as their placement for this season. I hope you all enjoyed reading Warrior Chef Redemption, because I can’t wait to introduce you all to Warrior Chef 5!

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 11.19.03 PM

Advertisements

Warrior Chef Redemption: Finale Part 2

Jessica: This is it! The Warrior Chef Redemption Finale! Tonight, three returning runner-ups are back to compete for the title! The runner-up of season 1, Tadashi Hamilton! Trained under Californian legends such as Wolfgang Puck and Josiah Citrin, Tadashi just narrowly lost in his original season, only to come back with a vengeance! Being a consistently strong competitor, Tadashi has amazed time and time again with his modern Japanese cuisine! Next, Kira Taso! One of the two runner-ups from season 3, Kira has managed to dazzle the competition with techniques taken from her Michelin starred experiences! Finally coming back to her native San Francisco, Kira is here to claim the title that eluded her last time! And lastly, Phung Pham! The sassy Vietnamese juggernaut, and the other runner-up from Warrior Chef 3! While her competitors in this final round are professionally trained chefs, Phung has no professional cooking experience, and despite this, has won the most challenges, with a whopping nine! One of the strongest competitors ever in Warrior Chef history, Phung is a force to be reckoned with! Tonight, one of these three cooks will claim the title! Who will it be?

Phung: @I’m back in the final three and it feels great. @Kira and Tadashi are both alright, but let’s be real here, this is my time to claim the title. @They are NOT going to stop me. @I’m ready to unleash World War Phung, this time, not on my teammates, but on the other two teams here. @They are so going down.

Kira: @I barely made it into the final round but it’s down to the three strongest people, and I still have a shot here to win the entire competition. @Phung, I beat her last season, and it came down to the fact that this girl can’t lead to save her life. @Tadashi is my real competition here. @I have to watch out for whatever it is that he makes.

Tadashi: @I’m the last man standing, and I’m against Kira and Phung, who are easily the two best competitors here. @This is definitely going to be a blood bath tonight. @I know that the first challenge is the amuse bouche, so I’m already thinking about what kind of amuse bouche I want to make.

Jessica: So for tonight, we have two final challenges to determine who will be crowned Warrior Chef. For the first challenge, we want you guys to put up your best amuse bouche in 30 minutes. There are two twists to this challenge. The first one is that the weakest performing cook in this challenge will be eliminated.

Tadashi: @In my season, that’s how Karen got sent home and I barely scraped by to the final challenge against Vanilla. @I’m determined to put up a better dish this time.

Jessica: The second twist will be revealed later on. So 30 minutes, one bite, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I run into the pantry and I see the spot prawns. @I grab those, because I know that I can extract a lot of flavor out of them. @I’m making spot prawn broth with butter poached prawn and an edamame and endive microsalad to garnish it with some crunch. @I don’t have time to think about what Phung or Kira are making. @I’m trying my best to develop my flavors.

Kira: @I grab oysters because I know I can make a great dish with those. @I’m making crispy-fried oysters with nuoc cham shooter. @Phung won the challenge last time, and I came in second. @Had the elimination rule still been in place, one of us would not be in this redemption competition right now. @One of us would have actually won. @Thinking about it does frustrate me a little, but at the same time, those were the rules, and Lauren earned the title by out-cooking both of us, even when the odds were stacked against her in the last challenge.

Phung: @I won this challenge before so I know I can win it again. @But Kira grabbed all of the oysters and Tadashi took the prawns. @And Kira took all of the ingredients to make nuoc cham, something I was going to make. @That little bitch. @She knows how to fuck me over. @I grab eggs, and I’m going to make a poached egg with some fish sauce-fried artichoke shavings. @I have no fucking clue what I’m making here, but that’s not going to deter me. @I’m here to be redeemed, and redeemed I shall be!

Jessica: I hope you’re all not too attached to your ingredients, because this is the twist! You guys are switching ingredients! Everyone, step over one station to your left.

Tadashi: @I’m stuck with Phung’s ingredients, which include fish sauce, artichokes, eggs, panko, and it’s looking really sparse.

Phung: Yay! @I get Kira’s nuoc cham and oysters. @I’m pretty confident that I can win this challenge now.

Kira: @I’m gifted Tadashi’s station, and he has spot prawns. @I’m feeling great about this, because I’m not stuck with Phung’s nightmare station.

Jessica: 10 minutes have passed, but you guys still have 20 more minutes, and access to a limited pantry of staple ingredients. You must use every ingredient on your station in some way, and your time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making nuoc cham and oyster shooters. @But then I see that Kira has ingredients to make a breading, and I decide to make an oyster pancake with spicy nuoc cham dipping sauce. @I’m feeling great about that, because an oyster pancake is not something people expect me to pull, but I know I can do it and do it well.

Kira: @I’m going to make a spot prawn ceviche with prawn shell crackers. @I’m frying the shells until they are super crunchy and then making my tuiles, crushing the shells onto that and baking them off together. @I think it’ll taste great and I can stand apart from the rest of the competition.

Tadashi: @I’m making fried artichokes with a fish sauce aioli. @I have no choice but to keep it really simple here, but I want to make the artichokes different, so I’m going to toss them with salt, basil, mint, and cilantro, just to really give them a different flavor profile than what people would expect in a dish like this. @Phung’s station was a mess, but I think I sorted it out.

Phung: @Tadashi’s going home tonight. @There is no way that he knows how to handle my station. @I don’t even know how to handle my station, and I’ve won 17 challenges across two seasons, bitches.

Kira: @I’m not even thinking about what Phung or Tadashi are making. @I can hear Phung laughing a lot, and I know she’s not focusing on her food. @She’s honestly a strong competitor, but I hope she trips up and gets sent home first. @I just need to make sure that my dish is delicious, and that will keep me safe.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I think that the dish looks good. @The prawn shell cracker is definitely an innovation that could either make or break me here.

Tadashi: @I think that I made something unique out of a very ordinary concept. @Hopefully minty artichokes put me in the lead.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is Warrior Chef winner, Sally Cho!
Sally: Hi, guys! I still remember when I competed and made it this far, and it was tough! I was up against Wolfgang Puck’s prodigy and somebody who had been winning all the challenges at that point, and even against all odds, I managed to pull out the victory! I can’t wait to see what amuse bouches you have made.

Sally and Jessica taste the amuse bouches.

Jessica: So Sally, how did they all do?

Sally: There were some really great flavors across the board. One of you made a solid offering, and that person was… Phung. You did not win this challenge, but you definitely put up a close second to the actual winner with your nuoc cham, which resonated with me personally. I used nuoc cham in my signature dish and it scored me a perfect score.

Phung: @Thank you, Kira, for trying to go Vietnamese against me. @I’m going to be on top, bitches.

Sally: Kira, the flavors of the ceviche were really good. Tadashi, your concept was seemingly simple, but the herbs transformed that dish. Both of you took risks here. Tadashi… you won the challenge for me! Your thought process, you are already thinking like how a Warrior Chef should be!

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the last creativity challenge of the season!

Tadashi: @It feels great to get my eighth win under my belt. @I redeemed myself by getting this far against some incredibly strong competitors, but now I have a chance to take the title. @It’s surreal.

Sally: Kira, unfortunately, the prawn shells were not cooked down enough, and they were inedible. You made the weakest dish tonight.

Jessica: Kira, I’m so sorry. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Kira: Thank you. @Being sent home in the final round again, it really sucks. @It doesn’t get much easier the second time around, but at least I did really well this season. @I’m proud of myself regardless. @I took a risk with the prawn shells, and it just backfired.

Phung: @Seeing Kira get eliminated feels somber. @She was easily my strongest competition, and now she’s out. @Tadashi shall face my wrath. @I will go crae-crae on him and he will hate living afterwards.

Tadashi: @Seeing Kira go is hard. @I respect her so much and I wanted to go head to head with her in the finale. @It’s rough.

Jessica: Now it’s time for the elimination challenge! But first, let’s welcome back in some familiar faces!

In walks Rose, Karen, Fanny, Lucas, Justin, Henry, Amanda, Nate, and Jo.

Phung: @I see these guys and I know that these are our potential sous-chefs. @I need to make sure that I assemble a better team than last time.

Jessica: Tadashi, you get to choose your sous-chefs first!
Tadashi: @I see their faces, and I know right away I do not want Jo. @Rose, I think she’s good, but can I really trust her when I have no experience cooking with her? @Not at all. I’m picking Fanny and Karen. @I’ve competed with them and we are close. @I know that these two girls have got my back.

Fanny: @Tadashi is such a sweetheart and I’m going to give it my all for him. @I deserved to make it further in this season and this is my chance to win the challenge for Tadashi and prove everyone wrong.

Karen: @He’s like an older brother figure to me and I really look up to him. @I’m just honored that he would put so much faith in me.

Phung: @I’m pissed that Kira’s not an option, so I take a look around. @Justin sucked this season, and Henry was alright. @But I know Henry hates me. I’m going to choose… Amanda… and Nate. @Nate, I’m iffy on, but he is a talented cook, so I’m hoping that it works in my favor.

Nate: @I hate Phung, but does anyone really love her anyways? @She’s just a big, dead-set joke and I want to see her go home.

Amanda: @Phung terrifies me. @I’m nervous working with her, but at the same time, I just have to let myself focus on the food and executing that well.

Jessica: Everyone else, you are free to go.

Rose: @I’m the only runner-up who did not make it to the finale this season and it sucks. @I’m just glad I’m not cooking tonight, because it sounds like it will be a major shitshow, and I’m not into that.

Jessica: You have just 1 hour to make the best three courses, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I’m having Fanny handle the dessert while Karen and I work together on the two savory dishes. @I’m going to break down the scallops and oysters for the first course and the beef for the second course and get those all going. @For my first course, it’s scallop and oyster crudo with chili, orange, and mint. @The second course is confit beef belly with purple cauliflower puree, roasted beef loin, and cauliflower salad. @For my dessert, it’s passionfruit gelato with coconut tuile, and rum-pineapple savarin. @I’m trying to really showcase Californian cooking to the best of my ability.

Fanny: @I’m in charge of the entire dessert and I’m looking forward to this. @Tadashi’s got a lot of well-placed confidence in me and I’m going to try my best to deliver. @

Karen: @I’m going to be handling the cauliflower and the actual cooking of the beef in terms of getting it pressure cooked for the confit. @I’m strong with French techniques and that’s going to be how I plan to help Tadashi win this tonight.

Phung: @Amanda is going to do the first course, which is scallion banh xeo with octopus and mussel stew, because I know she can do that one to the best of her ability, with her heavy French background. @For the second dish, it’s homemade lobster banh mi with lotus root chips. @I’m going to do that because I know how to nail it. @I’m making Nate handle the dessert, which is papaya milk sorbet with lime compressed dragonfruit, lime snow, and rice foam.

Amanda: @I know how to stew mussels and octopus, but the banh xeo is what I’m not as familiar with. @It’s apparently a cross between a crepe and an omelet which are both French, so I should be fine, so long as I follow Phung’s recipe. @I’m just going to put the food before my nerves here.

Nate: @Phung freaks me out, but I don’t want to screw her over here. @I’m not the type of person who would sabotage somebody like that because it’s horrible. @I get the sorbet in first, then I focus on making the dragonfruit next. @The foam, I’m making rice pudding, blending it with a rice milk simple syrup, straining it, and then foaming it up. @For the lime snow, I’m foaming lime juice with soy lecithin, and then dunking that into liquid nitrogen and shattering it. @I practiced molecular gastronomy for fun, and now it all pays off for Phung, of all people.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Vanilla Cuylenberg

Vin Rugnetta

Lauren Wilson

Jessica: Lauren, how does it feel knowing that Phung is back in the finale?

Lauren: She was tough then and I think Tadashi is going up against one of the strongest home cooks in the world. He’s got his work cut out for him.

Vanilla: I went against Tadashi and he was strong. I’d be scared to go against either of them, but the fact that they are going head to head means that we can all expect some really good food tonight.

In the kitchen:
Tadashi: @Time is winding down, but we are getting everything onto the plates at this point. @I think that Fanny and Karen worked perfectly with me and I do not regret my choices with them as my sous-chefs.

Phung: @I definitely am dialing back the drama twentyfold from last time, and I’m letting these bitches just do whatever they want with my recipe. @I chose them because neither of them suck as cooks, and that will help me win this.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Fanny: *to Tadashi* Good luck!

Karen: *to Tadashi* We know you can win this.

Phung: *to Nate and Amanda* Hopefully I won this tonight.

Nate: *to Phung* We gave it our all, so hope it does you proud.

In the judges room:
Jessica: Here come the first courses!

Tadashi – scallop and oyster crudo with chili, orange, and mint

Phung – scallion banh xeo with octopus and mussel stew

Vin: Tadashi’s crudo was light and elegant. I really think it’s a nice way to start out the meal, but it was not anything mind-blowing or risky.

Aster: Phung’s banh xeo was an odd choice to pair with her stew. The stew was delicious and the banh xeo was tasty, but both together did not eat well.

Erwin: I think Tadashi nailed the dish and faltered with creativity while Phung made delicious food that just did not work together.

Jessica: And next we have the entrees!

Tadashi – confit beef belly, purple cauliflower puree, roasted beef loin, cauliflower salad

Phung – homemade lobster banh mi with lotus root chips

Vanilla: I loved Tadashi’s dish. This is the type of cooking I remember him doing in my original season. He plated beef and cauliflower two ways, and all four components were really good!

Lauren: Phung’s banh mi was delicious and her presentation was gorgeous. But overall, I question why you would serve us a sandwich, even with homemade bread, in the finale. That’s not terribly inspired.

Miriam: For Tadashi, his second course stepped it up a lot and he delivered a flawless dish. Phung’s lobster roll banh mi was delicious and I love that she made her own bread. That shows ambition.

Jessica: And finally, the desserts!

Tadashi – passionfruit gelato, coconut tuile, rum-pineapple savarin

Phung – papaya milk sorbet, lime compressed dragonfruit, lime snow, rice foam

Vanilla: Tadashi’s dessert, it was not his best dish tonight. The gelato was phenomenal and I loved that component. The tuile was alright, but the cake, too much rum. He dropped the ball with the savarin.

Vin: Phung’s dessert just blew my mind. Just wow. The presentation was again, gorgeous. The dragonfruit, I thought it was actually palatable and that’s rare, given how bland the fruit is.

Lauren: Between the two tropical fruit desserts, Phung delivered on everything that makes fresh fruit beautiful. The sorbet was light and refreshing, the rice foam just soaked up all of those bright flavors. It was unforgettable.

Jessica: So can we come to an agreement on who is going to be redeemed and become the next Warrior Chef?

Lauren: Yes, we can.

In walks Tadashi and Phung, who are greeted by the judges and their fellow competitors from this season.

Phung: @I’m feeling good about my meal. @Those three courses were Phung Pham, all the way.

Tadashi: @It’s been a tough season, and I don’t know which way this is going to go. @Phung is strong competition, surprisingly.

Jessica: So let’s get into the courses.
Aster: Tadashi, your crudo was delicious and we enjoyed the fact you used two different kinds of shellfish. But it felt safe. Phung, you also did a dish with two kinds of shellfish, but you developed robust flavors in that stew. The banh xeo, it felt disjointed from the stew. We understood you wanted a toast point, but that was not the right way to do it.

Phung: @He still liked my dish and I took a risk, unlike Tadashi. @That should be awarded the win.

Erwin: For the second courses, Tadashi, you delivered perfection. That beef and cauliflower dish, we are all going to walk away feeling satisfied because everything was done so perfectly. Phung, your bread delivered and the lobster banh mi roll concoction was clever. The presentation was beautiful, but it ate messy.

Tadashi: @It seems like I beat her on the second course for sure. @The first course sounds like a toss-up. @But if I nailed the dessert, then I will definitely win tonight.

Miriam: Tadashi, for the dessert, we loved that gelato. The tuile was alright, but your savarin, there was too much rum and it overpowered the pineapple, which is surprising given how strong a flavor pineapple is. Phung, your dessert was as strong a dish as Tadashi’s entree. The sorbet was beautiful and velvety, the dragonfruit added a nice crunch with the seeds and the lime infusion worked so nicely there. The rice foam just screamed of ingenuity. Well done.

Phung: @Miriam wants to marry me over my dessert and it’s awesome. @I think I might actually be Warrior Chef tonight.

Tadashi: @She destroyed me in dessert and I think I made the largest mistake of the night with the rum. @This could send me home tonight.

Jessica: It was a close, close call. You each clearly won in one course, and it came down to the minute details. Tadashi… you are Warrior Chef! Congratulations! You finally redeemed yourself and you won $100,000!

Tadashi: Thank you! I can’t believe it!

Phung: @I’m pissed. @Two-time runner-up? @Are you fucking serious? @I’m so much better than that. @Tadashi got really lucky tonight, because if my lobster roll was on-point, I would have won this season. @Lucky bastard.

Tadashi: @Winning Warrior Chef is a dream come true. @I didn’t think that this would be possible, but I won and it feels amazing. @Coming back to compete again and being able to represent the food I stand behind, and getting the validation of the title, I’m proud of myself. @I don’t think I would change anything about my Warrior Chef journey. @It’s been an incredible ride.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Finale Part 1

The finalists arrive in San Francisco, California, where the remainder of the competition will take place.

Tadashi: @My original finale was also in San Francisco, so it feels a little strange to be back here again so soon. @Hopefully this isn’t a sign that I’m going to come in second place again. @That would seriously suck.

Kira: @This is it. @The finale. @Last time, it was New Orleans and Lauren took the prize. @This time, it’s my time to shine.

Phung: @I’d say it’s anybody’s game, but let’s be real here. @Jo is not going to be Warrior Chef. @Kira’s won five challenges, I’ve won seven, and Tadashi’s won seven as well. @Jo’s won an impressive zero. @If he beats any of us and makes it into the final three, I would saw off my own foot and do voodoo on it!

Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for this challenge, you will be cooking in pairs. Please decide who you want to be in a team with.
Kira: @I would love to work with Tadashi, but, Phung grabs me and I guess it’s decided.

Tadashi: @I’m working with Jo, and I’m already dreading it. @He’s not a team player, but maybe he might have a change of heart in today’s challenge?

Jessica: So in this challenge, you’ll be working in pairs to create a dish using local, Californian produce! You have just 15 minutes, and your time starts now!

Phung: @Right away, we see the Santa Barbara spot prawns and uni, and they look succulent. @We would be dumb not to use those.

Kira: @For our dish, we are going to make spot prawn ceviche with uni vinaigrette, shaved radishes, blood oranges, puffed black rice, and some pea tendrils. @Phung is handling the seafood while I do the vegetables. @15 minutes, it’s intense. @Honestly, I’m terrified that we won’t finish in time, but I’m just keeping my head down and focused on making sure each and every component is perfect.

Tadashi: *to Jo* How about the heirloom tomatoes?
Jo: I hate those.

Tadashi: What about the figs?
Jo: I hate figs.

Tadashi: @At this point, I’ve lost 3 minutes trying to get some ideas on the board. @This… it’s aggravating. @In the end, I decide to just ignore Jo entirely, and just focus on cooking. @My dish is wilted beet green-mascarpone pesto, beet chips, charred shallots, and crispy pancetta. @Jo’s not going to be a team player, but I still want to try my best and win, regardless of his bad attitude.

Phung: @I almost feel bad for Tadashi, but if he does win this challenge despite being with Jo, then he really does deserve the title. @But I think that he is failing at featuring the produce, even though he’s from here.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Jo: @Tadashi was being bossy and it shows on the plate. @We failed to work as a team together and it’s because he’s not a good teammate.

Tadashi: @The dish looks like a complete mess and it’s just a metaphor for this experience with Jo. @I think that this is frustrating, but I’m just glad I’m not going home over this dish.

Jessica: Your judge is Warrior Chef past winner, Jane Ognibene!

Jane: Hello, everyone! I’m excited to be the judge for this!

Phung: @Jane is the baking queen and when she competed in Warrior Chef, she managed to dominate the entire way through. @I’m nervous being judged by her.

Jane and Jessica taste the dishes.
Jessica: So Jane, how were the two dishes?

Jane: So let’s start with Tadashi and Jo’s dish. I liked the beet pest a lot. That was genius. The chips were good and I felt like the pancetta added a nice, savory flavor. But my biggest complaint is that the dish felt disjointed. There was nothing really tying it all together for me.

Jo: @It was Tadashi’s dish. @So it’s his fault.

Jane: Phung and Kira, the ceviche was delicious and I loved the fact you transformed the sea urchin into a vinaigrette that really highlighted its flavor profile. Overall, I loved the colors, presentation, and texture.

Jessica: So who won?
Jane: Definitely Phung and Kira’s seafood dish.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung, Kira! You both won the creativity challenge!

Phung: @I’m glad I won the challenge because I know I’m better than everyone else here. @They’re all screwed.

Kira: @Winning back to back feels amazing! @I know that Phung and Tadashi are major threats, and I want to show both of them that I’m worthy of the final challenge and that I can still win the title.

Jessica: Now for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, you guys will be cooking head to head. The winners move into the final round of this competition, and the losers will cook head to head in sudden death, where one of you will be sent home.

Jo: @I know that one of these losers are going to be axed tonight. @There’s no way I’m going home when I’m so close to the end.

Jessica: The theme of the challenge is to create a dish inspired by San Francisco’s iconic Chinatown. Please draw knives to determine who you’ll be going up against.

Phung – 1

Tadashi – 2

Kira – 1

Jo – 2

Tadashi: @I’m stoked. @I’m glad I got Jo for once, because if I can’t beat Jo here, then I don’t deserve to win the title.

Phung: @I’m with Kira, and she’s strong. @But I’m not going to let her and her home turf take me down. @She’s a goner here.

Jessica: You have an hour, your time starts… now!

Phung: @Chinatown is the inspiration, and I’m stoked. @I’m going to make chicken dumplings with cilantro and mint slaw, lime infused black vinegar, and chicken-ginger sauce. @I’m pretty confident that I can beat Kira with my dumplings, because they bring all the boys to the yard, and damn right, they’re better than hers. *to Kira* What are you making tonight, boo?

Kira: *to Phung* None of your business, boo! @I’m making sticky rice steamed in banana leaves, and I’m going to stuff the rice with pork adobo, homemade Chinese sausage, compressed shiitake mushrooms, and preserved egg yolks. @For my sauce to go with it, I’m making my own sweet chili paste, because that will be delicious and it cuts through the richness of the dish.

Tadashi: @Chinese food, not my forte. @But I do love duck, so that’s the route I’m going to take tonight. @I’m doing an orange glazed duck with roasted yucca, a duck jus infused hoisin, and crispy-fried leeks. @I don’t even want to waste my time thinking what Jo is making. @He’s not worth my attention, because his level of pettiness will only drag me down.

Jo: @Tadashi, I can’t wait to beat him. @He doesn’t cook Chinese food, and I do. @This is my ballpark. @I’m making wok fried lobster with homemade noodles and a lobster-ginger broth, and chili poached eggs. @I think that the three people who will make it into the finale are me, Kira, and Tadashi. @Phung’s just too inconsistent and I think she’s a goner.

Kira: @Jo thinks Phung is going home, and as much as I’d like that myself, I know she won’t go home that easily. @The thing I can relate to with Phung is that we both are hardworking and ambitious and that translates well in this competition. @There’s a reason why we both made it to the finale twice.

Phung: @Jo can think I’m going home, but he’s delusional. @Bitch, I’ve won eight challenges. @You’ve won zero. @Come talk to me once you’ve even won half the number of challenges…. oh wait, you can’t, because there’s not even that many challenges left in this season. @Motherfucker, go eat a bag of dicks.

Kira: @I’m fumbling with getting my rice into the leaves. 25 minutes?! Shit. @I’m feeling under the pump for sure. @I finally get the rice wrapped and into the steamers with 20 minutes left. @I’m hoping that I can get them cooked in less than 20 minutes. @I’m hoping that I can plate the dish elegantly, but who knows at this point? @I’m just trying to get something plated, because I refuse to be in the sudden death cook-off.

Jo: @Kira’s struggling and she’s lucky that this is not an immediate elimination or else she’s going to be eliminated tonight. @I’m really feeling confident because these other cooks don’t make Chinese normally.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling great about my dish, but then I see what Jo made. @I don’t like him, but his dish, I would order that in a restaurant. @I’m actually nervous.

Kira: Shit. Shit. Shit. @My dish, I plated it, but I’m nervous. @What if the rice was not steamed enough? @I could be screwed.

Jessica: Your judges are all previous Warrior Chef contestants:
Ping “Pam” Ling – 3rd place

Noura Narwhal – 5th place

Tina Wang – 3rd place

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung and Kira first!

Phung – chicken dumplings, cilantro-mint slaw, lime black vinegar, chicken-ginger sauce

Kira – pork adobo rice with Chinese sausage, shiitake, preserved yolk, sweet chili paste

Pam: I don’t know Phung, but I like her style. This dish, I would happily eat it with a nice, cold beer. It was banging.

Noura: I completely agree with Pam. I would love to get high and just devour Phung’s dish. Kira’s dish, the rice was undercooked and it sucked. I hated it.

Tina: The rice was undercooked and she tried to do too much in too little time. I appreciate the ambition, but at the end of the day, we had to eat it, and it was not good.

Jessica: And next up are the dishes by Tadashi and Jo!

Tadashi – orange glazed duck with roasted yucca, duck jus-hoisin, and crispy-fried leeks

Jo – wok fried lobster with homemade noodles, lobster-ginger broth, chili poached egg

Noura: I thought that Tadashi’s dish was very stuffy and boring. It was just not inspired at all to me. I could have done this dish sober. It was not a trip and I wanted a journey.

Tina: Jo’s lobster was actually quite nice. I enjoyed the flavor of the lobster and the broth and his noodles were great. Overall, nicely done.

Pam: I felt like Tadashi was cooking with a giant black dildo up his ass. He needed to loosen up more and really just be him. I think that he made a dish that I would need to put on panties in order to eat it and feel like I’m in the right setting.

Tina: Uh…… okay?

Jessica: So can we agree on the winners of each round?

Tina: Unfortunately, not. The first round was unanimous, but for the second, it’s a split decision at the moment.
Pam: No? Noura and I both preferred the same dish.

Tina: I felt like the lobster dish, it was good. The duck dish had a lot of flavor as well.

Pam: So which way are you swinging on this, Tina?
Noura: I think that I might change my vote.

Pam: Fuck me. I don’t like being the odd one out here.

Jessica: Do we have a decision?

Pam: Yes. Yes, we do.

In walks the final four.

Tadashi: @I’m feeling nervous. @All four of us are called in, and that almost never happens. @This… it’s scary.

Jessica: So let’s get into the results of the first match up.

Pam: Phung, Noura, Tina, and I would all love to get shit-faced drunk, high as hell, and then devour your dish. Kira, the rice was undercooked and it was the worst thing I ever put into my mouth. Honestly, you should be banned from cooking with rice, period.

Tina: I never said anything about getting high as hell, but I will admit, after this judging experience, I might need a drink or two. Pam and Noura are something else.
Noura: What she’s trying to say is that she loves us, like the rest of the world.

Tina: Let’s go with that.

Jessica: So who won?

Tina: It was unanimous. Phung was the best.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung!

Phung: Thank you! @Winning the challenge feels great. @I knew I had what it took!

Jessica: Kira, that means that you will be going into sudden-death. Judges, who won the second match-up?

Noura: Tadashi, we felt like your dish was very buttoned-up. And we wanted to send you to the cook-off, because you were definitely not cooking for your audience. That being said, you did not actually know who was judging, so we had no choice but to judge you for your flavors.

Pam: Jo, we would have loved to get high as hell and then eat the shit out of your noodles and lobster. If this challenge was not set up this way, Kira would be packing her shit and leaving, because both dishes in this matchup did not suck.

Jessica: So who won and who is going to cook against Kira?

Tina: Tadashi won. And Jo is going into the sudden death cook-off.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi!

Tadashi: Thank you! @I’m confused by their critiques, but I’ll take the win and run into the final three with that. @Phung and I are both runner-ups, and it’s going to be an interesting turn of events to see who will join us.

Tadashi and Phung leave.

Phung: @I hope Kira sends Jo’s ass packing. @He’s so dumb. @But if Jo does stay, it’s not the end of the world. @I can beat Jo, so that’s fine by me.

Jessica: Kira, Jo, you both will be cooking for your lives. For this challenge, we want to see you guys make a delicious dish using… soy sauce! You have just 25 minutes, and your time starts now!

Kira: @I’m determined to win this challenge. @I’m going to make a soy glazed pork loin with crispy miso rice balls, ponzu vinaigrette, and apple-cabbage slaw. @I’m hoping that I can really deliver on flavors here, because Jo does have strong flavor profiles, and like the judges said, I almost got sent home. @I am desperate for redemption here.

Jo: @I’m making soy glazed pork belly with fried rice and a soy sauce fried egg. @I’m confident that I can beat Kira, because I see her using the pork loin, and that is going to dry out a lot faster. @I’m confident that I can make tastier food and Kira’s definitely going to fumble tonight. @I’m going to get redemption and land into the final three.

Phung: @Tadashi and I both have reasons for either of them being in the final three with us. @For me, I think Kira deserves it more, but if Jo is in the finale, I can beat him. @So I honestly want Jo here because it will be a lot easier for me to win.

Tadashi: @I want Kira in the finale because I want to go against the best of the best. @Jo does not belong in the last challenge because he’s not a chef to me. @Kira’s my biggest competitor and if I am not going against somebody as talented as her, then I would not deserve the title at the very end.

Kira: @I taste my rice balls and they’re crunchy. @I’m feeling great about the pork loin’s cook and I’m looking at Jo and he’s trying to cook pork belly in 25 minutes. @That’s already a huge mistake.

Jo: @I think that the pork belly is not cooking fast enough, so I cut it up and dunk it into the deep frier to finish cooking it. @Kira’s not taking enough risks and I know that my usage of the soy sauce in fried rice and the pork will really sing and make the soy sauce the real hero of the dish.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I like the dish and then I see that Jo deep fried his pork. @It might come out tough, but I think his dish did not use soy as much as he could have, and that’s going to be a major point against him.

Jessica: Let’s start with Kira’s dish!

-soy glazed pork loin, crispy miso rice balls, ponzu vinaigrette, and apple-cabbage slaw

Pam: The pork loin was cooked nicely and I liked her rice balls. The ponzu was tasty but I wanted some sort of soy component in her slaw. Overall, I would get high and go to town on this dish.

Noura: The pork loin was boring and I’m disappointed in her choice of protein. Serve me pork belly, or wrap the pork loin, don’t just give me a boring pork loin. I love the balls. I would put Kira’s balls in my mouth anytime.

Tina: A nice dish overall. I agree with Pam that Kira could have used more soy for that slaw, like maybe edamame, just for texture, but she put up something memorable.

Jessica: And now we have Jo’s dish!

-soy glazed pork belly, fried rice, soy fried egg

Pam: The fried rice and egg were bomb as fuck. Holy shit, somebody pass me a fucking joint right now, that is the shit. I want to kick this bitch over and make it rain on him, because that rice, I could make love to it.

Noura: I really liked the flavor of the fried rice and I could eat that alone with a nice, cold beer. Mmmm, beer. I could really go for a beer right now. This dish made me crave it and I hate that fucker for that.

Tina: The fried rice was delicious because of how nice the seasoning was. The flavor of the egg was great as well. Overall, he made a lot of delicious components and the taste of soy came through. I liked it.

Jessica: So can we agree on who is going to join Phung and Tadashi in the final three?

Noura: Hell, motherfucking yes, we can.

In walks Kira and Jo.

Jessica: One of you is going home tonight, and one of you will be in the final three. Judges, let’s get into the scoring of Kira’s dish first.

Pam: It was good, but not amazing. 8 stars.

Noura: 8 stars.

Tina: 9 stars. I think you used the soy and soy products well.

Kira – 8 + 8 + 9 = 25/30 stars

Kira: @That’s not good. @I might be a goner tonight. @I’m shaking because I’m so close to the end and I really don’t want to go home here.

Jessica: Jo, you need at least 26 to knock Kira out of the competition. Judges?

Pam: The fried rice and egg were flawless. But your pork was completely hammered. It was like shoe leather. 5 stars.

Noura: 4 stars. The pork not only ruined half the dish, it detracted from the good you managed to accomplish with the rice.

Tina: 3 stars for an incredibly tough, leathery pork belly. I honestly was horrified by that because you had something good going on.

Jo – 5 + 4 + 3 = 12/30 stars

Jessica: Jo, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jo: Oh. Okay then. @I’m pissed. @I didn’t deserve to go home. @I’m scared and confused and angry right now because Kira was a weak cook who got lucky. @She messed up at the right time, and that’s why she is not in this position going home. @Coming in fourth twice, it fucking sucks. @I’m angry.

Jo leaves the kitchen.

Jessica: Kira, congratulations! You’re going to the final round again!

Kira: Thank you. @I’m so happy that I’m safe. @If I did not make it into the next round, it would have sucked so much. @I really want redemption and now it’s time for me to put my head down and focus.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 7

Jo: @Seeing Amanda get sent home feels good. @She was really talented in my season, and I wasn’t expecting her to go home before me this time around. @It just makes my chances at winning that much higher.

Nate: @Phung and I are both pretty bummed that Amanda got eliminated. @This season just got a lot more Asian without her here.

Phung: @Everyone left is Asian. @It doesn’t matter though. @Regardless of race, they are all living in the Phung dynasty. @They are all under my dominion! @Muahaha!

Jessica: Tonight is the last round before our finale in San Francisco!
Tadashi: @This is deja vu. @My finale is was in San Francisco too, so it’s a very strange homecoming for me.

Kira: @I’m from San Francisco. @If I don’t make it to this finale, I will be extremely angry. @I need to win this.

Jessica: For this creativity challenge, immunity is off the table, but you will gain a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge! For the challenge, you have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish using… sour grapes!

Nate: @That’s just funny. @Sour grapes? @They definitely did that to spite us.

Jessica: You have just 30 minutes, starting now!

Phung: @I swept the last round, and I intend to do that again tonight. @I’m making sour grape mustard to go with chicken liver pate and puffed wild rice and sour grapes for texture. @I’m not going to lose this challenge, because I’m much better than everyone else here. @Nobody can or will beat me. @I’m the strongest cook because I do not use professional experience to get me far in the kitchen. @This is all personal experience, on my own time, on top of being in school and working part time at a hotel, not even a restaurant. @The fact that I’m this good, it’s a testament to how amazing I am.

Nate: @I’m making hot and sour egg-drop soup. @I’m blending up the sour grapes to make the base of my soup, and then I’m going to season it with hot sauce and rice wine to finish it off. @I’m feeling that this is my challenge to win tonight. @Nobody here can beat me when it comes to making an inventive dish. @This is the reason why I get on top of a lot of the creativity challenges. @It’s because my food is out of the box and I take risks that nobody expects.

Tadashi: @Sour grapes are like capers, so I’m going to treat them exactly like capers. @I’m preparing a tuna tartare with the sour grapes, and I’m thinking about infusing them with Mediterranean flavors, so I’m also going to make a balsamic-sour grape compote, sweetening it with honey, and then I’m going to top it with some homemade creme fraiche, which I’ll making by using sour grape brine, cream, a cheesecloth, and the sous-vide machine. @I’m determined to prove to everyone here that I deserve the title.

Kira: @I taste the grapes and they’re… sour. @I feel so dumb saying that, but they make my mouth pucker the moment I brush my tongue against them. Yuck. @It’s abrasive. @I’m chopping them up super fine, and I decide to make a gremolata using the grapes. @I’m going to take scallops, and make a crudo with those, the sour grape gremolata, and I’m thinking about what else I need. @I think to make a brown butter and sour grape brine foam, to add body and hopefully a creamier texture to the dish. @And to add a crunchy element, I’m going to tempura-fry the sour grapes, and then grate frozen scallop roe over those to season them.

Jo: @I taste the sour grapes and I love them. @I decide to make a lemon vinaigrette and I’m making a sour grape salad with some crispy cilantro chicken. @I see the other dishes, and Kira and Tadashi are doing raw dishes, Phung is making some weird pate dish, and Nate’s doing something Chinese. @I’m feeling like they aren’t pushing themselves. @My dish will be more composed and complete than theirs. @Being so close to the finale last time, I want to win it this time. @Out of the remaining people from my season, I got the furthest, and I intend to do that again.

Jessica: Time’s up! Step away from your dishes!
Phung: @I know I did well on this one. @Nobody else is going to make a pate in this amount of time, but because I’m just that amazing, I can do shit like this and get away with it every single time.

Jo: @Phung’s smug per usual but I’m going to beat her because she’s too cocky. @If Phung wins Warrior Chef, then hell will burn over the Earth.

Jessica: Your judge for this is Chelia Van Buren!

Chelia: Hello, everyone! I’m excited to see if you guys managed to transform sour grapes into something more desirable.

Chelia and Jessica taste the dishes.
Jessica: So Chelia, how did everyone do?

Chelia: So there was one dish that was really bad. Jo, your dish was inedibly sour. I wanted to spit out the salad the moment I put that in my mouth.

Jo: @Chelia is full of bullshit and she’s just a hater. @I don’t believe for a second that my dish was the worst.

Jessica: And Chelia, who impressed you the most tonight?

Chelia: Kira, the scallops were delicious and I loved the foam, which I’m surprised to even say, given how… boring foams normally are to me. The sour grapes made your dish exciting. Tadashi, making creme fraiche from scratch using the sour grape brine was brilliant. It curdled the cream and made it into a smooth and velvety texture. And your tartare was delicious as well. Phung, you made pate in so little time, and it was perfection. You balanced your flavors perfectly.

Kira: @I want to win, but I think it might go to Tadashi, because he made something genuinely new.

Jessica: Chelia, who won?

Chelia: The best dish was prepared by… Tadashi! That creme fraiche was brilliant.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Tadashi: Thank you! @Winning the challenge felt great. @So far, I’ve managed to avoid being on the bottom this season, and I really want to keep that streak going.

Kira: @At this point, only Tadashi and I have avoided being on the bottom. @I genuinely think that the two of us will be the final two. @We keep trading wins back and forth, so it’s going to be a clash of the titans if it’s down to us.

Jessica: So for the elimination challenge, we want to see what you guys can prepare using… chicken! You will have 1 hour to prepare a dish using a cut of chicken. Tadashi, your advantage is that you get to assign each cook their cut! We have breast, thigh, wing, drumstick, and oysters to choose from!
Tadashi: @The breast is honestly the most boring piece of chicken to cook with, so I’m thinking about assigning to that the person I want to send home the most. Jo’s getting the breasts. @He doesn’t deserve to be a finalist.

Jo: @Chicken breasts, I know how to cook those. @I’m feeling good that this is my opportunity to really showcase my talents.

Tadashi: I’m giving the drumsticks to…. Phung. @Drumsticks are large, unwieldy, inelegant, so giving them to Phung, I’m hoping that she will know what to do with them.

Phung: Thank you, thank you. @I’m already stoked. @I love a good drumstick.

Tadashi: Nate, you will get the wings. @Wings are basically like drumsticks in that same exact way. @It’s not exactly the best cut to make a refined dish out of.

Nate: @Tadashi might see me as a threat, but the wings will not be my downfall. @I know how to make chicken drumettes, so I’m going to do that with these.

Tadashi: @The oysters and thighs are easily the best two parts. @Kira is my strongest competitor, and I want to make it to the end with her, because I want to win the title going against the best of the best. I’m going to give Kira the thighs. @The oysters are trickier, but if I nail those, then it will show a lot more skill than the thighs.

Kira: Thanks. @I love chicken thighs, and this is going to be great. @I’m feeling like this is my chance to shine.

Jessica: 1 hour to make a dish using your assigned chicken parts, time starts now!

Kira: @I have the chicken thighs. @I’m going to make thighs two ways: mushroom and ground chicken thigh ragout with stuffed-roasted thigh, ricotta gnudi, and brown butter sauce. @I’m feeling great about having chicken thighs, because they lend themselves naturally to being the center of a dish, and you don’t need to fabricate more out of them.

Tadashi: @Chicken oysters are something I’m feeling great about. @I’m making a pakora fried chicken oyster with poached cucumber, fennel-za’atar yogurt, and chicken skin tuile. @It’s a dish inspired by Annisa in New York, and I know it will work. @Working in Michelin starred restaurants, it just means that you need to put your head down and focus. @I’m not letting any emotions get to me at this point. @I’m thinking about my dish, and only my dish.

Phung: @I love the drumsticks, and I decide to make Korean fried chicken with a cabbage slaw. @I’m going to make an authentic Korean fried chicken, using cornstarch and rice flour to coat the chicken, and I’m dunking the wings in a mixture of soy, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili paste to get it nice and fiery hot. @My slaw, I’m going to season it with sesame oil, black pepper, and lemon juice. @I’m keeping it real, because that’s all I do, bitches. @Tadashi thinks Kira’s his biggest competitor, but he’s stupid. @I’m his biggest competitor, bitch. @I’ve won seven challenges at this point, because I’m that good. @I’m going to be Warrior Chef this time, I swear upon it.

Jo: @I have the chicken breasts, and I’m going to make braised chicken breasts in soy and ginger with spiced peanuts and noodles in a chicken broth. @Tadashi assigned me the breasts thinking that I would trip up on them, but instead, I’m going to excel because chicken is my specialty and I know how to make delicious chicken. @I decide to take the tenders of the breast because they keep falling off anyways, and I’m going to make fried chicken with those to top my dish off with.

Nate: @I have the wing meat. @This… really sucks. @I do not want to have the wing meat, but I’m going to make ponzu and sesame drumettes with pickled raisins and shaved bok choy salad. @I’m going to drop the drumettes into the deep frier and it will work wonders on the exterior of the chicken. @I see the other competitors, and Jo is braising chicken breast. @That’s going to be cat food at the end of the hour. @I’m feeling like it might be my season to get in the finale!

Phung: All you bitches better watch the fuck out! Phung is going to unleash her wrath onto all of y’alls!

Kira: @She’s being crazy, per usual. @There’s no changing people sometimes. @At this point, I’m focusing on getting my gnudi piped and blanched. @Getting distracted by Phung’s antics, that’s honestly what tripped me up last season. @I got too focused on other people that I did not focus on my own food. @I want the title so badly. @Being so close last season, and just barely losing it to Lauren, it was hard. @I want redemption.

Nate: @I’m so close to the finale that I want to be there. @We’ve come so far, but I’m positive that I can win the competition. @I’ve done well to get this far, and it’s still anybody’s game.

Jessica: Time’s up! Step away from your dishes!

Tadashi: @I’m glad with my choices in this challenge. @I like the look of my dish, and I see the other dishes, and I think I won on the plating aspect for sure.

Jessica: Your judges are:
Ashlee Pou

Talia Garrett

Sophia Pham

Jessica: Let’s start with Tadashi’s dish first!

-pakora fried chicken oyster, poached cucumber, za’atar yogurt, chicken skin tuile

Sophia: Babes, I loved the chicken oyster. Baring the fact that Tadashi is really hot, I think his dish was a bang-on success.
Ashlee: Babes, I totally agree with you, even though we are older and that is technically barely legal, babes. The chicken skin tuile, babes, it was spot-on, on-point, it just smashed it out of the park for me. I loved the poached cucumber, even though it resembled the Hulk’s penis.

Talia: Well, besides that fact that Ashlee’s comment killed my appetite, I really liked the usage of the chicken oyster. The pakora batter was awesome and I think his entire approach was very unique.

Jessica: And now we have Kira’s dish!

-mushroom-chicken thigh ragout, stuffed-roasted thigh, ricotta gnudi, brown butter

Talia: The ragout was delicious and hearty and I loved the thigh. The gnudi was expertly made and the sauce was great as well. Overall, she did a lot and it all worked!

Ashlee: Babes, you can tell that this girl has some serious chops in the kitchen. If I was going up against this, I would be sweating, babes. She nailed it.

Sophia: Babes, I totally agree with you. The gnudi was fluffy and light, the sauce, you can drink it all up. The mushroom ragout was great, it was all great. I hate my cooking because it’s not at this level.

Jessica: And now we have Nate’s dish!

-ponzu and sesame drumettes with pickled raisins and shaved bok choy salad

Ashlee: *spits out the raisins* Babes, just ew. I don’t want to think about those anymore. They are disgusting. Just yuck. My dogs eat better than those raisins.

Sophia: Chicken was cooked nicely but the rest of the dish was bad. I could have honestly packaged it and sold it as commercial rat poison.

Talia: I would not say it’s commercial rat poison, but the raisins were very sour to the point of making my eyes twitch. The chicken was delicious, but nothing else worked.

Jessica: This next dish was made by Jo!

-soy-ginger braised chicken breasts, spiced peanuts, noodles, broth, tenders

Talia: The breasts were soggy, and that was not a pleasant mouthfeel. In terms of seasoning, he did a great job overall. It was just that texture I did not care for.

Ashlee: Babes, I made much better fried chicken in my signature dish, so I think he failed epically. He tried to make Asian food for the queens of Asian food, and he failed. He may be banished from my court now.
Sophia: Babes, it was such an epic fail, that braised chicken breast. I felt like I was chewing on a sponge. It was unpleasant, but I forced myself to swallow it because if I vomit up any more gross food from these cooks, I may become bulimic.

Jessica: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-Korean fried chicken with cabbage slaw

Sophia: Babes, she nailed the chicken, but just a chicken and slaw dish in an hour? Babes, I’m not feeling it.

Ashlee: She’s not cooking for the finale, babes. She’s cooking to play it safe, and that’s not cool, babes. She needs to step it up, babes, or else she will be going home.

Talia: The chicken was cooked nicely and the slaw was delicious, but I think she failed to show ambition. She could have done at least one more thing here.

Jessica: So can we agree on who is going through to the finale, and who is going home for the second time?
Sophia: Bring out the guillotine. It’s time to execute somebody.

In walks Tadashi and Kira.

Jessica: Tonight… the two of you made the best two dishes, both of you are going into the finale, and one of you won the overall challenge!

Tadashi: Awesome! @I played my advantage well, and now I’m going to be in the final four! @This feels great.

Kira: @Tadashi is a strong competitor and now we are both moving into the next stage of the competition. @I’m ready for this.

Jessica: Ashlee, please announce the winner.

Ashlee: Sophia wanted Tadashi to win because we all unanimously agreed he’s hot. But this is not a male beauty pageant. It’s a cooking competition. Kira, you just blew it out the water, babes. You win.

Jessica: Congratulations, Kira! You won the elimination challenge! The two of you are safe and can return to the kitchen.

Kira: Thank you! @Winning against Tadashi feels great, but at the same time, I’m curious who is going to be in the finale with us. @There’s still two more spots. @Depending on who stays, that will determine how hard the finale is going to be.

Kira and Tadashi leave.

In walks Nate, Phung, and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight. one of you is going home, just before the finale.

Sophia: Babes, Nate, your dish had phenomenal chicken. But your raisins were terrible and all bok choy should file to a restraining order against you for the violation you committed towards it in that dish.

Nate: @I’m not quite sure how to gauge Sophia’s comments, because they’re scathingly harsh. @I might be going home tonight?

Ashlee: Jo, your chicken pissed me off. The breasts were like cereal that was left in milk for 24 hours. It was gross.

Jo: @Ashlee’s a bitch, so I’m ignoring her. @Talia’s salty because I beat her in my original season, and she wants to put me on the bottom to spite me.

Talia: Phung, we felt like you were lazy tonight. It’s a spot in the finale and you hardly pushed yourself.

Phung: Shut the fuck up, I totally did push myself. I’m not going to be eliminated tonight, because at the end of the day, I’m better than these boobs.

Jessica: One of you is going to be sent home right before the finale. Phung… you are safe. But we do want to see more out of you.

Phung: Whatever. Like I fucking give a shit.

Jessica: Jo, Nate, one of you is going home. And the person leaving the competition tonight is…. Nate. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Phung: @Nate gets sent home, and I’m ready to hold the door for him. *to Nate* Bye! Don’t get salmonella from your gross chicken dish!

Nate: @I’m pissed. @I think I’m a stronger cook than Phung and Jo. @Being sent home twice before the finale, it’s stupid. @I’m angry, because I deserved to be in the finale this time. @It’s aggravating, but I guess it was not in the cards for me.

Jessica: Jo, Phung, the two of you will be in the finale! Congratulations!

Phung: @Was there ever a doubt? @I’m not going to be sent home this season. @I’m much stronger than everyone else here!

Jo: @Phung’s arrogance will be what sends her home. @You saw it with Amanda and her hubris, and that will be Phung’s downfall.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 6

Tadashi: @I feel good about winning the last elimination challenge, but going into this round, I don’t know what to expect. @Phung was on the bottom of the last challenge because she didn’t bother cooking. @That’s honestly not a good habit to have, because every challenge should be an opportunity to keep improving and practicing under these high-stress situations.

Phung: @I’m going to win this round. @I can sense it. @My Phung senses are tingling. @I’m not going to win just one challenge. @I’m winning both. @And when my Phung senses are tingling, that means that I’m going to be 100% correct.

Jessica: Welcome back! So for tonight’s creativity challenge, we want to see you guys prepare a delicious… deep-fried dish.

Amanda: @I hear the words deep-fried, and I’m just worried. @Frier oil is tricky to work with, and we only have one deep frier in the kitchen, and I do not want to fight over it if I do not have to.

Jessica: Immunity is off the table from this point on. However, the winner will receive $2,500! You have just 25 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Tadashi: @I immediately think about tempura, and that’s just what I’m going to do tonight. @I’m making a tempura of shiso leaves with hondashi and some fried uni and geoduck as well. @After winning the last elimination challenge, I want to keep that momentum going and stay on top for as many challenges as possible.

Amanda: @At this point, everyone left except for Nate has made the finale before. @Everyone except for Jo is a strong competitor, so making it back to the final three for me, it’s going to be a major challenge. @For my dish tonight, I’m going with fried liver and onions with a lemon-caper cream. @I think it’s a clever play on an American classic, and it’ll deliver on flavor.

Kira: @Amanda’s big competition, for sure. @Out of everyone left in her season, she got the furthest, and she’s been really strong. @I’m thinking about deep fried foods, and immediately, I think about fries. @But I can’t just make fries on their own. @I decide to prepare pomme souffles with a haddock bagna cauda to play off of fish and chips. @Pomme souffles are puffed up potato chips, generally made  by pressing together two slices of potato. @I think it’ll be interesting and a lot more technically challenging.

Phung: @I’m in love with this challenge. @I’m making confit potatoes with confit pork belly and fried oysters, all with a spicy tomato relish. @I’m used to using oil. @I see that Kira and Tadashi are both going for the deep fryer, so I’m going to use the oil in a pot on my own station instead. @I’m going to win this one. @I know I’m going to win, because for some goddam reason, I always win challenges with weird, ghetto influences on them this season.

Nate: @I’m somewhat stoked about this challenge. @Being a former fat kid, I used to love shoving fries into my face. @I decide to prepare fried asparagus to go over an asparagus soup, and then for fun, I’m also breading and deep frying a soft boiled egg. @I’m going to garnish the dish with parmesan-truffle fricco. @I’m not going to let the deep frying portion of the challenge outweigh my fine-dining style of plating.
Jo: @I’m going to make fries with balsamic-onion ketchup. @I’m cooking my fries three times to make sure that they are perfect, and I’m tossing them in garlic, parsley, and cheese to finish them off. @Out of everyone here, I think that Amanda’s going to be the one going home next. @She’s much weaker than the rest of us.

Amanda: @I honestly don’t get Jo’s deal. @He keeps saying that I’m weak, but he’s been on the bottom of almost everything. @I don’t get why he insists that I’m the one going home tonight.

Nate: @Jo picks on Amanda a lot, and I think that’s just showing how…. immature he can be. @But Amanda should also just ignore him. @She’s better than that.

Tadashi: @Seeing how the other competitors interact, it’s interesting. @Since I’ve been the only one left from my original season for a while, I’ve been focusing entirely on the food. @But Jo, Nate, and Amanda, those three are like children, and it’s not okay in any kitchen. @They just bicker, and that will affect their dishes’ quality.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: I crushed this bitch! @I know I won. @Hands down, I won. @My pork belly, it tasted bomb as fuuuuuck.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is house critic, Guy Flannigan!

Guy: Hi, everyone! I’m stoked to be judging this challenge, because I love pub food.
Jessica and Guy taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Guy, how did they do overall?
Guy: Nobody really disappointed tonight. For my favorite dishes, I had three. Nate, you made a beautiful dish but still held true to the challenge. I loved the soup and the flavors worked together. Kira, the dish was clever, and it was simple, yet really well executed. I loved the pomme souffles a lot. And finally, Phung. Your confit potatoes and pork belly were excellent, while the oysters were well fried, and the tomato relish tied it all together. I was impressed.

Jessica: And who won?

Guy: Three incredible dishes, but the best was made by… Phung. That pork belly, I will be dreaming of it tonight, the way the skin crunched and the fat melted in your mouth.

Phung: Blam! @I got the win again, and it just shows that I am a strong, strong chef in this competition. @Nobody can take me down.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won $2,500!

Phung: Thank you, thank you! @I’m going to blow the wad at the spa. @This bitch needs a mani-pedi right about now.

Nate: Damn it. @Phung is on fire and there’s like no stopping this girl. @I just want to see Phung get sent home.

Tadashi: @I honestly did not know what to expect out of Phung. @I saw her season before coming back to compete, and she was winning almost every challenge, but knowing that she has no professional cooking background, that’s what makes her such a wildcard to me.

Jessica: And now for the elimination challenge! Tonight, we want to see you guys prepare a dish inspired by… your family. You have just 45 minutes, and your cooking time starts now!

Amanda: @I want to make another homage to my mother, because that won me the eel creativity challenge the last time I cooked. @She’s a successful businesswoman, but she still made time to teach me how to cook. @I’m going to make a French classic, ratatouille, with some crostoli and a 63 degree egg. @I’m doing the crostoli and egg as a reference to breakfast, the first thing she taught me, while ratatouille is something my mother made for me a lot growing up.                   

Phung: @My family, we are a party bunch. @My parents are more than down to pass the tequila shots. @For my dish, I’m making drunken noodles with clams, chicken, cilantro, and lime. @I’m going to nail this dish tonight and I’m making my own noodles, but that’s standard for PhungFood. @I’m going to use the tequila to make my noodles drunk as fuck. @Nobody is going to beat me tonight. @I’m gunning for my second win in a row, because I feel like it.

Nate: @My family is Chinese, so I need to prepare a Chinese dish. @I’m going to make Peking duck baos with leeks, hoisin sauce, and far-far. @I’m making the hoisin sauce and bao from scratch, and for the duck, I’m going to blanch the whole duck in oil, then roast them on skewers in the oven to keep them from getting greasy. @I want to win the challenge. @I’ve been on top a lot lately, but I keep coming in second place. @Like, come on. @I’m a winner. @I swear!

Tadashi: @I’m half Japanese and half American. @I’m a bit nervous about this challenge because when I think of family, I think about how my parents did not want me to do this career and how we would argue a lot about it. @I need to figure out what I can do that is inspired by them, but without any of those bad memories. @I decide on doing something with influences of California and Japan. @I’m making crispy rice cake with cucumber and crab salad, avocado mousse, and a basil ice.

Jo: @I’m from SoCal, and I was raised on Asian food. @I’m going to make noodles with shiitake braised chicken and a ginger-chicken broth. @My biggest skill is that I make food that is comforting and that people want to eat. @That’s why I am not going to be sent home, ever. @My flavors are strong, and the judges can only ever ding me on creativity or presentation.

Kira: @I’m Filipino but raised in San Francisco for my entire life. @I’m feeling good about my odds going into this challenge because I can make something epic. @I’m making coconut flan with soy caramel tuile, peanut ice cream, and coconut-peanut streusel. @I’m making a dessert, and looking down the stations, nobody else is doing that. @I might be able to stand out because I’m taking a huge risk here.

Tadashi: @Kira’s making a dessert, and considering how the only strong pastry cooks were eliminated really early on, that’s a huge risk on her part. @If she can nail this like how I think she can, she’s going to win the challenge!

Nate: @I’m tasting everything. @I do not want my sauce to be gross or for the dish as a whole to come off as greasy because of the duck. @I’m blanching the duck first in water, then deep frying it because I do not have time to properly roast it in the oven. @I’m scared, because it’s a huge risk and the texture of my duck might be compromised entirely from this.

Phung: @Nate looks stressed, and this is why I dubbed him my gorgeous bitch. @He pulls that shit out of his ass at the last second and always comes through. @Jo is the weakest link here, and I think he’s going to be sent home next.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Amanda: @I managed to get everything onto the plate, but I don’t know if this dish was well-thought out. @If I go home now, it’s going to be an all-Asian final five, and that would be…. very interesting to see. @It’s just funny to think that the white chick is the minority in this competition!

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung and Nate!
Phung – drunken noodles with clams, chicken, cilantro, and lime
Nate – Peking duck baos with leeks, hoisin sauce, and far-far

Miriam: Phung’s noodles were expertly made. I just loved the texture of those. The clams were excellently cooked, I felt her chicken was still tender and moist, while her usage of lime and cilantro was fantastic. Using tequila was a clever choice, but I do question her household rules, just a bit. Otherwise, this was textbook delicious.

Erwin: Nate’s baos were fluffy and light, the fact he made his own hoisin sauce shows that he knows how to balance flavors well. The duck itself, the skin was crispy, which is what makes the dish so addicting. Using far-far was clever as well.

Jessica: Here we have Jo and Tadashi’s dishes!

Jo – noodles with shiitake-chicken broth, braised chicken

Tadashi – crispy rice cake with cucumber and crab salad, avocado mousse, basil ice

Aster: Jo’s broth was delicious but his dish, the description should be changed to Asian chicken noodle soup. And when you put it that way, I start to question if he deserves to be a Warrior Chef when he’s cooking such basic, unrefined dishes. I’m disappointed.

Erwin: Tadashi’s rice cake, I was apprehensive. But it was delicious, being coated and fried in panko. The salad with the basil ice was clever and the avocado mousse rounded out the entire dish. I loved it.

Jessica: And finally, the dishes by Amanda and Kira!

Amanda – ratatouille with crostoli and 63 degree egg

Kira – coconut flan, soy caramel tuile, peanut ice cream, coconut-peanut streusel

Aster: Amanda cooked her vegetables well, but it felt like two different dishes. The egg and crostoli were good together, and the ratatouille was good on its own, but together, it felt disjointed. It all clashed on my palate.

Miriam: Kira’s flan was excellent and I loved the streusel and ice cream. I wish she kept the caramel as a sauce instead of a tuile, because the dish needed another saucy component to add moisture.

Jessica: So can we decide on a winner and who’s going home?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Phung, Nate, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you prepared the best dishes, and one of you won the elimination challenge! Judges?

Aster: Phung, those noodles were dynamite. I couldn’t get enough of them! The usage of herbs and citrus to perk up the plate was brilliant and I loved the clams and chicken.

Erwin: Nate, the bao was fluffy and light, the duck was cooked excellently, and I loved the bravery you had, making your own hoisin. Well done!

Miriam: Tadashi, your dish was everything I loved about California in a single bite. I could have eaten a hundred of those rice cakes alone.

Jessica: Erwin, please announce the winner!

Erwin: We were really impressed by all three of you. The best dish was prepared by… Phung! Those drunken noodles were phenomenal.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won back to back challenges tonight!

Phung: Yes, yes I did.
Tadashi: @When she’s on point, Phung delivers. @It’s terrifying, but she’s just that good of a competitor. @I think this finale is going to be tough.

Jessica: The three of you are safe and can leave the room.

Phung: @And I just swept this round. @I know that I’m stronger than everyone here, and even though I came from the most recent season, that’s not stopping me. @I’m going to go all the way.

Nate: @Phung and Tadashi are my biggest competition here. @I know that it’s going to be a tough competition between those two, but I need to keep showing that I deserve to be here and stay on top of these challenges.

In walks Amanda and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, the two of you made the weakest dishes based on the judges’ critiques, and one of you is going home.

Erwin: Amanda, the dish was fragmented and you just did not deliver on a single, cohesive dish. Jo, your broth was great, but we just did not understand why you thought chicken noodle soup was okay for a spot in the top five in a Redemption season.

Amanda: @I’m feeling nervous. @I thought that the dish was delicious, but clearly the judges did not think the same.

Jo: @Amanda’s dish was what I would make with my leftovers in my fridge. @I think she’s a goner tonight.

Jessica: Amanda…. you’re going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jo: *to Amanda* Ha!

Amanda: @I have no words. @If I was going home, I would have rather it been without Jo standing right next to me, looking smug. @I’m so annoyed and it’s pissing me off. @Nate, Kira, Tadashi, please kick some ass in this season. @Jo, I hope you go home, and I hope Phung kicks your ass in a head to head challenge of any kind.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 5

Kira: @I feel horrible that Justin got sent home. @He was the first person from our season to be eliminated this time, and I wanted the four of us to make it to the finale together. @Stepping into the kitchen today, I just need to focus.

Tadashi: @I swept the last round, but I need to win individual challenges too, just to prove that I can stand out. @Phung is my biggest competitor. @Everything she cooks is flawless, so I need to cook perfect dishes every time just to guarantee my safety.

Jessica: Welcome back! Tonight, for the creativity challenge, we want to see you guys get inventive with… watermelon! You have just 25 minutes to prepare a savory watermelon dish, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @Watermelon is tricky.@It’s sweet, relatively bland, I’m just struggling to think of a savory application. @In the end, I decide to make a watermelon gazpacho, and I hope I can really balance out the flavors with chilies and ginger.

Amanda: @I’m immediately at a loss at what to do because watermelon is not in my wheelhouse and we can’t do a dessert with it. @I think about the rind, and that’s where I’m going. @I’m preparing a crab and pickled watermelon rind salad with a semolina tuile. @I think that’s the best way to go. @I’m debating on whether or not to use the flesh of the melon, but I decide just not to.

Kira: @I want to use the whole watermelon. @I’m going to make a watermelon sphere with goat cheese, pickled watermelon rind, and I’m still thinking about what kind of vehicle to do, because I have only 25 minutes. @I decide to make crispy wonton wrappers from scratch, and then I’ll stack everything up like a Napoleon.

Jo: @I’m feeling good about watermelon. @I decide to make a watermelon soup with fried mackerel and noodles. @I’m going to nail this dish because I’m tasting everything and making sure that it all works together. @In the last challenge, I made a good dish, but I was knocked down for not being ambitious. @I’m making my own noodles in 25 minutes, so there’s your ambition for you.

Nate: @Jo’s annoying me. @Two seasons with him, it’s wearing on me a little, especially just seeing how he’s been acting recently. @For my dish, I’m going to make a pickled watermelon rind-fish sauce vinaigrette with compressed watermelon, feta, and kumquats. @I’m feeling good about the dish coming together and I’m determined to make this my second win in a row. @I want to get a streak going!
Henry: @I’ve been doing really well this season and I think I’m something of a frontrunner, which feels great! @For my watermelon dish, I decide to prepare a watermelon broth with soup dumplings and shrimp. @I just hope that it will work together, because I’m not 100% certain what to do with this.

Phung: @I’m preparing a watermelon snow with pickled watermelon rind, prosciutto wrapped feta fritters, and ginger vinaigrette. @I’m not afraid about this challenge. @After winning the last one, I want to prove that I can win this one too, mostly because I don’t think that this challenge is dumb, and I want immunity, since we are getting into the midpoint of the season. @I decide when I want to win things, because I’m that good.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Amanda: @I’m feeling good about the dish overall. @I notice that almost everyone did soups or salads of some kind, and that makes me feel a bit nervous.

Jessica: Your judge is produce queen, Chloe Lula!
Chloe: Hi, guys! Watermelon is an ingredient typically eaten fresh, and I’m excited to see how you guys managed to innovate or transform it!

Jessica and Chloe taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Chloe, who failed to impress us?

Chloe: Jo, the mackerel just overpowered your broth, which tasted medicinal. Henry, again, a watermelon broth, it needs a lot of flavors to counteract the sweetness, or else it ends up sickly sweet like how your dish did.

Jo: @I think I did a good job, but I guess not. @This sucks.

Henry: @I’m on the bottom with Jo, who has been sucking at everything lately. @It’s a horrible feeling.

Jessica: And who nailed the watermelon for you?

Chloe: Kira, the watermelon sphere was cute, but the idea to make a napoleon and stack up the components, it all worked. Amanda, your dish was classy and elegant, and I loved the pairing of crab with watermelon. Phung, your dish was simply put, brilliant. I really loved everything you did there.

Jessica: And who won?

Chloe: It was honestly by a landslide. Phung, you made the best dish.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge! Well done!

Phung: Boom! @I won with a savory watermelon dish. @And it’s an individual win, and it’s not from something stupid like shit you’d find in a 7-11. @I’m back, baby!

Jessica: And now for the elimination challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying seven cloches.

Tadashi: @I see the cloches and I’m feeling a bit nervous. @I won’t know what to expect at this point.

Jessica: One by one, take a cloche and lift the lid!

Phung: @I grab the first one, and I’m afraid that it’s going to be a bitch.

Phung – blueberries

Amanda – raspberries

Kira – strawberries

Tadashi – gooseberries

Nate – tayberries

Henry – cloudberries

Jo – blackberries

Jessica: So for the elimination challenge, we will be giving you an hour to prepare a beautiful dish using your berry! Your time starts now!

Henry: @Cloudberries look like orange raspberries. @I taste them and they’re tangy. @I decide on a cloudberry shortcake, using homemade buttermilk biscuits, with whipped cream and I think it’ll be simple, but delicious. @I’m proud of how successful I’ve been in this season thus far. @I’ve done well in challenges, and I think that I have an actual shot at this title.

Nate: @Tayberries, they’re a blackberry-raspberry hybrid. @I’m feeling good about having them, because they finish sweet and they’re really delicate. @I’m going to make a tayberry and elderflower sorbet to go with almond biscotti and a goat milk custard that I’m topping with tayberry gelee and tayberries tossed in olive oil. @I know I’m a strong, solid cook, and this is going to be a breeze for me.

Amanda: @Raspberries are gorgeous, but I do not want to do a dessert here. @Everyone is going to make dessert, and that’s how I’m going to stand out from them. @I’m making a raspberry harissa to go with seared prawns, grapefruit-raspberry salad, and a rainbow carrot puree. @I’m hoping to really capture the colors and flavors of the raspberries and make it a pretty looking dish.

Phung: @I think this challenge is stupid. @So I’m going to sit there, eating blackberries, throwing them at people who walk past my station. @I decide that I’m hungry, so I go to cook breakfast for myself. @I’m making some french toast to go with my blackberries, and I’m still a little hungry, so I’m making some seared steak with a blackberry barbecue sauce and home fries.

Tadashi: @I have to cook with gooseberries. @I’m pretty stoked, actually. @I love gooseberries! @What’s great about them is that I can go sweet or savory, and it could work either way. @I decide on a gooseberry nage with braised octopus, poached lobster, roasted gooseberries, and whipped gooseberry butter on rusk. @I’m feeling determined to impress the judges, because we are almost at the halfway point, and I need to be consistently on the top if I want to win the title in the end.

Kira: @I’m not terribly excited to have the strawberries. @I don’t want to bake tonight. @I decide on a strawberry and celery ragout sauce, and then to pair with that, a polenta that I’ll infuse with a tea made with the strawberry leaves. @I’m not terribly confident that I’m using the strawberries as much as I possibly can, but at this point, I’m going with it and hoping for the best.

Jo: @I have blackberries. @I’m going to make a blackberry sauce to go with some duck breast and a duck ragout. @I’m feeling good about the dish, because my best dishes have kept me in the competition thus far, and it shows that I’m here to play and remain in the competition until the very end.

Phung: @Honestly, in five rounds, Jo has managed to be the only person left to not win a single challenge. @How the hell did he make it this far? @I honestly think Jo is going home tonight, because he sucks that much.

Tadashi: @I’m looking at my dish, and it feels jumbled and like a mess. @I decide to go slightly German, and I’m going to make a potato dumpling stuffed with a coulis of gooseberries inside of them in place of the gooseberries on rusk. @It’s about editing myself and knowing what makes sense on this dish.

Amanda: @It’s still anybody’s game in this season. @I think Henry has been a major threat recently, and I’m impressed by how much better he’s doing in this season compared to his last one. @But I need to make it to the finale. @I keep having flashbacks of being sent home over my amuse, and even though I redeemed myself on that, it’s still not okay. @I have to win this season.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I step back from my dish, and it looks… alright. @It’s not terrible, but I don’t think I can win with this.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Max Hudson

Scott Connors

Chelia Van Buren

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Jo and Nate!

Jo – duck breast, duck-blackberry ragout, blackberry sauce

Nate – tayberry-elderflower sorbet, goat milk panna cotta, tayberry gelee, biscotti

Scott: Jo cooked the duck breast perfectly and I liked the ragout and the sauce. Honestly, the flavors were good, but it felt incomplete. He needed a starch or something to add more body to the dish and to contrast the tartness of the blackberries.

Chelia: Nate’s dessert was elegant, classy, and he captured the tayberry beautifully. I loved the panna cotta, biscotti, gelee, and the sorbet all together. He highlighted the berry and made a phenomenal dessert.

Jessica: And next up, we have the dishes by Phung, Kira, and Amanda!

Phung – nothing

Kira – strawberry-celery ragout with strawberry tea polenta

Amanda – raspberry harissa, prawns, grapefruit-raspberry salad, rainbow carrot puree

Max: Well, it was disappointing that Phung did not present anything, but she had immunity, so we can just settle on putting her in the bottom three and not send her home? She could have easily done something with blueberries.

Chelia: Kira’s ragout was delicious and it was clever of her to go savory with the strawberries. I liked the creativity of the polenta as well. Overall, I just felt like her dish needed protein. She had the opposite issue to Jo. Combine their dishes, and it would have been perfect.

Scott: Amanda’s harissa was delicious, I loved her salad, and the puree as well. The prawns were cooked nicely, and overall, I think she did a phenomenal job with the raspberries and making that the center.

Jessica: And finally, the dishes by Tadashi and Henry!

Tadashi – gooseberry nage, octopus, lobster, gooseberry dumplings

Henry – cloudberry shortcake

Max: Tadashi’s nage was a brilliant idea, because the dish perfumed with the gooseberry’s flavor. The octopus and lobster were great, and those dumplings, they were ingenious. He is living up to his Michelin-starred resume right now.

Scott: Henry’s shortcake, it was uninspired. The biscuits were dense and that killed the dish for me. The cloudberries, he did not do anything to them either. Topping the cream with fresh berries, and doing nothing else? It’s pissing me off.

Jessica: So can we agree on a winner?

Max: Yes.

In walks Amanda, Nate, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you made the best dishes using your berries!

Chelia: Amanda, your raspberry dish was colorful, vibrant, and we loved the flavors of the raspberry harissa. Nate, the tayberry dessert, you nailed it. It was easily one of the best desserts I have ever had as a judge. And Tadashi. Your gooseberry nage was inventive, and your dumplings, incredible.

Jessica: Chelia, who won?

Chelia: Three wonderful dishes, but the best one was definitely prepared by… Tadashi.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the elimination challenge!

Tadashi: Thank you. @This season, my goal was to focus on the challenges and the food, and it’s playing off for me in spades. @I want to keep doing better, because I want to win Warrior Chef in the very end. @That finale is still a while away. @But if I keep improving myself, I will be ready for those challenges to come.

Nate: @I was honestly expecting to win that because of what Chelia said, so I’m disappointed. @But Tadashi is the strongest person here, and I need to be on my game or else he’s going to just blow us all away.

Jessica: The three of you are safe. Please bring in Phung, Henry, and Jo.

Amanda: @Seeing Jo on the bottom of the challenge, is it bad that I feel really happy on the inside? @I know it’s not a nice thing to say, but he keeps talking about ego, and just seeing him get knocked down a peg feels really good.

The top three leave.

In walks Phung, Henry, and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, the three of you are on the bottom, and one of you, other than Phung, will be going home.

Phung: @I’m on the bottom but I have immunity. @Yeah, I didn’t want to cook a dish tonight, so what? @I have immunity so I should not have been called up at all.

Scott: Jo, we just felt like your dish was incomplete. It needed a starch to soak up the flavors of your ragout.

Jo: Well then why the fuck  am I here if you liked the dish?

Scott: We were picking hairs at this point.

Max: Henry, the idea to do a shortcake, it was already questionable. A shortcake could be a great inspiration, but you needed to improve on that in same way and elevate it. We wanted to see you really push yourself, and if you wanted to do a basic shortcake, then it needed to be perfect. The biscuit was dense and it ruined the experience.

Henry: @At this point, I know I’m screwed and it sucks, because Jo has been on the bottom of so many challenges that I could not even begin to describe how pissed off I am right now.

Jessica: Henry, please leave the kitchen.

Henry: Alright. Thanks. @I’m going home in 7th place. @This honestly sucks. @I’m proud of how many more challenges I have won this season, but I’m still angry that I’m going out this early. @I wanted to make it to the finale this time around, and I’m not even close to doing that.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 4

Tadashi: @Seeing Fanny and Lucas get sent home was a huge shock for me. @They were both incredibly talented cooks and I expected to make it to the end with both of them. @But now I need to focus on my own cooking and making sure that I can win it.

Nate: @At this point, almost everyone from season 1 is gone. @Jo, Amanda, and I are all still here, and I want us all to make it into the final three together. @I think that Amanda and I would make a pretty bomb final two.

Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for today’s creativity challenge, we want you to draw knives!

Phung – chicken

Nate – beef

Tadashi – salmon

Amanda – pork

Justin – finger limes

Jo – huitlacoche

Henry – jew’s mallow

Kira – sunchoke

Jessica: So for this challenge, you must prepare a dish in pairs that features a classic protein and an unusual vegetable. You guys are allowed to choose your own pairs, so long as a vegetable and a protein are represented!

Tadashi: @I immediately go to Kira, because I love sunchokes, and I have a dish in mind that we can prepare with that and the salmon.

Kira: @I’m stoked to be working with Tadashi because I respect him a lot. @I think that we have a strong team already!

Amanda: @I go to Justin, mostly because I think he’d have a good idea on how to cook with the finger limes. @I know what jew’s mallow is, and it’s really slimy and difficult to work with. @I’d rather not work with it if I do not have to.

Nate: @I don’t want to work with Jo, but I don’t want to cook with the jew’s mallow either, so I’m stuck with him and his huitlacoche. @I’ve heard of what it is, but I’ve actually never cooked with it before.

Phung: @I’m stuck with Henry and his jewish spinach but I don’t care because it’s a creativity challenge and that means guaranteed immunity and no elimination. @I don’t need to try here.

Jessica: You guys have 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @Henry wants to prepare a roast chicken thigh with jew’s mallow-potato puree and a french onion jus. @I think that this would be an epic thing to attempt, but I’m just going to let Henry lead the way, because I know I can nail it in any elimination challenge, so I’m not nervous.

Henry: @Phung’s normally a bossy bitch, but in this challenge, she’s clammed up. @She’s not even trying, and that’s annoying me. @I want to just win the challenge, but it’s basically another repeat of what happened last season with James.

Kira: @This is why I’m glad I’m not paired with Phung. @She would have killed me on this challenge. @Tadashi and I are working together really well, but that’s to be expected. @We both have Michelin starred backgrounds, and naturally, we are used to the same kinds of environments.

Tadashi: @Our dish is salmon with crispy sunchoke chips, sunchoke puree, and a butter sauce. @I’m feeling great about the dish mostly because Kira’s handling the sunchoke while I’m going to break down the salmon and cook that along with prepare the sauce.

Nate: @I’m not happy to work with Jo. @I’m feeling angry. @But huitlacoche, I’m tasting it and it’s actually a delicious ingredient. @I’m going to prepare grilled steak with huitlacoche puree, chimichurri, which I need to make authentic, or else I’ll be grilled. @Classic chimichurri has parsley, garlic, pepper, oregano, and onion, that I then blend up with sherry vinegar and the lemon juice.

Jo: @I’m handling cooking the steak while Nate does the puree and the chimichurri. @Nate’s a good cook, and I think he’s going to make it into the finale this season, because of how strong he is.

Amanda: @We have finger limes and pork. @Justin and I… don’t have any familiarity with the limes. @I taste them, and they’re really pungent. @We decide on seared pork medallions with finger lime gremolata and a pork, lime, and apple jus.

Justin: @Amanda is very focused on business and productivity, so I know that the two of us gel together when it comes to cooking. @I’m going to handle the jus and the gremolata while Amanda does the pork. @I’m taking scraps of the pork and using that with bones to prepare the jus. @I need to get that going ASAP so it has time to develop and reduce.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Henry: @I know that the chicken is undercooked and I’m sweating underneath my skin. @I don’t want to be on the bottom. @I’ve been on such a roll and I really don’t want it to stop here.

Jessica: Your judge is house critic, Lotte Amazo!

Lotte: Hello, everyone! Nice to see you all again!

Amanda: @Lotte is an intense critic and I know that impressing her is going to be a major challenge.

Lotte and Jessica sample the dishes.

Jessica: So Lotte, which team failed to impress you?

Lotte: Phung and Henry, the chicken was undercooked. That was a disappointment.

Phung: Like I give a shit. @It doesn’t matter. @If I got immunity, I wouldn’t try in the elimination most likely anyways, so I’m not really in the mood.

Jessica: And which teams did a good job marrying their ingredients together?

Lotte: Nate and Jo, the flavors actually worked really well together! The huitlacoche puree and chimichurri contrasted each other and lifted the steak. The dish by Tadashi and Kira, the salmon was delicious and I loved the sunchoke puree and chips.

Jessica: And which team won?

Lotte: It was close, but the best dish was prepared by… Tadashi and Kira.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi and Kira! You won the creativity challenge!

Kira: @I’m stoked to win the challenge, but I can’t help feel that I would not have won if Tadashi was not my partner. @In my first season, I have bad luck with team challenges. @I’d always be on the bottom, so winning this one feels odd.

Tadashi: @Winning feels nice, but I’m just thinking about what the next challenge is going to be. @I’m getting nervous.

Jessica: Now for the elimination challenge! For this one, in teams of four, you’ll be creating your own pop-up restaurants! The captains of each team actually were decided in the last challenge! They will be Tadashi and Kira!

Amanda: Oh shit. @They are easily the two most experienced, so this is a clash of the titans. @I’m interested to see how this turns out.

Jessica: Tadashi, Kira, draw knives to determine who gets first pick.

Kira – 2

Tadashi – 1

Jessica: Tadashi, choose your first teammate!

Tadashi: I’ll take… Phung. @She’s crazy, but she’s extremely talented. @It’s an elimination challenge, so she’s going to be motivated.

Phung: We got this, bitches! @I will be the winner tonight, hands down.

Kira: My first teammate will be… Justin.

Justin: @Kira’s got my respect, and it only makes sense that we’d be on a team together. @I’m feeling good working with her.

Tadashi: I’ll choose Amanda. @She’s a solid worker as well, and I think she’s going to be a major asset to my team.

Kira: Hm…. @There’s Nate, Jo, and Henry left at this point. Henry. @He’s been doing really well this season, and I trust him more than I do Nate or Jo.

Henry: Thanks! @Kira, Justin, and I all competed together last season, and if we had Phung, it would have been all the season 3 people on the same team. @That would have been sick!

Tadashi: @It’s down to Nate and Jo. @That’s kind of a no-brainer. Nate. @He does tend to do better with creativity challenges, but I know he’s a much more mature team player than Jo is.

Nate: Thanks. @I’m on Tadashi’s team and it’s overall a solid group. @But if we are on the bottom, then I’m a goner.

Jessica: And Jo, you’re on Kira’s team!
Kira: @I don’t want Jo on my team, but he did decently in his original season, and he made it pretty far, so at least I know he can cook edible food.

Jo: @Kira’s not somebody I can really respect. @You work for a Michelin starred restaurant and yet you can’t win the title? @That’s disappointing.

Jessica: For this challenge, we want to see six dishes, three courses being appetizer, entree, and dessert! You guys have 2 and a half hours to pull off your dishes, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @So on my team, we have Phung, Amanda, and Nate. @Everyone but Amanda cooks Asian, but that’s not really fair to put her in that position. @So in the end, we go with a Vietnamese concept, with Phung taking the lead.

Phung: @We got this. @Amanda cooks French, and in Vietnam, we have French influences. @For the first two courses, we are going to prepare a chili-chicken liver pate with fish sauce pickled artichokes and homemade crostini, which Amanda will work on. @For the second dish, we are making homemade goi cuon, which are the spring roll wrappers with shrimp in them, and I’m going to have Nate work on that. @For the mains, homemade pho, which Tadashi will work on, and I’m going to prepare ca kho to, which is caramelized fish in a clay pot, using catfish and cola to braise it. @For the desserts, I’m going to prepare a black sticky rice with jackfruit and a mango-coconut sorbet. @For the second dessert, Tadashi and Amanda are going to work together and make a lime creme brulee with Vietnamese coffee dusted doughnuts.

Amanda: @I’m handling the pate dish, which I know how to do, and the doughnuts. @I’m basically on yeast duty today, because I’m making the doughnuts and baguette for the crostini from scratch. @Phung basically overthrew Tadashi as team captain, and I’m mildly scared of her, because she’s definitely crazy.

Nate: @The trick with making my own spring roll wrappers is that I have to steam these individually. @It’s a major bitch, and they are sometimes tearing, but I know that doing this will show a lot more technique and it’ll justify why I needed almost 3 hours for it.

Tadashi: @I’m getting the creme brulee going after I start my broth for the pho. @I’m using the pressure cooker to release as much of that flavor in the bones as possible. @The creme brulees, they need to bake for basically an hour, so I have time to get those going right after the bones go into the pressure cooker.

Kira: @My team is Justin, Jo, and Henry. @We talk it over, and we decide to go with comfort food, because that’ll be the easiest way to incorporate our different backgrounds. @For the appetizers, we are going with a homemade grilled cheese with tomato soup, made by Henry, and a kale caesar salad spring roll with bagna cauda, which Jo is making. @For the second courses, we have Justin and Henry’s roasted chicken with gnocchi and mushrooms, and my own pork adobo with cilantro-lime rice. @For the last courses, I’m making a pear upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream and brown butter ice caramel, and then Justin and Henry are working together on the other dish, and it’s going to be a raspberry tart with lemon curd ice cream. @I’m feeling nervous, because I’m tackling two dishes, but Henry’s going on a limb and doing three and Justin’s going to be helping us as we go.

Henry: @I’ve got a gargantuan task ahead of me. @For the first course, I’m getting the tomatoes into the oven to roast them and then I get the bread dough proofing for the sandwiches. @For the second course, I have the potatoes in the oven as well, and then I’m breaking down the chicken and getting the mushroom and chicken sauce going. @For the last course, I’m helping with making the lemon curd for the ice cream, so I get that going as well while I have everything proofing and baking off. @I’m stressed, but I want to prove that I am an ambitious and capable individual.

Justin: @Henry’s insane for taking on so much. @But we can’t really trust Jo, because he’ll just get passive aggressive and yell at us. @I’m helping Henry make the gnocchi, because I know I can do that well for him, and then I get started on the raspberry tart and the ice cream base.

Amanda: @I get my pate finished, and then I check on the bread. @It’s good to go, so I chuck that into the oven. @It needs to bake, and then cool so that I can slice it, and then from there, I need to also grill it. @For the bread, I’m using steam in the oven to help create that proper crust.

Tadashi: @I get my brulees into the oven, and I see where everyone else is. @I’m feeling good about where my teammates are at overall. @Phung is taking us in a great direction, and we are just going to go with what she’s thinking.

Phung: @I’m going to help us nail this shit. @Our dishes are modern or authentic Vietnamese dishes. @These other guys can kiss my ass.

Justin: @I go to the ice cream machine and pour the mixture into there. @I get the tarts out of the oven, and the shells are perfect. @I check the raspberries, and they’re reduced into this nice jam consistency. @I get those into the tarts and cool them all down together. @I’m feeling great about this!

Henry: @The gnocchi is done, the chickens are roasting, the sauce tastes great, and so does the soup! @I’m getting the sandwiches done, and the lemon curd is already made. @It was stressful, but we managed to get it done!

Jessica: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling great about our team’s efforts, but Kira doesn’t look disappointed about her menu, so it might be a close match.

Phung: @If we lose, I hope Tadashi does home. @He failed as a captain and that’s why I stepped up and took over.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Frank Torres

Missy Sky

Max Hudson

Jessica: Let’s start with the first courses from each team!

Team 1

Amanda – chili-chicken liver pate, fish sauce pickled artichokes, crostini

Nate – goi cuon

Team 2

Henry – tomato soup with grilled cheese

Jo – kale caesar salad egg roll with bagna cauda

Missy: Interesting how both dishes incorporated freshly made bread and a variation of a spring roll. I loved Amanda’s pate, and the artichokes were an interesting choice, but they worked really well.

Max: Nate’s goi cuon, he cooked the shrimp well, the fact he made his own wrappers, that’s incredible. I loved the spicy-sour sauce he made with it. Overall, it was refreshing and delicious.

Frank: Henry’s tomato soup was dynamite. I loved how much flavor he got into the bisque, and then the fact he made his own bread was brilliant. For Jo’s, I liked the concept a lot, but the usage of flower kale, it made the dish hard to eat, because the kale, I found myself choking on it. And compared to the other dishes, knowing he did not make his own wrappers, that worked against him here.

Jessica: And now for the second courses!

Team 1

Nate – beef pho

Phung – ca kho to

Team 2

Kira – pork adobo with cilantro-lime rice

Henry and Justin – chicken thigh with gnocchi and mushrooms

Missy: Going into the next set of courses, I loved the flavors in Nate’s pho. He used the pressure cooker to extract a ton of flavor out of those beef bones. The fact he made his own pho noodles here, I’m blown away.

Frank: Phung’s catfish was delicious. It was succulent, juicy, and I loved that she used cola to glaze it. The flavor of her dish were phenomenal. I also loved Kira’s adobo a lot. She packed so much flavor into there and the rice was great. I actually used Kira’s rice to finish Phung’s dish.

Max: Henry’s chicken thigh was expertly cooked and I really enjoyed the flavors in the gnocchi and the mushrooms. Out of all four dishes, I’d say Henry’s was the most beautifully presented. But I preferred Kira and Nate’s dishes overall for these.

Jessica: And finally, our desserts!

Team 1

Phung – black sticky rice, jackfruit and mango-coconut sorbet

Tadashi and Amanda – lime creme brulee with Vietnamese coffee doughnuts

Team 2

Kira – pear upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream and brown butter caramel

Justin and Henry – raspberry tart with lemon curd ice cream

Max: I just loved Phung’s dessert. It was delicious. The combination of jack fruit with rice pudding, it was inspired. The sorbet was creamy and it tasted of mango. I really loved it. For the second dessert, creme brulee was executed perfectly and I loved the doughnuts. Together, too bitter, but I still liked the consistency of that brulee.

Frank: Kira’s cake was moist, light, and the pears were stewed and beautiful. The ice cream was great and the caramel was divine with those pears. This dessert was a great end to the meal.

Missy: I liked the tart portion of the second dessert, but that ice cream, it had a strange, chalky consistency. I’m not that big on the ice cream overall, but the tart was executed really well.

Jessica: So can we decide on which team won?

Max: It came down to the desserts, but yes, we do.

In walks Tadashi, Phung, Nate, and Amanda.

Jessica: Tonight… the four of you won the challenge! Congratulations!

Frank: You four made six incredible dishes and you have a lot to be proud of!

Amanda: @Hearing that we won, it feels amazing. @I’m pretty stoked!

Max: We all agreed that the menu was great, the food was fantastic for the most part.

Jessica: So you’re all safe, and can leave. Thank you.

Tadashi: @I’m proud of us for doing this well. @It feels good to know you’re safe, and that you led a team to victory!
Phung: @Winning the restaurant concept challenge is awesome, and it was well deserved. @The Phung Dynasty continues, even now!

The top four leave.

In walks Kira, Justin, Jo, and Henry.

Jessica: Tonight, the four of you are on the losing team. However, two of you are safe.

Max: Henry, Justin, the two of you worked together on two of the dishes. Who did what on each dish?

Henry: For the chicken dish, I prepared the chicken and the sauce. I made the lemon curd for the ice cream, which Justin finished.

Justin: I did the gnocchi for the second course, and then I made the raspberry dessert.

Max: Then we have a slight dilemma here. Justin, we loved the gnocchi and the raspberry tart, but the ice cream, you made that, and it was chalky.

Frank: Jo, did you feel like your one dish contributed to the team’s success?

Jo: I think I made a good dish. It was not something that would have cost my team the victory by any means.

Frank: It was a good dish, but when you compared it to what everyone else made in the first course, and on top of that, you had three hours to focus on one dish. Everything on that dish, it needed to be made from scratch, and you did not. So we are mostly questioning what you did with your three hours.

Jo: I focused on my own dish because nobody else wanted my help.

Missy: Kira, your adobo was fantastic and the dessert was delicious. You are definitely safe tonight.

Kira: Thank you.

Frank: Henry, your appetizer was great and we loved the chicken dish. You pushed yourself, helping out with half the menu, and we all agreed that you are safe as well.

Jessica: Henry, Kira, the two of you can leave the room.

Kira: @I feel bad, because I’m the captain of the losing team. @I should be standing there with Jo and Justin right now, up for elimination.

Henry: @i’m glad that the judges recognized me trying my best. @I had to push myself because Jo was not.

Kira and Henry leave.

Jessica: Justin, Jo, one of you is going home tonight.

Justin: @I’m feeling like Jo might be going home. @Yeah, they hated half of my dessert, but I did a lot more than he did in the time allotted, and I was much more of a team player. @I think Jo needs to be eliminated.

Jo: @We both made it to the final four, we both are skilled. @I think that Justin should go home, though, because that lemon curd ice cream was gross, and he was responsible for screwing that up. @If they save Justin, they’re awarding him for basically tanking the team.

Jessica: The judges have talked it over, and it was not an unanimous decision. Tonight… Justin, you’re going home. Please return to the kitchen and leave.
Justin: Alright. Thanks for inviting me back, and I’m sorry about the ice cream. @It sucks. @I really thought that I would be safe tonight. @Seeing Jo not go home when he clearly deserves to, it sucks so much. @He did not even try to be a team player. @To work as a chef, you need to be able to work well with others and be a leader, and he can’t even do that. @I know, whether or not I am a Warrior Chef, that I can do that. @I will be successful in my career, because I’ll continue to push myself.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 3

Tadashi: @Karen going home was heartbreaking for me to see. @She was like a little sister to me and seeing her cook put a smile on my face. @I’m definitely feeling down knowing that she’s not longer competing.

Henry: @Stepping into the kitchen, I’m feeling amped and ready for whatever’s next. @I’d love to win back to back creativity challenges. @It would be great!

Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for today’s creativity challenge, please draw knives!

Henry – 1

Nate – 1

Kira – 1

Amanda – 1

Phung – 1

Justin – 2

Jo – 2

Tadashi – 2

Lucas – 2

Fanny – 2

Amanda: @We have Kira, Nate, and Phung, who are all really good cooks, and I’m thinking we might be able to win!

Phung: @Not too big about having Henry on our team, because he’s a whiny bitch, but I’m stoked to have Kira. @She’s bae.

Fanny: @I’m the only girl on my team and that feels really awkward. @Looking around, I’m still a bit disappointed in the girls this season. @Two of us have gone home already. @We need to step it up or else this season is a sausage party in the making.

Jessica: You’ll be cooking in a 5-legged cooking relay. The first cook up must filet a turbot and make five portions. The second will have to peel five artichokes. The third have to juice five lemons perfectly. The fourth cook will have five minutes to grab whatever additional ingredients and all the necessary equipment to cook the dish with. When the fourth cook on either team is finished, a timer will start counting down from 15 minutes. And the last cook gets, at the most, 15 minutes to prepare a dish using all of the mise en place set up from the first three cooks, and can only use the produce grabbed and prepared by the fourth cook. Once time is up, time is up and we will taste your dishes.

Tadashi: @This challenge is complicated. @Already, we need to decide who is best at filleting a turbot, which is not an easy fish to filet, then we have to decide on who can peel artichokes, and on top of that, we need to trust that one person can pick out good produce and another person can put together an amazing dish.

Phung: @Kira is going to filet, Amanda will peel because she loves artichokes, Henry is going to juice lemons, Nate is grabbing the produce, and I will cook the actual dish. @I think that out of everyone here, I’m the best cook by far.

Nate: @Phung’s our captain, but I’m in charge of grabbing ingredients for her vision. @I just hope that our dish comes together.

Lucas: @So Tadashi will filet, Justin is on artichokes, Jo will juice the lemons, I’m grabbing the produce, and Fanny will finish the dish, because her plating skills are great. @I think our team might actually win this one!

Jessica: Those on the turbot your time starts now!

Tadashi: @Turbot is basically like a flounder, where it’s a flat fish. @It’s a very strange thing, but I know how to break it down, just by following the lines along the skin. @I’ve practiced breaking down fish before, so I’m feeling great about that.

Kira: @Tadashi and I are going head to head. @He’s really strong, but I want to prove that I’m even stronger. @At this point, only four of us, being me, Phung, Henry, and Tadashi, have won challenges. @At the end of this, an entire team will share a win. @I want that win to go to us, because three of the four of us are on the same team, and I want to prove that I am consistently stronger than everyone else.

Henry: @It’s pretty epic, seeing the two of them go at it. @Kira and Tadashi, they are on another level. @I would be really impressed, but since I’m competing against them at the end of the day, it’s intimidating and it shows me how much more I need to step up my own game here.

Tadashi: Check!

Fanny: That’s our boy! *claps hands*

Jessica: Tadashi, well done! Next person!

Tadashi leaves his station as Justin runs in.

Justin: @The key to peeling artichokes is being quick and having a sharp knife, and a steady hand so that you can angle it well. @I remove all of the outer leaves, and then using a paring knife, shave off the outer skin from the stem and the base of the bulb area. @Then I cut off the top half of the flower, rub the whole thing in lemon, cut it in half, scoop out the gross, inedible choke innards, and rub that with more lemon as well.

Kira: Check!

Jessica: Kira, you’re done!

Kira: @I literally finish seconds after Tadashi, and I can see that Justin’s already halfway done with his first artichoke. @I really hope Amanda can catch up.

Amanda runs to the station.

Amanda: @I love artichokes. @Deep fried artichokes are an addiction of mine, and I’m pretty confident that I can deliver on peeling them.

Lucas: @Seeing Amanda and Justin, you can clearly tell who has the culinary background. @Justin’s whizzing through the artichokes, and Amanda is trailing behind him. @I think our team is going to do well at this rate. @We will have the full time advantage, and that’s going to help us win this whole thing.

Justin: Check!

Jessica: Justin, your artichokes are peeled perfectly, and you cored them too! Nicely done, you’re finished!

Justin leaves and Jo runs to the station.

Jo: @Juicing lemons is tedious, but I love lemons, and I know I can do this job well overall. @I see the other team, and Amanda’s still on her third artichoke at this point. @She’s going to tank her team for sure.

Amanda: @I see that Jo’s on the lemons already, and it is disheartening, but I need to be steady and careful. @If I slash through an artichoke, then that’ll only set me back even further.

Phung: @I’m pissed by how long Amanda is taking. @It’s like, bitch, do you want us to lose the challenge? @I’m trying not to scream.

Jo: Check!

Amanda: Check!

Jessica: Jo, you’re good! Amanda, you took a bit of time, but your artichokes are perfect! Next people!

Jo leaves and in runs Lucas, who grabs a hotel pan.

Lucas: @I have up to five minutes to grab everything I need. @But if I leave anything behind, then Fanny cannot go back for it, so I need to set her up perfectly. @I grab a ton of pans, pots, a strainer, spatula, sheet tray, a blender, and a food processor. @It’s taking up a lot of my time, but I know it’ll be worth it.

Henry: @Juicing lemons isn’t hard. @I literally get into my station and I bust it out in less than a full minute. Check!

Jessica: Henry, congrats! You caught your team up!

Henry: *to his team* You’re welcome!
Nate runs into the pantry, and starts grabbing equipment.

Nate: @I have five minutes to grab my stuff, but Lucas is already almost done with his collecting, and the moment he yells check, my collecting time will cut into our cooking time. @I’m feeling scared. @I make sure to grab pots, pans, sheet trays, strainers, spatulas, a whisk in case, and a mixing bowl. @I also manage to snag a food processor and a blender, in case we need those. @Now I need to start thinking about the ingredients. @I’m feeling nervous.

Lucas: @I’m thinking about the ingredients we already have, and I know we need butter, garlic, herbs, and capers right away. @I’m also thinking about Fanny’s style and what she likes to cook with. @So I grab some pomegranates, quinoa, fennel, and I think we’re good. Check!

Jessica: Lucas, you still have a minute left. Are you sure you’re done?

Lucas: Yes!

Jessica: Alright! Last person! And 15 minutes, starting now!

Fanny runs into the kitchen, and looks at the ingredients.

Fanny: *to Lucas* Such a sweetheart, you are! @I’m stoked with what Lucas gathered for me. @I’m going to make a butter basted turbot filet, caramelized artichokes, a minted fennel and pomegranate salad, and puffed quinoa and capers as a garnish. @I want the dish to resemble a fish splashing out of the sea.

Nate: Sh*t! @I literally just load up a sheet tray with one of every kind of vegetable, grab a basket and load it with plenty of butter, eggs, oil, and I run over to the station. Check!

Jessica: Nate, you still have 2 minutes left, are you sure you’re done?

Nate: Yes.

Jessica: Next person!

Nate leaves and in runs Phung.

Phung: *to Nate* You better fucking set up our station, or else I’m going to fucking kill you! @I only have 12 minutes to put together a dish, and Nate didn’t really think through what he grabbed, he just grabbed a shit ton of random fucking shit. @I’m so angry right now. @I decide, fuck it, I’m not going to touch any of the produce Nate gave me, and I’m focusing only on the prep ingredients first. @I’m making a seared turbot filet with caramelized artichokes and a lemon sauce. @Once I get everything going, I check to see what kinds of herbs he got me. @I see that there’s fresh mint and cilantro, and I can work with those. @I’m going to add the mint into the butter sauce, and then I’m mixing together the fish sauce with cilantro, and I’m going to deglaze the artichokes in that. @I dust the top of my fish with some powdered ginger before I flip it, and I know I’m going to bring it home.

Fanny: @Phung might be one of the strongest cooks here. @But I’ve worked for Jean-George, so she better watch herself. @I’m not going to let her beat me. @I look around for the oil, and I only have olive oil or butter. @I can’t puff the quinoa or capers in that because it’ll go soggy, so I have to nix that. @It’s frustrating, but I’m not going to let it get to me or else I’ll just be my own worst enemy.

Phung: @Fanny’s hot. @Like, if I were into women, I’d absolutely date her. @She’s tall, smart, gorgeous, and a talented chef. @A total babe. @And that’s why I want to beat her. @I’m not going to let some 6 foot model take me down. @Phung don’t roll that way.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: @I see my dish and it looks awesome. @Fanny’s dish looks like a complete mess. @I’m not feeling like she’s going to stay at this rate.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is guest critic, and 1 star Michelin chef from Washington, D.C., Julianna Hurley!

Julianna: Hi, everyone! It’s exciting for me to be here and judge your dishes! I can’t wait to see what kinds of things you’ll come up with!

Julianna and Jessica taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Julianna, how was each dish?

Julianna: Phung, the Vietnamese influences on a dish I expected to be European, it was really clever and I was blown away by how much the herbs changed the dish. The turbot melted in my mouth. Well done on that. Fanny, the presentation was avant-garde, and I liked the salad. Your fish was cooked nicely.

Phung: @She’s going to give me the win. @I’m using my Jedi mind powers right now. @Phung-Jabba WILLS you to do it.

Jessica: So who won?

Julianna: The best dish belonged to…. Phung!

Jessica: Congratulations, Amanda, Henry, Nate, Kira, and Phung! The five of you won the challenge! And one of you is going to receive immunity. Please draw knives to determine who that person will be!

Everyone draws knives, and Nate’s is labeled “immune”

Nate: Awesome!

Jessica: Nate, you won immunity!
Nate: @I’m stoked to have received it. @I don’t think that I deserved it, but it doesn’t matter. @I want to rub it in Phung’s face, but I’m not really the type to do that.

Phung: @Nate doesn’t deserve immunity. @He’s a piece of shit. @I want him to go home, but now he can’t.

Jessica: And now it’s time for the elimination challenge! In this challenge, you’ll be cooking head to head! Please draw knives to determine who your opponent will be!

Nate – arctic char

Phung – arctic char

Justin – venison

Kira – venison

Jo – jumbo prawns

Amanda – jumbo prawns

Fanny – duck

Henry – duck

Lucas – wild boar

Tadashi – wild boar

Jessica: You’ll be cooking head to head, using the same proteins. Also, this challenge, you definitely want to win your cook-off, because it is a double elimination!
Justin: @Double elimination? @That’s terrifying. @I don’t even want to think about going home this early in the season. @I made it to the final four last time, and I need to make it to the last challenge at the very least.

Jessica: You have 45 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @Being up against Nate, I’m stoked. @Even if he has immunity, I can still crush his punk ass. @I’m going to prepare seared arctic char filet, a char-lime broth, manilla clams, mint, and fried shallots. @Nate can’t possibly beat me. @I’m just that good.

Nate: @Phung is a bitch. @She’s crazy and I don’t understand why she’s like that. @I’m going to not make anything for this challenge, just to fuck with her. @I have immunity, and I’m not going to bother with this. @Plus, she has no reason to complain. @She literally did that in the pie creativity challenge.
Phung: @He’s not cooking ANYTHING?! @This little bitch! @He knows he’s a weaker cook, and he’s going to hide behind his immunity! @And he’s done that before too. @I’m so angry right now. @The next time I have immunity, I’m going to do that myself.

Amanda: @Nate’s just that kind of person. @He enjoys taking it easy when he has the chance to. @In this case, it’s funny because of how angry Phung is getting. @I’m going against Jo and it’s a great chance to put him in his place. @I have jumbo prawns, and I decide to make deep fried prawns that I’m going to wrap in freshly made pasta noodles, and then for a sauce, I’m making a white wine-shallot puree. @It’s sort of a nudge at Jo, because he almost got sent home making a shrimp and tomato pasta dish last season.

Jo: @I hate shrimp and prawns, so I decide to go Chinese with it and make har gow. @The shrimp and scallop dumpling, but I’m going to prepare it using the prawn flesh, and then I’m making a sauce using the prawn shells. @Amanda’s not going to beat me, because she’s arrogant. @She thinks because she made it further than Nate and I that she’s a better cook and that will be her downfall.

Justin: @I’m cooking venison against Kira. @Kira and I went toe to toe a lot in our season because both of us had professional experience. @But I want to beat her. @I’m preparing a coffee crusted venison loin with sage-parmesan polenta, blackberry-port sauce, and parmesan tuile. @It’s going to be a solid dish, but will it be enough to beat Kira? @That, I’m honestly not sure about.

Kira: @I’m feeling nervous about the double elimination, but I have to just be confident in my own skills. @Venison is lean and it is very gamey. @I don’t want that quality of the gaminess of the meat to come through in my dish. @I see that Justin is coffee crusting his venison, and I think that’s pretty brilliant. @I decide to prepare caul fat wrapped venison with smoked cauliflower puree and a red wine-onion gastrique. @Smoking the cauliflower will be a very original take and I think it’ll help mask those flavors.

Lucas: @Going head to head with Tadashi is intimidating. @He was the runner up in my season, and I honestly thought I was going to go head to head with him in the finale back then. @In a way, this is what I anticipated that final challenge to be like. @Wild boar, it’s lean, gamey, and it can be a little nutty. @I decide to make brown butter basted boar chops with an apple-morel mushroom bread pudding and a bacon jus. @It being bone-in, that’s the big challenge. @I think that the cook on the boar is a very critical thing, so I need it to be cooked medium to be safe.

Tadashi: @I have to cook with wild boar. @Boar chops are delicious and I want to respect them as they are. @I’m going to prepare a smoked boar chop with spinach glass, spinach-parsnip puree, glazed peas and morels, and pea tendrils. @I see that Lucas is going more rustic, so I need to make sure that the flavors and presentation of my dish are much more refined so that they can combat his cooking style. @I honestly think Lucas has the potential to be Warrior Chef. @He was strong in my season, and he’s still a threat here.

Fanny: @I have duck, and I’m cooking against Henry. @Henry’s been coming out of nowhere and winning challenges, even when he won nothing in his original season. @I want to demolish him here. @For my dish, I’m preparing a tea smoked duck breast with fried cipollini onions and a duck and peach jus. @I am also going to make duck fat spheres, and shatter those over the dish, just to give an enhanced duck flavor. @I refuse to lose to Henry. @We both came in 5th place in our seasons, but I know I’m a much better chef than he is.

Henry: @I’m going to make a crispy duck breast with roasted rainbow carrots. duck jus, and homemade bread rolls. @I’m positive that the flavor combination of the duck and that jus with the rolls, it will be a major winner. @Fanny better watch out, because I’m packing a punch behind this dish. @I learned how to make bread really quickly from Phung, so I’m using that to my advantage.

Jessica: Time’s up!
Fanny: @I see the other dishes and I’m feeling good about what I’m presenting. @I see the other dishes in general, and I don’t see any bad looking dishes.
Justin: @I’m happy with how my dish looks. @But the question is, how does it taste? @If it’s gross, then I’m going to be a goner for sure. @I don’t want to go home tonight. @This double elimination is freaking me out.

Phung: @If Henry wins the challenge, he can thank me for stealing my bread proofing methods. @But I’m more preoccupied with kicking Nate’s sweet, perkalicious ass!

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Nate and Phung first!

Nate – nothing

Phung – seared arctic char filet, char-lime broth, manilla clams, mint, fried shallots

Erwin: Well, Phung basically won her cook-off by default. Nate was able to produce nothing in the time allotted, and that’s why she wins this one.

Miriam: But you need to actually taste her dish. Those flavors… they popped. Any dish would have had a lot of trouble going up against it. She balanced the flavors of the herbs, citrus, and seafood gorgeously.

Jessica: And next are the venison dishes by Justin and Kira!

Justin – coffee venison, sage-parmesan polenta, blackberry-port sauce, parmesan tuile

Kira – caul fat wrapped venison, smoked cauliflower puree, red wine-onion gastrique

Erwin: Justin’s dish, I liked the sauce, loved the polenta, liked the seasoning on the venison. The meat was a tad dry from being dry rubbed, and the flavors did not work together cohesively.

Aster: Kira’s venison was cooked nicely. The usage of caul fat was clever to retain the moisture in the meat. The puree, it was everything I loved about cauliflower and the sauce worked as well. She nailed it for me.

Jessica: And then we have the dishes by Jo and Amanda!

Jo – shrimp and scallop dumpling with shrimp sauce

Amanda – pasta wrapped jumbo prawns with shallot-white wine sauce

Miriam: Jo’s dumpling was bland. The technique was definitely there, but the overall flavors just did not come through. I did not really taste anything across any of his components, and that’s disappointing.

Erwin: Amanda was innovative with her take on the prawns, wrapping them in fresh pasta and then deep frying them. The sauce was delicious and worked well with the sauce. She nailed it.

Jessica: And now we have Fanny and Henry’s duck dishes!

Fanny – tea smoked duck breast with fried cipollini onions, duck-peach jus

Henry – crispy duck breast, roasted rainbow carrots. duck jus, homemade bread rolls

Aster: Fanny cooked the duck breast to medium rare, but smoking it meant that she did not render the fat, so that’s inedible. Her overall dish, a slice of duck breast, where 20% of it is inedible, a sauce, and a small garnish, it was beautifully presented, but the techniques were flawed.

Miriam: Henry’s duck was cooked perfectly and he delivered on each promise. The duck was crispy and the carrots were roasted. The jus was delicious and I liked his rolls. But he suffered the same problem as Justin, where he had good components that did not work together.

Jessica: Finally, Lucas and Tadashi’s wild boar dishes!

Lucas – brown butter basted boar chops, apple-morel bread pudding, bacon jus

Tadashi – smoked boar, spinach glass, spinach-parsnip puree, peas, morels, tendrils

Erwin: Lucas’s boar… it was overcooked. Trying to cut into it, it was like leather. I liked the sauce, but his bread pudding was just weird. I could not tell what I was eating, it was like a soggy piece of mush.

Miriam: Tadashi cooked his boar perfectly and I loved how to he presented it and the flavors throughout. Phung’s dish, in my eyes, it was the best, but Tadashi’s gives her a huge run for her money. It was gorgeous.

Jessica: So can we decide who is going to be eliminated tonight?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Phung, Kira, Amanda, Henry and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the five of you were on the winning side of your cook-offs, and you each won the challenge! Congratulations!

Phung: @I knew I could beat Nate because Nate is a little punk-ass who knew he could not beat me and yes, he can’t. @Boom. @Drop the mike, bitches.

Henry: @Winning back to back challenges feels amazing. @It definitely bolstered my confidence and I know that coming back to the competition was the right choice, especially because I didn’t win anything last season!

Jessica: You all won, but Erwin, please announce the overall best dish!

Erwin: Five incredible dishes, and you all should be proud of yourselves. The best dish for us was definitely made by…. Phung!… And Tadashi!

Kira: @Hearing that Phung and Tadashi made the best dishes, it’s just showing us how strong they are. @These two are definitely going to be in the finale.

The top five leave.

In walks Fanny, Lucas, and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, two of you are going home.

Lucas: @My heart is pounding out of my chest. @I really don’t know what to think or expect at this point.

Erwin: Lucas, the boar was overcooked. Fanny, your duck breast did not have the fat rendered. And Jo, your dish sorely lacking salt.

Fanny: @No matter what, two of us are going home. @I am not ready to go home yet. @This is not how I’m getting eliminated.

Jo: @I lacked salt, but at least my dish was edible. @I think I might be safe, but you really never know. @I’m feeling it for sure.

Jessica: Lucas… and Fanny. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Lucas: Thank you for inviting me back to compete again. It was a lot of fun! @Coming back, I expected to do better. @I was thinking that this would be easier, because I have so much more experience than a lot of the younger contestants, and I came in fourth place in my original season! @There was a point in my original run where I genuinely thought the competition was mine to win. @But that past experience did not help in the slightest. @Everyone here is talented and it really can be anyone’s game.

Fanny: @Leaving Warrior Chef this early, it sucks so much. @I really did not think I was going to be eliminated this early. @This double elimination was brutal. @I thought I would make it to the final five at the least, and now I don’t even get that chance. @I’m feeling really frustrated, but I’m just going to go back to work and cook my ass off.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 2

Amanda: @Seeing Rose get eliminated was a huge shock. @I’m nervous because she beat me, Nate, and Jo, but she’s out first. @This season is intense.

Karen: @Nobody expected a runner up to go home in the very first elimination. @I think none of us are taking that well.

Jo: @I’m glad Rose went home. @She bullied me last season, so she deserved it.

Jessica: So for this creativity challenge, you have just 45 minutes to prepare a delicious pie! And your time starts now!

Phung: @I think making pies are stupid so I’m not going to bake a pie. @I’m just going to make myself breakfast instead, because it’s a creativity challenge, Jessica outright said that there’s no elimination in this, and I’m hangry.

Karen: @Hearing that Phung isn’t even going to try in this challenge is a huge shock. @Immunity is on the table! @I decide to prepare a meat pie, because I want to do something unique. @I’m doing chorizo, ground beef, apples, and bacon. @I think that the flavors will be great!

Amanda: @I’m not too stoked on the whole idea of making a pie. @For me, what separates a pie from a tart is that a pie has a top crust or maybe just a topping in general. @I’m going to make a classic apple pie with ice cream.

Fanny: @I just made a pie in the last creativity challenge, but that was a savory pie. @For this challenge, I think about a lemon tart with meringue on top. @Yes, it’s a lemon meringue pie. @I think that it’ll be alright, but I’m not aiming to win this challenge.

Henry: @I’m feeling great about it being a pie challenge. @I love key lime pie, and I’m going to make that but with raspberries because raspberry-limeade is something I love to drink when I go fishing with my dad on his yacht. @I’m going to top the pie with a basil meringue. @I think it’s going to be good.

Lucas: @I’m shocked how Henry is still here, because he’s a much weaker cook than the rest of us here. @For this challenge, I’m going to make a mint-chocolate pie. @I’m making a mint Italian meringue and then the chocolate pastry with chocolate ganache. @I think that the flavors are great and it’ll be a general winner.

Tadashi: @I have to prepare a pie and that’s not going to be a whole lot of fun for me. @I’m making a matcha pastry with strawberry-azuki bean filling and a white sesame whipped cream. @I think using the matcha and azuki will set me apart from the rest.

Nate: @I want to get immunity because after that last challenge, I got reamed. @I want to make sure that I stay in the competition. @I’m going to make a blood orange-ginger-blueberry pie with a chai-honey ice cream. @I think that the flavors I have are going to be delicious.

Kira: @I won the last elimination challenge and I want this to keep going. @For my pie, I’m going to make a mint infused key lime pie with basil meringue. @I have some familiarity with pie pastry, so I’m hoping that my basic understanding will be great.

Justin: @Kira and Phung are still my biggest competitors. @Tadashi has Michelin starred experience, but I know that Phung could take him down in the end. @I’m making a blackberry-lavender pie with a thyme infused pastry.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Nate: @I step back and I think that I made a nice pie. @But I see the other pies. @I am stunned by what Lucas put up. @It looks nice.

Karen: @I made the only savory pie. @I think that’ll set me apart.

Jessica: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Frank Torres!

Frank: Hi, everyone!

Frank and Jessica taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Frank, who failed to impress you?

Frank: Phung, you didn’t put up a dish, so you’re automatically on the bottom. Fanny, the pastry was slightly undercooked. And Amanda. Your apple pie, I liked the ice cream, but the filling was too watery.

Amanda: @Being on the bottom sucks, but I know that there are strong cooks in this season and I need to step it up. *to Jo* I just feel really bad, because I expected it to be a lot better than this.

Jo: *to Amanda* You’re on the bottom because you’re too cocky and it’s definitely to your hubris.

Amanda: @I’m shocked that he said that. @I thought we were alright, but I guess some people will do whatever it takes to win this season. @Even bully others.

Frank: For my favorites. Karen, the meat pie was inventive and very unique. I loved it. Henry, the raspberry-lime-basil combination was excellent. I really enjoyed the nuances. And Lucas. Presentation-wise, you presented a gorgeous pie and the flavors were there. But tonight, the best pie was baked by… Henry.

Jessica: Congratulations, Henry! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge!

Henry: Wait, really? What?! @I won the challenge and it’s a huge shock, because I have never won a challenge before, and I was on the bottom of the first one this season! @Getting immunity feels awesome!

Phung: @Henry got immunity? @What’s next? @He’s going to win the title? @I don’t even understand it.

Jessica: And now time for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, we want to see you guys make some homeruns!
A cart is wheeled in, carrying pretzels, popcorn, and hotdogs.

Phung: @I see that shit and I’m not happy. @I wish I tried harder so that I could just get immunity and not deal with this.

Nate: @Oh shit. @This sucks.

Jo: @I see the ingredients and I’m feeling a little nervous. @If I have to cook a dish using the hotdogs, then I’m screwed.

Jessica: You have 1 hour to prepare a dish using at least one of these three ingredients. And your time starts now!

Everyone runs to the cart and grabbing the ingredients.

Tadashi: @I grab the popcorn because I do not want to touch those hotdogs. @For my dish, I’m making a corn-uni soup with poached prawns and grilled leeks. @I’m feeling great about this dish and I want to get a second win. @After losing to Vanilla last time, I managed to get promoted to chef de cuisine at Spaggo. @I want to prove to everyone that with hard work and determination, you can become Warrior Chef.

Fanny: @I got the hotdogs. @I’m going grind those up, and combine them with other meats such as short rib, oxtail, and pork shoulder, and prepare a hunters stew, and serve it with some grilled hot dog bun to act as a crouton to soak up the juices. @It’s not really my style, but I know that I can win this challenge.

Justin: @For my dish, I’m going to use the pretzels. @I’m making a pretzel bread crumb to top my squid ink pasta, and then crust some squid rings in the crumbs and deep fry those on top as well. @The twisting of the pretzel reminds me of the tentacles.

Karen: @I got hotdogs. @What the heck does one do with them?! @I grab chicken livers, and I decide to make a ketchup and hot dog pate on a toasted hot dog bun crostini. @Then I’m making my own cornichons and mostarda, to be a play on the relish and mustard. @This might actually work out for me.

Phung: @I grab the hotdogs and the pretzels. @I’m going to make a hot dog ice cream, infusing it with the hot dog fat, and the hot dog buns, and tahini. @For my garnish, I’m going to make a chocolate-stout bread pudding using the soft pretzels. @I’m going to nail this shit because I’m the fucking best and I know I’m going to beat everyone here. @Gonna kick their asses!

Nate: @I can already tell that I do not like Phung. @I’m working next to her, and she’s just making loud noises and rubbing it peoples’ faces that she was a runner-up. @But I know I’m a stronger cook than her. @I got the popcorn, and I’m making a corn congee with popcorn crusted shallots and shrimp, and a popcorn infused soy sauce.

Kira: @Henry, Amanda, and I are sharing a work station, and we can see Nate and Phung across from us, and it’s funny. @Phung is so in your face, and Nate is not having it at all. @I got lucky with the popcorn, and I’m making a steamed corn cake with brown butter ice cream and caramel corn crumble. @I see the other people with popcorn, and there’s Jo and Tadashi. @Tadashi is my biggest competitor. @I’m nervous, but trying my best not to show it.

Henry: @I like working with Kira because she’s got her head on straight. @Then I have Amanda next to me, and she’s also a strong cook. @It’s just dawning on me how strong the people in this season really are.

Amanda: @Kira was a runner-up, and so were Phung and Tadashi. @So they should be the ones to beat. @But I thought that about Rose, and she got sent home. @I honestly think that everyone here is a strong competitor, but I want to be the best. @I still have the three dishes I wanted to make in that challenge running through my head. @It’s about time for me to cook those in this season’s final challenge.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I think that my dessert looks cute. @But is cute going to cut it? @I really don’t know. @I’m feeling nervous.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Frank Torres

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung, Karen, and Fanny!

Phung – hot dog ice cream with chocolate-stout bread pudding

Karen – hot dog pate on toasted hot dog bun crostini with pickles and mostarda

Fanny – hunters stew with grilled hot dog bun

Frank: Phung’s ice cream tasted amazing. I honestly was astounded by her flavor profiles. She got meat into her dessert and it worked. I’m just blown away right now.

Erwin: Karen’s concept was really clever, but the flavor in the pate was bland, and the texture was grainy. It made the dish unpleasant.

Aster: Fanny hid the hotdog with other meats, and in this case, that worked. I actually ate the entire dish. It was delicious.
Jessica: Next we have the dishes by Tadashi, Jo, and Nate!

Tadashi – corn-uni soup with poached prawns and grilled leeks

Jo – popcorn crusted mahi mahi tacos with lime-corn-chili salsa

Nate – popcorn shrimp with corn congee and corn soy

Aster: The soup Tadashi prepared was gorgeous. The presentation was there and so were the flavors. I wanted more of the corn, but it was by far the best thing I’ve tried.

Erwin: Jo’s dish description sounded good, but the thing I struggled with was the actual fish. It was dry and crumbled in my mouth. It was disappointing.

Frank: Nate’s congee was tasty. I felt like he captured different textures of the popcorn, and that appealed to me.

Jessica: Finally, the dishes by Kira and Justin!

Kira – corn cake, brown butter ice cream, caramel corn crumble

Justin – pretzel and squid ink pasta

Erwin: Kira’s cake was delicious and I liked her ice cream. The crumble was a bit clunky and needed to be chopped more, but overall, it tasted good.

Frank: Justin’s pasta was well prepared but the ingredient became a complete afterthought. I did not feel like the pretzels necessarily enhanced the dish in any way.

Jessica: So can we decide on who won and who is going home?

Aster: We can.

In walks Phung, Fanny, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you impressed the judges, and one of you is going to be the winner!

Frank: Fanny, your stew was delicious. The hot dog accented the other meats and you using the bun as a crostini, it all worked together. Tadashi, your flavors were incredible and I just fell in love with the dish, even though popcorn was only used in the soup. Phung, you blew us away with that ice cream, and you embraced hot dogs and pretzels, so we just really loved it.

Jessica: Aster, please announce the winner.

Aster: Three great dishes, but the one that hit the challenge and impressed us the most was prepared by…. Phung.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung!

Phung: About fucking time! @I finally won a challenge! @I’m so angry that it was over cooking concession stand shit like fucking hotdogs and pretzels but at least it’s a win.

Aster: Tadashi, had you used the popcorn in at least one more way, you would have won this challenge. Phung just embraced the criteria of it that much more.

Jessica: The three of you are safe and can return to the stew room.

Phung: I won! I fucking won!~

Tadashi: @It sucks to hear that, but I know where I need to improve moving forward. @Phung’s definitely  the biggest threat.

Fanny: @I knew Phung was a threat. @She won eight challenges in her season. @I definitely need to keep an eye on her.

Phung, Tadashi, and Fanny leave.

In walks Karen, Jo, and Justin.

Jessica: Unfortunately, one of you is going home tonight.

Aster: Karen, the pate was just bland and grainy. Two things you definitely don’t want that to be.

Karen: Oh, really? @I’m shocked that I underseasoned it. @I thought that the hot dogs would be salty enough on their own, but I was wrong.

Erwin: Jo, the dish’s description had us all salivating. It sounded so good. But you messed up on the mahi mahi, and it was dry and unpleasant.

Jo: @I’m nervous that I’m going home. @I just screwed up too much on the dish.

Frank: Justin, your pasta was delicious and the squid was cooked beautifully. But it was obvious that you barely tried to incorporate the pretzels into your dish. If you removed the pretzels, the dish would have been better. At that point, you should’ve realized that maybe you need a different concept.

Justin: @I think I might be the one going home tonight. @They hated my concept and it just sucks to hear that.

Jessica: It’s unfortunate because all three of you were finalists. But the one going home tonight is… Karen. Please return to the kitchen and leave.
Karen: Thank you. @I’m feeling disappointed and depressed. @Pate, something so classically European, it’s what I’m going home on. @I’m proud of myself for getting so far the first time around. @I’m proud of myself for even coming back. @But the early elimination, I will need time to digest that. @It sucks. @I did not come back to the competition just to get sent home in the second elimination.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 1

Kira: @Walking back into the Warrior Chef kitchen feels bittersweet. @I came really close to snagging the title just one season ago, but at least now I have a chance to redeem myself and win the entire title.

Tadashi: @I’m looking around and the entire competition looks a lot more intense this time around. @I know it’s going to be a long road to redemption, but I’m ready to put my head down and work through it.

Amanda: @I get back to my station and it feels oddly nostalgic. @I went so far, and so close to that final challenge. @I see Jo, Rose, and Nate, and they were all really talented on my season. @I’m starting to wonder why I signed back up for this again.

Jessica: Welcome back to Warrior Chef, everyone!

Lucas: @We are greeted by Jessica, and it just becomes that much more real that the competition is on.

Jessica: You guys know the drill on how this competition works. So let’s get into the creativity challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying a variety of animal carcasses

Jessica: We know you are all talented cooks. That’s why we invited you all back to compete for a second chance. But what we want to see if what you guys can do with scraps of meat. Using what’s on the cart and a limited pantry, you’ll have 45 minutes to prepare a dish. And the winner of this challenge will receive immunity.

Karen: @Immunity? @That’s going to be a lifesaver. @Especially when everyone here is that good. @And lucky enough, everyone from season 1 has a huge advantage. @We had this exact creativity challenge already!

Jessica: You have 45 minutes, time starts now!

Fanny: @I won this challenge in my season, so I’m going to win it again this season. @I decide on making a venison consomme with yogurt dumplings and roasted mushrooms. @Last time, I went with a deconstructed curry pie, but I don’t want to repeat the same dish. @I know that from my season, Tadashi, Lucas, and Karen are all strong cooks, but this is my challenge to win.

Lucas: @I manage to take lamb bones and I decide on making a lamb sauce to go with some homemade gnocchi and some fried mint to finish. @I know we have really strong competition here, and I want to show them what I’m made of.

Tadashi: @Even though I have tough competition from just my season, I can’t underestimate anyone here. @Amanda, Rose, Justin, Kira, and Phung are all major threats too. @I’m preparing a niku jyaga, which is a broth with scraps of meat and potatoes. @I’m going to use dashi and the bones to really concentrate that flavor and then portion out the meat from the scraps for the actual dish itself.

Karen: @I almost won this challenge last time and I got really lucky that I landed the foie gras. @This time, there’s none of that. @I see chicken and I decide on a chicken jus with some crispy root vegetables and a piece of fried chicken skin to garnish on top with. @It’ll be tasty.

Amanda: @In my season, I almost won the first challenge with my lamb lollipops. @I grab the lamb and decide on preparing a lamb and tripe stew with tomatoes and white wine. @I’m using the pressure cooker to make sure that it’ll get done in time.

Justin: @Amanda is breaking out the pressure cooker and that’s pretty genius. @I decide on a ground meat infused carbonara pasta. @I was known on my season for making the best pasta by far and I don’t intend to drop that title anytime soon. @Phung is my biggest competition, because she nails everything she attempts.

Phung: @I know that this challenge was catered to me. @I know how to use scrap meat. @I’m going to make Vietnamese crepes with braised pork and some pork cracklings and then adding in some cilantro, bean sprouts, mint, and lime to garnish the entire dish with.

Henry: @I manage to get the duck carcass and I’m going to make a duck stock risotto with some orange salad on top of it. @I think that the rice and salad will be a clever way to go and I know how to make a delicious risotto, so this should be a really easy dish for me to nail.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: @I see what everyone else made and I’m not too impressed. @My dish will definitely win me immunity tonight.

Jessica: Your judge is Warrior Chef critic, Aster Walker!

Fanny: @Aster is such a sweetheart and I know he’ll be a generous judge when it comes to saying what it is he wants from our food.
Aster: Welcome back, everyone! What I love about these Redemption seasons is how much talent we re-invite to the kitchen and how much higher the bar gets set!

Aster and Jessica try the dishes.

Jessica: So Aster, who failed to impress you with the scraps today?

Aster: Justin, the carbonara was delicious but the sauce overpowered the actual scraps.  They couldn’t be tasted under all of that fat. Henry, the risotto was undercooked and placing the salad on top made the vegetables too wilted. And Lucas. The gnocchi were just a tad overcooked.

Lucas: @I feel like crap for being on the bottom. @I really wanted to have a stronger start this season.

Henry: @Being on the bottom really sucks. @You don’t want to start a season as an underdog, you know?

Aster: So for my favorites. Fanny, the consomme, mushrooms, and dumplings all came together nicely. Tadashi, the niku jyaga was a clever way to organically incorporate the scraps and the flavors were delicious with the umami in that broth. Phung. The Vietnamese crepes were fantastic and the fact you got pork crackling in less than 30 minutes, it was brilliant.

Jessica: And who prepared the best dish?

Aster: It was a close call, but the best dish was… Tadashi’s.

Phung: Are you kidding me? @Who the hell is Tadashi?! @It should’ve been me!

Kira: Yikes. @Phung is being her usual self.

Henry: @Straight up, Phung is a raving bitch when she doesn’t get her way. @That’s both her best and worst quality. @I fear for my life in her presence.

Tadashi: Thank you. @Winning immunity feels great, especially because I’m up against 11 previous competitors who all are thirsty for the win as much as I was.

Jessica: And now it’s time for your elimination challenge! For this challenge, it’s simple. Redo the dish that cost you the title last time and make it a winning dish. Some of you have competed in the Redemption Rounds before. For those of you who have, you have to redeem that dish, not the one that eliminated you the first time. 60 minutes, starting now!

Kira: @I lost last time because of my scallop dish. @The judges felt it was too simple and forgettable. @This time, I’m going to use those same flavors, but differently. @I’m making a scallop en papillote with fennel, lemon, pepper, and butter. @I’m going to serve that with a fennel couscous and hope that’ll be good enough to impress the judges. @I’m making my own couscous, so that’ll show a lot more skill. @I still remember in the first elimination challenge in my finale, I was dinged for not trying to make my own, so I’m going to do it here to prove to everyone why I am Warrior Chef-worthy. @I promised that if I had the chance to redeem this dish, I would and I would make it a winner. @Now’s the time to put my money where my mouth is.

Jo: @I got eliminated over a tuna dish last time because my black garlic marinade was too strong. @I’m going to redeem that dish by removing the black garlic entirely, and focusing on citrus, cucumbers, and avocado. @I’m going to make a tuna and avocado poke with cucumber ribbons and citrus granita.
Karen: @I got eliminated over pate choux fritters with shrimp and tomato-caper relish. @It was the amuse bouche challenge. @I lost it because my shrimp were overcooked. @This time around, I’m going to prepare the same dish, but dialing back on how long I cook the shrimp for.

Phung: FUCK ME! @I got eliminated for two dishes, not one. @My Shaking Beef tartare was bland and then the snapper and squid dish, my team fucked up my proteins. @So I have to prepare both dishes. @For my snapper, I’m doing a snapper crudo with chilies and lemongrass-coconut gazpacho. @For the squid dish, I’m going to have to prepare a fried calamari with ginger compressed vegetables.

Tadashi: @I still remember the dish that cost me the title my first season around. @I prepared a dessert, castella with white nama chocolate, honey comb candy, matcha ice cream. @It was deemed way too sweet. @So for this rendition, I’m going to make a matcha cake with honey-cream cheese chantilly and matcha ice cream. @I’m omitting the white chocolate, because it made my dessert too sweet last time.

Henry: @I was eliminated over my chicken dish. @It was a fried chicken thigh with parsnip puree, chips, and chicken jus. @I’m going to prepare it, but this time, make a chicken roulad with parsnip confit, chicken jus, and stuff my roulad with a savory bread pudding. @I got criticized for being boring, so I want redemption.

Amanda: @I feel like I have a huge advantage because I got eliminated in the 30 minute amuse bouche creativity challenge in the finale. @And I get an hour to re-do that? @Awesome. @I had a blood orange cured salmon with chervil and speck. @It was just too cluttered. @For this challenge, I decide to prepare a salmon sashimi with a speck-blood orange vinaigrette and some chervil foam.

Rose: @I lost the title because of my dessert. @The tespixhe, an Albanian pudding that is like a sugary cake-cookie. @The judges hated the texture, and voted for Vin instead of me. @I’m going to just prepare the exact same dessert, because I know that it’s delicious. @Last time, it came out dense. @This time, I will not allow that, so I’m adding in baking soda.

Nate: @I got sent home because a dish inspired by my most embarrassing moment aka when I was overweight. @It was a stuffed pork chop with thrice cooked chips. @The judges didn’t like it because it was too dry. @I’m going to do a bacon wrapped pork crepinette with yucca chips and a mustard aioli. @I think that changing it up with the yucca chips and mustard aioli will make my dish stand out a lot more in a good way.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Karen: @I’m thinking that I redeemed the dish by cooking it properly this time. @I’m a little older and a lot smarter this season, and I think I might be able to finally win!

Phung: @I know I crushed it. @In school, people think that I’m some sort of bitch or diva, and that I’m too bossy. @But I back it up with my actions and results.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Vanilla Cuylenberg – Warrior Chef 1 winner

Vin Rugnetta – Warrior Chef 2 winner

Lauren Wilson – Warrior Chef 3 winner

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Karen, Amanda, and Nate!

Karen – pate choux fritters with shrimp and tomato-caper relish

Amanda – salmon sashimi with speck-blood orange vinaigrette and chervil foam

Nate – bacon wrapped pork crepinette with yucca chips and mustard aioli

Vanilla: Karen cooked her fritters well, but the shrimp were undercooked for me. I liked her relish. But the dish she put up was the exact same one she was sent home on. I was expecting to see her re-do the concept too.

Vin: Amanda’s sashimi was sliced excellently. Her vinaigrette was unusual, but it worked really nicely against the meatiness of the salmon and the herbaceous chervil. Overall, she’s proving why she was such a strong threat in my season.

Lauren: Nate’s crepinette was cooked nicely but his yucca chips were dense and that aioli just made the dense dish even heavier. It was too much to finish in one go. He needed freshness, and half that portion per plate.

Jessica: And now we have the dishes by Phung, Kira, and Jo!

Phung – snapper with lemongrass, coconut, and chilies; calamari with ginger vegetables
Kira – scallop en papillote with fennel couscous
Jo – tuna and avocado poke with cucumber ribbons and citrus granita

Lauren: Phung… she’s doing what she does best. Overachieving. She prepared two dishes, and she managed to nail both of them. The snapper was cut nicely and the broth was great! And then the calamari with compressed vegetables was delicious.
Vanilla: Kira’s scallops were the best cooked piece of seafood I have tasted so far. They were buttery and succulent. And knowing that she took the time to prepare her own couscous was incredible!

Vin: Jo’s poke was an interesting idea, and it was a departure from his original concept. I remember he got dinged for black garlic, and he omitted it here. That was a good call. He definitely redeem himself here.

Jessica: Finally, the dishes by Henry, Tadashi, and Rose!

Henry – fried chicken thigh with parsnip puree, chips, and chicken jus

Tadashi – matcha cake with honey-cream cheese chantilly and matcha ice cream

Rose – tespixhe with citrus salad

Lauren: Henry cooked the chicken nicely and I liked the different kinds of parsnip applications. It’s not necessarily a winning dish in the bunch, but it showed that he knows how to cook chicken.

Vanilla: Tadashi’s dessert falls in the same category as Henry’s dish. It was alright, but you can’t expect cream cheese icing to be part of a winning dessert on Warrior Chef. It was good home cooking, but it wasn’t refined.

Vin: Rose’s dessert tasted chalky and the citrus salad just amplified that. I did not enjoy the flavors that much.

Jessica: Thank you, returning champions for coming back to judge. Have you guys decided on who redeemed themselves and who is going to be eliminated first?

Lauren: Yes, we have.

In walks Kira, Amanda, and Phung.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you redeemed your dishes, and one of you won the challenge! Congratulations!

Lauren: Phung, you managed to produce two solid dishes, and it showed why you were such a major threat. Kira, you made your own couscous. That’s insane. Your scallops were beautifully cooked and we just loved your flavors.

Vin: Amanda, you contrasted the flavors and textures perfectly. This wasn’t clunky or confused. It was delicious!

Jessica: Vanilla, please announce the winner.

Vanilla: Four great dishes, but the best cook tonight was definitely…. Kira. Your scallops were the best cooked scallops any of us have ever tasted.

Jessica: Congratulations, Kira! You won the elimination challenge!

Kira: Thank you. @I proved to myself and to everyone here that I didn’t deserve to leave without that title. @I’m so proud that the judges agreed with that and gave my dish the win. @It’s definitely a warm return to the competition. @It’s like I never left!

Kira, Amanda, and Phung leave.

Phung: @I think it’s bull that I didn’t win, because I made two good dishes, not one. @But at least I’m on top, which I rightfully deserved to be.

In walks Rose, Nate, and Karen.

Jessica: One of you is going home tonight.

Vin: Rose, your dessert was just chalky and unpleasant. The dish just didn’t eat well for any of us. Nate, the yucca chips were dense and unpleasant. You switched around the mistakes this time. Good meat, but really bad fries.

Vanilla: Karen, the shrimp was undercooked for me. It was gummy and almost squeaky. The choux fritter was delicious, just not the shrimp.

Karen: @Hearing that I served undercooked shrimp, I think I’m a goner tonight. @I’m trying to stay strong, but it’s hard to at this point.

Nate: @Hearing that my yucca chips sucked, that’s not a good feeling. @I’m potentially going home first, and that’s my nightmare. @Nobody wants to go out first. @None of us did that badly last time around.

Jessica: Rose, I’m so sorry. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Rose: Are you shitting me? @I can’t believe I’m going home first. @Bitch, I was a runner-up of my season! @I call foul play! @What the fuck is this?! @I’m not happy. @This is not why I came back. @These fools got so lucky I’m going home first.

Nate: @I was not expecting that. @I thought Rose was going to go to the very end, and she’s the first person going home. @This season, it’s tough. @Nobody is safe, that’s for sure. @I’m feeling vulnerable right now.