The cleanse: realization

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a happy 2018, in hopes that they all had a wonderful 2017 preceding it. Secondly, I’d like to talk about New Years Resolutions. Normally, I am not one to believe in those. But this year, I want to truly bury all of the toxic people who I dealt with from 2016, so I’m partaking in what I call “the cleanse”.

This is basically where I remove everyone who has ever treated me horrendously or had a hand in treating me in such a way from social media. For me, I am generally a very docile and mild mannered person, and I don’t want to ever offend somebody by unfriending or unfollowing somebody, even when I know they are either not good people or closely associated with toxic people.

In situations like that, it is okay to cut them off. Those people, who support toxic behavior or attitudes, they are not really your friends. There’s no point in pretending you guys are at that point, and trying to remain indifferent is not going to change the fact that these people are still holding some involvement in your life. While yes, you could wait and hope that they detach themselves from you, but that’s ludicrous. You should take the affirmative action to cut them off if you know they’re not any good for you.

While you might think, “oh, but I don’t want to be that jerk and unfriend or unfollow them on social media”, you also need to realize that you’re being too nice and considerate and people who treat you poorly or actively support those who do, they’re not worth your kind thoughts. They deserve to be cut off, along with anyone else who is toxic to your health. If you have ever felt like somebody, and their friends, have treated you poorly, I recommend trying the cleanse. Sometimes we just need a clean slate in life to really enjoy it.

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Damn real: conclusion

I had no real idea where the story was going to go when I first started writing it, other than the fact that I wanted there to be a strong female protagonist to contrast the last main female protagonist, Dakota, who was a bit too much of a follower for her own good. Namie is very independent, and while she might be a little aimless, she is still capable of sticking up for herself.

I even titled it “Fashionably Late” to reference Namie being supposedly late in life with her relationship status, but decided that it was not only anti-progressive to the feminist beliefs I was raised on, but does not send a good message that I want my stories to convey to my readers by making the focus about fashion and dating

I decided to title it Damn Real after the Koda Kumi song, and I wanted to make the themes focus on being realistic or practical with your decisions in life

I wanted Namie to be a very practical and decisive person to better reflect the title

Before, I wanted her to be more of a wanderluster, although aspects of that character do reflect in when Namie is testing the waters with her suitors, as well as in the end, when she decides to forgo everything in her life up until that point

Originally, Namie was going to receive a huge amount of money from her mother, but I changed that to being just a plane ticket. To explain her wealth, I wanted Namie to come off as more self-made, hence why I opted for her to have a mini fortune in stocks and investments, just to showcase her intelligence that much more.

Emiri was not a main focus when I began writing this. I decided that she could be a very good gateway for the reader to better empathize with a Mormon character and understand what she was taught to believe versus how she actually is as a person.

It was not decided until I started writing Chapter 2 that Melissa Chen was going to be the dance instructor. She was previously in my other work, How it is, as a college student who comedically destroyed tables with her krav maga skills.

I knew I wanted there to be two strong female supporting characters who were both driving Namie forward. Neither of them were from terribly realistic backgrounds, with Wei being a famous idol, while Claire is a famous beauty guru. But putting them next to Namie made her seem plain at first, but much more relatable by default.

A lot of who Namie was, it was based directly on my own experiences working in hotel finance. I became friends with the people working in the Front Desk, so that’s a huge reason why I made Namie, a general cashier like myself, friends with Claire the Front Desk Supervisor. It was just a natural fit, given their roles.

I do envy Namie to a degree, because she is a lot smarter, more driven, and more capable than I am, but I wanted her to have those qualities so that she could be a unique and admirable character. The fact that she is so multitalented, you cannot help but root for her when she chose to make a life changing decision to become a dancer. You know that somebody that committed to being the best will always succeed, no matter what route she chooses to take.

Overall, I hope that the takeaway of this story is to do what is right for you. You can just throw away your life and dive into a career just to get ahead, or throw away your career and dive into your passion. Either way, there really is no wrong answer, and that is what makes the ending of this story hopefully hit a real place for all of you guys reading this. No matter what choices you make in life, you may feel second thoughts and even regrets, but so long as your work ethic shines through, you will be successful no matter what. That is an even bigger truth and takeaway that I hope you all come to understand from reading this story.

betrayal: realization

The concepts of trust, faith, and loyalty, I used to think of them as weaknesses. Shackles that kept me from being a better version of myself, in the form of relying on others and hoping that they can help me when I most need it. In this sort of world, people only ever remember the negatives, specifically when people hurt or backstab them. We hardly ever acknowledge the people who do pull through and give us hope in the world. And trust me, no matter how much you try to deny that there has been a person like that in your life, you will find that somebody, even for a fleeting moment, has pulled through for you when you needed it most. That sort of kindness, it is important to carry it forward. However, this post is not about cherishing those good-willed gestures. This is about betrayal, and why people act in such a way that it hurts you deeply.

It is one thing to put all of your trust into somebody, but when that person goes out of their way to disappoint you, whether it be distributing your secrets to other people behind your back, throwing you under the bus by using your secret as the excuse for a mistake or poor performance, or just refusing to be there consistently when you need them most, it really sucks. Simply put. Being told that somebody who you took the time to care for and emotionally invest in that they are stabbing you in the back in the way that they are, it hurts. But the main reason why is simple: on a subliminal level, you felt so emotionally attached and invested into the person that you want to see a return on that investment. You want them to come through for you in the same way that you have come through for them. So when they do not reciprocate or respect your gestures or actions, it hurts.

Now that honestly sounds shallow, almost manipulative, and materialistic, but it holds a lot of truth. Maybe when you swap out a word or two there. I refer to what a friendship consists of as an emotional investment, which comes off as cold and business-like, but try replacing that with more sentimental vocabulary, such as memories, moments, time together, etc. It automatically makes sense to you. Those memories you shared together in your relationship, you hoped for the sake of those that the person you relied on would help you. But that is not always the case. Some people, they will pull through and those are the friends you want to keep close to you. The ones that just drop the ball and never come through, even when it is a simple request, they are not worth any of your emotional investment or time. Yes, it will be hard to cut them off from your heart, and that sort of process takes time. That is understandable. We are only human beings, so having a sense of sentimentalism occurs naturally to us. The foundation of our intelligence is based on memories.

All I can say is that if somebody betrays you, wear a tough skin, make new memories with better people, and try to move on. At first, you will feel yourself actively trying to do so, but as you enjoy your new life more and more, that constant reminding of yourself to move on, it fades away. You will start to adjust and adapt to your new life. Sometimes, you might remember things about your past subliminally, whether it be seeing something or someone who reminds you of the person you are trying to forget or maybe seeing that person in a dream (probably a nightmare if that person is involved). All you can do when that happens is keep pushing forward. The fact that those memories continue to resurface, that means that you need to continue moving on and moving forward. Dwelling in the past, this is how those traitors in your life win. Their actions that hurt you will only sink in more by you allowing them to affect you. Be the strong person you are, and rise above it all. Don’t look back.

Humility: realization

Being humble can be a challenge when you are faced with so much praise. However, accepting that praise and allowing it to get to your head, that is a crucial mistake. In the past, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job as a line cook for a Michelin starred chef. I quit the job after two days, despite repeatedly boasting about how “qualified” and “amazing” of a cook I am. Oh, trust me, I got my ass handed to me in those two days. Day one, I was told that I could not cook because I did not have a ServSafe Food Handler Certification. They had me organize the pantry instead. Oh, and chop up a ton of pickled chili peppers. The pickling liquid seeped into my hands and I could not feel with them for the rest of the week. Day two, they told me my knives were crap, and that I sucked at using my knives on top of that. For me, the last straw was being forced into a back storeroom and being told that I need to organize that stuff because I did not belong in the kitchen whatsoever. I felt like every ounce of my dignity was stripped at that point. Granted, having an inflated ego did not help either. So I quit. I refused to be a part of an operation where the sous chef was treating me like a janitor, despite hiring me on to be a line cook.

But the main lesson here was, had I been more humble, I could have used that experience as a learning opportunity. Yeah, the sous chef was a complete jerk, but I let my ego stand in the way of the operation. I needed to realize that this was what I signed up for, and as an adult, I need to take ownership and responsibility for the tasks assigned to me, no matter how degrading or seemingly irrelevant that they were. Showing that willingness to do anything, no made what it is, that gets you farther in your career or life. Being able to swallow your own pride, and not let your sense of entitlement prevent you from doing things, especially in a hospitality setting, this is how you gain your stripes, so to speak. Yet, I was too arrogant and entitled to realize this. I felt that, because I was hired, that I was some epic cook who was destined to be a chef. Not true, whatsoever. If anything, it was the furthest thing from the truth. Getting hired is nice, but retaining the title and doing well in it, that can only be done by being humble and openminded, which I think are things I tend to stress a lot about in this blog.

Recently, I had just received an offer to work for another famous chef, although I will keep the name anonymous, but will say that if you think about famous New York bakeries, it will narrow it down to maybe three or four names right away, and it is one of those names. The point is, as much as I would love to work for this chef, I have to be humble and realize that I am nowhere near ready to do that. While I could learn so much, at what expense? Their resources, money, and their time? I could be wasting some culinary school’s time instead, and from there, save this famous chef a lot more money. To be perfectly honest, as much as I would love to accept this offer, I know I have a lot more to learn before I could boast that name on my resume. Especially after what had happened with the last chef. Plus, I asked my friend who did have the opportunity to work with this chef, and she told me about how it was run on fear-based management. Because of this, I know I lack the confidence and capability to survive or even operate in such an environment, based on my past experience, where I was constantly told I was garbage until I broke down in the middle of service.

All of the kitchen-related trauma aside, the point of this post was to talk about humility. It is okay to admit that you are not ready to do something, and it is okay to do things that at first might feel demeaning to you, so long as there is a lesson to be learned from it. Never think that something is too beneath you, because that sort of arrogant behavior will ruin your career in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to work for an entitled snob. Ever. Having humility makes you a better worker, leader, and most importantly of all, person, because you had an open mind and it helps you learn from every experience. And being able to take away something from everything, that is what it means to live a featherlight life.

Sensitivity: realization

I always had this issue in life where I would take things too personally. Little comments, remarks, small gestures, they would have such a huge subliminal impact on me to the point where it would bother me for ages. Sometimes I would act on it, albeit overreact and give people the rise they may or may not be wanting, or I would used to shelve it, and it become a massive mess when I would go volcanic. Instead of shelving any pain, I have been just trying to get it out of my system by exercising, and learning not to take things so personally. Rather than seeing anything as a personal attack on me as a person, I just try to understand where they are coming from, what their intentions are, and what I did to affect them to cause such behavior, or if their attitude was just normal to begin with, and I was misinterpreting their actions.

Half the time I get hurt or affected by the behavior of others, it is because something is stressing me out already, such as getting a job, family or friends-related issues, for example. I am already at a vulnerable state at that point, so little things would just get under my skin easily. I would always get so bothered to the point where I would not stop thinking about comments or remarks that irked me, and I would even lose sleep over how angry or annoyed I would get. It was not a pleasant habit, in the slightest. This kind of toxic, grudge-forming behavior is what caused a lot of problems for me in the past. I would burn so many bridges and be outcasted by so many people because I would get so easily hurt and would push other people away so quickly.

Unfortunately, that sensitivity had stages. The second paragraph described stage 1 of my toxically sensitive behavior. The second phase, it would get worse. I would not stop being affected by the fact that I pushed people away. That sort of guilt, it really does eat away at you. I would feel more remorse than you could imagine over hurting people like that, and it quickly turns to self-resentment. And I’m sure I’ve written enough about that to the point where it is guessable where self-resentment would eventually turn to. Like I said, sensitivity to that extreme, it is a vicious cycle that I have been trapped in for two occasions of my life already. At that point in time, I thought that I couldn’t really do anything about it, but that’s not the case. There is a way to break out of the cycle.

Distract yourself from these things by not thinking about them, but rather, focusing on things that you enjoy doing once you cannot do anything more in pursuit of your goals. Do not let the little things and thoughts bother you. Don’t read to deep into things, and try to excavate hidden meanings beyond what is actually there. Some might call it a naive way of living, but I call it building up a wall of indifference so that you have the space and time to grow thicker skin to these kinds of comments and remarks. I genuinely can’t stress enough how important it is to not take things to heart so often. When you do, it opens you up to that vulnerability, and if you are an overtly sensitive person to begin with, it will only end with you taking everything too personally and getting offended quite easily. Learning to relax, let go, and not get offended, that’s what it means to live a featherlight life.

 

Multidimensionalism: realization

Something that got me thinking was when I saw one of my classmates making a separate “food” Instagram account, and then telling everyone on FaceBook to follow her on it. It was a lot of an eye-roller, I will admit, but that is not the point of this post. I just want to understand why so many people, especially young people, find the need to create an entirely new Instagram, typically titled (Insert your name here)eats, or something to that effect. It’s honestly so unnecessary. Why can’t you just upload food pictures to your current Instagram? What is so difficult about doing that?

But the answer I am likely to hear is not a pretty one. It is almost always that these people want to be “discovered” as food authorities. They want the likes, the attention, the fame. They want an entirely different account for their food-related lives, in addition to their personal accounts, just to double the chances of them gaining likes and followers, which in turns, is supposed to help with their self-esteem and just making them feel better about themselves. And some people might make the argument that “oh, they don’t post the same photos in their Foodstagrams as they do their normal accounts!” But trust me, they do. Half the time, I get the same photos circulating my feed because they double-dip photos between both accounts. That’s why I came around to this conclusion.

Now, I just don’t understand why we can’t consolidate our photos and interests to one account. Yes, half of the this post is to call out people who are obnoxious enough to do that, but the rest of this post is to question the necessity of it. Are people, we are allowed to have more than one interest. We can express ourselves through these different topics and interests. Compartmentalizing ourselves to just one thing, or separating that one aspect from the rest of our lives, is it really worth compromising the multidimensionality of our personalities? And for those who double-dip their food photos between their two accounts, just why? Does it make you feel better to know that there are more likes on at least one of the same two food posts? And if you want a separate Instagram just to sort through your food posts, why make it public or go out of your way to advertise it to get a following? Those sorts of things, make them private, since you’re probably just using them to reference certain things you’ve eaten or made in the past. Or just be a less obnoxious human being a make a folder on your computer. Being able to see the different occurrences of your life, through your photos, whether it be a selfie, a photo of a sunset, or a picture of a dish you ate, that sort of variety is a lot more worthwhile if it is true to who you are as a person.

For me, I used to struggle with having that sort of variety at all. I came from the opposite issue, where I was obsessed with food and had literally no other interests. That is why I prefer and cherish that variety. Seeing others revert into something that I personally had to overcome, it’s unsettling to say the least. And for them to expect to be rewarded for that kind of behavior, again, it makes me uneasy knowing how vain or shallow certain people are. Now this blog is dedicated to good vibes, so I want to end this post on a positive note. embrace the different sides of your personality and admire them as a whole. Life is too short to be lived in pieces or compartments. Being able to showcase your interests in a great big mosaic, as opposed to smaller, separate ones, is a lot more impressive and makes you a much more beautiful human being. Don’t let stupid things like followers or likes define who you are as a person or what you are worth to the world.

 

Warrior Chef 3: Round 6

Phung: @I was almost sent home in the last round, but it doesn’t matter. @People have bad days. @You know what? @I can just win a challenge or two this round, and it’ll be my mini redemption. @The Phung Dynasty shall continue into a new era!

Lauren: @I’m surprised that Cherry got sent home, but we’re down to six really strong cooks. @Anyone can be going home at this point.

Gabe: @I’ve made it far, but I can go further. @I’m aiming for that finale now.

Michele: Hi, everyone! Welcome to the final six!

Kira: @Being in the top six feels good, but I want to make it to the finale. @We’re halfway done with the competition at this point.

Michele: So let’s start with our creativity challenge. We want you guys to prepare a delicious breakfast dish in just 30 minutes. Immunity is off the table, but we will be giving the winning cook $1,000!

Phung: @Want.

Lauren: @$1,000? @I need to step it up.

Michele: Your time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making banana-nut muffin doughnuts with a Nutella-Vietnamese coffee cappuccino. @I’m making the muffin dough and then deep frying them, because these doughnuts will win Warrior Chef for me. @The Vietnamese coffee kept me safe in the last round, and I’m just going to keep on going with that because I am here to win it.

Gabe: @For my breakfast dish, I’m preparing orange-maple crepes with brown butter sauce. @I want to do something simple and light, because I think breakfast shouldn’t be too fussy with bells and whistles. @That would get annoying really fast.

Henry: @I’m making a classic. @Bacon pancakes with caramelized ham, and an eggs benedict on top of the bacon pancake. @So I’m doing the egg and the hollandaise on top of the pancake and the ham. @I think it’s ingenious. @I haven’t won a challenge yet, but Justin just won his first challenge in the last round, so there’s still hope for me.

Justin: @I want to keep this winning streak going and the best way for me to do that is to push myself. @I’m making a zucchini cake with poached egg and a fresh crab salad. @I’m going with a savory breakfast because a sweet one is the most predictable way to go and I’m not about doing the most obvious thing at this point in the competition.

Kira: @I’m making a matcha-chia seed parfait with homemade granola and whipped coconut cream. @I’m trying to make a very light dish and make it vegan and gluten-free just to show that I am a fearless competitor. @I love chia seed pudding, so hopefully it will go over well.

Lauren: @I don’t really enjoy breakfast to be honest. @I’m making a rice porridge with a poached egg and some Kona coffee quick-braised ham. @Right now, Justin and Kira are the most consistently strong competitors, but Phung is a demon who I can’t just ignore. @She is definitely the strongest cook when she gets it right.

Michele: Time’s up!

Henry: @I’m feeling good about my dish and then I realize that I didn’t plate my hollandaise. @Crap. @My dish is going to be dry.

Michele: Your judge for this is Warrior Chef house critic, Lotte Amazo!

Lotte: Hi, everyone! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so thank you guys for preparing it for me six-fold!

Lotte and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Lotte, who failed to impress you?

Lotte: Gabe, the dish was very underwhelming, especially compared to the other dishes. And Henry. Your dish was dry. I needed a glass of orange juice for that.

Henry: @I could’ve won the challenge if it wasn’t for that sauce missing. @This sucks.

Lotte: So for my favorites. Phung. The fact you managed to get yeast-leavened doughnuts that fluffy in the time allotted, and the overall concept of your dish was inspired and genius. You really do have a mastery over yeast that nobody else, myself included, seems to grasp. First the baguette in an hour, and then doughnuts in 30 minutes? I’m just stunned. Justin, the crab and zucchini combination was great and it was cool to see you incorporate that into a breakfast dish. And Kira. You managed to really impress me with an inventive breakfast that showed ambition as well.

Michele: So who won the challenge?

Lotte: It was a close call between all three dishes. But the best dish definitely went to… Phung for defying the laws of physics and proofing with yeast yet again!

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You won $1,000!

Phung: Thank you! Thank you! I love you all, my loyal subjects! @I won!~ @I won!~ @Told you my doughnuts would win me this challenge. @Who said that you need yeast to proof for at least an hour? @They’re dumb because I’ve proven them wrong twice now. @Suck it! @That money will fund my “Dummies’ Guide to using Yeast” cookbook! @Expect it in a bookstore near you!

Michele: And now it’s time for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, you guys have 60 minutes to prepare your signature dishes! Your time starts now!

Phung: @This challenge? @Normally they have it in the preliminary rounds but they didn’t do that this year. @Oh well, I’m going to just have to crush it here. @I’m preparing a seared duck breast with banana flower salad and lime reduction, as well as duck carpaccio with crackling and pickled bean sprouts. @I’m tasting the flavors this time because I want my duck to not suck like the lamb in the last challenge.

Justin: @I’m feeling good about this challenge. @I’ve made pasta throughout this entire competition so it’s only natural for me to… not do that. @I’m going to prepare a play on pasta, but it’s a German dessert. @It’s called spaghettieis, which is vanilla ice cream piped to look like noodles, with a strawberry sauce, some chocolate truffles, and a cookie to garnish. @I think it’s a funny thing to prepare here.

Lauren: @For my signature dish, I’m going to do a kahlua glazed pork belly with a raw egg-yogurt emulsion, pickled radicchio, and scallop dumplings. @I’m so ready to take down these guys and make my way to the final five.

Kira: @I’m nervous about this challenge, because I don’t want to disappoint and these numbers just show what the judges think of our dishes down to the margin. @I’m making a confit tuna belly with braised onions, caramelized mushrooms, and brown butter. @I’m going to try my best to show good French technique.

Henry: @I love crab cakes so I’m making a crab beignet with a spicy remoulade sauce and a corn and pepper slaw. @I’m hoping that the flavors really deliver. @I’m not ready to get eliminated and I want to show everyone why I deserve to be in the final five.

Gabe: @For my dish, I’m preparing a seared duck breast with guava glaze and a fried rice with chilies. @It’s Chinese and Mexican fusion, but I know that I can pull this off. @My biggest strengths tonight will be in my flavors and seasoning. @I want to nail it because I haven’t won anything yet.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: @I nailed it. @I know I nailed it.

Michele: So your judges are:

Aster Walker

Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Missy Skies

Guy Flannigan

Frank Torres

Michele: So let’s start with Phung’s dish!

-duck breast, banana flower salad, lime, carpaccio, crackling, pickled bean sprouts

Frank: Phung’s flavors were beautiful. The presentation was astonishing and I liked the amount of flavor she developed into that carpaccio.

Guy: The dish came together. Using the duck fat and salt to dress the flesh of the breast meat was a smart trick.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-spaghettieis

Missy: He normally makes pasta, so this was hilarious to see. The ice cream was well made and the sauce was delicious.

Erwin: Overall, two thumbs up for a great dish. I have no complaints either. He did a really good job.

Michele: And next is Lauren’s dish!

-kahlua glazed pork belly, raw egg-yogurt emulsion, pickled radicchio, scallop dumplings

Aster: The pork belly was cooked nicely and I liked the pickled radicchio against the egg emulsion. She balanced her flavors quite nicely.

Miriam: I got a fattier piece, so it was not as enjoyable for me, the pork. But the dumplings alone were fantastic. I loved those.

Michele: And now we have Kira’s dish!

-confit tuna belly with braised onions, caramelized mushrooms, and brown butter

Miriam: The tuna belly was cooked well, but the dish itself, I was looking for brightness and that’s what I was missing.

Missy: I agree. The dish lacked acidity to really compliment the tuna. But the confit technique alone was impeccably done.

Michele: And this is Henry’s dish next.

-crab beignet with spicy remoulade sauce and corn and pepper slaw

Guy: Compared to some of the other dishes, his was very plain. That being said, the beignets were inventive and I liked those a lot.

Frank: The pairing of the beignets with peppers, corn, and remoulade was clever, but the amount of technique he showed compared to Phung or Lauren or Justin, just none.

Michele: And finally, Gabe’s dish!

-seared duck breast with guava glaze and chili fried rice

Aster: The duck breast was cooked nicely but the entire dish just ate heavy. I couldn’t really stomach most of that rice.

Erwin: I felt that the combination was interesting and he cooked the rice and the duck well, and the glaze was well seasoned. I just didn’t think he did enough with his time.

Michele: So can we score the dishes?

Erwin: We can.

In walks the six contestants.

Michele: Six of you stand, but one of you is going to be eliminated. Judges? Let’s start with Phung’s score!

Phung – 10 + 10 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 57/60 stars

Phung: Boom! @I got 3 10’s. @Nobody is going to beat me.

Michele: And now we have Kira’s score.

Kira – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 8 + 8 = 52/60 stars

Kira: Crap. @I’m behind Phung by 5 whole stars. @I might be going home tonight over my tuna dish.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s score!

Justin – 10 + 9 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 56/60 stars

Justin: Thank you. @Not enough to beat Phung, but I’m still safe. @It’s a good feeling.

Michele: And next is Lauren’s score!

Lauren – 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 8 = 54/60 stars

Lauren: @I got a 10, but Justin and Phung still beat me. @It sucks, but at least I’m safe.

Michele: Phung, you actually received the highest score and you won the elimination challenge! Congratulations!

Phung: Of course I would get first. @I managed to really blow the judges away and getting a 57/60 just shows why I am going to be Warrior Chef. @Winning back to back challenges just proves to everyone why they can eat my dust.

Michele: Lauren, Justin, Phung, the three of you are safe and can leave the kitchen.

The three leave.

Michele: Henry, you need 53 to beat Kira. Let’s see your score!

Henry – 9 + 8 + 9 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 50/60 stars

Michele: Henry, that means you’re currently in last place. Kira, you are safe.

Kira: Thank you. @I was getting nervous there. @It sucks that I was so close to the bottom. @I don’t like that feeling.

Michele: Gabe, you need at least 51 stars to remain. Here’s your score!

Gabe – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 9 + 8 = 49/60 stars

Michele: Unfortunately, Gabe, with the lowest score, you are going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Gabe: Thank you. @I’m gutted. @I just got eliminated from Warrior Chef and I didn’t think it was my time to leave. @The final five are strong cooks, but I think Phung will win this season. @She’s been the strongest by far.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 4

Lauren: @I’m walking into the kitchen feeling great tonight. @Cherry and I somehow won the challenge, and I am looking forward to the next challenge!

Gabe: @I’m still shocked that Taylor got sent home. @He seemed to be one of the more confident cooks, but I guess he skated under the radar too long and he became forgettable. @I haven’t been on top since the first elimination, so I need to step it up.

Kira: @Lauren swept the last round and I honestly don’t know what to think anymore. @I expected Taylor and Justin to be my biggest competition, but Lauren, Jaenice, and Phung are all coming out of nowhere with really good food. @You definitely can’t judge a book by it’s cover in this competition.

Michele: Welcome back, everyone. So for the challenge tonight, we want you guys to prepare a dessert using…..

A cart is wheeled in, carrying pistachios.

Phung: Oh lord. @Pistachios? @Really? @And they aren’t shelled. @Fuck me.

Gabe: @None of them are shelled and it’s a nightmare even looking at them. @We are all going to easily lose 30 minutes doing mise en place.

Michele: So you have 45 minutes to make a pistachio dessert, time starts now!

Kira: @I grab a ton of the pistachios, and I’m thinking about what I can do so that I don’t have to shell them. @I’m making a pistachio infused vanilla ice cream and pistachio crumble with a rum caramel sauce. @Because I’m infusing the pistachios into my milk, I don’t need to shell those, so I only need a couple for the crumble. @I hope that the pistachio comes through enough.

Lauren: @I’m preparing a pistachio crusted cheesecake with honey-ricotta filling and orange marmalade. @I’m keeping the execution simple, because the cheesecake is a rare cheesecake that thickens by setting, not cooking. @My competition is pretty tough. @Phung, she’s intense. @But this is a baking challenge, and I need to continue proving myself to everyone that I am a well-rounded cook worthy of the title.

James: @I’m making a pistachio doughnut. @I’m feeling good about making the doughnuts. @I’m going to blend up the pistachios and then crust the doughnuts in that and then it’ll be delicious. @In the last challenge, Phung wouldn’t let me help, and that’s why we were on the bottom. @Tonight, this is going to be my food.

Gabe: @I’m not quite sure what to do. @I decide finally on a pistachio tart with a coffee-molasses filling. @I’m going to top the dish with whipped ricotta cheese. @I’m hoping that the pistachios will really work well with that. @I chose coffee and molasses because I think that the earthy notes of both will compliment the nut very well.

Justin: @I’m not sure what to do with the pistachios. @I give it some thought, and I finally decide on baklava cannoli. @But then I see that Lauren and Gabe are both using ricotta with pistachio as well, so I grab the goat cheese instead, because I want mine to stand apart from their desserts.

Phung: @Back off, bitches, I’m going to win this challenge. @I’m making a pistachio milk infused crepe with caramel braised pistachios, pistachio-honey ice cream, and pistachio crumble. @I know that I can nail this dish tonight and shine bright like a Phungmond. @I’m literally smashing these dumb nuts with pans just to get them open.

Jaenice: @I love a good pistachio. @I’m making a pistachio shortcake with blueberries, fresh cream, and lemon curd. @I’m feeling good about using the pistachio in just the shortcake and nowhere else. @Phung, she’s next to me smashing the living Jesus out of her nuts. @She’s going to bust a nut with her crazy bitch attitude. @Got to love me some crazy fat Vietnamese psycho.

Kira: @I’m going to make a peach and pistachio parfait with pistachio fritters and homemade creme fraiche. @I’m going to push myself and make the best thing I can in the time allotted. @The creme fraiche, I’m making using buttermilk, heavy cream, a cheese cloth, and a sous-vide machine. @After the last challenge, I really want to prove that I am not a weak link in the competition.

Michele: Time’s up!

Cherry: @We still have nine cooks, and I really want to prove to these guys that

Michele: Your judge is pastry lover and house critic, Kierra Johnston!

Kierra: Hi, everyone. I love desserts, and I love pistachios, so I’m expecting to be blown away tonight!

Kierra and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Kierra, who failed to impress you?

Kierra: James, you ground the pistachios, shells and all, into the dish and that ate chalky and scratchy. And how did you make the doughnuts exactly?

James: I deep fried pizza dough.

Kierra: Yeah, that’s not going to cut it here. They were dense and rough.

Jaenice: @All of these dumb bitches trying to deep fry food against me? @Yeah, no, they stupid. @So fucking dumb. @I can’t even with this white bread.

Kierra: Gabe, the filling of your tart was acrid and bitter. Justin, the goat cheese overwhelmed my palate.

Justin: @I’m on the bottom and that sucks. @I really wanted to do better than that.

Jaenice: @Tsk, tsk. @Nobody seems to know how to make good baklava this season.

Kierra: For my favorites, Kira, you prepared a really complex parfait in just 45 minutes, and that blew me away. Phung, the braised pistachios were unusual, but it showed the pistachios in a way nobody else did. They were meaty, almost like an apricot. I liked that. And Jaenice, the shortcake was a clever application for the pistachio and I just loved your flavors overall. It was simple, but really well executed.

Jaenice: @I keep coming in second and I want to be number one. @I’m here to win.

Phung: @I’m on top, because I am the best cook here and nobody can take that right away from me.

Kierra: The best dish belonged to… Kira.

Michele: Congratulations, Kira! You got immunity and an advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Awesome! Thank you. @Getting immunity and an advantage is great. @I’m hoping that I can use that to knock off somebody who could be a major threat down the line.

Michele: Now for the elimination challenge! Kira, you have a huge advantage and that is you get to decide two people who you want to work with for the elimination challenge.

Kira: @I have immunity, so I know even if this backfires, I’m still not going home. I’m going to choose Phung and Lauren. @My logic there is that Phung is a strong cook, so that might set us up to win. @But if Phung tanks like she did with the last team challenge, she’s probably going home. @Lauren is a strong cook too, so if Phung isn’t going home, then at least Lauren would, worst case scenario. @I’m aiming to either knock out somebody weak, but worst case, somebody strong still goes home.

Lauren: @I’m not sure what’s going through Kira’s head, but I’m feeling nervous about being on a team with Phung. @Phung and Kira have both proven that they struggle in team challenges. @I don’t want to be on the bottom in this challenge with them, especially when Kira has immunity.

Michele: Everyone else, please draw knives!

Jaenice – 2

James – 2

Gabe – 2

Cherry – 3

Justin – 3

Henry – 3

Cherry: @I’m with Henry and Justin, and I’m disappointed. @I was hoping to be with Jaenice, because the two of us could probably stand up to Kira’s team.

Jaenice: @I’m with Gabe and James, and they’re both useless to me. @I’m feeling like I’m screwed tonight.

Michele: So tonight, you’ll be working in teams of three, and you’ll prepare two dishes. One is sweet, the other is savory. On top of that, you’ll have an assigned protein for your savory course, and an assigned fruit for the dessert.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying boar, venison, monkfish, figs, bananas, and apples

Michele: Kira, you get to choose the proteins and fruits for everyone.

Kira: We’ll take the monkfish and apples. I’ll give Team 2 the venison and bananas. And Team 3 will get the boar and peaches.

Jaenice: @We have venison and bananas. @I’m confident that we can nail our dishes tonight, so long as James and Gabe listen to me.

Cherry: @Never touched boar, and I don’t really like figs. @This is disgusting.

Michele: Just 1 hour to prepare two dishes, time starts now!

Kira: *to Phung and Lauren* So Lauren, I want you working with my on the savory dish. Phung, you need to do the dessert, okay? @Already, I know that with Phung, she’s not a team player, so I’m going to stick her alone on the dessert, and that’ll be the most productive way to handle this situation.

Phung: @I’m feeling good about doing the apple dessert. @I’m making a honeysuckle apple sorbet, financier with caramel poached apples, and apple cider spheres. @Kira is a strong competitor, but she has immunity, so I really need to just focus on winning.

Kira: @Lauren and I agree to prepare a leek smoked monkfish with monkfish liver butter, capers, and coconut espuma. @I think Lauren, Phung, and I are a strong team because Lauren and I know to let Phung do her own thing, and she will succeed that way if we really do enable her.

Cherry: @I’m with Justin and Henry, and they’re both decent cooks. @Justin is going to handle the fig dessert, and prepare a fig-hazelnut tart with goat cheese ice cream. @That sounds yummy, and something I would want to eat that.

Henry: @Cherry and I are going to handle the boar dish. @It’s going to be a roasted boar chop with polenta and wilted kale with some chilies sprinkled in there for a kick. @I really want to win the title because I want to have my own career that does not rely on going to college. @I hate school, and the culinary industry is the only one where I don’t really need a college diploma to thrive in.

Justin: @Working with Henry and Cherry is interesting. @Neither of them are really bad cooks, but I’d rather be in that team with Kira, because Kira and I would work well together. @For my tart, I’m making a hazelnut frangipan for the filling, with some figs baked directly in there as well. @The ice cream, a bit of balsamic, and the garnish is figs macerated in olive oil.

Jaenice: @I’m making banana pudding. @Right off the bat, I need to make myself some delicious banana pudding to just get through the fucking challenge. @But I’m with Gabe and James. @So for the venison dish, we are making barbecued venison. @Gabe is going to handle the cooking of it while James does the garnishes.

Gabe: @Jaenice is handling the dry rub on the venison, and I’m going to be searing and resting that and make a sauce. @Making Southern food is going to be an interesting challenge for me, because I don’t really do that.

James: @Jaenice is a strong cook and she’s been only on the top of challenges. @I think that it’s going to be an uphill battle for me. @I’m making mashed potatoes, grilled corn, and some wilted collards for our dish. @I’m ready to get some redemption and win the challenge.

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

Cherry: @I see the other dishes, and I’m not too impressed. @I think I’m going to make it into the next round, for sure.

Michele: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Max Hudson

Chelia Van Buren

Michele: Let’s start with Kira, Phung, and Lauren’s dish!

-leek smoked monkfish with monkfish liver butter, capers, and coconut espuma

-honeysuckle apple sorbet, financier, caramel poached apples, and apple cider spheres

Max: The leek smoked monkfish. Wow. That was already a huge home run. The fact that they incorporated the liver into the dish was really amazing. I was impressed.

Chelia: The usage of the monkfish parts was clever. The flavors balanced out and I’m really happy with that.

Erwin: The dessert was incredible. The sorbet, financier with the apples baked into it, and the little bubbles of cider, I was wowed.

Michele: And next are the dishes by Cherry, Justin, and Henry!

-roasted boar chops, polenta, chili kale

-fig-hazelnut tart with goat cheese ice cream

Chelia: The boar was cooked nicely and I liked the texture of the polenta. The chili infused kale had a great amount of kick and flavor to it.

Erwin: The tart was beautifully crafted and I liked the ice cream a lot too. Both dishes were pretty solid dishes.

Max: I think that the dessert was flawlessly executed with so many different textures of the fig. But for the boar, I’m wishing that they incorporated more boar into there.

Michele: And finally, the dishes by Jaenice, James, and Gabe!

-dry rubbed venison, mashed potatoes, corn, and wilted collards

-banana pudding

Max: The venison was cooked perfectly and I really liked the seasoning on it and the other garnishes. But there was too much on a plate.

Erwin: The venison wasn’t seasoned properly. The dry rub just lacked salt, and that’s what I’m missing here.

Chelia: The banana pudding, it was way too pedestrian. They could have done so much more. The flavor was nice, but that’s really just it.

Michele: So can we decide on which team is on the bottom and which team won?

Chelia: We can.

In walks Kira, Phung, Lauren, Cherry, Henry, and Justin.

Michele: Tonight, the judges agreed that you were the two teams that wound up on top of the elimination challenge!

Cherry: @Being on top is amazing, because I know I am a strong contender for the title now. @This year is my year.

Michele: Judges?

Max: Henry, Justin, and Cherry, you three put up a delicious dessert and the boar with the chili was a clever combination.

Chelia: Phung, Lauren, and Kira, that monkfish dish was impeccably done. Your dessert was complex and really inventive.

Michele: Erwin, please announce the winning team tonight.

Erwin: It was a really tough decision, but the best two dishes were made by… Kira, Phung, and Lauren.

Michele: Congratulations, you three! You won the elimination challenge!

Kira: @We won! @I finally proved that I am not a bad luck charm in these team challenges. @Winning, it feels amazing.

The top six leave.

In walks Jaenice, James, and Gabe.

Michele: Unfortunately, the three of you are on the bottom, and one of you is going home.

Erwin: Who prepared what on this team?

Jaenice: I handled the dry rub on the venison and the banana pudding.

James: I handled the sides for the venison.

Gabe: I actually cooked the venison tonight.

Chelia: Jaenice, the pudding tasted good, but the concept was weak from the get-go. And your rub, it lacked salt.

Chelia: Gabe, have you cooked venison before?

Gabe: Never. I tried to treat it like steak and get it to medium rare.

Chelia: You nailed the cook on it. It was still juicy and moist. You did a great job there.

Gabe: Thank you. @I’m feeling safer than the other two, but I think James is going home, because Jaenice did a lot of work here too.

Erwin: James, you actually had really good sides. I think the problem here is that you made too many sides. There was too much going on in the savory dish and your dessert had been completely neglected by your team.

James: @I made good food, but I’m not on the winning team. @It fucking sucks, man. @But I think Jaenice is going home tonight. @Bye, boo.

Michele: Please wait in the stew room as we make our decision.

Jaenice: @Right now, I’m nervous. @I’m definitely stronger than James and Gabe, so they better not eliminate me.

Chelia: The biggest issue we have is that the workload clearly wasn’t distributed here. Do we send home Gabe for not doing nearly enough, or Jaenice for the bland venison and boring dessert?

Max: I think it can be argued for either side.

Erwin: Alright.

In walks the bottom team again.

Michele: Unfortunately, one of you is going home tonight. Jaenice, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jaenice: Thank you for this opportunity to compete and for letting me put up some great Korean-Southern food. @I’m pissed that I’m going home. @This is some serious bullshit. @I’ve never been on the bottom before, and I’m out. @Great.

Warrior Chef 1: The Redemption Rounds (All Parts)

Part 1

Olympia vs Judith and Corey

Carrie: Eliminated cooks will have a chance to gain back their spot in the competition! Tonight, three cooks who were sent home in the preliminaries will be competing head to head to remain in the competition!

Judith: @I got eliminated because I made a dish completely different from what I set out to make. @Tonight, I hope I don’t hallucinate over mayonnaise again. @That would suck a lot.

Corey: @Being eliminated in the first round, I want redemption right now. @I’m a freshman, I’m the youngest one here, and I’m ready to prove myself.

Olympia: @Being the most experienced cook, I’ve got to prove myself the most to the others. @I’m ready to win this.

Carrie: Welcome to the Redemption Rounds. The three of you have a chance to re-enter the competition. But first, you need redemption. I want you guys to prepare the dishes that eliminated you last time. But this time, make sure they have been done correctly. You’ll have 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Corey: @I got eliminated because my tortillas weren’t working for me. @Tonight, I’m determined to make them work. @I’m preparing a grilled ahi taco with tomato salsa. @It’ll be very similar to the dish I made before, but I’m making the corn tortillas from scratch and they’ll be good. @Olympia and I competed together in my round, and she beat me. @I want to reverse the tables tonight.

Judith: @I didn’t get to prepare the fennel and mushroom salad with the coconut oil stuffed dates last time, so I’ll do that this time. @I make sure to avoid the mayonnaise jar, because it’s evil, and to be safe, I’m not going to taste anything, just because I don’t want to take that risk. @I don’t know Corey or Olympia, but I’m ready to beat both of them and win the competition!

Olympia: @I was eliminated because my halibut was overcooked. @This time, I’m going to cook it properly. @I’m making halibut wrapped in caul fat with a smoky tomato puree and pickled eggplant. @The last time, I went with fried eggplant, but I got dinged for greasy cooking. @Tonight, I’m doing the pickled eggplant, because it’ll be a better balance @Judith isn’t competition. @But Corey, he’s a threat. @If he plated his tortilla last time, he would’ve beaten me. @I don’t want to be eliminated again!

Corey: @Olympia and Judith are going home for sure. @I won’t let these girls beat me. @I might be younger, but I’m definitely stronger than them both. @The tortillas are properly rolled this time, so I’m stoked. @Olympia’s strongest dish was a salad last time, and I see Judith is making one now. @I’m confident my dish is the strongest.

Judith: @I shave the fennel on the mandolin, and then I cut myself. Sh*t @It’s a serious cut. @I’m bleeding so much blood that the paramedics have to pull me aside.
Paramedic: It’s looking bad. You might need a skin graft.

Judith: Sh*t. @And that’s all she wrote. @Just like that, I’m out. @I don’t even get a chance at redeeming myself. @This sucks so much.

Olympia: @Judith cuts herself really badly and the paramedics just escorted her out of the building. @It’s down to me and Corey at this point, and I’m pretty sure his tacos will give me a run for my money. @The halibut is cooked perfectly. @I taste the pickled eggplant and it’s delicious. @Corey’s dish can’t beat me.

Carrie: Time’s up!
Corey: @I look at Judith and Olympia’s stations, and Judith is gone.

Carrie: So Judith was deemed unable to physically continue in the competition. So it’ll come down to one of you two.

Corey: @I hear that and I’m relieved. @That’s one less person I need to think about. @Olympia’s dish, she made halibut, and I’m sure she overcooked it.

Olympia: @Corey’s looking smug, but his dish doesn’t look that good. @I’m going to be the person moving forward.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So let’s start with Corey’s dish. Corey, you prepared beautiful tortillas and a nicely cooked piece of ahi. The salsa was fresh but a little bland.

Corey: @Perfectly cooked. @The tortillas are supple and soft. @I’ve got this.

Carrie: Olympia, the halibut was cooked beautifully. The puree was tender, soft, and melted in the mouth, with this nice, smoky flavor. The eggplant added a nice hit of acidity and a great meaty texture.

Olympia: @No negatives. @I think Corey’s going home now.

Carrie: Tonight, it was a clear choice. Olympia, you’re going through.

Olympia: Awesome! @I’m still in the competition. @Nobody pinch me, I still want to keep dreaming. @It sucks to see Corey go home twice, but better him than me.

Corey: @Not winning sucks. @I wanted to get back into the competition, but good for her. @I’m just going to keep on cooking!

Part 2

Olympia vs Angelina vs Duncan

Duncan: @I’m walking into the kitchen and I see Olympia. @She wasn’t that strong in my preliminary, and I’m positive that I can beat her.

Angelina: @Olympia’s standing with Carrie and I know she must have beaten people already just to get to this point. @I’m confident I can take her and Duncan down.

Carrie: Welcome back! So for this Redemption challenge, you’ll have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish. The challenge you two were eliminated over was a fine-dining inspired one. So for tonight, I want to see you guys make the opposite. I want street food. 30 minutes on the clock, starting now!

Olympia: @Street food isn’t my forte. @I’d much rather do the fine-dining one. @But that’s the brief, and I need to meet it. @I’m going to prepare a crepe with an arugula and tomato salad with crispy pancetta and mozzarella cheese. @I’m keeping the dish simple, because I want to focus on the execution and presentation.

Angelina: @I got eliminated over cupcakes, and I know that I can make another dessert work in this challenge tonight. @I’m making churros with spicy Mexican chocolate. @Making the churros will be the best way to show some technique, and for my chocolate, it’s a ganache set with horchata.

Duncan: @Street food is awesome. @I’m making poutine. @It’s such a perfect dish for this challenge. @The gravy, the cheese curds, the thick cut French fries. @It’s such a good dish. @I’m going to do a spin on that, and I’m adding in crispy fried spam, because that’ll definitely add another nice flavor and texture.

Olympia: @I’m going French, Angelina’s going Mexican, and Duncan is making a Canadian dish. @It’s funny how diverse our backgrounds are, but at the end of this, I think I’m going to be the one coming out on top. @The crepes are looking perfectly crisp and beautiful. @My advantage is that I’m not frying something.
Angelina: @Duncan’s using the friers right now for his fries, and I need the frier too for my churros. @I’m just hoping that I can fry something in time, because it’s going to be cutting it close. @I taste my chocolate, and that’s perfect. @My dough is ready, I just need to fry something.

Duncan: @I pull my fries out of the frier, dab them with the towel, hit them with some salt, and then I leave them in the oven to keep them warm. @Angelina and I are both frying, which is interesting, because I don’t see Olympia touching the frier at all. @When you think street food, you think very cheap, unhealthy, so it’s odd, seeing her not touching too many unhealthy ingredients.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Angelina: @I get the churros out in a nick of time, and I’m feeling good. @I don’t think that poutine or crepes will beat me.

Duncan: @I’m not feeling so nervous this time. @The poutine looks great. @I made Canada proud.

Olympia: @My dish looks so much healthier compared to the other two. @Maybe I didn’t meet the brief?

Carrie tastes the three dishes.

Carrie: So let’s start with Olympia’s dish. Olympia, the crepe had a nice, golden-brown exterior and it was evenly browned. The presentation was gorgeous, per usual. The combination of flavors, it worked, but was it too simple to stuff a salad into a crepe and call it a day? Regardless, it was a tasty bite and it works as street food.

Olympia: @I think she liked it for the most part. @I might be in with a chance here!

Carrie: Duncan, your poutine was delicious. It was hearty, laden in fat, and I just wouldn’t mind eating that on a cold Sunday night while bing-watching reality TV. It was a tasty bowlful of fries and gravy.

Duncan: Awesome. @I have a lot of confidence in my poutine tonight. @This could be my crack at Redemption!

Carrie: Angelina, the dessert you presented was probably the simplest of the three dishes I tried tonight. Two components, nowhere to really hide. However, your churro dough was fried perfectly. It was crispy, but not too greasy. The chocolate was divine. I loved that you just went for it and used horchata to boost the spice levels.

Angelina: @She called my dish perfect. @But it wasn’t as ambitious as the other two dishes. @It’s up to Carrie’s call at this point, and she doesn’t have an easy job.

Carrie: You guys all presented three really nice dishes. Tonight, the best dish belonged to…. Angelina. Those churros and the horchata chocolate, it was a special combination.

Angelina: Thank you! @I’m still in it! @This is awesome! @After getting sent home so early, I felt like I had a lot left to prove. @I’m not going home anytime soon, that’s for sure. @Bring in the next opponent! @I’m ready for them!

Duncan: @Not winning the challenge, I’m a bit disappointed. @On one hand, she loved my dish, but on the other, it wasn’t enough to win.

Olympia: @I thought I did enough, but Angelina played it smart, and it worked in her favor. @I’m not sure who’s going to be her next opponent, but they’ll have a hard time competing against Angelina.

Angelina: @One round down, several more to go! @Come at me!

Part 3

Vincent vs Angelina

Vincent: @I’m back in the kitchen for another shot at the competition. @I see Carrie standing there with Angelina, who is an incredibly ambitious cook. @Bring it on!

Angelina: @I see Vincent, and he’s one of the weaker cooks in the competition. @He’s so obsessed with being trained by Bobby Flay that he doesn’t focus on his dishes.

Carrie: Vincent, welcome to the Redemption Rounds!

Vincent: Awesome. Pleasure to be here.

Carrie: So Vincent, you were eliminated for trying to put turkey into ice cream.

Angelina: @What?! @He got eliminated over that?! @And how was he able to outlast me? @I better win this challenge now, or else I’ll be devastated.

Carrie: Tonight, you’ll have a chance at redemption. You can either prepare a dish using turkey or a dessert. Vincent, you get to choose.
Vincent: I’d like to show that I can make a proper dessert.

Carrie: Alright. You’ll both have 30 minutes to make a dessert, your time starts now!

Vincent: @I’m making the same exact dish, but I’m not going to use turkey in my ice cream. @It’s a vanilla-cinnamon ice cream with cornbread crumble, rosemary caramel, and cranberry jam. @Angelina is a weak cook. @I think I can take her down.

Angelina: @Vincent thinks he’s a better cook, and that’s laughable. @You worked for a celebrity chef, and you still managed to make mistakes on that magnitude? @For my dessert, I’m making an apple crostata with vanilla bean ice cream and brown butter caramel. @I’m taking a risk making a crostata in 30 minutes, but if I can nail this, then I’m definitely going to win the challenge.

Vincent: @Angelina’s making a dough in that amount of time, and she’s got to roll it out and everything. @I think she’s going to waste too much time, and that’s going to be my advantage tonight. @My ice cream is tasting good, and that’s going to guarantee that my dish will be good.

Angelina: @Vincent’s looking cocky, but my ice cream is coming out perfectly. @The crostata is delicious, and I know that we’ve got a winner right here.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Angelina: @Vincent’s dish looks like what would happen if you pushed a Christmas tree over. @My dish isn’t going to send me home.

Vincent: I’m going to win this one. @Nobody will send me home.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So Angelina, I appreciate the ambition with your dish. The crostata was cooked nicely and your ice cream and caramel combination was delicious. Vincent, your dessert was tasty as well. It came down to a seasoning issue. Vincent, just too much rosemary. Angelina, you won this one. Congratulations!
Angelina: Thank you! @I won my second challenge, and I’m feeling redemption! @I just beat a moron! @Yay!

Vincent: @I’m feeling so angry that I’m shaking. @Angelina didn’t deserve to beat me and she knows it. @This was some bullshit.

Part 4

Jimmy vs Angelina

Jimmy: @I just got eliminated attempting a vegan dessert. @I know that I can cook better food. @It’s time to bring it.

Carrie: Jimmy, welcome to the Redemption Rounds!

Angelina: @Jimmy demolished me in the Preliminaries, and I’m ready to knock him out of the competition. @This would be pure redemption for me.

Carrie: So Jimmy, in the last challenge, you were eliminated because your pineapple upside down cake was dry. Tonight, I want to see you cook with pineapple again. The dish must be vegan, but it must also be savory.

Angelina: @A savory vegan pineapple dish? @That’s going to be terrible!

Carrie: So 30 minutes, time starts now!

Jimmy: @I’m still not sure what I can make that is vegan, savory, and incorporates pineapple. @I decide to make pickled pineapples with miso-mustard vinaigrette, paprika roasted walnuts, and frisee. @I’m hoping that this salad-type of thing will go over well and show plenty of technique, especially against Angelina.

Angelina: @I’m making a roasted pineapple curry with seitan, eggplant, and okra. @I’m going with an Indian-Chinese fusion here, because I know that these flavors will work well together and that the sweetness of the pineapple will offset the curry paste I’m preparing. @Jimmy, you’re going down.

Jimmy: @I see that Angelina’s making a curry with the pineapple. @Now I’ve really got to step it up. @I grab the pineapple and I’m going to deep fry them, because deep-fried pickles are pretty tasty, and I know that the pineapples will be able to hold up to being pickled and then fried. @I have to step it up against her.

Angelina: @Jimmy’s frying the pineapple, and that’s ballsy. @But I’m tasting my curry, and it’s delicious. @His fried pineapple needs to be really phenomenal if he hopes to beat me with it. @I’m not scared at all.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Angelina: @I step back, and my curry is perfect. @Jimmy’s got this fried pineapple salad going on there, and I’m just confused.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: Tonight, I had a really tough criteria. And for the most part, you both delivered. Jimmy, the flavors of your dish were vibrant, fresh, and bold. The pineapple, it was definitely the star of the dish, being sweet, sour, crunchy. It was nice. Angelina, you prepared a curry using the pineapple, and you used your own curry paste to do it. I was really impressed by the balance of flavors you’ve achieved in just 30 minutes. Tonight, the winner is… Angelina. Congratulations!

Angelina: Awesome! Thanks! @I won three in a row! @I think I can definitely take it all the way to the finale. @This is my road to Redemption! @So awesome!

Jimmy: @I’m feeling a bit deflated that I lost, but at least I’m leaving on a dish that the judge actually liked for once. @That’s still a bit of a win for me, anyways. @Good luck, Angelina, you better win the whole thing!

Part 5

Vanilla vs Angelina

Vanilla: @Walking into the kitchen after that elimination, I’m not feeling too good. @I just got sent home in a trail of tears and embarrassment. @I can’t believe I disappointed my nan with that recipe.

Carrie: Welcome to the Redemption Rounds, Vanilla!

Angelina: @Seeing Vanilla is terrifying. @She’s been a strong cook from the get-go, getting immunity and the first elimination challenge win. @But she’s just going to be another step in my road to Redemption.

Carrie: So Vanilla, you were eliminated on a venison dish. The meat was tough, chewy, and overcooked. Tonight, do you think you can redeem yourself?

Vanilla: I hope so.

Carrie: Our challenge is about solely technique. You’ll have just 15 minutes to cook three steaks. I want one medium rare, one medium, and one rare. Whoever can nail the cooking temperatures of the three steaks will remain in the competition. You’ll have 15 minutes, time starts now!

Vanilla: @I wish I could cook, because I know I could beat Angelina in a dessert cook-off. @But I’ll take what I can get. @My oven is already preheated, and my strategy is to fire each steak within 1-2 minutes of one another. @They’ll all be able to flip at the same time, and then I can get the ones that finish cooking, namely the rare, resting, while the medium rare and medium can go into the oven. @Right now, it’s not laughs and giggles anymore. @I’m really determined to get back into the competition.

Angelina: @Vanilla is not going to be an easy opponent, but my strategy is to get the steaks cooked individually, so that I can get the medium steak into the oven first, then the medium rare, and once the rare is done cooking, I can rest all three at once. @I’ve already beaten Olympia, Duncan, Vincent, and Jimmy, so I’m determined to beat Vanilla and show everyone that my food reigns supreme.

Vanilla: @Showing up, I was always told to smile and laugh through everything. @I wasn’t allowed to cry, I wasn’t allowed to be sad. @If I needed to cry, I’d only do it when it was raining, and I’d run outside and hide my tears with the raindrops. @It was hard not to cry, when you were bullied for being overweight. @So I’d act outwardly happy and make the effort to exercise and get fit. @It wasn’t easy, but I managed to overcome almost a decade of being called fat or ugly, and if I could do that, then I can win this challenge and stay in the competition.

Angelina: @Vanilla’s steaks are all resting, either on the cutting board or in the oven. @I’m feeling good, because we’re cooking filet mignon, and those don’t need as much resting as most other cuts. @Winning this challenge just validates that I am a fantastic cook and that my future in this industry is going to be a bright one. @I really want everyone to know that this is my passion, and it’s my dream.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Carrie cuts into the steaks on both cooks’ stations.

Vanilla: @I’m feeling petrified, but at the same time, I know that my steaks are cooked perfectly. @Angelina better get ready to leave the kitchen.

Angelina: @Vanilla’s got this murderous look in her eyes, and I don’t care. @I know I’ve knocked her out of this competition.

Carrie: So overall, you both were really consistent between the cooks of your steaks. Angelina, your steaks were about 5-10 seconds over on each one. Vanilla, you had a perfect rare steak, but your other two were both about 10 seconds under. Overall, it’s a tough decision to make. But Vanilla, you did have one perfect steak, and that’s what’s keeping you in the running. Angelina, I’m sorry, but you’re going home tonight.

Angelina: That’s fine. *to Vanilla* Good luck. Represent the girls out there! @It sucks to be leaving! @I felt so ready to win the whole way through, but instead, I’m out. @Vanlila better win the whole thing, because I knew I would have done that if she was not so damn lucky!

Vanilla: Ciao!~ @Winning again feels nice, especially when you were doubting yourself about your abilities to cook meat. @I think I need to keep giving this savory cooking a go, because my dessert skills are incredible, but my savory cooking needs more work. @If I want to win the title of Warrior Chef, the only way for me to smash it out of the park is to fire all cannons and charge straight ahead.

Part 6

Jackson vs Vanilla

Jackson: @Walking back into the Warrior Chef kitchen, I’m feeling like shit. @I really tried to tackle my weakness with dessert and it totally backfired on me.
Carrie: Jackson, welcome to the Redemption Rounds! Any clues who you’re going up against in this challenge?

Jackson: It really could be anyone. Either Jimmy or Vanilla?

In walks… Vanilla.

Vanilla: Hi, Jackson! @I see Jackson, and he’s a strong cook. @His ability to cook beautiful French food is going to be a real problem in this challenge.

Jackson: @Vanilla is terrifying. @Her dessert skills are astronomical and I’m already feeling screwed if we have to make a dessert in this challenge, which is probably going to happen.

Carrie: So Jackson, you were eliminated on a black velvet cake. The judges, they thought it was too sweet and the usage of Oreos was just too juvenile. Tonight, I’d like to see what you can do with Oreos again. But this time, you need to use them… in a savory dish. I don’t want a dessert. I want an entree or an appetizer, incorporating the Oreos.

Vanilla: What?! @Oreos in a savory dish?! @Oh, well I have, you know, ZERO recipes for this.

Jackson: Well sh*t! @Oreos aren’t meant to be eaten in an app or entree! @I’m already struggling to think about what I can make.

Carrie: Just 30 minutes, starting now!

Vanilla: @I grab the Oreos and I think about what the heck am I going to do with them?! @I decide to remove the cream filling. @I’m making a turnip puree, adding the cream filling to cancel out that sulfurous quality in the root. @For the cookies, I’m roasting them in spices and blending them up for a crust for my liver. @I’m sous-viding the calves liver in milk and then crusting and frying it. @I’ve never cooked with liver before, and thinking about cooking with it just reminds me of how I used to be anorexic, and I thought food was my enemy. @Hopefully it won’t be the case tonight, because my food, I’m determined to make it delicious and make sure that I shine through!~

Jackson: @I grab the cookies and I decide to make a mole. @I’m blending them into the sauce and it’ll thicken them and provide the chocolate flavor so I don’t need to add in real chocolate. @I’m making a stewed pork mole. @I’m thinking that it’ll be a huge risk, making this sort of dish in 30 minutes, but I’m used the ground pork so that it won’t have to braise for as long to be soft.

Vanilla: @I get the liver into the hot oil and it’s looking good. @I made sure to remove as much sinew as possible and slice it into thin pieces so that it’ll cook faster. @Jackson’s station, it smells beautiful, but I don’t think he’s going to be as creative as I am, and I’m hoping that’ll pay off.

Jackson: @Vanilla’s at a huge disadvantage because she’s got to cook savory food and her lack of experience with it is what sent her home. @I’m feeling great about the flavor and texture of my sauce and I know my pork is going to be really tender because I put in plenty of honey and onions to break it down even further. @I’m not threatened by Vanilla at this point. @I think I have this one.

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

Jackson: @I’m feeling good about my dish, but Vanilla’s presenting liver. @That’ll either win her the challenge or give her a one-way ticket out.

Vanilla: @Mole is such a safe dish. @I don’t think Jackson played it as smartly as he could have.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So this was a really… interesting challenge. Vanilla, you took a huge risk using liver in your dish. Nobody would ever think to pair chocolate cookies with liver of all things. Jackson, you went with a much more obvious route. Chocolate and mole is an immediate association and I loved that you made such a delicious sauce.

Jackson: @At this point, I think I got this. @I’m confident I beat her.

Carrie: Vanilla, your liver was…. cooked beautifully. And that puree was gorgeous. Jackson, your pork was a bit tough. So I have to give this win to Vanilla.

Vanilla: *to Jackson* Ciao!~ @I’m feeling so excited to have won again!~ @The Redemption Rounds are intense but I’ve managed to wow my way into the next stage of the competition! @Let’s do this! @I’m ready for the next one!

Jackson: @I lost?! @I’m feeling a bit pissed, because Vanilla cooked liver and that’s how she beat me. @This is such a disappointment. @I lost to liver? @Just yuck.

Part 7

Zack vs Vanilla

Zack: @I’m walking into the Warrior Chef kitchen again feeling mortified. @I just got sent home over chili con carne. @That was something that surprised everyone! @It’s hispanic cooking, and I should have won that challenge!

Carrie: Hi, Zack! So welcome to the Redemption Rounds! Any guesses on who you’ll be facing tonight?

Zack: I’d guess Vanilla?

In walks Vanilla.

Vanilla: Hey, Zack! @Zack was an eliminator, and now he’s been sent packing. @I’d love to take him out of the competition for good, and this is the perfect chance to do it.

Carrie: So Zack, you were eliminated over chili con carne. The judges loved the chili, but the cheesy bechamel component you added completely overwhelmed your spices.

Zack: Yeah, it sucked.

Carrie: So for this challenge, you must prepare a dish using cheese! You have just 30 minutes, time starts now!

Zack: @Getting eliminated over trying to do a cheesy bechamel, it’s pretty sucky. @But I know how to cook with cheese, and I’ll prove that I can do that tonight. @I’m making a four cheese ravioli, using goat cheese, parmesan, pecorino, and ricotta, with sage brown butter sauce and toasted pine nuts. @Vanilla is a strong cook and she’s managed to last this long, so I know I have to watch myself against her and make sure that I cook everything perfectly.

Vanilla: Haha!~ I love cheese! @I’m so excited to be working with the cheese! @I grab the mascarpone and the ricotta and I know I need to make a dessert just to add some shock value. @I’m making a meyer lemon curd swirled mascarpone posset with ricotta doughnuts and mascarpone poached meringues. @To make the meringues, I’m going to melt mascarpone into some water and poach meringues in that to make them have a creamier finish.

Zack @I make sure that the pasta is rolled super thin. @I don’t have a lot of time left and I need the pasta to cook all the way through. @I see that Vanilla’s making a dessert per usual. @Does she ever make savory food? @I think she’s going to go home the moment the challenge actually requires her to cook real food. @But I might just be saying this because her desserts have done nothing short of win her challenge after challenge, and yeah, I’m definitely nervous going against a Vanilla dessert.

Vanilla: @I test my doughnuts and they float up, and I cut into one, and it’s still raw in the center. Sh*t! @I make them smaller because then they’ll actually fry properly. @The possets are in the blast chiller and I know that those will show off my skills. @I see what Zack is preparing and it’s a pasta dish! @I’m not feeling too nervous, because a filled pasta is not something I’m intimidated by.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Vanilla: @I step back from my station and I’m feeling excited!

Carrie tastes the two dishes.

Zack: @Carrie’s cutting into my pasta and it looks perfectly filled. @I’m stoked.

Carrie: So overall, I loved both dishes. Zack, pasta was rolled and filled perfectly. It was almost like cutting into a poached egg. The filling was cheese-packed and that sauce was the proper compliment. Vanilla, I didn’t think about a dessert when I thought about cheese. The posset was set and it was smooth and beautiful. The fritters were crispy and cooked all the way through and the meringues were creamy and tangy with the mascarpone flavor. Tonight, it was a hard decision because neither dish was poorly executed. But Vanilla, for featuring the cheese in more creative ways, I’ll have to give the win to you! Zack, please leave the kitchen.

Zack: Alright. @I’m leaving pretty disappointed. @I gave it my all and it just fell flat. @I’m really angry. @But I still knew it. @Vanilla’s desserts are undefeated. @I was basically set up to lose this one.

Vanilla: *to Zack* Ciao! @I’m feeling ecstatic that I won another challenge! @There aren’t too many people left in this competition and I’m hoping that I can win my way back into the main competition.

Part 8

Leona vs Vanilla

Leona: @I’m walking back into the Warrior Chef kitchen, and I see Carrie standing there with Vanilla. @Great, she’s back.

Vanilla: @Seeing Leona, it’s really bringing back some bitter memories. @We were on the bottom two together when I got sent home. @Maybe this is my chance to reverse my fate, and send her packing for a change.

Carrie: Welcome to the Redemption Rounds, Leona.

Leona: It’s great to be here. Glad to have another chance to send Vanilla packing.

Vanilla: I’m glad you’re honest, anyways.

Carrie: Leona, you were eliminated because the dish you prepared, it was dry and disjointed. For tonight’s challenge, you’ll both need to take unusual ingredient pairings, and make a cohesive dish out of them. You’ll have to choose between either squid and vanilla beans, or rhubarb and blue cheese. Vanilla, since you are the reigning champ, you get to decide.

Vanilla: It’s kind of an obvious one. I need to go with the vanilla beans and squid.

Leona: What? @Are you kidding me? @She just shot herself in the foot. @I’m not complaining or anything, but rhubarb and blue cheese, it’ll be so much easier to work with, and I know Vanilla’s going to struggle now.

Carrie: So Leona, you have the blue cheese and rhubarb. You’ll have just 30 minutes to cook, time starts now!

Vanilla: @I grab the vanilla beans, and I’m going to prepare a lemon verbena-vanilla vinaigrette, lightly dressed cucumbers and fennel, and fried calamari. @I’m feeling pretty confident that my flavors can carry me through to the next round.

Leona: @I’m going to make an ahi tuna crudo with pickled rhubarb and blue cheese foam. @I’m thinking that cutting the blue cheese with heavy cream will be key to making that funkiness go away. @I’m going to embrace the rhubarb, because it’s fresh.

Vanilla: @I see what Leona’s making. @Blue cheese with tuna? @I’m not sure if that’s a good combination to go for, and she might be in trouble. @I’m hoping that the flavors of my dish are going to be nice, and I grab a blood orange, and segment that into my salad, because I know that the citrus will bridge the vanilla and seafood.

Leona: @Vanilla is going with a lot of herbaceous and bitter notes, so I think that might overpower the vanilla and squid. @I am embracing the flavor of the rhubarb and balancing that with the pungent blue cheese. @From a flavor standpoint, I know that I’m going to be highlighting my ingredients much more than she is.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Leona: @I see what Vanilla prepared. @Fried calamari? @That’s pretty lame.

Vanilla: @Leona’s pairing of blue cheese with tuna, I really think she shot herself in the foot there.

Carrie tastes both dishes.

Leona: @I notice Carrie’s reaction when she is eating my dish. @She finished off all of the blue cheese foam, so I know she liked that a lot.

Carrie: So tonight, I’m feeling like this decision was a pretty easy one to make.

Vanilla: @Now I’m scared. @Did Leona smoke me that much? @Maybe I shouldn’t have been so cocky about how her dish turned out.

Carrie: Leona, the blue cheese foam was delicious and it paired well with the rhubarb. Vanilla, you managed to blend together the two ingredients with herbs and citrus, and that was smart. It came down to the theme of the challenge, which was cohesion. Vanilla, your dish ate a little bit clunky. But Leona, the tuna had no place on that dish, so Vanilla, you’ll be continuing to the Redemption Rounds finale!

Vanilla: Oh my god!

Leona: Damn it.

Carrie: Leona, please leave the kitchen.

Leona: Got it. @Damn, damn, damn it! @I’m so pissed right now. @I’m feeling ripped off. @I deserved to win that!

Vanilla: *to Leona* Ciao!~ @I might still win this season, and that’s making me feel so happy right now. @Being so close to the end, and possibly winning this from the Redemption Rounds, it’s surreal. @I need a moment to process that.

Finale

Fanny vs Vanilla

Fanny: @I’m walking into the kitchen, and I don’t know what to expect. @I’ve made it to the original final four, and I’m ready to defeat whoever I need to if it means I can secure my place in the final four, and then take the title.

Carrie: Fanny, I’m sure you’re interested in seeing who your opponent will be. Any guesses on who that is?

Fanny: It’s tough to say. Maybe Leona or Vanilla?

Carrie: You’ll see soon enough! Come on in!

In walks Vanilla.

Vanilla: @Fanny is a strong, strong cook. @Honestly, any of those four who were in the finale, I’d be scared to face off against.

Fanny: @Vanilla is not a lightweight in this competition. @Since the beginning, she was dominating, so I’m feeling like this is my chance to really prove myself as a cook.

Carrie: So Fanny, you were eliminated over a dish that the judges claimed was bland. This is the Redemption Rounds finale, so all I am really asking of both of you is to create a dish that is anything but bland. You have 30 minutes, starting now!

Fanny: @I run into the pantry, and I decide to redeem my previous dish. @I’m preparing a pea-yogurt panna cotta with coconut-lime sorbet. @It’s a huge risk making a panna cotta in 30 minutes, but I’m using cornstarch and gelatin to make it possible.

Vanilla: @Fanny is tough, but I need to be tougher. @I’m preparing a smoked scallop with corn puree, mint coulis, and fried mint leaves. @Fanny is going with a dessert, but I know that my dish will shine in the end. @I got to believe!

Fanny: So Vanilla how have the Redemption Rounds been?

Vanilla: *to Fanny* I’ve had to knock out some really good cooks! But I’m ready to take you out of the competition as well!
Fanny: Those are fighting words! It’s on!

Vanilla: @So far, I’ve won seven challenges, including my four wins in the Redemption Rounds. @If I can beat Fanny, then I’m really going to be primed and ready for what’s left of the finale!

Carrie: Time’s up!

Vanilla: @I step away from my dish, and I’m wondering if I did enough. @I see Fanny’s dish, and it’s this gorgeous dessert. @I’m beginning to second guess myself a little.

Fanny: @Vanilla’s scallops look very basic compared to my dessert. @I’m ready to re-enter the finale, and take down the other three.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So tonight, we have two really different dishes. Fanny, the dish was refreshing, light, and I liked that you attempted panna cotta in 30 minutes. The flavors were nice. Vanilla, the scallops were smoked beautifully and the usage of mint and corn was unusual, but it really did work. Tonight, it’s a hard decision, because both dishes tasted good and fit the criteria for being well-seasoned. But the person returning is…

To be continued….