Victoria: This is it! The Warrior Chef finale! After several grueling rounds of competition, three high school cooks are here to compete for the ultimate title! Kenny Jacobs! The youngest of the final three, Kenny has managed to prove that he can cook amazing food and deliver dishes from almost any cuisine! Kenny has the most challenge wins and is posed to take the Warrior Chef crown with his versatile flavors! And then there’s Tiffany Sherquise Gary! A force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, Tiffany has managed to be on top of a record twelve challenges on top of winning four of them! With brute sass and a strong culinary voice, having won the most elimination challenges, can Tiffany be our next Warrior Chef? And finally, Colt Horton! The dessert king from Kansas, Colt has been one of the strongest cooks in the Warrior Chef kitchen, winning repeatedly with his amazing desserts! A former quarterback turned pastry cook, will Colt’s sacrifices in life finally pay off? Which one of these three will be Warrior Chef? Find out tonight!
Tiffany: @At this point, this is my kitchen. @I don’t care what Colt or Kenny say, this competition is mine to lose. @I made it this far kicking ass and taking names, and I intend to do that until the very end.
Colt: @It’s down to the final three. @Tiffany has been winning everything in the finale so far, so I need to try my best to beat her tonight. @If I don’t win now, I don’t win period. @It’s time to bring it home for the Midwest.
Kenny: @These guys are strong cooks and they both belong in the finale with me. @But right now, I’d say that I’m the favorite to win and I’m here to do just that. @I want to be the first cook from Las Vegas to win the competition.
Mariko: Hi, you three. So there are two challenges in this finale. The first is to prepare an amuse bouche to begin your three course meals. This season, all three of you will be moving into the final elimination challenge, however, the person who performs the worst will have 15 minutes less, while the person who wins will get to choose both of their sous-chefs first!
Kenny: @On one hand, it’s great to hear that we don’t have to get eliminated, but on the other hand, 45 minutes to make three courses, I’m nervous. @You’d be heavily handicapped here.
Colt: @An amuse bouche? @I have to think about what would really make the best impression here.
Mariko: 30 minutes, time starts now!
Colt: @I’m preparing a tempura fried oyster mushroom with matcha salt and a mushroom broth. @I’m making the broth using dried mushrooms, mirepoix, bonito, kombu, and water. @Making a fully flavored broth in this amount of time is a huge risk, but if I can pull it off, then I’m going to win the advantage and I want that.
Tiffany: @I’m making huitlacoche and anchovy fritters with charred leek yogurt. @Laguna got in trouble for making a charred leek mixture, but I’m going to make it properly in this challenge. @I’m not aiming to win this challenge. @I’m aiming to not be on the bottom. @Girlfriend knows what she’s doing. @Enough of this foolishness.
Kenny: @Tiffany is a huge wildcard, but I think Colt is still a stronger cook. @I see that both of them plan on deep frying and that’s cool. @But I’m going to pan fry. @I’m making shrimp and pork gyoza with shrimp paste ponzu and minced green onions. @I’m going to make the gyoza wrappers from scratch and that will be my edge in this challenge.
Tiffany: @I get the fritters going and I’m feeling great about those. @I see that Colt is frying off mushrooms and I’m not impressed. @I know that Colt’s entire menu is going to be really boring, and that Kenny is my main competition going into the final elimination.
Colt: @I taste my broth and I think it’s really fully-flavored. @I love it. @The matcha salt will give the mushrooms a nice flavor, so those are going to be good as well. @I see that Kenny’s struggling with his dumplings, and I want to help, but at the same time, I’m not risking losing 15 minutes here.
Kenny: @My wrappers are sticking to the pan and time is winding down. @I have to get something on the plate. @So I grab some of my spare wrappers and fry those off separately as a tuile. @I’m going to take the filling and plate the cooked quenelles of it and call it a deconstructed gyoza.
Mariko: Time’s up!
Colt: @I like my dish. @The broth and the fried mushroom, it’s going to be delicious together. @Tiffany’s fritter looks nice too. @Kenny’s dish, it looks a lot bigger than an amuse bouche.
Kenny: @My dish is definitely not one bite. @I’m not feeling great about my dish right now. @Hopefully, the flavors work, and Tiffany’s charred leek yogurt screws her.
Mariko: Your judge for the challenge is Warrior Chef winner, Vin Rugnetta!
Vin: Hi, everyone! It’s exciting to see you all here again, and I can’t wait to taste your amuse bouches!
Kenny: @Now I’m feeling nervous. @The last time I cooked for Vin, I won. @He’s not going to like what I’m serving here.
Colt: @Vin judged my preliminary challenge and I won that one. @Then the next time I cooked for him, I was on the bottom. @Maybe this time, I’ll win again to average it out? @You know, full circle?
Vin and Mariko taste the dishes.
Tiffany: @I see Vin can’t finish Kenny’s amuse and that’s a bad sign. @Boy, you’re out of the competition.
Mariko: So Vin, who failed to impress you?
Vin: Kenny, the amuse bouche tasted nice, but it was too large.
Mariko: Kenny, you will have last pick of your sous-chefs and will be deducted 15 minutes from your cooking time.
Kenny: Crap. @This is horrible. @I’m freaking out right now.
Tiffany: @At this point, I am the only person who was never on the bottom of any challenge. @Kenny must be feeling really lucky right now, because he got saved by the fact that this wasn’t an elimination.
Mariko: And who won?
Vin: The other two amuse bouches were delicious. But for me, one of them just had more flavor. Colt, you won it for me.
Mariko: Congratulations, Colt! You won the last creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination! Speaking of, let’s bring in your sous-chefs!
In walks Claudia, Julie, Jacob, Fiona, Mary, Chloe, Jeanne, Kaity, and Laguna.
Mariko: See any familiar faces?
Colt: Hell yeah, I do.
Mariko: Colt, you get to pick both of your sous-chefs first.
Colt: My first pick is obviously Laguna. @He’s the man when it comes to seafood. @I know he’ll have my back.
Laguna: @Colt’s going to be Warrior Chef. @I’m going to do everything in my power to guarantee this. @Mark my words.
Colt: For my second choice, I’m going to choose Fiona. @Fiona and I won the first elimination challenge together and I think she’ll be a stronger asset than anyone else. @I don’t want to choose Kaity, because Kaity and Laguna might distract each other with their flirting, and I don’t have time to be a third wheel tonight.
Fiona: @I’m pretty stoked to be picked second out of all of these cooks here. @Being on Colt’s team, I want to do my best and help him be Warrior Chef. @Let’s do this!
Tiffany: Well my first pick is pretty obvious. I’m going with Chloe.
Chloe: *to Tiffany* Hell’s yeah, girlfriend! We are going to crush this motherfucker!
Tiffany: For my second choice, I’m going to pick Kaity. @That’s a strategic one. @I know that Kenny and Kaity work well together, and if I choose Kaity, then Kenny’s left with all of the weaker home cooks.
Kenny: @I need people who are fast and efficient. @Unfortunately, Colt took Laguna and Tiffany nabbed Kaity, so now I really need to improvise here. I’m going to choose Jeanne and Mary. @Jeanne is strong when she cooks properly. @Mary, she has hardly ever been on the bottom, so I think she can execute.
Jeanne: @Honestly, I’m not excited to be working with Kenny, because we have limited time and that’s going to suck hardcore. @I’d rather not cook than have to be under this kind of unnecessary stress.
Mary: @I’m scared to be working with Jeanne because she’s intense and honestly, a very uncomfortable person to be around. @I’d rather not deal with her bullshit.
Mariko: Tiffany and Colt, your hour starts now! Kenny, you’ll have to wait an entire 15 minutes before you can start cooking.
Colt: *to Fiona and Laguna* Alright, here’s the plan. @For my first course, I’m going to prepare skirt steak tostada on a homemade corn tortilla with corn and tomato salsa and a chimichurri. @Fiona will rock that out of the park for sure. @The second course is going to be grilled spiny lobster with a whipped uni butter sauce and buttermilk dumplings, and I’m going to work with Laguna on that, since there’s two proteins he needs to nail. @For my dessert, I need to take a huge risk here. @I’m making a chicken dessert. @It’s going to be a sticky chicken toffee cake with crispy chicken skin churro and a sage-camembert ice cream. @I want to make this dessert because I was raised around chicken farms my whole life, and I can’t be called a dessert king unless I can prove I can make a dessert with almost any ingredient.
Fiona: @I’m freaking out for Colt because he’s using chicken in a dessert. @If he can nail that, then he’s going to win the title. @But I’m having doubts, because the chicken’s umami might just overwhelm the cake. @For the tortillas, I’m using masa harina, lard, water, and just kneading that into the dough required. @I’m going to marinate the skirt steak in oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, a little lime, onion, and garlic, and then finish that on the plancha before serving. @I think my dish is straightforward in execution, so I should be right on schedule.
Laguna: @I have to first break down and clean the lobster and the uni, and from there, I’m going to marinate the lobster in melted butter and salt, while the uni sauce, I’m making that next. @Colt is starting the dumpling batter for me, so all I need to do is cook it and finish it off in the uni sauce. @He’s taking a risk, making a chicken dessert, but if he can nail it, then it’ll definitely earn him the crown.
Tiffany: @The theme of my menu tonight is going to be everything black. @So for the first course, it’s black bass with black lava salt, black garlic-charred eggplant puree, and black radishes in Chinese black vinegar. @For the second course, black chicken and activated charcoal waffles with Okinawan black sugar syrup infused with blackberries and ginger. @For the last course, black velvet and pinot noir cake with oreo crumble and a cream cheese-black sesame ice cream. @I’m having Chloe handle my fish, no lesbian pun intended, Kaity will be on the vegetables and fruits, and I’m handling the rest of the dishes myself.
Kaity: @I’m doing the black garlic-charred eggplant puree, the shaved black radishes in Chinese vinegar, and I’m also doing the blackberry syrup for the chicken dish. @Being in an all-girls team, I’m used to it. @In fact, I’m pumped and ready to knock out Colt and Kenny. @A girl is going to take it this year, even if it is Tiffany.
Chloe: @I’m breaking down the bass for the first course, and I’m going to help Tiffany make her activated charcoal batter for both the waffles and the chicken, as well as the oreo crumble. @I think that Tiffany is going to be Warrior Chef tonight. @No. @I know she’s going to be Warrior Chef tonight. @Homegirl is on fire, because she is mucho caliente, mamacita.
Kenny: @Even though we’re being forced to watch, I’m talking with Jeanne and Mary about my menu and where I want to go with it. *to Mary* Do you think we can try making that in 45 minutes, if we substitute the yeast with baking powder?
Mary: *to Kenny* I think it’s worth a shot.
Kenny: Alright then. @For my first course, we are going to make duck bao with fried leeks and far-far and a homemade hoisin sauce and Mary is in charge of that. @For the second course, I talk it over with Jeanne, and we’re going to make seared rainbow trout with fennel-mussel risotto and fennel salad. @Jeanne is confident that she can break down the trout quickly and I’m going to get the stock started while she does the knife work for that. @For the last course, Jeanne and I are going to work together again, and make a chocolate panna cotta, setting it with agar-agar, with orange liquor meringue and graham cracker crumble.
Jeanne: @I’m handling the meringue for the dessert while Kenny does the other components. @I think we are going to work really well together and we are going to crush it, despite the advantage. @All three of us know how to hustle, so this should not be a problem.
Mariko: Kenny, you have 45 minutes, time starts now!
Kenny: *to Mary* Get the buns started ASAP. *to Jeanne* Let’s get that trout butchered. I’m going to grab all of the pots and pans we need. @It’s a hustle, but we need to pull it together and make this happen. @I need to be Warrior Chef. @This is my chance to do it and I want it so badly. @I’m going to fight my hardest for the title.
Colt: @Kenny is showing why he’s such a beast in the kitchen. @Within just 1 minute of cooking, he already has all of the equipment set up and they’re just off to the races. @I’m really impressed, but at the same time, my team is already cruising. @Fiona’s almost halfway done with her dish, and Laguna’s already finished most of his components now and is helping me with my chicken dessert.
Tiffany: @Colt using chicken in his dessert, against me? @I’m using chicken in my entree, and that will just make the judges prefer my menu to his that much more. @Kaity has already finished the vegetable prep and I have the entire dessert either in the oven or in the ice cream machine. @We are busting it out right now. @I see Kenny’s struggling over there, and boy, he better get it into hyper drive, or else we are flushing that little sucker down the toilet tonight.
In the judges room:
Mariko: Thank you all for coming here to judge the final challenge!
Next to her are Warrior Chef alumnus:
Karen Laverre – Warrior Chef 1; 3rd place
Tadashi Hamilton – Warrior Chef 1; runner-up/ 4; winner
Amanda Bolen – Warrior Chef 2; 3rd place
Rose Fu – Warrior Chef 2; runner-up
Kira Taso – Warrior Chef 3; runner-up/ 4; 3rd place
Phung Pham – Warrior Chef 3; 3rd place/ 4; runner-up
Phung: I’m so glad to be back and eat their food, because we all know that my food was so much better than anything they can put up.
Kira: Well, reading their menus, I can see dishes I’m excited to try, and dishes, like that chicken dessert, that make me nervous. @I don’t want to see anyone fail tonight, so I just hope that it all goes well.
Amanda: I just wanted to point out how it’s funny Tadashi is the only guy sitting at the table tonight!
The other girls start laughing.
Tadashi: It’s… definitely been interesting, the conversation topics that have been floating around the table.
Phung: Yeah! Like how Colt is HOT!
Rose: Woohoo! Preach it, girlfriend! If he wins, I’m ripping his shirt off!
Phung: Hell, yeah! I wanna see what that beefcake is packing underneath there!
Tadashi: Oh geez…
Karen: *to Tadashi* It’s okay, I’ll be your normal friend tonight.
Tadashi: *to Karen* Thank you.
Karen: I’m excited to try their food, for sure.
Kira: Same. This is going to be a good night… hopefully.
Back in the kitchen:
Mary: *to Kenny* They worked! @I checked the steamer and the buns have risen. We have an appetizer!
Kenny: *to Mary* You’re amazing. Thank you so much! @Mary just saved my life. @If it wasn’t for her, I would have lost out on the first round for sure.
Colt: *to Laguna* Start dropping the lobster!
Laguna: @I’m cooking the lobster now that we only have 10 minutes left on the clock. @Spiny lobster has a much nicer flavor than a normal lobster, but it takes less time to cook, so I need to watch these carefully as I grill them. @And surely enough, with all of that butter, they start to catch on fire, so I take them off the grill and cover them with a towel to smother the flames.
Tiffany: Boos, where are we?!
Chloe: We are done here!
Kaity: Finished plating too!
Tiffany: Awesome! @We are done with our shit and it feels good to watch the other two teams squirm as time winds down. @I have the least amount of challenge wins right now, but at this rate, victory shall be mine!
Mariko: Time’s up!
Colt: @I’m feeling great about my dishes. @Kenny looks confident too, and that’s a huge shock because he had the disadvantage.
Kenny: @I think Jeanne and Mary saved my ass. @They managed to help me make the best three courses of my life, and I might still have a shot at the title here!
Mariko: Looks like the first courses are coming in right now!
Colt – skirt steak tostada, homemade corn tortilla, corn-tomato salsa, and chimichurri
Tiffany – black bass, black lava salt, black garlic-charred eggplant puree, black radishes
Kenny – duck bao with fried leeks and far-far and homemade hoisin sauce
Karen: Colt cooked the skirt steak well and I enjoyed the texture of the tortilla. I think he made a really strong first dish. No complaints here.
Rose: I think that Tiffany’s dish, it sounded horrifying. But the actual taste of the bass against the eggplant and radishes, it worked. She managed to make a really good dish.
Amanda: Kenny’s bao, I’m impressed he got that done in an hour or less. The duck itself, there was not quite enough rendering on the breast, so there was a fat layer, but I really liked his components other than that.
Mariko: Next are the entrees!
Colt – grilled spiny lobster with whipped uni butter sauce, and buttermilk dumplings
Tiffany – black chicken and activated charcoal waffles with Okinawan black sugar syrup
Kenny – seared rainbow trout with fennel-mussel risotto and fennel salad
Tadashi: The lobster was cooked beautifully and I loved the buttermilk dumplings. The butter sauce was not necessarily It made the dish way too heavy and decadent. I almost lost the seafood completely from the sheer amount of butter in the dish.
Kira: Tiffany’s chicken and waffles concept, it was boring. It’s the Warrior Chef finale, and you choose to go with chicken and waffles? Regardless, I loved the creative license she took with it, going all black and incorporating fresh blackberries into the syrup, but I question the creativity and level of ambition.
Phung: Kenny cooked the trout perfect and I loved the risotto. Folding mussels into the rice was almost like a paella meets a risotto and it was great. The fennel salad added a nice freshness that none of the other entrees had. He nailed this one.
Mariko: And finally, the desserts!
Colt – sticky chicken toffee cake, crispy chicken skin churro, sage-camembert ice cream
Tiffany – black velvet-pinot noir cake with oreo crumble and cream cheese ice cream
Kenny – dark chocolate panna cotta, orange liquor meringue, graham cracker crumble
Karen: Colt’s cake… I actually loved it. He had a really bad entree, but his dessert was phenomenal. I genuinely loved the sweet and salty flavors of the chicken toffee with the cake and the ice cream worked as well. It was arguably the biggest risk of the night.
Rose: Tiffany’s dessert was delicious. The black velvet and pinot noir worked so nicely with the oreo crumble and the cream cheese ice cream. It was the best plated dessert of the round and I’d say it was her strongest dish of the night.
Phung: Kenny’s panna cotta was well made and I liked the meringue and crumble. But together, he lacked a sauce. The dish ate dry and I found myself reaching for my glass of water a lot because I was half-choking on graham cracker crumble.
Mariko: So what are your guys’s thoughts on the final menus?
Kira: For Colt’s meal, he had a strong start with the steak tostada, even making the tortilla from scratch, and his sauces were great! The lobster dish was a very heavy entree, with way too much butter, between marinating the lobster in it and serving it with a butter sauce. But a great dessert, using chicken of all things! I’m floored by that dessert. Honestly, he had two of the biggest highs, but arguably one of the biggest lows.
Tadashi: With Tiffany, she made a strong first course, serving us bass with eggplant and black radishes, which I was not expecting to taste nearly as good as it wound up tasting. The chicken and waffles was her weakest course, because of how uninventive it was, but she still executed it well. For the dessert, she took a risk using red wine to dye the cake black, but it worked and she made a delicious dessert.
Amanda: Kenny’s first course was almost there, but the piece of duck fat just ruined the experience. For his entree, easily the best and most balanced plate. His risotto was my single favorite bite of the day. For his dessert, had he included like a ganache or a coulis or something else, it would have been perfection. But it lacked that, so it ate dry.
Mariko: So can we announce our winner tonight?
Phung: We can.
In walks the final three, who are greeted by Mariko, the judges, and all of the previous competitors from the season.
Mariko: Tonight, one of you is going to be crowned Warrior Chef. The judges have talked it over and it was not an easy decision to make. Colt, you managed to impress with by far the best dessert, and your appetizer was tied with Tiffany’s for being the strongest of the first course dishes. The entree, it was a letdown, however.
Colt: @Hearing that is very disappointing. @I think I might still win, because I tied in one round, and won the other.
Mariko: Tiffany, your appetizer, the judges loved it and you showed a lot of courage, making an all-black menu tonight. The entree, you were marked down for lacking creativity with the base concept, but everything was perfectly executed. For the dessert, the pinot noir, using it to dye your cake black, ingenious.
Tiffany: @So far, it sounds like I’ve come in second place for the dessert and entree, but I won the dessert. @I think I won overall.
Mariko: Kenny, the appetizer was almost there, but the duck fat was not rendered. The risotto dish, easily the best entree, and it kept you in the running for the title by a landslide. For the dessert, it lacked enough moisture to keep us going back in for another bite.
Kenny: @Hearing the critiques, I think I’m screwed. @I came in last for the first and probably the third courses, and I only won the second course.
Mariko: Tonight, only one of you can be Warrior Chef. And that person is… Tiffany. Congratulations, you are Warrior Chef!
Confetti rains down as everyone claps for Tiffany.
Tiffany: Thank you. @I won. @I fucking won it. @I knew I had it in me to be victorious. @When I said victory is mine, I meant it, boo. @Enough of this nonsense, give me my money! @I knew I was Warrior Chef. @These fools, they knew it too. @Being the winner, it feels right. @I know I earned it.
Colt: @She made the better menu. @At the end of the day, do I think Kenny or myself are weaker cooks than Tiffany? @Nope. @But she had a better day and good for her.
Kenny: @Losing this close, it hurts. @But I’m proud of myself for getting this far, overcoming so many hurdles, and almost winning. @I can look back on this experience and smile at all of the friends I have made. @It’s been amazing.
Chloe: *to Tiffany* You did it, girl!
Tiffany: I’m Warrior Chef!~ Yeah!~