Victoria: This is it! The Warrior Chef finale! Tonight, three cooks will be competing head to head to head for the title and grand prize of $100,000! First, Amanda Bolen! A French American from Charleston, Massachusetts, Amanda has been a competitor from the very beginning! With consistently strong dishes throughout the season, she has shined in challenges, winning back to back challenges right before the finale! And then we have Vin Rugnetta! The half Italian, half Singaporean curry king from Orlando, Vin has been on top of the most challenges this season, and has delivered complex and ambitious concepts in reach and every round! Finally, we have Rose Fu! A half Montenegrin, half Chinese Brooklyn native, Rose’s ambition and talents cannot be denied! She has continued to deliver delicious plates in each round, and has rightfully earned her spot in the final three! Tonight, one of these cooks will be crowned Warrior Chef! Who will it be?
Rose: @Walking into the kitchen, I feel like I have the most to prove. @Vin and Amanda got immunity and avoided the elimination challenge in the last round, so I need to show them that when I play to win, I win.
Vin: @Rose, Amanda, and I, we are the three strongest cooks here. @Amanda is insanely talented, Rose is phenomenal, and it’s looking to be a battle of the titans.
Amanda: @I’ve made it this far, and I know that my amuse bouche is going to be awesome. @I really hope that I can execute it like how I planned it.
Victoria: Welcome to the final round. For this first creativity challenge, you’ll have 20 minutes to prepare an unforgettable amuse bouche. The best cook will gain an advantage going into the elimination, but the worst cook will be sent home.
Vin: @This is definitely the worst challenge to lose. @It’ll always haunt you, whether or not your three course meal could have won you the title.
Victoria: 20 minutes, time starts now!
Rose: @My concept is compressed plums with a homemade pickled and fried feta cheese and some micro basil. @I think making my own cheese will be a phenomenal feat, and if I can pull it off, then bye, bye, Vin or Amanda. @I want to go against Vin, because we’ve been friends from the very beginning.
Vin: @I’m making a curried shrimp puff with pandan-coconut coulis. @This is an amuse bouche, so I want the flavors to really entice you and stand out. @I think that Rose will try something fresh, and Amanda will go delicate, so I have to do something that will take the focus away from their dishes.
Amanda: @I’m doing a blood orange cured salmon belly with crispy speck and chervil. @I see that Rose is going to make her own cheese, so I need to make sure that my salmon tastes delicious. @I really don’t want to leave right now. @That’s for sure.
Vin: @If I get sent home tonight, before the final meal, I’ll be so angry. @I already have a game plan, and I’m ready to kick some major ass tonight.
Victoria: Time’s up!
Rose: @I know I nailed this dish. @I’m looking forward to cooking my final meal.
Victoria: Your guest judge for this challenge is Warrior Chef house critic, Ashlee Pham!
Ashlee: Babes, I’m back…. and I don’t recognize any of you. I guess none of the Eliminator Round cooks made it this far. Awkward.
Vin: @Ashlee is a talented chef, and at the age of 18, she had already worked at a three star Michelin restaurant as a chef de cuisine. @But I know that I can impress her.
Ashlee and Victoria taste the amuse bouches.
Victoria: Ashlee, who impressed you the most?
Ashlee: Babes, it was tough. But Rose, babes, you made your own cheese, pickled it, and fried it. That was brilliant and you won it for me, babes.
Victoria: Congratulations, Rose! You won a huge advantage going into the Elimination Challenge! Trust me, you want this one.
Rose: Thanks! @I won and now I get to pick my sous-chefs first. @I’m stoked.
Victoria: Ashlee, who failed to impress you?
Ashlee: It was tough, babes. You both can cook really well, and smash it out of the park, babes. It was a close call, but babes, the weaker dish was made by… Amanda. The dish was just a little too clunky. The chervil, too large on the plate, babes.
Victoria: Amanda, unfortunately, that means you will not be Warrior Chef.
Amanda: Okay. @That…. sucked. @Honestly, words can’t describe how disappointing it is to hear that.
Victoria: Now it’s time for the final challenge!
In walks Jo, Nate, Talia, Marisa, Duke, Trisha, Enrique, Lilian, and Betsy.
Victoria: Rose, you won the advantage of choosing your first sous-chef before Vin.
Rose: Hands down, Amanda. @She provides precision and I know that she can nail my menu. @I know she’s got this.
Amanda: @I just got eliminated, but I need to shift gears. @Rose is relying on me to help her win. @It’s going to be rough.
Vin: I’m going with Nate. @He’s strong and definitely better than Jo, so it makes sense that I’d go with him.
Nate: @I’ll try my best for Vin. @He is a strong cook, but he didn’t really have a chance to shine on his own. @This is his time to do just that.
Rose: My second pick is going to be Talia. @She’s a solid cook. @I hope that she carries me to the finish line.
Talia: @Rose is a great cook, so I’m going to try my best for her.
Vin: I need a pastry cook, so Trisha, come on down!
Trisha: Thank you! @I wasn’t expecting him to choose me, but I’ll try to make the best dessert in Warrior Chef history just for him.
Victoria: 1 hour, three courses, time starts now!
Rose: @My advantage over Vin is that I have actually won individual challenges. @He has not since the preliminaries. @I’m going to be the best tonight because I can stand on my own two feet. First course is scallops with chickpea puree and tempura-fried peppers. *to Amanda* You can do that one. For the main course, it’s duck bao with spicy apricot sauce and crispy leeks. *to Talia* I want you doing everything on that. I’ll give you my bao recipe and just follow that religiously. @For my dessert, it’s tespixhe, a traditional Montenegrin dessert which is like a cookie meets a cake, and I’m making a rum raising ice cream to serve with that.
Talia: @I’ve never made a bao dough before, but I’m getting that started first just to guarantee that I can nail it for Rose. @I refuse to be the reason she loses the title.
Amanda: @I think that her menu is strong, but a bit unusual. @I think she has a strong shot at being Warrior Chef.
Vin: *to Trisha* Handle the panna cotta, poached pears, and sorbet. @The dessert is honey panna cotta with ginger poached pears and pandan sorbet. For the appetizer, it’s going to be steamed fish cakes with spicy peanut sauce. The entree is pork vindaloo with coconut black rice. @I’m having Nate do the fish cakes and rice while I handle the pork vindaloo and the spicy sauce. @I know that I can bring the heat, and I’m going to nail this three course meal.
Trisha: @I get the panna cotta base going as well as the sorbet steeping. @I’m feeling great about the dish because it’s really cool. @Vin’s menu sounds delicious. @I would happily eat all of it!
Nate: @The fish cakes, I’m blending up mackerel and steaming and grilling them in banana leaves. @For the black rice, I’m just getting that going with the coconut milk in a pressure cooker to get it puffed and cooked through.
In the judges room:
Victoria is sitting with house critics, Aster Walker, Erwin Ko, Miriam Adjanti, Ashlee Pham, and Frank Torres.
Miriam: I’m excited. Vin and Rose are strong, strong cooks. They both deserve to be here in the final two.
Erwin: Vin’s menu is super traditional Asian-Singaporean food. I’m excited about it. Rose, she’s got influences from China and Montenegro. I’m impressed.
In the kitchen:
Rose: @At this point, time is winding down.
Amanda: @I get the peppers out of the frier and sprinkle salt on them, and drain them on the towel. @I get everything plated, and it feels good.
Rose: @Amanda delivered tonight and this is why I’m going to win the title.
Nate: @I get the cakes onto the plate, and Vin follows me with the sauce. @I see what Amanda and Rose prepared, and I’m feeling like this dish is a little sparse. *to Vin* What else can we do?
Vin: I got it. Let’s make roti. @I’m going to prepare a quick roti, while Nate plates up the entree, and the roti will go onto the appetizer as well. @I just want things to dip into the peanut sauce.
Rose: @I see that Vin is putting together roti bread in less than 10 minutes. @He’s crazy. @I don’t think that the roti will make much of a difference.
Vin: @Time’s winding down, and I pull the bread out of the frier and it looks amazing, so I’m going through with plating it up.
Victoria: Time’s up!
Trisha: *to Vin* Congratulations!
Vin: *to Trisha and Nate* You two rock! @I’m proud of my team. @They did a great job!
Rose; *to Amanda and Talia* Thank you both so much.
Talia: @I think Rose is going to win this. @She’s done such a great job so far and she deserves to be Warrior Chef.
In the judges’ room:
Victoria: Here are the first courses!
Rose – seared scallops, chickpea puree, tempura fried peppers
Vin – fish cakes, spicy peanut sauce, and roti
Erwin: The scallops are delicious, the puree was the best hummus I’ve ever tasted, and her peppers were addictive.
Ashlee: Babes, I just loved his sauce. The roti was phenomenal and so were the fish cakes. I just wanted more of a connection for the two other than the sauce.
Victoria: So who won this course?
Aster – Rose
Erwin – Rose
Miriam – Rose
Ashlee – Rose
Frank – Rose
Victoria: It was unanimous. That’s amazing.
Frank: They both made tasty food, but the dish Rose prepared had more cohesion.
Victoria: We have the next dishes coming up next!
Rose – duck bao with spicy apricot sauce and crispy leeks
Vin – pork vindaloo with coconut black rice
Miriam: Rose’s duck bao, her duck was cooked nicely, but the leeks were greasy. The bao were tasty, however.
Aster: Vin nailed that pork vindaloo. He’s made incredible curries, and like his sauce in the appetizer, this delivered on heat and flavor. It was complex and deep.
Victoria: So who won?
Aster – Vin
Erwin – Vin
Miriam – Vin
Ashlee – Vin
Frank – Vin
Victoria: Wow. Again, it was a clean sweep. Why was that?
Ashlee: Babes, the greasy leeks killed Rose’s dish for us.
Victoria: And we have our desserts!
Vin – honey panna cotta, ginger poached pears, pandan sorbet
Rose – tespixhe with rum raisin ice cream
Frank: The panna cotta was delicious and I liked the poached pears a lot. The sorbet was a tad icy, but the pandan comes through.
Miriam: I enjoyed Rose’s ice cream a lot. Her tespixhe, I’ve never had this before, but it was a bit dense and chewy, but got stuck on my teeth. But the flavor was great.
Victoria: So can we decide on our favorite desserts?
Ashlee: Babes, we can.
In walks Rose and Vin.
Rose: @I’m feeling great. @I think I won the title. @I saw Vin’s meal, and it was boring. @Curry again. @He’s repetitive and like a broken record. @Try something new for a change. @I know that I won this.
Vin: @Rose is phenomenal, but I know I am Warrior Chef. @I led my team to victory and I look a risk. @I’m going to win this.
Victoria: Thank you both for two phenomenal meals. Tonight, it was a heated battle. Rose, you swept the first course. Vin, you came back with a vengeance in the entree. Dessert is what determined who won. And with a clean sweep in dessert, the Warrior Chef is…. Vin Rugnetta!
Confetti rains down as everyone cheers for Vin.
Rose: *to Vin* You earned it. @I’m not even angry. @Vin was a talented, talented cook and he definitely was the Warrior Chef. @In my heart, I’m Warrior Chef as well, but he just had a better day than me. Congrats, Vin!
Vin: Oh my god! @I won! @I won Warrior Chef! @It feels so surreal to be the winner. @I didn’t think I could come so far and all of my hard work just paid off in the end. @So many of us went into this competition, knowing only one of us could win. @And I was that one in the end. @It feels amazing. @Words can’t describe how happy I am right now. @Being crowned Warrior chef, it just doesn’t feel like this actually happened. @I’m going to wake up tomorrow and still feel like this is a dream. @I’m Warrior Chef!