Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 6

Tadashi: @I feel good about winning the last elimination challenge, but going into this round, I don’t know what to expect. @Phung was on the bottom of the last challenge because she didn’t bother cooking. @That’s honestly not a good habit to have, because every challenge should be an opportunity to keep improving and practicing under these high-stress situations.

Phung: @I’m going to win this round. @I can sense it. @My Phung senses are tingling. @I’m not going to win just one challenge. @I’m winning both. @And when my Phung senses are tingling, that means that I’m going to be 100% correct.

Jessica: Welcome back! So for tonight’s creativity challenge, we want to see you guys prepare a delicious… deep-fried dish.

Amanda: @I hear the words deep-fried, and I’m just worried. @Frier oil is tricky to work with, and we only have one deep frier in the kitchen, and I do not want to fight over it if I do not have to.

Jessica: Immunity is off the table from this point on. However, the winner will receive $2,500! You have just 25 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Tadashi: @I immediately think about tempura, and that’s just what I’m going to do tonight. @I’m making a tempura of shiso leaves with hondashi and some fried uni and geoduck as well. @After winning the last elimination challenge, I want to keep that momentum going and stay on top for as many challenges as possible.

Amanda: @At this point, everyone left except for Nate has made the finale before. @Everyone except for Jo is a strong competitor, so making it back to the final three for me, it’s going to be a major challenge. @For my dish tonight, I’m going with fried liver and onions with a lemon-caper cream. @I think it’s a clever play on an American classic, and it’ll deliver on flavor.

Kira: @Amanda’s big competition, for sure. @Out of everyone left in her season, she got the furthest, and she’s been really strong. @I’m thinking about deep fried foods, and immediately, I think about fries. @But I can’t just make fries on their own. @I decide to prepare pomme souffles with a haddock bagna cauda to play off of fish and chips. @Pomme souffles are puffed up potato chips, generally made  by pressing together two slices of potato. @I think it’ll be interesting and a lot more technically challenging.

Phung: @I’m in love with this challenge. @I’m making confit potatoes with confit pork belly and fried oysters, all with a spicy tomato relish. @I’m used to using oil. @I see that Kira and Tadashi are both going for the deep fryer, so I’m going to use the oil in a pot on my own station instead. @I’m going to win this one. @I know I’m going to win, because for some goddam reason, I always win challenges with weird, ghetto influences on them this season.

Nate: @I’m somewhat stoked about this challenge. @Being a former fat kid, I used to love shoving fries into my face. @I decide to prepare fried asparagus to go over an asparagus soup, and then for fun, I’m also breading and deep frying a soft boiled egg. @I’m going to garnish the dish with parmesan-truffle fricco. @I’m not going to let the deep frying portion of the challenge outweigh my fine-dining style of plating.
Jo: @I’m going to make fries with balsamic-onion ketchup. @I’m cooking my fries three times to make sure that they are perfect, and I’m tossing them in garlic, parsley, and cheese to finish them off. @Out of everyone here, I think that Amanda’s going to be the one going home next. @She’s much weaker than the rest of us.

Amanda: @I honestly don’t get Jo’s deal. @He keeps saying that I’m weak, but he’s been on the bottom of almost everything. @I don’t get why he insists that I’m the one going home tonight.

Nate: @Jo picks on Amanda a lot, and I think that’s just showing how…. immature he can be. @But Amanda should also just ignore him. @She’s better than that.

Tadashi: @Seeing how the other competitors interact, it’s interesting. @Since I’ve been the only one left from my original season for a while, I’ve been focusing entirely on the food. @But Jo, Nate, and Amanda, those three are like children, and it’s not okay in any kitchen. @They just bicker, and that will affect their dishes’ quality.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: I crushed this bitch! @I know I won. @Hands down, I won. @My pork belly, it tasted bomb as fuuuuuck.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is house critic, Guy Flannigan!

Guy: Hi, everyone! I’m stoked to be judging this challenge, because I love pub food.
Jessica and Guy taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Guy, how did they do overall?
Guy: Nobody really disappointed tonight. For my favorite dishes, I had three. Nate, you made a beautiful dish but still held true to the challenge. I loved the soup and the flavors worked together. Kira, the dish was clever, and it was simple, yet really well executed. I loved the pomme souffles a lot. And finally, Phung. Your confit potatoes and pork belly were excellent, while the oysters were well fried, and the tomato relish tied it all together. I was impressed.

Jessica: And who won?

Guy: Three incredible dishes, but the best was made by… Phung. That pork belly, I will be dreaming of it tonight, the way the skin crunched and the fat melted in your mouth.

Phung: Blam! @I got the win again, and it just shows that I am a strong, strong chef in this competition. @Nobody can take me down.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won $2,500!

Phung: Thank you, thank you! @I’m going to blow the wad at the spa. @This bitch needs a mani-pedi right about now.

Nate: Damn it. @Phung is on fire and there’s like no stopping this girl. @I just want to see Phung get sent home.

Tadashi: @I honestly did not know what to expect out of Phung. @I saw her season before coming back to compete, and she was winning almost every challenge, but knowing that she has no professional cooking background, that’s what makes her such a wildcard to me.

Jessica: And now for the elimination challenge! Tonight, we want to see you guys prepare a dish inspired by… your family. You have just 45 minutes, and your cooking time starts now!

Amanda: @I want to make another homage to my mother, because that won me the eel creativity challenge the last time I cooked. @She’s a successful businesswoman, but she still made time to teach me how to cook. @I’m going to make a French classic, ratatouille, with some crostoli and a 63 degree egg. @I’m doing the crostoli and egg as a reference to breakfast, the first thing she taught me, while ratatouille is something my mother made for me a lot growing up.                   

Phung: @My family, we are a party bunch. @My parents are more than down to pass the tequila shots. @For my dish, I’m making drunken noodles with clams, chicken, cilantro, and lime. @I’m going to nail this dish tonight and I’m making my own noodles, but that’s standard for PhungFood. @I’m going to use the tequila to make my noodles drunk as fuck. @Nobody is going to beat me tonight. @I’m gunning for my second win in a row, because I feel like it.

Nate: @My family is Chinese, so I need to prepare a Chinese dish. @I’m going to make Peking duck baos with leeks, hoisin sauce, and far-far. @I’m making the hoisin sauce and bao from scratch, and for the duck, I’m going to blanch the whole duck in oil, then roast them on skewers in the oven to keep them from getting greasy. @I want to win the challenge. @I’ve been on top a lot lately, but I keep coming in second place. @Like, come on. @I’m a winner. @I swear!

Tadashi: @I’m half Japanese and half American. @I’m a bit nervous about this challenge because when I think of family, I think about how my parents did not want me to do this career and how we would argue a lot about it. @I need to figure out what I can do that is inspired by them, but without any of those bad memories. @I decide on doing something with influences of California and Japan. @I’m making crispy rice cake with cucumber and crab salad, avocado mousse, and a basil ice.

Jo: @I’m from SoCal, and I was raised on Asian food. @I’m going to make noodles with shiitake braised chicken and a ginger-chicken broth. @My biggest skill is that I make food that is comforting and that people want to eat. @That’s why I am not going to be sent home, ever. @My flavors are strong, and the judges can only ever ding me on creativity or presentation.

Kira: @I’m Filipino but raised in San Francisco for my entire life. @I’m feeling good about my odds going into this challenge because I can make something epic. @I’m making coconut flan with soy caramel tuile, peanut ice cream, and coconut-peanut streusel. @I’m making a dessert, and looking down the stations, nobody else is doing that. @I might be able to stand out because I’m taking a huge risk here.

Tadashi: @Kira’s making a dessert, and considering how the only strong pastry cooks were eliminated really early on, that’s a huge risk on her part. @If she can nail this like how I think she can, she’s going to win the challenge!

Nate: @I’m tasting everything. @I do not want my sauce to be gross or for the dish as a whole to come off as greasy because of the duck. @I’m blanching the duck first in water, then deep frying it because I do not have time to properly roast it in the oven. @I’m scared, because it’s a huge risk and the texture of my duck might be compromised entirely from this.

Phung: @Nate looks stressed, and this is why I dubbed him my gorgeous bitch. @He pulls that shit out of his ass at the last second and always comes through. @Jo is the weakest link here, and I think he’s going to be sent home next.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Amanda: @I managed to get everything onto the plate, but I don’t know if this dish was well-thought out. @If I go home now, it’s going to be an all-Asian final five, and that would be…. very interesting to see. @It’s just funny to think that the white chick is the minority in this competition!

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung and Nate!
Phung – drunken noodles with clams, chicken, cilantro, and lime
Nate – Peking duck baos with leeks, hoisin sauce, and far-far

Miriam: Phung’s noodles were expertly made. I just loved the texture of those. The clams were excellently cooked, I felt her chicken was still tender and moist, while her usage of lime and cilantro was fantastic. Using tequila was a clever choice, but I do question her household rules, just a bit. Otherwise, this was textbook delicious.

Erwin: Nate’s baos were fluffy and light, the fact he made his own hoisin sauce shows that he knows how to balance flavors well. The duck itself, the skin was crispy, which is what makes the dish so addicting. Using far-far was clever as well.

Jessica: Here we have Jo and Tadashi’s dishes!

Jo – noodles with shiitake-chicken broth, braised chicken

Tadashi – crispy rice cake with cucumber and crab salad, avocado mousse, basil ice

Aster: Jo’s broth was delicious but his dish, the description should be changed to Asian chicken noodle soup. And when you put it that way, I start to question if he deserves to be a Warrior Chef when he’s cooking such basic, unrefined dishes. I’m disappointed.

Erwin: Tadashi’s rice cake, I was apprehensive. But it was delicious, being coated and fried in panko. The salad with the basil ice was clever and the avocado mousse rounded out the entire dish. I loved it.

Jessica: And finally, the dishes by Amanda and Kira!

Amanda – ratatouille with crostoli and 63 degree egg

Kira – coconut flan, soy caramel tuile, peanut ice cream, coconut-peanut streusel

Aster: Amanda cooked her vegetables well, but it felt like two different dishes. The egg and crostoli were good together, and the ratatouille was good on its own, but together, it felt disjointed. It all clashed on my palate.

Miriam: Kira’s flan was excellent and I loved the streusel and ice cream. I wish she kept the caramel as a sauce instead of a tuile, because the dish needed another saucy component to add moisture.

Jessica: So can we decide on a winner and who’s going home?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Phung, Nate, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you prepared the best dishes, and one of you won the elimination challenge! Judges?

Aster: Phung, those noodles were dynamite. I couldn’t get enough of them! The usage of herbs and citrus to perk up the plate was brilliant and I loved the clams and chicken.

Erwin: Nate, the bao was fluffy and light, the duck was cooked excellently, and I loved the bravery you had, making your own hoisin. Well done!

Miriam: Tadashi, your dish was everything I loved about California in a single bite. I could have eaten a hundred of those rice cakes alone.

Jessica: Erwin, please announce the winner!

Erwin: We were really impressed by all three of you. The best dish was prepared by… Phung! Those drunken noodles were phenomenal.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won back to back challenges tonight!

Phung: Yes, yes I did.
Tadashi: @When she’s on point, Phung delivers. @It’s terrifying, but she’s just that good of a competitor. @I think this finale is going to be tough.

Jessica: The three of you are safe and can leave the room.

Phung: @And I just swept this round. @I know that I’m stronger than everyone here, and even though I came from the most recent season, that’s not stopping me. @I’m going to go all the way.

Nate: @Phung and Tadashi are my biggest competition here. @I know that it’s going to be a tough competition between those two, but I need to keep showing that I deserve to be here and stay on top of these challenges.

In walks Amanda and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, the two of you made the weakest dishes based on the judges’ critiques, and one of you is going home.

Erwin: Amanda, the dish was fragmented and you just did not deliver on a single, cohesive dish. Jo, your broth was great, but we just did not understand why you thought chicken noodle soup was okay for a spot in the top five in a Redemption season.

Amanda: @I’m feeling nervous. @I thought that the dish was delicious, but clearly the judges did not think the same.

Jo: @Amanda’s dish was what I would make with my leftovers in my fridge. @I think she’s a goner tonight.

Jessica: Amanda…. you’re going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jo: *to Amanda* Ha!

Amanda: @I have no words. @If I was going home, I would have rather it been without Jo standing right next to me, looking smug. @I’m so annoyed and it’s pissing me off. @Nate, Kira, Tadashi, please kick some ass in this season. @Jo, I hope you go home, and I hope Phung kicks your ass in a head to head challenge of any kind.

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