Kira: @I’m the first one who walks into the kitchen, and it’s a nice kitchen. @I’m ready to see what I can do in this season.
Taylor: @I walk to my station, and it’s just feeling that much more real. @I have a chance here to make a difference with my future.
Phung: @Looking at the pantry, I’m trying to figure out where the tupperware are. @I need to stock up some ingredients before I get eliminated so that I don’t need groceries.
Michele: Welcome to Warrior Chef!
Elizabeth: @Being a gluten-free baker, I think this competition will be a great opportunity for me to showcase my unique set of skills. @I’m ready to show the world what I got.
Michele: So we all know you’re here to prove why you are ready to take the culinary world by storm. So for starters, we wanted to make this first challenge something people are familiar with!
A cart is wheeled in, carrying three kinds of potatoes: russet, yukon gold, and sweet.
Michele: So for your creativity challenge, you will be responsible for two things! The first is to peel 1 pound of whatever potato you choose. The second, to take that potato, and create a dish out of it. The twist is that not all of you will get to cooking in this challenge. The last three people who are still peeling their potatoes will not be allowed to cook. For the actual cooking process, you’ll have 30 minutes, counting down from when the first person finishes. So everyone, 1 pound of peeled potatoes, your time starts now!
Lauren: @I immediately grab the russet potatoes, because they are the longest in shape, so I can get more peeled per pound, and I can advance to the second half of the challenge immediately.
Kira: @I’m currently a line cook, so I know how to peel a potato. @I grab the russet potatoes, because they are the largest, and that’ll be easier to get a pound out of them. @I see Elizabeth and James grabbing the sweet potatoes. @Good luck with those. @The shapes of them are already a challenge to peel around.
Elizabeth: @I grab the sweet potatoes because I know how to make a delicious dessert out of them. @The Yukon gold, in my eyes, they will be the trickiest to peel because the starch is too sticky.
James: @The sweet potatoes just remind me of Thanksgiving and I know that I can make a pretty awesome dish using those, so that’s what I’m going with. @I think it’s the smartest option.
Henry: @I grab the Yukon potatoes because they are very small, and I know that I can get through peeling them faster than everyone else.
Phung: @I grab the Yukon potatoes because I know how to make a delicious potato dish using the Yukons. @And if I lose the challenge, I’m going to just take the rest of the Yukons and pocket them for later. @Whoops.
Jaenice: @I love myself a sweet potato, so I go straight for that.
Cherry: @Jaenice, Elizabeth, and James all run for the sweet potatoes, but I think that’s suicidal, so I grab the Yukon golds, because they might take longer to peel, but they are an inherently smaller potato, so I need less time to cook them.
Teddy: @I grab the Yukon gold potatoes, because I see Phung grabbing them, and I know that she’s good at cooking. @Phung’s reputation on the East coast is legendary. @The girl who has won multiple culinary competitions in the area. @She’s the one to watch out for.
Justin: @I grab the russet potatoes because I want to make gnocchi, and those potatoes will lend themselves the best for being riced.
Michele: Kira, your russet potatoes are peeled perfectly, and you have a pound of them! You’re good to go!
Kira: Awesome. Thanks! @So now I have a full 30 minutes to prepare a potato dish, and the first thing I think about is a spanish tortilla with some speck wrapped shrimp and a paprika-chili crema.
Michele: Lauren, you’re good to go. Phung, you are too!
Lauren: @I have 26 minutes left on the clock, and I don’t really know what I want to do with the russet potato quite yet. @I decide on a lobster, corn, and potato chowder, because it’ll be something I know how to execute.
Phung: @I’m going to make a potato croquette with pate butter and a Vietnamese styled cabbage salad with the fish sauce vinaigrette and pickled vegetables. @I have 25 minutes to make this, so my goal is to get the potatoes grated and into boiling water first, and then going onto the pate right after that.
Jaenice, Taylor, Teddy, and Justin, Cherry, Justin all finish their peeling, and move onto the actual cooking
Jaenice: @I’m going to make a sweet potato pie. @It’s going to be a tart with a blind-baked crust, because I don’t have enough time to bake the filling into the dough.
Elizabeth: @It’s down to me, James, Henry, and Gabe for the last spot. @There’s only 21 minutes left and it’s terrifying me.
Gabe: @I’m with Henry who picked the Yukon potatoes, and Elizabeth and James who chose the sweet potatoes.
Henry: @I see that Gabe’s struggling with his Yukon as well, but I might be able to overtake him at this point.
Justin: @I notice that the bottom four are still struggling to peel their potatoes, and that’s fine with me. @I’m making gnocchi with brown butter sauce and crispy fried sage, and a parmesan potato chip crumble. @I’m microwaving the potatoes to get them cooked in time and I should be golden.
Taylor: @I’m going to prepare a deconstructed moussaka, which is Greek meat, potato, and eggplant casserole. @It’ll be pretty awesome, if I can pull it off. @I’m using lamb ragout as my meat and tomato component.
Cherry: @I’m going to make a Yukon puree with black vinegar reduction and seared scallops. @I’m trying to blend my Chinese heritage with the potato, which isn’t really something we eat a whole lot of in traditional Asian cuisine.
Michele: Gabe, you only have 17 minutes to prepare a dish! Elizabeth, Henry, and James, unfortunately, the three of you won’t be continuing in this creativity challenge.
James: @Damn it. @It’s embarrassing to not even get tasted in this challenge.
Gabe: @I’m struggling to get any ideas right now, but I’m not on the bottom, and I need to run with it. @I’m going to prepare a simple breakfast platter with chorizo, potatoes, and an egg. @I’m running out of time here, and I just need to get something cooking and not give up yet.
Michele: Time’s up! Step away from your dishes!
Taylor: @I think that my moussaka Napoleon will go over well. @It’s a really cool layered dish, and that’s original.
Lauren: @I see what the other cooks have made, and I know I lost this challenge. @Phung, she went overboard, and I’m amazed by how much she got done in the time allotted. @Justin made gnocchi in less than 30 minutes. @Just give one of them the win already and let’s get on with the next challenge.
Michele: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Aster Walker
Aster: Hi, guys! I’m always excited to see what new talent comes into this kitchen, and being able to judge the first challenge of the season is always a pleasure.
Phung: @Aster is a renowned critic in the Los Angeles area. @So he has yet to try my food. @PhungFood is going to blow him away.
Aster and Michele taste the dishes.
Cherry: @I’m nervous, because Aster has been the longest standing judge in this competition, and I know that he’ll be a harsh critic. @I’m shaking as he tastes my food.
Elizabeth: @Not being able to put anything up for Aster in the first challenge makes me want to try harder in the next.
Michele: So Aster, we already determined a bottom three for this challenge, so who made your favorite dishes?
Aster: Overall, there were some major standouts for me. Kira, the flavors you developed in your Spanish tortilla were amazing, and I liked that you paired that with the chilies and shrimp. It was really inspired. Phung, you pushed the envelope, pickling vegetables, making a croquette, and making pate. That was an unusual approach, but the flavors were excellent. Justin, you made gnocchi in less than 30 minutes. And they were flawlessly executed. It was a classic dish, but superbly done.
Michele: And who won the first challenge and immunity?
Aster: It had to go to…. Phung.
Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge!
Phung: Hells yeah! @I won!~ @I won!~ @Go, Phung! @Go, Phung!
Kira: @Phung making that dish without even having the full 30 minutes, it’s going to put a huge target on her back. @She might be my biggest competition in this season.
Michele: So now for the elimination challenge! You’ll be cooking head to head! Phung, for winning the last challenge, you will have your pair-up decided in the end. Justin, you had the second best dish, so you get to choose first.
Justin: I’m going to go up against…. James. @He didn’t even plate up a dish, so he’s going to be an easy target for me.
Kira: I’ll have to pick Gabe. @Gabe’s dish just didn’t show that he’s a major threat in this competition. @I know I can take Gabe.
Jaenice: I’m going to pick Henry. @Henry was on the bottom, and he’s a natural target for me to choose.
Cherry: I want to go up against Elizabeth. @Elizabeth is not a real threat to me, and I know I can take her down.
Taylor: @So it’s down to me, and I can either choose Phung, who has immunity, Lauren, or Teddy. I’m going to go with Lauren. @I don’t see Lauren as a huge threat. @She did show that she can peel a potato. @But her dish just was boring.
Michele: So the match-ups are:
Teddy vs Phung
Justin vs James
Kira vs Gabe
Jaenice vs Henry
Cherry vs Elizabeth
Taylor vs Lauren
Michele: For this elimination challenge, you’ll have an hour to cook a dish centered around a single ingredient! And that ingredient is…. eggs! Your time starts now!
Teddy: @Already, I’m nervous. @I’m going up against Phung. @That girl can cook. @I see the eggs, and I decide to use it to bread some flounder, and make some fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce, using the eggs there as well.
Phung: @Teddy is not a real competitor to me. @I know I can take him. @I’m making a braised pork belly with soft-boiled egg, Japanese styled scrambled egg with some crab, and a homemade chili paste sabayon. @I’m ready to slam Teddy against some pavement and let him know who is the head bitch in this kitchen!
Justin: @I’m against James, and I’m feeling great. @I’m making an egg yolk raviolo. @It’s such an obvious dish for me, because I know it’ll showcase the eggs perfectly, and it’ll let James know just how strong of a cook I really am.
James: @I’m making creme brulee. @It’s a great egg dish, and I know that I can make it in the time constraint. @To spice it up, I’m going to make a matcha flavored custard and I’m going to sprinkle matcha powder into the sugar that I’m bruleeing on top.
Kira: @I’m feeling good going up against Gabe. @I’m preparing an egg congee with chicken adobo and crispy chicken skin. @Gabe didn’t really do so well in the creativity challenge, and if he keeps letting that stress get to him, I know I can outperform him.
Gabe: @Kira is intense, and she might be the best cook in this kitchen. @I’m definitely nervous, but I need to step it up so that I can take her down. @I’m making a coconut curd tart with lime meringue. @I want to do a dessert because it’ll show more range.
Jaenice: @I love cooking with eggs. @I’m going to make a Korean styled seafood pancake with a gochujang-egg sauce. @The sauce will be like soondooboo, but I’m blending it all up to give it a richer, but smoother texture. @Henry’s food looks like it came out of a WholeFoods. @It’s really snooty, but it’s not really anything hard to make. @I’m not threatened by him. @I can take him. @I’m from the South, you fuckers.
Henry: @Jaenice is a sassy person, but I know I can take her down a few pegs. @I’m making uni scrambled eggs with lobster knuckles and black truffles. @I’m feeling good about the combination of flavors, and I’m even going to garnish the dish with some caviar, just because those are eggs too.
Cherry: @Elizabeth should be an easy win. @She can’t even peel a potato quickly. @I’m making fried soft shell crab with an egg yolk-tamarind vinaigrette. @I’m stoke about the combination of shellfish and eggs, and I’m using the tamarind, because it’s not a really conventional ingredient and it’ll set my dish apart.
Elizabeth: @Cherry thinks she’s better than me, but I’m going to show her why she’s wrong. @I’m making ice cream. @It’s going to be a black sesame-miso ice cream with a gluten-free chocolate cake and meringue shards. @I’m trying my best to utilize the eggs in as many applications as possible to beat Cherry.
Taylor: @I’m making a shakshuka, which is a baked egg with a spicy tomato sauce that’s layered with different kinds of herbs and spices to really bring up the flavor. @I’m feeling good about going back to my roots, because it seems to be really well-received in this competition thus far. @Lauren is not going to beat me tonight. @Her biggest weakness is that she freezes up and doesn’t deliver.
Lauren: @Taylor made a really good dish in the first challenge, and I have to make sure I set the bar higher than that for this challenge. @I’m going to prepare a matcha ice cream sandwich with honey meringue. @For my sandwich, I’m going to prepare a matcha-yogurt chiffon cake. @I’m only using honey to sweeten my dish, because I want there to be balance.
Michele: Time’s up!
Phung: @I see Teddy’s dish, and it looks like crap. @Never mind beating me, he needs to worry about staying in the competition at this rate.
Gabe: @I see that Kira made congee. @It looks tasty, but I don’t really see the eggs in her dish. @I think with my dessert, it shows off more of the egg.
Michele: Your judges for this challenge are:
Vanilla Cuylenberg – Warrior Chef 1 winner
Vincent “Vin” Rugnetta – Warrior Chef 2 winner
Michele: Let’s start with the dishes by Teddy and Phung!
Teddy – flounder fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce
Phung – pork belly, soft-boiled egg, Japanese scrambled egg, crab, chili sabayon
Vanilla: Teddy’s flounder is really greasy, and I just couldn’t stomach that. The chips were nice, so was the sauce, but he dropped the ball on the protein.
Vin: Phung nailed that pork belly and the soft-boiled egg. Honestly, she just nailed everything. She’s flying really close to perfection here. The only fault is that it felt like too many things on a plate.
Erwin: Phung’s plate was cluttered, but everything was executed perfectly, and it all worked together, which to me was incredible. Teddy, he just dropped the ball.
Michele: So who won that match-up?
Erwin: I voted for Phung as well.
Michele: Alright. So now we have Justin and James’s dishes!
Justin – egg yolk raviolo with brown butter and crispy leeks
James – matcha creme brulee
Erwin: Justin’s dish was delightful. I really loved the texture of the pasta, being so silky and soft, and the crispy leeks and the brown butter sauce.
Vin: James, his creme brulee was creative, but the custard, mine was a little undercooked. And the brulee topping, it was acrid and bitter.
Vanilla: I got lucky, because my brulee was cooked through. Overall, I just preferred Justin’s pasta dish.
Michele: And how are we voting here?
Erwin: It has to be Justin.
Michele: So next up are the dishes by Kira and Gabe!
Kira – chicken adobo with egg congee
Gabe – coconut curd tart with lime meringue
Vin: Kira’s chicken tasted delicious, but the egg, just stirred into the rice, and not really seasoned, it fell to the wayside of the chicken adobo.
Vanilla: Gabe definitely showcased the egg a lot more, and the dessert was simple, but really well executed. And just how he showed his heritage, it was really innovative.
Erwin: Gabe’s dessert was really strong. Even if Kira’s dish didn’t showcase the egg, it would be hard to go against that.
Michele: So the winner?
Vin: I’m voting Gabe.
Vanilla: I second that.
Erwin: Gabe won this one for me as well.
Michele: And now we’ve got Jaenice and Henry’s dishes!
Jaenice – Korean seafood pancake with soondooboo-egg sauce
Henry – uni scrambled eggs, caviar, lobster knuckles
Erwin: Interesting that both of them prepare a seafood and egg dish, but I preferred Jaenice, just based on actual execution and the showcasing of the egg.
Vanilla: I have to disagree. Henry’s usage of the caviar was clever, and yeah, his dish was a bit excessive, but the flavors were great.
Vin: Jaenice made as good a dish as Henry without using nearly as expensive or luxurious ingredients, so for me, Jaenice deserves the victory.
Michele: So your votes?
Michele: And the next two dishes we’ve got were made by Cherry and Elizabeth.
Cherry – fried soft shell crab with tamarind-egg vinaigrette
Elizabeth – black sesame-miso ice cream, gluten-free chocolate cake, meringue shards
Vanilla: The soft shell crab Cherry prepared was fried beautifully, but where was the egg? Her vinaigrette was just too tamarind-heavy. I’m disappointed here, because eggs are not an easy ingredient to hide.
Vin: Elizabeth prepared an ambitious dessert, but her meringue shards were a bit too soggy for me. That part of the dessert wasn’t really enjoyable.
Erwin: It’s between a decent dish with no real usage of the egg, and an interesting dessert with technical flaws. It’s a bit of a hard call for me.
Michele: But can you guys make it?
Vanilla: I’d have to give it to Elizabeth.
Vin: I agree that Elizabeth embraced the egg a lot more.
Erwin: Elizabeth won, but just because Cherry’s dish hardly had any eggs in it.
Michele: And finally, we have the dishes by Taylor and Lauren!
Taylor – shakshuka
Lauren – matcha ice cream sandwich with honey meringue
Vanilla: Taylor prepared a really classic dish and the flavors were beautiful. The eggs were cooked perfectly.
Erwin: Lauren’s dessert just wowed me. The chiffon cake was light, springy, but still moist, her ice cream inside was delicious, and I liked her meringue.
Vin: I really loved her dessert. Lauren and Taylor both prepared really delicious dishes, and I’m honestly split on who took it for me.
Michele: So who won this match-up?
Vanilla: I have to give this to Lauren, because that dessert was so technically perfect that I could not fault it.
Erwin: I’m giving it to Taylor, because his dish showed the egg perfectly and I was really impressed that he stuck with his roots.
Vin: The chiffon cake…. it just won me over. I’m voting for Lauren as well.
Michele: Alright. So out of the winners, we have Phung, Justin, Gabe, Jaenice, Elizabeth, and Lauren. We need to choose a top three from them, and then a bottom three out of the six losers.
Erwin: I think we have made our decision.
In walks Phung, Gabe, and Lauren.
Michele: Tonight, the three of you… prepared the best dishes and won your individual match-ups! Congratulations!
Gabe: @Being on top makes me feel a huge sense of validation. @I didn’t expect to come out with one of the best three dishes.
Phung: @I’m just dominating. @This season is going to be the dawn of the Phung Dynasty. @Mark my words.
Michele: Vin, please announce tonight’s winner!
Vin: It was a tough decision. Phung, you blew us away with your incredibly complex dish. Gabe, that dessert showed your heritage and it was well-crafted. And finally, Lauren, that chiffon cake sandwich was inventive and we were all impressed. Lauren, you are tonight’s winner.
Lauren: Oh my god! I just won the challenge?! @I’m feeling over the moon right now. @Winning the first elimination challenge is awesome!
Phung: @Drat, I lost. @Well, there’s always next time.
The top three leave. In walks Cherry, Teddy, and James.
Michele: The three of you made the judges’s least favorite dishes, and one of you will be going home tonight.
Vanilla: Cherry, your dish tasted good, but your usage of the egg was almost non-existent. We had no idea what you were going for with that.
Vin: Teddy, you made good chips, but the flounder was greasy, and your egg sauce was also really oily. It tasted like it was split.
Erwin: James, the creme brulee had promise. Your creme was good, but the topping was acrid and bitter. Torching the matcha was a mistake.
Cherry: @It sounds like we all made equal mistakes. @My egg was non-existent, Teddy made a greasy dish, and James made a bitter dish. @It really can go either way.
Michele: It was a tough choice…. Teddy, please return to the kitchen and leave.
Teddy: Alright. @It sucks. @I’m getting sent home first. @I thought my fish and chips represented me well, but in the end, I’m just going to be remembered for being the guy who couldn’t even make it past one elimination. @This is embarrassing.