Warrior Chef 2: Round 2

Marisa: @Walking into the kitchen, I feel nervous. @I almost got sent home in the last round, and if I don’t prove myself tonight, then I’m definitely a goner in this round. @I don’t think I’d have enough confidence in myself to keep pushing forward.

Nate: @At this point, I think nobody sees me as real competition. @I want to show everyone that I am a great cook!

Victoria: Welcome back! So for this creativity challenge, we want to see what you guys can do with figs! You have just 30 minutes, time starts now!

Rose: @At this point, there’s ten people left. @I want immunity, because I refuse to go home in 10th place. @I’m making a fig and almond tart with honey-feta ice cream. @In 30 minutes, that’s a huge risk, but I want to take it and prove that I am a talented cook.

Vin: @At this point, Rose is my biggest competition, but I still love her. @She’s bae. @For my dish, I’m going to prepare a fig relish to go on my flounder filet and then an almond puree. @I think that the nut puree with the fish and the fig relish, it will be a sure-fire winner. @I want more immunity.

Jo: @I don’t work with figs often. @I taste it, and it’s starchy and sweet, but also really mushy. @I’m going to make a fig vinegar to go with a seared chicken thigh and some crispy rice. @I hope it works!

Duke: @I’ve never used figs before. @I decide to puree them, and make a fig puree to go with a seared lamb chop and some red wine gastrique. @I think those flavors work, but I’m not positive.

Enrique: @I’m going to make a fig and snapper ceviche with fried tortillas. @I’m going to incorporate the figs into the Mexican ceviche because I think they can stand up to some spice and acidity.

Marisa: @I love figs. @I know that I can make a fig and mascarpone ice cream with fig cake and bruleed figs. @I learned how to make this fig cake from my grandma, so I know that it’s going to be a great dessert. @I want to win this for her, and to show everyone that I am not some weak cook who is going to be picked off in a later round.

Nate: @I’m not too comfortable using figs. @I decide to stuff them with brie cheese and then tempura fry them. @I’m going to make a honey-brown butter vinaigrette to go with them. @I want the figs to be the star of this, so I hope I did that.

Amanda: @Everyone is pairing the figs with cheese, so I know that I can’t do that. @I’m making roasted figs with a sabayon and balsamic caramel. @I’m hoping that I can win this challenge doing a relatively simple dessert, but doing everything well. @Winning the first elimination challenge felt great, but I need to keep this momentum going!

Talia: @I’m going to make a fig terrine with goat milk ice cream and walnut crumble. @I’m going to use the liquid nitrogen to set the terrine faster. @I think that it will be a great dessert. @I would love immunity again, but we have to see how everyone else will stack up with me.

Trisha: @I’m doing a fig mille feuille with whipped goat cheese and a honey-lavender syrup. @I’m trying to keep the flavors simple, but focus on flavors that pair well with the fig and introduce some textures that will give it a bit of help there.

Victoria: Time’s up!

Vin: @I’m feeling good that I went savory with my dish, but a lot of people went with desserts. @I might be able to really stand out tonight.

Victoria: Your judge is Warrior Chef house critic and fruit expert, Chloe Lula!

Chloe: Hi, guys! Figs are delicious and they have a lot of potential in any application. I can’t wait to see how inventive you were with them!

Marisa: @Chloe is a really kindhearted judge. @In the preliminary rounds, she gave me a 9/10 for my signature dish. @I really want to impress her tonight.

Chloe and Victoria taste the dishes.

Victoria: So Chloe, who failed to impress you?

Chloe: Jo, the figs were just lost in that vinegar mixture you prepared it with. Duke, the fig puree was a bit too soggy. And Enrique. Using the figs in a ceviche, they wound up too heavy. They harmed the dish more than they helped it.

Duke: @Being on the bottom with Jo and Enrique sucks. @I know that I’m a much better cook than they are.

Victoria: Chloe, who impressed you?

Chloe: I had four favorites. Rose, the tart was delicious and pairing it with the feta cheese ice cream was brilliant. Marisa, you also made a delicious fig flavored ice cream, and your cake and the bruleed figs were great! Nate, the tempura fried and brie-stuffed figs were a delight. And Vin. The fig relish and nut puree worked beautifully with the flounder.

Nate: @Right now, I have a 1 in 4 shot at immunity. @My heart is pounding out of my chest. @I really want this.

Chloe: But my favorite dish belonged to… Marisa! Your cake was a beautiful recipe.

Victoria: Congratulations, Marisa! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge! Well done!

Marisa: Thank you. @I won immunity! @I’m so excited knowing that I’m entering the elimination challenge and I can’t possibly go home! @It’s such a relief.

Vin: @Personally, I’m shocked that Marisa won the creativity challenge, because I thought Rose had it.

Victoria: So now for the elimination challenge! Everyone, please help me welcome a very special guest!
In walks Warrior Chef winner, Vanilla Cuylenberg!

Vanilla: Hi, guys!
Amanda: Oh my god! @I’m looking at the previous Warrior Chef winner! @I’m so shocked right now.
Talia: @Vanilla won her season because she had the Redemption Rounds. @In our season, we were told we didn’t get that. @I personally don’t see her as a pure winner because she returned to the competition on a technicality.

Victoria: So for this elimination challenge, you’ll be cooking in pairs. Marisa, for winning the last challenge, you get to choose who you want to be partnered with!

Marisa: I’d like to work with Jo! @I choose Jo because he seems to be a bit of a wildcard. @I can’t tell if he is a strong cook or a weak cook, but I have immunity, and I’m going to use this chance to really scout out my competition.

Jo: @I don’t get why she chose me, but I’m really worried. @If we are on the bottom, she has immunity, so I’m definitely going home if our dish is the worst.

Victoria: Everyone else, please draw knives!

Vin – 1

Rose – 1

Amanda – 2

Talia – 2

Enrique – 3

Trisha – 3

Nate – 4

Duke – 4z
Talia: @I’m stoked to be paired with Amanda. @We’ve got this.

Vin: @Rose and I have been on top together a lot now. @If we don’t win this challenge, hell probably will freeze over.

Victoria: In pairs, you’ll be cooking a dish based on one of five ingredients Vanilla has brought for you guys! Vanilla?

Vanilla: So we have corn, peaches, lamb, apples, and scallops. These are all ingredients that served me well in the Warrior Chef competition when I won, so hopefully, you guys can do them justice.

Victoria: Marisa, please select which ingredient you and Jo will be using.

Marisa: *to Jo* What do you feel comfortable doing? @I want Jo to be the one spearheading this dish because I have immunity. @I want him to be in 100% control of what he wants to make and I will try my best to help him.

Jo: Let’s go with the lamb. @It’s probably the best ingredient on the table and it’s the one I feel more comfortable making a dish out of.

Vin: @I’m annoyed Jo took the lamb, because that’s what we wanted.
Rose: @Vin and I look at each other, and we know we can nail a dish using the scallops. We’re choosing the diver sea scallops.

Amanda: Talia and I want the apples.
Talia: @We can definitely make a delicious apple dessert, so this is going to be a really easy challenge for us.

Enrique: *to Trisha* We need to do the corn.
Trisha: Okay. @I’m not comfortable using the corn, because I have no idea how to make it to focus on the dish. @But Enrique is confident, and I feel he is a weaker cook, so I want him to be in his comfort zone.

Nate: Crap. @Duke and I are stuck with the peaches.
Duke: @I don’t feel comfortable about this. @Nate and I both cook Asian. @Peaches have so little to do with either of our repertoires.

Victoria: You have just 1 hour to prepare a dish featuring one of Vanilla’s favorite ingredients! Vanilla, want to do the honors?

Vanilla: Gladly! And your time starts… now!

Marisa: @So Jo wants to prepare a garlic rubbed lamb belly with fuyu persimmon puree and anise-lamb jus. @I have no clue how to do any of it, so I’m just going to follow his instructions with each component.

Jo: @For the jus, we are going to roast the bones with the spices, and then reduce them with water. @The puree, poaching the persimmons in milk. @The lamb belly, we have that in the oven, roasting and rendering.

Vin: @So we have scallops, but we can’t just do a seared scallop. @That’s so boring. @We decide to prepare confit scallops with toasted curry spices, as well as milk-fried scallop roe, and a yogurt-lemon puree.

Rose: @Vin and I are going to combine our two cuisines through Indian-Middle Eastern food. @The two of us won our first challenges, were on top of the last three challenges, and we want to keep staying on top, because that’ll show everyone how good we are.

Amanda: @Vin and Rose are terrifyingly talented cooks. @But Talia and I are strong too, and we are going to prove ourselves. @We have apples and that’s going to be a really easy one for us.

Talia: @We are preparing tarte tatin cobbler with caramel-apple gelato. @We are going to caramelize the apples in the pan, and then pour a vanilla-semolina batter over that and bake it in the pan. @This is going to be great!

Enrique: *to Trisha* We got this, baby!~ @We are making a corn tamale with corn salsa and some lime-grilled shrimp. @I’m going to prepare the tamale, and then I’m leaving Trisha to do the shrimp and salsa.
Trisha: @I’m really nervous to be cooking this because I don’t know Latin food, and he’s making me do the salsa. @The shrimp, I can handle, but the salsa, I’m not quite sure what goes into it.

Nate: *to Duke* Okay, what the hell are we doing?

Duke: Hmmm… @The first thing that comes to mind is peach cobbler. @But we don’t even know how to make a cobbler.

Nate: @I know how to make crepes, so we finally decide on a malt crepe with caramelized peaches, vanilla whipped cream, and fresh peach fruit salad with honey and lemon. @I just hope that this works, or else it’s my ass on the line.

Duke: @We are relying on Nate to handle the crepe itself, or else we just have caramelized and raw peaches with some cream.

Trisha: @I feel like Nate and Duke are also struggling with their dishes, so it might be between the four of us for who is going home tonight. @I’m frustrated because I didn’t want to go into this competition as a weak link.

Talia: @The cobbler, I take it out of the oven, and it looks like it’s going to kick some ass. @Amanda gets the gelato out of the ice cream machine and it looks great as well. @I get a hotel pan ready and pour liquid nitrogen over the cobbler to bring it down to room temp right away. @If I serve the cobbler hot, then the gelato will just melt.

Rose: @I taste the confit scallops, and they are wonderful. @I never confit a scallop before, but the buttery flavor was there and it’s awesome. @Vin and I, we work so well together. @We are kicking ass.

Victoria: Time’s up!

Jo: @The dish looks good, but I see what the other teams have put up. @We might be in trouble tonight.

Victoria: Your judges are:

Vanilla Cuylenberg

Aster Walker

Erwin Ko

Victoria: Let’s start with Jo and Marisa’s dish!

-garlic lamb belly, fuyu persimmon puree, anise-lamb jus

Erwin: The belly was rendered nicely and I liked the puree a lot. My biggest issue was that jus. The anise was too strong.

Vanilla: The star of the dish was supposed to be the lamb, but I felt that the persimmon became the center of the plate. I liked it overall, but it didn’t feel like a lamb dish.

Victoria: Next is Vin and Rose’s dish!

-confit scallops, toasted curry, milk-fried scallop roe, yogurt-lemon puree

Vanilla: I was nervous that giving them scallops might result in a seared scallop. I was pleasantly surprised that they went this route.

Aster: The confit scallops were unusual but brilliant. The curry spices added a nice smokiness, the fried roe had such a beautiful texture to them. The puree was lovely.

Victoria: And now we have Amanda and Talia’s apple dessert.

-tarte tatin cobbler with caramel-apple gelato

Erwin: The cake component was baked nicely and the caramelization on the apples were well done. Overall, they embraced apples.

Vanilla: The apples came through and really transformed this dish into what it was. I was very happy with what they served me.

Victoria: And this is Enrique and Trisha’s corn dish!

-corn tamale, corn salsa, and lime grilled shrimp

Vanilla: I really loved the inventiveness, using the corn three ways in the salsa, the husk for the wrapper, and the corn meal for the filling.
Erwin: The shrimp were cooked nicely. But the actual tamale was a bit dry. It was just hard to eat the dish, because there was a lack of moisture, even from that salsa.

Victoria: And finally, we have Nate and Duke’s dessert!
-malt crepe, caramelized peaches, chantilly, honey peach salad

Aster: The crepe was prepared nicely and I liked the caramelized peaches. The salad was creative, but the peach was lost in it.

Erwin: It wasn’t a bad dessert, but it was way too simple for something prepared by two people in an hour. I felt like they were playing it safe, because they were banking on another team failing.

Victoria: So can we decide on our winning and losing teams?

Vanilla: We can!~

In walks Rose, Vin, Amanda, and Talia.

Victoria: Tonight, the four of you did Vanilla’s ingredients justice, and two of you will win this elimination challenge!

Rose: Knew it. @If we don’t win, then I’ll be shocked.

Talia: @I hope we win. @Vin and Rose have been strong so far, but their streak ends here. @This win has our name on it.

Victoria: Vanilla, please announce the winner!

Vanilla: Tonight, you both delivered in different ways. That apple dessert showed apples in their finest, whereas the scallop dish taught me something new. For that reason, the winning dish was… Rose and Vin’s confit scallops.

Victoria: Congratulations, Rose and Vin! You both won the elimination challenge!
Vin: Yes! @I called it. @Rose and I won!

Rose: Thank you. @Winning the challenge feels great! @I honestly think that the finale is going to be Vin and I.

Amanda: @We didn’t win, but I’m glad that I was still on top of this challenge. @It feels good to be recognized for your hard work.

The top four leave.

In walks Enrique, Trisha, Nate, and Duke.

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

Aster: Who prepared what on each of your dishes?

Enrique: So Trisha did the salsa and the shrimp. I prepared the tamale.

Nate: I handled the crepe and the salad. Duke caramelized the peaches and prepared the whipped cream.

Erwin: Trisha and Enrique, we felt the dish was dry. The salsa didn’t do much for the dish to help with that. The tamale sort of scratched the back of your throat. But you guys did cook the shrimp well.

Trisha: @Hearing that makes me feel a little less scared. @I cooked the shrimp and the judges liked it!

Aster: Nate and Duke, we liked every component except for the salad because that was muddled from all of the other fruit. Your dessert in general, it was really safe.

Nate: You see, the issue we had was that neither of us really ever cooked with peaches, or had substantial pastry experience.

Vanilla: Unfortunately, a Warrior Chef should be well-versed in all kinds of aspects of cooking. Saying that you only do savory is not a good excuse.

Duke: @Crap. @Vanilla saying that, it’s an eye-opener. @I need to brush up on my pastry skills if I do stay.

Victoria: Unfortunately, one of you is going home tonight. The judges have talked it over, and tonight… Trisha, you are safe.

Trisha: @Hearing that I am safe is a huge relief. @But out of the three boys, I don’t want to see any of them go home. @They’re all really nice people. @I’m going to miss whoever gets sent home.

Victoria: Nate, Duke, and Enrique, between the three of you, the person going home is….. Enrique. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Enrique: Okay. Thank you for this. @I’m feeling like shit because I’m the one going home. @I really wanted to prove to the other cooks that I knew what I was doing and I’m going home on something I normally know what to do. @Them getting rid of the Redemption Rounds is frustrating for me, because I know I could have cooked my way back into the main competition. @It sucks!

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