Warrior Chef 3: Round 7

Justin: @Walking into the kitchen today, I’m feeling good. @The final five. @Let’s do it.

Michele: Hi, everyone! So today’s creativity challenge is something you want to win. The winner will automatically secure a spot in our finale in New Orleans!

Henry: @I’ve made it this far, but Kira, Phung, Justin, and Lauren are strong competition. @If I can beat them for a spot in the finale, then I have a good chance to win the title and be Warrior Chef.

Michele: For this challenge, you have 30 minutes to prepare a dish using… onions. And your time starts now!

Lauren: @I’m not the biggest fan of using onions to be honest. @I’m going to make a deep fried onion ring with an onion-dried mushroom broth. @I think it’s going to be super simple, but I want the onion to be the focus of the flavors.

Phung: @I love my onions. @I’m going to make a pickled onion salad with a scallion pancake. @To make my pancake, I’m going to start with flour and water, then then layer it with oil and wilted scallions. @I think it’ll be bomb.

Justin: @For my dish, I’m preparing a grilled onion broth with fried onions and a beef tortellini. @I’m going to dust the onions in mochiko flour and then fry those for a garnish on top of my dish.

Kira: @I’m debating on what to do with my dish. @I finally decide on a scallion salad with grilled skirt steak and an onion puree. @I’m hoping that the flavors will be good together, but the thing about onions is that they’re strong on their own. @I don’t want the dish to lose too much balance to that.

Henry: @I’m going to prepare a caramelized onion jam to go with a seared ribeye and then an onion jus with parmesan flaked into it. @I’m feeling good about the dish because it’s got everything I want in an onion dish in it. @There’s caramelized onions, and a delicious sauce with them.

Michele: Time’s up!

Kira: @I’m not quite sure how the dish will stack up, because the onions were really strong and my palate feels overwhelmed.

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

Aster: Hi, everyone! I’m excited to taste your dishes tonight.

Michele and Aster taste the dishes.

Michele: So Aster, who failed to impress you tonight?

Aster: Kira, the onion flavor was too overwhelming. I lost the steak to the onion salad and puree. Phung, the scallion pancake was raw in the center. You didn’t have enough time to execute it properly.

Phung: @I’m pissed. @I wanted to win the challenge and it was my challenge to lose. @It sucks so much!

Michele: And who impressed you?

Aster: Justin, the tortellini were well made and the onions were fried beautifully. Lauren, your broth was perfectly executed. That broth had a lot of beautiful flavors in it. Tonight, the better dish was prepared by…. Justin.

Michele: Congratulations, Justin! You won the creativity challenge and you’re guaranteed a spot in the finale!

Justin: Thank you. @Not having to cook in the elimination challenge feels good. @I can just kick back and relax.

Justin leaves the room.

Michele: And now for the elimination challenge! This challenge is simple. You have an hour to prepare a dish based on your journey in the competition thus far. And your time starts now!

Phung: @I’m pissed. @I’ve been inconsistently performing in these challenges. @But I have six challenge wins so far, and that’s nothing to scoff at. @I’m preparing another banh mi. @With the baguette made from scratch. @That’s how legit I am going to be. @Keeping it simple, Vietnamese, and sassy as fuck. @That’s how I won those six challenges, and that’s why I’m going to win this next challenge. @Nobody is going to ever end the Phung Dynasty. @This is my season. @I’m doing pork this time, using pork belly and pork liver, because I did beef last time I made this.

Lauren: @Phung is making another baguette from scratch, and I know that’s going to be a surefire winner on her part. @I need to step it up. @I’m preparing caramel-miso doughnuts with a red bean ice cream and black sesame panna cotta. @I’m hoping that Phung gets sent home, because she’s super strong competition, but realistically, I need to just focus on my own food and cook it to the best of my ability. @My dish is based on my love of baking, and how I won the first elimination challenge with an Asian fusion dessert. @I want to win this one with that same kind of dish.

Kira: @Everyone wants Phung to go home at this point. @She’s extremely tough competition and none of us want to face off against her in the finale. @For my dish, I’m making a confit of ocean trout with black trumpet mushrooms, ramp-spring pea puree, and a lemon-poppyseed butter. @I’ve been cooking fine dining in almost every challenge, and I want to keep doing that to bring me a win, and to guarantee a spot in the finale tomorrow.

Henry: @Phung, Lauren, and Kira are all tough, tough competition. @But if even one of them slips up, then I can swoop in and take the challenge. @I haven’t won a challenge yet, but my journey has been me making pretty solid dishes overall. @I’m making a grilled chicken thigh with a chicken jus, parsnip puree, and fried parsnip chips. @I’m hoping that this will be winner, winner, chicken dinner for me tonight.

Phung: @I honestly hope that Lauren gets eliminated tonight, because she’s got more confidence in her cooking than Kira does. @Kira is a strong cook, but she still doesn’t quite have the soul to be a real chef, so I know I can take down Kira.

Justin: @I’m just sitting there, watching them cook. @Kira’s concept sounds really nice, but I feel like she needs to execute it well because the story isn’t there. @Henry’s dish sounds pretty boring. @He might be going home because he’s going with something that shows little risk. @Lauren’s dessert is ambitious but if she nails it, then she’ll win. @And Phung’s dish, I’d expect her to go home on making a baguette from scratch in an hour but she’s done that before, so she probably will be fine, if not win.

Lauren: @Kira and I get along fine because she’s very chill. @Phung, just too loud. @I can’t sometimes with her.

Phung: *to Henry* Go fuck yourself! @Henry tried to open the oven, but I needed it closed for my baguette. Use the one next to it, you fucking idiot.

Henry: @Only one oven was preheated to the right temp, and Phung’s using it. @I need to think fast, because I need the oven for my chicken. @I decide to drop it into the deep frier to finish it, because I’m running out of time.

Kira: @Henry is deep frying his par-cooked chicken, and I just think that’s the dumbest thing you can do with an uncoated piece of chicken. @It’s going to be tough and dry.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: This is the shit! @I’m confident that my banh mi will be epic.

Michele: Your judges are:

Chelia Van Buren

Thyme De Lys

Kierra Johnson

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

-confit ocean trout, ramp-spring pea puree, black trumpet mushrooms, lemon butter

Thyme: Her presentation was gorgeous and I loved the cook on my trout. The puree had a velvety texture. But the lemon butter was bland.

Chelia: I didn’t particularly care for the poppyseed in the butter sauce. The mushrooms for me were too cooked, and they lost their integrity.

Michele: Next is Phung’s dish!

-homemade pork banh mi

Thyme: I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the fact she made her own bread from scratch, I almost forgot she made it, because it was that robust. I’m just wowed by that.

Kierra: Her baguette alone, I could eat this for breakfast for the rest of my life. She nailed the filling too. The vinaigrette, aioli, and the seared pork belly, it was magical.

Michele: And now we have Henry’s dish!

-fried chicken thigh, parsnip puree and chip, chicken jus

Chelia: I’m in love with his puree and his sauce. The chip was cooked nicely, and had a good crunch. The seasoning on the dish was nice.

Kierra: The chicken was the biggest issue I had with my dish. It was dry, stringy, leathery, I just couldn’t eat it.

Michele: And finally, Lauren’s dessert.

-caramel-miso doughnuts with red bean ice cream and black sesame panna cotta

Thyme: I normally hate red bean and miso, but she put both of them together in a dessert, and they worked. I’m really in love with her dish.

Kierra: The doughnuts alone were fluffy, airy, light, and the panna cotta was well executed. Her dessert had everything you needed in a successful dish.

Michele: So can we decide on who our final four are?

Thyme: Yes.

In walks Henry, Phung, Kira, and Lauren.

Michele: Tonight, it was split down the line. Two of you impressed us, and one of you is going home. Kira, Henry, the judges agreed that the two of you had the most mistakes in your dishes, and one of you is going home tonight.

Thyme: Kira, your mushrooms were overcooked and the lemon sauce with the poppyseed was cumbersome and bland.

Kierra: Henry, the chicken was tough and stringy. We couldn’t really even eat it.

Michele: Phung and Lauren, that means that the two of you are the top two in this.

Kierra: It was a close call between both dishes to be honest. Phung, your baguette was a stellar component and it was the most ballsy thing I saw today. However, you prepared banh mi in another challenge and already won with it then, so we cannot award you the win tonight. Lauren, your dessert showed harmony, and as a dessert lover myself, I have to give you the win.

Michele: Congratulations, Lauren, you won the elimination challenge! Both of you will be joining Justin in the finale!

Phung: Okay. @I lost to Lauren? @Are you kidding me? @I deserved the win. @Fuck.

Lauren and Phung leave.

Michele: Kira, Henry, one of you is going home. The person joining Justin, Lauren, and Phung in the finale is…. Kira. Henry, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Henry: Okay. @I’m feeling deflated going home this close to the finale. @I wanted to go all the way to the end and win Warrior Chef but I didn’t get to. @God damn it.

Kira: @Being able to earn my place in the finale is great, but now I’m the underdog. @I need to prove myself in the finale or else nobody is going to take me seriously.

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