Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 7

Jo: @Seeing Amanda get sent home feels good. @She was really talented in my season, and I wasn’t expecting her to go home before me this time around. @It just makes my chances at winning that much higher.

Nate: @Phung and I are both pretty bummed that Amanda got eliminated. @This season just got a lot more Asian without her here.

Phung: @Everyone left is Asian. @It doesn’t matter though. @Regardless of race, they are all living in the Phung dynasty. @They are all under my dominion! @Muahaha!

Jessica: Tonight is the last round before our finale in San Francisco!
Tadashi: @This is deja vu. @My finale is was in San Francisco too, so it’s a very strange homecoming for me.

Kira: @I’m from San Francisco. @If I don’t make it to this finale, I will be extremely angry. @I need to win this.

Jessica: For this creativity challenge, immunity is off the table, but you will gain a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge! For the challenge, you have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish using… sour grapes!

Nate: @That’s just funny. @Sour grapes? @They definitely did that to spite us.

Jessica: You have just 30 minutes, starting now!

Phung: @I swept the last round, and I intend to do that again tonight. @I’m making sour grape mustard to go with chicken liver pate and puffed wild rice and sour grapes for texture. @I’m not going to lose this challenge, because I’m much better than everyone else here. @Nobody can or will beat me. @I’m the strongest cook because I do not use professional experience to get me far in the kitchen. @This is all personal experience, on my own time, on top of being in school and working part time at a hotel, not even a restaurant. @The fact that I’m this good, it’s a testament to how amazing I am.

Nate: @I’m making hot and sour egg-drop soup. @I’m blending up the sour grapes to make the base of my soup, and then I’m going to season it with hot sauce and rice wine to finish it off. @I’m feeling that this is my challenge to win tonight. @Nobody here can beat me when it comes to making an inventive dish. @This is the reason why I get on top of a lot of the creativity challenges. @It’s because my food is out of the box and I take risks that nobody expects.

Tadashi: @Sour grapes are like capers, so I’m going to treat them exactly like capers. @I’m preparing a tuna tartare with the sour grapes, and I’m thinking about infusing them with Mediterranean flavors, so I’m also going to make a balsamic-sour grape compote, sweetening it with honey, and then I’m going to top it with some homemade creme fraiche, which I’ll making by using sour grape brine, cream, a cheesecloth, and the sous-vide machine. @I’m determined to prove to everyone here that I deserve the title.

Kira: @I taste the grapes and they’re… sour. @I feel so dumb saying that, but they make my mouth pucker the moment I brush my tongue against them. Yuck. @It’s abrasive. @I’m chopping them up super fine, and I decide to make a gremolata using the grapes. @I’m going to take scallops, and make a crudo with those, the sour grape gremolata, and I’m thinking about what else I need. @I think to make a brown butter and sour grape brine foam, to add body and hopefully a creamier texture to the dish. @And to add a crunchy element, I’m going to tempura-fry the sour grapes, and then grate frozen scallop roe over those to season them.

Jo: @I taste the sour grapes and I love them. @I decide to make a lemon vinaigrette and I’m making a sour grape salad with some crispy cilantro chicken. @I see the other dishes, and Kira and Tadashi are doing raw dishes, Phung is making some weird pate dish, and Nate’s doing something Chinese. @I’m feeling like they aren’t pushing themselves. @My dish will be more composed and complete than theirs. @Being so close to the finale last time, I want to win it this time. @Out of the remaining people from my season, I got the furthest, and I intend to do that again.

Jessica: Time’s up! Step away from your dishes!
Phung: @I know I did well on this one. @Nobody else is going to make a pate in this amount of time, but because I’m just that amazing, I can do shit like this and get away with it every single time.

Jo: @Phung’s smug per usual but I’m going to beat her because she’s too cocky. @If Phung wins Warrior Chef, then hell will burn over the Earth.

Jessica: Your judge for this is Chelia Van Buren!

Chelia: Hello, everyone! I’m excited to see if you guys managed to transform sour grapes into something more desirable.

Chelia and Jessica taste the dishes.
Jessica: So Chelia, how did everyone do?

Chelia: So there was one dish that was really bad. Jo, your dish was inedibly sour. I wanted to spit out the salad the moment I put that in my mouth.

Jo: @Chelia is full of bullshit and she’s just a hater. @I don’t believe for a second that my dish was the worst.

Jessica: And Chelia, who impressed you the most tonight?

Chelia: Kira, the scallops were delicious and I loved the foam, which I’m surprised to even say, given how… boring foams normally are to me. The sour grapes made your dish exciting. Tadashi, making creme fraiche from scratch using the sour grape brine was brilliant. It curdled the cream and made it into a smooth and velvety texture. And your tartare was delicious as well. Phung, you made pate in so little time, and it was perfection. You balanced your flavors perfectly.

Kira: @I want to win, but I think it might go to Tadashi, because he made something genuinely new.

Jessica: Chelia, who won?

Chelia: The best dish was prepared by… Tadashi! That creme fraiche was brilliant.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Tadashi: Thank you! @Winning the challenge felt great. @So far, I’ve managed to avoid being on the bottom this season, and I really want to keep that streak going.

Kira: @At this point, only Tadashi and I have avoided being on the bottom. @I genuinely think that the two of us will be the final two. @We keep trading wins back and forth, so it’s going to be a clash of the titans if it’s down to us.

Jessica: So for the elimination challenge, we want to see what you guys can prepare using… chicken! You will have 1 hour to prepare a dish using a cut of chicken. Tadashi, your advantage is that you get to assign each cook their cut! We have breast, thigh, wing, drumstick, and oysters to choose from!
Tadashi: @The breast is honestly the most boring piece of chicken to cook with, so I’m thinking about assigning to that the person I want to send home the most. Jo’s getting the breasts. @He doesn’t deserve to be a finalist.

Jo: @Chicken breasts, I know how to cook those. @I’m feeling good that this is my opportunity to really showcase my talents.

Tadashi: I’m giving the drumsticks to…. Phung. @Drumsticks are large, unwieldy, inelegant, so giving them to Phung, I’m hoping that she will know what to do with them.

Phung: Thank you, thank you. @I’m already stoked. @I love a good drumstick.

Tadashi: Nate, you will get the wings. @Wings are basically like drumsticks in that same exact way. @It’s not exactly the best cut to make a refined dish out of.

Nate: @Tadashi might see me as a threat, but the wings will not be my downfall. @I know how to make chicken drumettes, so I’m going to do that with these.

Tadashi: @The oysters and thighs are easily the best two parts. @Kira is my strongest competitor, and I want to make it to the end with her, because I want to win the title going against the best of the best. I’m going to give Kira the thighs. @The oysters are trickier, but if I nail those, then it will show a lot more skill than the thighs.

Kira: Thanks. @I love chicken thighs, and this is going to be great. @I’m feeling like this is my chance to shine.

Jessica: 1 hour to make a dish using your assigned chicken parts, time starts now!

Kira: @I have the chicken thighs. @I’m going to make thighs two ways: mushroom and ground chicken thigh ragout with stuffed-roasted thigh, ricotta gnudi, and brown butter sauce. @I’m feeling great about having chicken thighs, because they lend themselves naturally to being the center of a dish, and you don’t need to fabricate more out of them.

Tadashi: @Chicken oysters are something I’m feeling great about. @I’m making a pakora fried chicken oyster with poached cucumber, fennel-za’atar yogurt, and chicken skin tuile. @It’s a dish inspired by Annisa in New York, and I know it will work. @Working in Michelin starred restaurants, it just means that you need to put your head down and focus. @I’m not letting any emotions get to me at this point. @I’m thinking about my dish, and only my dish.

Phung: @I love the drumsticks, and I decide to make Korean fried chicken with a cabbage slaw. @I’m going to make an authentic Korean fried chicken, using cornstarch and rice flour to coat the chicken, and I’m dunking the wings in a mixture of soy, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili paste to get it nice and fiery hot. @My slaw, I’m going to season it with sesame oil, black pepper, and lemon juice. @I’m keeping it real, because that’s all I do, bitches. @Tadashi thinks Kira’s his biggest competitor, but he’s stupid. @I’m his biggest competitor, bitch. @I’ve won seven challenges at this point, because I’m that good. @I’m going to be Warrior Chef this time, I swear upon it.

Jo: @I have the chicken breasts, and I’m going to make braised chicken breasts in soy and ginger with spiced peanuts and noodles in a chicken broth. @Tadashi assigned me the breasts thinking that I would trip up on them, but instead, I’m going to excel because chicken is my specialty and I know how to make delicious chicken. @I decide to take the tenders of the breast because they keep falling off anyways, and I’m going to make fried chicken with those to top my dish off with.

Nate: @I have the wing meat. @This… really sucks. @I do not want to have the wing meat, but I’m going to make ponzu and sesame drumettes with pickled raisins and shaved bok choy salad. @I’m going to drop the drumettes into the deep frier and it will work wonders on the exterior of the chicken. @I see the other competitors, and Jo is braising chicken breast. @That’s going to be cat food at the end of the hour. @I’m feeling like it might be my season to get in the finale!

Phung: All you bitches better watch the fuck out! Phung is going to unleash her wrath onto all of y’alls!

Kira: @She’s being crazy, per usual. @There’s no changing people sometimes. @At this point, I’m focusing on getting my gnudi piped and blanched. @Getting distracted by Phung’s antics, that’s honestly what tripped me up last season. @I got too focused on other people that I did not focus on my own food. @I want the title so badly. @Being so close last season, and just barely losing it to Lauren, it was hard. @I want redemption.

Nate: @I’m so close to the finale that I want to be there. @We’ve come so far, but I’m positive that I can win the competition. @I’ve done well to get this far, and it’s still anybody’s game.

Jessica: Time’s up! Step away from your dishes!

Tadashi: @I’m glad with my choices in this challenge. @I like the look of my dish, and I see the other dishes, and I think I won on the plating aspect for sure.

Jessica: Your judges are:
Ashlee Pou

Talia Garrett

Sophia Pham

Jessica: Let’s start with Tadashi’s dish first!

-pakora fried chicken oyster, poached cucumber, za’atar yogurt, chicken skin tuile

Sophia: Babes, I loved the chicken oyster. Baring the fact that Tadashi is really hot, I think his dish was a bang-on success.
Ashlee: Babes, I totally agree with you, even though we are older and that is technically barely legal, babes. The chicken skin tuile, babes, it was spot-on, on-point, it just smashed it out of the park for me. I loved the poached cucumber, even though it resembled the Hulk’s penis.

Talia: Well, besides that fact that Ashlee’s comment killed my appetite, I really liked the usage of the chicken oyster. The pakora batter was awesome and I think his entire approach was very unique.

Jessica: And now we have Kira’s dish!

-mushroom-chicken thigh ragout, stuffed-roasted thigh, ricotta gnudi, brown butter

Talia: The ragout was delicious and hearty and I loved the thigh. The gnudi was expertly made and the sauce was great as well. Overall, she did a lot and it all worked!

Ashlee: Babes, you can tell that this girl has some serious chops in the kitchen. If I was going up against this, I would be sweating, babes. She nailed it.

Sophia: Babes, I totally agree with you. The gnudi was fluffy and light, the sauce, you can drink it all up. The mushroom ragout was great, it was all great. I hate my cooking because it’s not at this level.

Jessica: And now we have Nate’s dish!

-ponzu and sesame drumettes with pickled raisins and shaved bok choy salad

Ashlee: *spits out the raisins* Babes, just ew. I don’t want to think about those anymore. They are disgusting. Just yuck. My dogs eat better than those raisins.

Sophia: Chicken was cooked nicely but the rest of the dish was bad. I could have honestly packaged it and sold it as commercial rat poison.

Talia: I would not say it’s commercial rat poison, but the raisins were very sour to the point of making my eyes twitch. The chicken was delicious, but nothing else worked.

Jessica: This next dish was made by Jo!

-soy-ginger braised chicken breasts, spiced peanuts, noodles, broth, tenders

Talia: The breasts were soggy, and that was not a pleasant mouthfeel. In terms of seasoning, he did a great job overall. It was just that texture I did not care for.

Ashlee: Babes, I made much better fried chicken in my signature dish, so I think he failed epically. He tried to make Asian food for the queens of Asian food, and he failed. He may be banished from my court now.
Sophia: Babes, it was such an epic fail, that braised chicken breast. I felt like I was chewing on a sponge. It was unpleasant, but I forced myself to swallow it because if I vomit up any more gross food from these cooks, I may become bulimic.

Jessica: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-Korean fried chicken with cabbage slaw

Sophia: Babes, she nailed the chicken, but just a chicken and slaw dish in an hour? Babes, I’m not feeling it.

Ashlee: She’s not cooking for the finale, babes. She’s cooking to play it safe, and that’s not cool, babes. She needs to step it up, babes, or else she will be going home.

Talia: The chicken was cooked nicely and the slaw was delicious, but I think she failed to show ambition. She could have done at least one more thing here.

Jessica: So can we agree on who is going through to the finale, and who is going home for the second time?
Sophia: Bring out the guillotine. It’s time to execute somebody.

In walks Tadashi and Kira.

Jessica: Tonight… the two of you made the best two dishes, both of you are going into the finale, and one of you won the overall challenge!

Tadashi: Awesome! @I played my advantage well, and now I’m going to be in the final four! @This feels great.

Kira: @Tadashi is a strong competitor and now we are both moving into the next stage of the competition. @I’m ready for this.

Jessica: Ashlee, please announce the winner.

Ashlee: Sophia wanted Tadashi to win because we all unanimously agreed he’s hot. But this is not a male beauty pageant. It’s a cooking competition. Kira, you just blew it out the water, babes. You win.

Jessica: Congratulations, Kira! You won the elimination challenge! The two of you are safe and can return to the kitchen.

Kira: Thank you! @Winning against Tadashi feels great, but at the same time, I’m curious who is going to be in the finale with us. @There’s still two more spots. @Depending on who stays, that will determine how hard the finale is going to be.

Kira and Tadashi leave.

In walks Nate, Phung, and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight. one of you is going home, just before the finale.

Sophia: Babes, Nate, your dish had phenomenal chicken. But your raisins were terrible and all bok choy should file to a restraining order against you for the violation you committed towards it in that dish.

Nate: @I’m not quite sure how to gauge Sophia’s comments, because they’re scathingly harsh. @I might be going home tonight?

Ashlee: Jo, your chicken pissed me off. The breasts were like cereal that was left in milk for 24 hours. It was gross.

Jo: @Ashlee’s a bitch, so I’m ignoring her. @Talia’s salty because I beat her in my original season, and she wants to put me on the bottom to spite me.

Talia: Phung, we felt like you were lazy tonight. It’s a spot in the finale and you hardly pushed yourself.

Phung: Shut the fuck up, I totally did push myself. I’m not going to be eliminated tonight, because at the end of the day, I’m better than these boobs.

Jessica: One of you is going to be sent home right before the finale. Phung… you are safe. But we do want to see more out of you.

Phung: Whatever. Like I fucking give a shit.

Jessica: Jo, Nate, one of you is going home. And the person leaving the competition tonight is…. Nate. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Phung: @Nate gets sent home, and I’m ready to hold the door for him. *to Nate* Bye! Don’t get salmonella from your gross chicken dish!

Nate: @I’m pissed. @I think I’m a stronger cook than Phung and Jo. @Being sent home twice before the finale, it’s stupid. @I’m angry, because I deserved to be in the finale this time. @It’s aggravating, but I guess it was not in the cards for me.

Jessica: Jo, Phung, the two of you will be in the finale! Congratulations!

Phung: @Was there ever a doubt? @I’m not going to be sent home this season. @I’m much stronger than everyone else here!

Jo: @Phung’s arrogance will be what sends her home. @You saw it with Amanda and her hubris, and that will be Phung’s downfall.

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