Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 2

Michele: This is it! After nine grueling eliminations, we are down to the top three best cooks in the competition! Phung Pham! The sassy Vietnamese from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Phung has managed to win a whopping seven challenges and continuously impress the judges in both her attitude and ability to cook incredible dishes. Lauren Wilson! The girl from Hawaii who has managed to wow everyone with her skills in both Hawaiian cooking and desserts. And Kira Taso! A prodigy working in Michelin starred restaurants, Kira’s techniques and finesse has put her on top of several challenges. Tonight, one of these three wonderful young women will win the title of Warrior Chef! Who will it be?

Kira: @I’m feeling like a bit of the underdog tonight, because I scrapped my way into the final challenge. @But I’m here, I’m ready to win the title, and I have a kick-ass menu.

Phung: @I know that I’ve got this one. @That title is so mine. @The Phung Dynasty shall never end.

Michele: Welcome to the last round! To start this round off, your final creativity challenge! You guys have just 30 minutes to prepare an amuse bouche! The winner of this challenge will be allowed to choose their sous-chefs first.

Lauren: @Michele didn’t say that the losing cook is going home, which is something that normally happens. @I’m slightly shocked to hear that, but I’m not complaining, because I’m only cooking to win, and not to survive for this challenge.

Michele: So 30 minutes, one amuse, time starts now!

Phung: @I decide for my amuse bouche, I’m making banh xeo spring rolls. @It’s the Vietnamese pancake, lettuce, spring roll wrapper, shrimp, and pork. @For the vinaigrette, I’m going to use molecular gastronomy to make it into caviar to top my dish. @That will set me over the edge. @I know molecular shit, so bite me.

Kira: @For my amuse bouche, I’m going to make whipped foie gras with plantain chips and curry salt. @I want to do something with the plantains because they are a really delicious ingredient. @Three Asian girls in the finale of Warrior Chef. @It’s pretty awesome to know that one of us is going to be the winner tonight.

Lauren: @I’m making a grilled chicken heart with lemon ponzu. @I’m keeping the components limited to two. @The heart needs to be cooked nicely and the ponzu, I’m making my won to show some technique. @And I’m garnishing with the chicken skin for a good texture on top.

Michele: Time’s up!

Kira: @I’m feeling good but then I see that Phung used molecular gastronomy to make spheres and that’s awesome. @She might have just stolen the advantage.

Michele: Your judge for this challenge is Warrior Chef runner up, Rose Fu!

Rose: Hi, everyone! I’m excited to taste your food!

Lauren: @Rose is Montenegrin, and she loves organs, so this might be an easy win for me. @I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Rose tastes the amuse bouches.

Michele: So Rose, which were your favorites?

Rose: Kira, the foie gras butter was awesome. I loved that one with the curry salt. And then the roll by Phung. Inspirational. Brilliant. I really loved it. And Phung, you made the best amuse bouche.

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You won the last creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Drat. @I wanted to pick my sous-chefs first, but oh well. @Phung got the advantage instead.

Lauren: @At this point, I’m just shocked that they didn’t eliminate me for coming in last in that challenge. @In the past two seasons, Amanda and Karen were, so I was expecting that to happen to me.

Phung: @I think this is dumb that Lauren gets to stay, but whatever. @She has to work with the people Kira and I don’t really want, so she’ll sink herself by working with them.

Michele: For the elimination challenge, you need to prepare the best three courses of your life. And you’ll need some help to do it.

In walks Teddy, Elizabeth, Taylor, Jaenice, James, Cherry, Gabe, Henry, and Justin.

Michele: Phung, you get first pick.

Phung: Justin. @Obvious reasons why I’m choosing Justin: he doesn’t suck and he works hard. @No brainer.

Justin: @I’m nervous working with Phung because she’s got a volcanic personality. @I just need to bear with it. @It’s no longer my ass on the line anyways.

Michele: Kira, for having the next best amuse, you choose second.

Kira: Henry. @I think Henry will be a supportive sous-chef, so I’m glad choosing him.

Henry: @Kira is probably the most level-headed of the three, so I’m good with that.

Lauren: Cherry. @I’m surprised nobody picked her, but I’m not complaining. @Cherry and I won a challenge together, so we will win this one together too.

Cherry: @Lauren and I are going to kick Phung’s ass. @For sure.

Phung: Jaenice. @She did really well in the beginning of the competition and I know we will crush this.

Jaenice: Oh, hell, yeah! @I want to nail this for Phung. @We are going to curbstomp these bitches and break their teeth.

Kira: Gabe. @He likes to bake, I have a dessert on my menu, so I’ll give him my dessert so that I can focus on the savory dishes.

Lauren: Taylor. @He’s honestly the only semi-competent one left. @Definitely beats James, Teddy, or Elizabeth.

James, Teddy, and Elizabeth leave the room.

Teddy: @I’m not feeling butthurt about not being picked. @I was eliminated first, so I definitely expected it.

Michele: So you have just 1 hour to prepare your best three dishes and your time starts right now!

Lauren: @I’m working with Cherry and Taylor, and I’m feeling good about this, even though I had to pick my sous-chefs last. @For my first course, Taylor is going to be preparing the spam fried rice cakes with crab salad and avocado crema. @I’m working on the main course, which is braised oxtail with homemade noodles and black garlic broth. @And for the dessert, Cherry is preparing chicory coffee panna cotta with caramel chocolate ganache and mini malasadas. @I’m going to help her on the dessert because my main course is basically all the pressure cooker.

Phung: @For my first course, I’m making “Shaking Beef” tartare, which is the raw beef with “Shaking Beef” seasonings, a homemade baguette, and minted tomatoes. @For the second course is oil poached snapper with lemongrass butter sauce, grilled squid, and pickled vegetables. @My dessert is misugaru doughnuts with red bean filling and a miso-coconut creme brulee. @I’m having Justin handle the tomatoes and the creme brulee, I’m going to do the baguette and most of the proteins, and Jaenice and on the doughnuts, sauce, squid, and the pickled vegetables.

Kira: @For my menu, I’m starting with shave fennel, seared scallops, and pepper-lemon reduction. @The second course is brown butter basted halibut with blueberry gastrique, artichokes, and basil foam. @For my dessert, vanilla cake with cider-apple spheres, salted caramel, and goat cheese ice cream. @Gabe is doing the entire dessert on his own. @Henry is on the first course, while I’m on the second, with Henry helping Gabe once he finishes his own course.

Jaenice: *to Phung* How do I make the sauce for the main course? And how long does squid take to cook? And should I do the sauce first or the pickled vegetables? I’m really lost here. How do you want me to cut the squid? Or not cut it? Grill it whole?

Phung: @Jaenice is a complete fucking moron. @I love her to death normally, but she doesn’t know how to make the sauce or the grilled squid, so I need to help her and then focus on getting that baguette made too. *to Jaenice* FUCKING GET THE FUCKING PICKLES GOING! FUCK!

Jaeince: @Phung is unleashing World War Phung on Justin and I right now and it’s really bad. @I’m just trying to make her happy at this point.

Justin: @I’m just trying to focus on my creme brulee because it takes the longest to prepare. @The biggest challenge about working with Phung is that she’s a dictator.

Kira: @I hear Phung screaming her head off and I am so glad that Henry and Gabe aren’t doing that or making me act that way. @The cake is looking good from Gabe’s station and Henry’s sauces are coming up correctly. @We are one cohesive unit!

Lauren: @I taste the broth for the oxtail dish and it is great. @The panna cotta is in the fridge setting up, and the crab salad prep is ready for it to just get tossed. @I’m glad that my team isn’t butting heads with each other, unlike Phung’s team.

Taylor: *to Cherry* I’m so happy we’re not on Phung’s team right now.

Henry: @She scares me. @I’m going to have nightmares about her face from now until the end of time.

Phung: I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD! I’M GOING TO SHOVE YOUR HEAD INTO A DEEP FRIER!

Jaenice: @Uh, I want to not make the doughnuts now. @I fear for the safety of my head. @That’s reasonable, right?

In the judges’ room:

Michele is sitting with Warrior Chef winners Vanilla and Vin, alongside finalists Karen, Tadashi, Amanda, and Rose.
Vin: It feels great to be on this side of the table, judging them.

Karen: I still remember getting to the final three, and not being allowed to cook. It was heartbreaking because I was that close!
Amanda: *to Karen* I feel the same. We both were cut in the same kind of challenge!

Vanilla: I loved the experience and I hope that they all bring their best. I’m excited to see what these finalists have to bring.

Michele: Ooh, looks like the first courses are up! Here they are!

Phung – “Shaking Beef” tartare with homemade baguette and minted tomatoes

Kira – shaved fennel, buttered scallops, pepper-lemon reduction

Lauren – spam fried rice cakes with crab salad and avocado crema

Karen: For the tartare, it was bland. I was impressed by making a baguette in less than an hour, and the tomatoes were tasty, but the tartare needed more flavor.

Vanilla: The scallop dish was way too simple. They had an hour, and that’s what they brought up? It was very underwhelming.

Vin: I felt like the crab dish showed the most technique out of the three. I liked the crispy rice, the crab salad was refreshing and the avocado was a nice contrast.
Michele: Who won this round for you guys?

Vanilla: Definitely Lauren.

Vin: Lauren.

Tadashi: Lauren.

Rose: Lauren.

Karen: Lauren.

Amanda: Lauren.

Michele: Wow! A clean sweep!

Karen: Kira’s was too simple and Phung’s was bland.

Michele: And we have the entrees!

Lauren – braised oxtail with homemade noodles and black garlic broth

Phung – oil poached snapper, lemongrass butter sauce, grilled squid, pickled vegetables

Kira – brown butter basted halibut, blueberry gastrique, artichokes, basil foam

Amanda: The oxtail was unctuous and fell off the bone. The noodles had a nice bite to them and I loved the black garlic broth a lot.

Vin: The poached snapper was undercooked and like sashimi in the center. And the squid was rubbery and overcooked. It was all inedible.

Tadashi: The halibut was cooked perfectly and I loved that sauce and the artichokes. Out of the three dishes, this one pushed the envelope the most.

Michele: And who made the best entree?

Vanilla: Kira.

Vin: Lauren.

Tadashi: Kira.

Rose: Kira.

Karen: Kira.

Amanda: Lauren.

Michele: So Kira took the second course!

Karen: I was split between her and Lauren’s dishes, but Kira did take more risks and they paid off more.

Michele: And now, the desserts!

Kira – vanilla cake, cider-apple spheres, salted caramel, goat cheese ice cream

Lauren – chicory coffee panna cotta, caramel chocolate ganache, mini malasadas

Phung – misugaru-red bean doughnuts with miso-coconut creme brulee

Vanilla: Wow. Just wow. Kira’s dessert, the cake was light and airy and I loved the cider spheres and how they exploded in your mouth. The ice cream gave the dessert a nice tang of goat cheese. It was great!

Rose: Lauren’s panna cotta was tasty and I liked the mini malasadas that she garnished it with for texture. That was very inventive.

Amanda: Phung’s doughnuts… they were phenomenal. She messed up in her first two courses, but her dessert was stellar.
Michele: And can we make a vote on the desserts?

Vanilla: Honestly, if I had Lauren’s app, Kira’s entree, and Phung’s dessert, I would be so happy right now.

Vin: It’s unanimous that Phung took the third course, and that’s where the problem is. Lauren took the first, Kira took the second, and Phung took the third.

Rose: But look at it as a progression. I’d eat Kira’s meal again over Phung or Lauren’s because it was very elegant and smartly done.

Karen: But when you go individually, Lauren’s three dishes were either the first or second strongest in each meal.

Amanda: I just think that no matter what, we can agree that Phung is out of the running. Her meal was the weakest of the three. Agreed?

Vin: Yeah, I think that’s reasonable. But it’s between Lauren and Kira, and that’s where it gets dicey.

Rose: I still stand behind my vote for Kira. She did an phenomenal job.

Michele: So can we finally agree on a winner?

Amanda: Yes, we can.

In walks Phung, Kira, and Lauren.

Michele: Tonight, the three of you prepared really phenomenal meals. But only one of you can be crowned the winner. The judges have voted, and one of you is already out of the running.

Phung: @I think it’s Kira. @Her first course was an epic fail.

Michele: Unfortunately, Phung, you are not Warrior Chef.

Phung: FUCK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! @I WON 8 CHALLENGES AND I STILL COULDN’T WIN?! @WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?!

Lauren: @That’s actually a huge shock going into this round, but seeing how she treated her teammates, it makes sense.

Kira: @It’s down to me and Lauren now. @I’m feeling nervous. @I want this so badly.

Michele: Kira, you had a really strong entree and dessert. Lauren, the judges felt like your meal as a whole, there was a lack of progression. But each dish individually was very strong.

Lauren: @Should the meal be considered as a whole? @I don’t know if it should, but I know if it didn’t count, then I won this.

Kira: @I’m nervous because they made it sound like my first course was a disaster.

Michele: Lauren…. you are Warrior Chef! Congratulations!

Lauren: Wait, what?!
Confetti rains down as everyone congratulates her.

Lauren: I won?! @I can’t believe it! @I’m Warrior Chef!

Michele: You won the title and the cash prize of $50,000!

Lauren: Thank you. @I’m in disbelief that I won the prize. @I knew I had strong dishes and that my passion was there, but it just feels surreal right now. @All of that hard work, and this incredible journey, it’s paying off right now!

Kira: @Being so close is probably what hurts the most about losing. @I hope I get a chance to redeem myself, because I know I can take that scallop dish and make it a winning dish. @But kudos to Lauren to winning the title. @She’s talented, strong, determined, and she deserved it a lot.

Lauren: @This competition was easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. @But being crowned the winner of Warrior Chef, it feels unreal. @It was a long journey, starting from peeling those russet potatoes, but now I’m here and I’m the champion! @I’m Warrior Chef!

Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 1

The final four arrive in New Orleans, where the competition will conclude.

Justin: @I’m the last man standing and against three of the strongest cooks in this competition’s history. @Phung is definitely my biggest competition and I want her to go home next.

Michele: Welcome to the finale! Let’s get into your creativity challenge! Since we are in New Orleans, we want to see you guys make a delicious… beignet. You have just 30 minutes, and your time starts now!

Kira: @A beignet is a doughnut. @Lauren won the last elimination challenge with her doughnuts, so this will be tough. @I’m making a lemon-coconut beignet with lemon curd glaze and toasted coconut sprinkled on top.

Lauren: @I won the last challenge with my doughnuts so I’m going to do it again. @I’m making a matcha cake beignets with white chocolate ganache glaze. @The biggest competition for me in this challenge, probably Justin? @I don’t really think anyone here has as much pastry experience as me.

Phung: @I’m making mochi and red bean doughnuts. @These doughnuts are going to win Warrior Chef for me. @I swear upon it. @I’m excited to be competing in the finale, but I need to get another win in or else everyone will think I peaked.

Justin: @I’m going to nail this challenge. @I’m making almond, chocolate, and orange beignets. @I think that the flavor combination of these ingredients will deliver. @Lauren is the one to beat for this challenge, but I’m not too worried about the creativity challenge. @I’m thinking about the elimination challenge.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: @I’m feeling great. @This dough is a winner.

Michele: Your judge for this challenge is New Orleans native and Warrior Chef finalist, Tina Wang!

Tina: Hi, everyone! I’ve made it to the final three before, so I understand how it feels to be so close to the end. I can’t wait to try your beignets!

Tina and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Tina, who prepared your favorite beignets?

Tina: Lauren, the matcha was creative and I liked the texture of your beignet. Kira, you produced the lightest beignets and the coconut and lemon was really good. Tonight, Kira, you won it for me.

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

Kira: Thank you! @I’m stoked that I get a huge advantage. @If I play it right, then I’m guaranteed a spot in the next round. @After almost being eliminated in the last round, I really want to finalize my place in this competition.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying crawfish and shrimp.

Michele: For the elimination challenge, we want you guys to use either crawfish or shrimp in your dishes. Kira, you get to assign who cooks with what.

Kira: Phung’s getting the crawfish, and everyone else gets shrimp. @I want her out. @Crawfish, never cooked with it before. @She probably hasn’t either, so she’s probably screwed tonight.

Phung: @I’m so happy she gave me the crawfish. @I know how to cook it. @It’s delicious. @I’m going to win this challenge and send Kira home. @Bye, bye, girl.

Michele: 45 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making a drunken crawfish broth, using plenty of lager to get that crawfish as wasted as possible. @I’m confident that I can demolish the competition tonight because of my skills. @Lauren’s my biggest competition right now, but she’s not somebody who can even hold a candle to me in the kitchen. @I’m going to knock her over in the name of the Phung Dynasty.

Kira: @I’m preparing butter poached shrimp with a shrimp butter and couscous to soak up the butter, and deep fried couscous for texture on top. @Phung is a tough, tough competitor. @She’s got skills, and I’m still amazed how hard of a time she gives me in this competition, given that she’s just a home cook.

Lauren: @For my dish tonight, I’m making grilled shrimp with a shrimp-pineapple stock and some ham wrapped shrimp tempura. @I want to make the shrimp be the star tonight, and I’m going to showcase them in three ways to show my mastery over this ingredient. @Kira and Justin have got a lot of techniques, and Phung is a monster. @This final four, it’s really competitive.

Justin: @I’m going to make shrimp scampi with a shrimp butter. @I’m making the pasta from scratch, and then I’m going to load plenty of lemon, garlic, and chervil onto the dish. @Phung, Kira, Lauren, they’re all strong cooks. @I have mad respect for Lauren and Kira, and I want the three of us to make it to the final challenge together. @Phung getting the crawfish, I think it’ll be good for the odds of that happening.

Michele: Time’s up!

Kira: @I see Phung’s final dish and I’m shocked. @She’s got a crawfish broth with some raw vegetables and crawfish in a bowl. @It’s a beautiful dish, and I think that if it works the way she’s intending for it to, then she might have just won this challenge.

Phung: @This dish won me the elimination challenge. @It’s everything I could ever ask for, and more. @I see the other dishes, and I’m not impressed. @Justin should just go home, because he’s made pasta in every challenge and that gets old really fast.

Michele: Your judges for this elimination challenge are:

Terrell Ayes – Warrior Chef two time finalist

Tina Wang – Warrior Chef finalist

Guy Flannigan

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

-butter poached shrimp with shrimp butter, couscous in two textures

Tina: The shrimp were cooked beautifully and I liked that she incorporated two kinds of couscous into her dish. The butter for me, it lacked shrimp flavor.

Guy: I agree on her shrimp butter being on the bland side. The flavor of the shrimp themselves, nicely done. I liked her couscous too.

Terrell: The dish was close to perfection. The shrimp butter needed more flavor of any kind. It tasted like unsalted butter, just melted down.

Michele: And now we have Lauren’s dish!

-grilled shrimp with shrimp-pineapple stock and some ham wrapped shrimp tempura

Terrell: I was really impressed by the flavor of the stock. The pineapple and the ham actually worked together nicely.

Tina: I hate Hawaiian pizza, but I loved her dish. The flavors complimented the shrimp and I’m just really impressed.

Guy: The flavor of the stock was very deep. The shrimp was cooked nicely, both the grilled and the tempura. I was impressed.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-shrimp scampi with shrimp butter

Guy: The dish itself was just boring. Had he not made his own pasta, then it would have honestly been forgettable. The shrimp butter was a good idea, but it just was bland.

Tina: I thought that the pasta was cooked nicely but I agree that he hardly pushed the originality of the dish.

Terrell: I wanted spices and flavors, but instead, I got bland shrimp sauce. I just didn’t want to finish it.

Michele: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-drunken crawfish shabu shabu

Tina: Wow. Just wow. The flavors in her broth were incredible. Lauren’s broth was delicious, but Phung’s was deep.

Terrell: The spices she coaxed into that liquid, it was addictive. I could have finished an entire vat of that broth alone.

Guy: She managed to make an inventive dish with an ingredient that is really challenging. She nailed it on all counts.

Michele: So can we agree on who will make our final three?

Tina: Yes.

In walks the finalists.

Michele: Two of you impressed the judges tonight, and one of you is going home. Phung, Lauren, you made the judges’ favorite dishes tonight! Congratulations!

Lauren: @The last time this happened, I beat Phung. @Let’s hope for a repeat.

Phung: @I want to beat Lauren. @I want to prove that I’m better than second place.

Michele: Terrell, please announce the winner!

Terrell: It was a close decision. But in the end, the best dish was made by…. Phung!

Phung: BOOM! @I won. @I knew I was going to win though. @If I did not win this challenge, then I would be so embarrassed.

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You and Lauren can leave the room.

Lauren: @I didn’t beat Phung, but I’m in the top three now. @It’s going to be a tough, tough battle ahead.

Phung and Lauren leave.

Kira: @I’m shocked. @I had the advantage, and I lost it. @Phung took my sabotage and won the challenge with it. @It really sucks.

Michele: Kira, Justin, one of you is going home tonight.

Tina: Kira, we liked the dish up until your shrimp butter. The fried couscous was original. But you didn’t make your own couscous.

Guy: Justin, the dish was just unmemorable. Had you not made your own pasta, this decision would be a very easy one to make.

Michele: The person leaving tonight is…. Justin. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Justin: Thank you for this opportunity to compete. @I got sent home. @I can’t believe it. @I thought I was going to be Warrior Chef. @And I’m going home fourth.

Kira: @This needs to stop. @I’ve been on the bottom of the last few challenges and I’m getting sick of it. @I need to step up my game or else I’m going home next.

Justin: @Warrior Chef has been a wonderful experience overall. @I made a lot of good friends and I put myself out there. @I just wished that I had the chance to make it to the end and show that my food is worth the $30,000 prize.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Michele and Aster taste the dishes.

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

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

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

Michele: And who impressed you?

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

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

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

Justin leaves the room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

Michele: Your judges are:

Chelia Van Buren

Thyme De Lys

Kierra Johnson

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

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

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

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

Michele: Next is Phung’s dish!

-homemade pork banh mi

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

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

Michele: And now we have Henry’s dish!

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

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

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

Michele: And finally, Lauren’s dessert.

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

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

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

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

Thyme: Yes.

In walks Henry, Phung, Kira, and Lauren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lauren and Phung leave.

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3: Round 5

Phung: @Walking into the kitchen, I’m glad that I was able to establish dominance. @The Phung Dynasty continues! @But Jaenice going home sucks. @She was funny and I really liked having her around. @James shall rue the day he sent her packing.

Justin: @I’m annoyed that I’ve been sort of coasting by. @I really want to win tonight’s challenges and just prove to the other contestants that I am the best one here.

Cherry: @I’m feeling ready to win the competition. @It’s a huge opportunity for me to really prove that being a former pot head isn’t going to stop me from being successful in my future.

Michele: Hi, everyone! So for tonight’s creativity challenge, you’ll need to prepare a dish worthy of a Michelin star. Unfortunately, after this challenge, somebody will be sent home. This is a sudden death challenge!

Lauren: @The moment she says sudden death, I am freaking out internally. @I don’t want to get sent home. @Not this way.

Phung: @I’m not worried. @I will crush it tonight.

Michele: You have 45 minutes, your time starts now!

Kira: @I’m excited for this challenge, because I know I can nail this one. @If I can win this challenge, then I win three in a row, and that’s exciting. @For my dish, I’m doing smoked quail with a taro mousseline, fried mustard seed, and goji berry compote. @It’s going to be Asian-French fusion, which I know so many high-end restaurants do.

Lauren: @I decide to prepare soft shell crabs with an orange-fennel salad. @I’m keeping the dish super simple. @So far, in this competition, Phung, Kira, and I have been trading wins, so I would love to just keep winning challenges.

Phung: @Lauren’s not my main competition. @Kira, she’s a threat. @Justin, he’s potentially a threat, but I can take him down in the long run. @I decide to make a chawanmushi, in honor of my soul sister, Jaenice. @I miss her greatly, but in the Phung Dynasty, there will be casualties.

James: @I’m going to make a apple cake with vanilla ice cream. @I’m making a dessert because it’ll be something that everyone will be shocked by that. @If I can even win one challenge at this point, it’ll show everyone here that I am a strong contender and that I can cook sweet or savory.

Henry: @I’m nervous about this challenge because I’m not super into the whole fine-dining genre. @I’m preparing a seared scallop with beetroot puree and a yogurt coulis with coconut. @I’m feeling great about this dish, because it’ll show a lot of finesse. @Scallops are super fancy, right?

Justin: @I’m preparing a kale tortellini with brown butter and crispy pancetta. @I’m keeping the dish simple, but I’m hoping that making a filled pasta in 45 minutes shows that I am a skilled and talented chef in this competition.

Michele: Time’s up!

Lauren: @I’m stepping back from my station feeling meh about my dish. @I see the others, and we have some seriously good looking dishes up there tonight.

Michele: Your judge is Warrior Chef house critic, Lotte Amazo!
Lotte: Hi, everyone. As a food critic, I love seeing how far chefs can take their food. Let’s see if anyone here is worthy of a Michelin star.

Lotte and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Lotte, who managed to impress you the most?

Lotte: Kira, you made a really delicious quail dish and I was impressed by your techniques. Henry, the scallop was simple, but well executed. Your presentation was one of my favorites. And Justin. The tortellini was wrapped, filled, and cooked to perfection. I really enjoyed that a lot.

Michele: And your winner?

Lotte: I think it was a hard choice, but in the end, Kira, you made my favorite dish.

Michele: Congratulations, Kira! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Thank you. @I’m just relieved to not be on the bottom. @I don’t know what to expect, but now I have immunity, and I’m guaranteed a spot in the final six.

Justin: @I’m so annoyed that Kira won. @Can I ever win a damn challenge? @At this point, I’m convinced that I’m going to be sent home next, because it seems everyone who is the bridesmaid in these challenges goes home.

Michele: And Lotte, who is on the bottom?

Lotte: James, the apple cake wasn’t baked enough. And Phung. Your chawanmushi was scrambled and just not refined at all.

Phung: @Crap. @I’m on the bottom and up for elimination. @What even is this?

Michele: So for the sudden death challenge, Phung and James, you must prepare a high-end canape. You have just 25 minutes, your time starts now!

Phung: @I need redemption. @I’m making the chawanmushi with uni and shiitake mushrooms, and this time, I’m making it in the tiny Chinese soup spoons. @I’m monitoring the steamer like a hawk, because I am not going home on a fucking egg custard, and especially not going home against James.
James: @I have the chance to knock Phung out of the competition, so bring it on. @I’m making a harissa rubbed prosciutto with deep fried fig and melted honey-goat cheese. @Phung is one of the biggest contenders for the title, and I want to eliminate her. @I need to beat her if I want to win the title anyways.

Lauren: @I am keeping my fingers crossed that Phung gets sent home. @As much as I love her sass, she’s a major, major threat, and her getting eliminated means that a huge obstacle is out of the way.

Henry: @I think everyone wants Phung out. @She’s really rude, and she’s a strong cook, so it’s just two more reasons why people don’t necessarily warm up to her. @If James does eliminate Phung, then we will all be really happy.

Phung: @I check my custards, and they are perfect. @I’m feeling great about my canapes. @I know how to make a perfect dish and it’ll show. @My food is strong, bold, and I will knock people out, one by one.

James: @I’m feeling really good about the deep fried fig. @My dish is possibly the best thing I put up in this entire competition. @Phung better watch out, because everyone always roots for the underdog.

Michele: Time’s up! Step away from your stations.

James: @Phung made the chawanmushi again, so I know I can beat her now.

Michele and Lotte taste James and Phung’s dishes.

Michele: Lotte, how did they do?

Lotte: Phung, you prepared the same dish, but this one was delicious and smooth. I really loved your dish. James, the fig was a surprisingly delicious addition, and the harissa and prosciutto was great. The goat cheese was a nice touch as well.

James: @I’m feeling good. @Phung, here’s the door.

Lotte: Overall, it came down to the main challenge. Who prepared a canape. Both of you served good food, but the challenge required it to be a canape. James, you served me something a little larger than that, and for that sole reason, you’re going home.

Michele: James, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Phung: *to James* You deserved it. This was for Jaenice, you ass!

James: Crap. Okay. @I wasn’t expecting that. @I thought I had Phung beat. @That’s really dumb that I’m going out on a technicality. @I really wanted to prove that I can cook good food, and it sucks, because I just stumbled slightly and failed.

James leaves the kitchen.

Phung: @And just like that, there were only seven left. @I’m feeling great.

Michele: And now it’s time for the elimination challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying two whole lambs.

Cherry: @I just see the whole lambs and all I can think is… whaaaat? @We have to cook with these monsters?

Lauren: @I’m feeling a little nervous about having to butcher these lambs, because I don’t do that.

Justin: @I see the whole lambs and I’m ecstatic. @I actually know how to butcher the lambs, so I know that this is my challenge to really step up and shine.

Kira: @I know how to butcher lamb, so this won’t be hard. @I see some of the other cooks around the room, and they’re looking really nervous.

Michele: You have an hour to prepare your own dish using parts from this whole lamb. And your time starts now!

Phung: @I run up and grab an entire lamb for myself. @I’m not going to try sharing the lamb and wasting time helping other people butcher it.

Lauren: @Phung grabs an entire lamb and my jaw hits the floor. @Seriously? @You don’t need the whole lamb for yourself.

Justin: @Kira and I start breaking down the other lamb, because nobody else knows how to do it, and while we are fabricating it, I’m just thinking about what I can make from it. @Since Kira and I volunteered to do it, everyone agrees that we get first pick on which part we want to use.

Kira: @For my dish, I’m going to prepare a grilled lamb chop with red wine and grape jus and gruyere mashed potatoes. @I’m keeping the dish super simple, because the time it’s taking to break down the lamb, I need to simplify the dish and focus on making sure I execute.

Justin: @I’m making a lamb ragout with paparadelle, black garlic, and fire roasted tomatoes. @It’s going to be awesome, because I just take the lamb scraps and utilize those in my dish.

Lauren: @Justin hands me the lamb leg, which is what I was hoping for. @I’m making a braised lamb leg with grilled cabbage slaw and spicy tomato relish. @I know that lamb loves smoke and heat, those I’m going with that.

Cherry: @So for my dish tonight, I’m going to be utilizing the lamb shank. @I’m making lamb shank with rice cakes and lamb broth. @I’m going to utilize the rice cakes from my Cantonese heritage to make a delicious texture the judges won’t expect.

Henry: @I decide on making a crepe with shaved lamb cheek and grilled mushrooms and frisee with harissa yogurt. @I’m going to take a risk here and do something out of the box. @Phung stealing the whole lamb for herself, it was selfish, and I hope she gets eliminated for it.

Gabe: @I’m using the belly. @I’m doing a braised lamb belly with mint-chili chutney and a corn puree. @Braising the lamb belly will be the risk I am taking here, but I know that I can pull that off.

Phung: @For my dish tonight, I’m doing a grilled lamb chop and lamb tongue, lamb carpaccio, Vietnamese coffee jus, caramelized lamb belly, and a ramp pancake. @I’m taking on a lot at once because I know I can execute it all flawlessly. @The advantage to having my own lamb is that I can use it all and showcase different textures.

Michele: Time’s up!

Lauren: @I’m feeling good about this challenge. @Phung might have tried to selfishly hog an entire lamb to herself, but my dish came out like how I wanted it to.

Michele: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Michele: Let’s start with the dishes by Justin and Kira first!

Justin – lamb ragout with paparadelle, black garlic, and fire roasted tomatoes

Kira – grilled lamb chop with red wine and grape jus and gruyere mashed potatoes

Aster: The lamb ragout was delicious! The flavor he developed in the time he had and the fact that he utilized the off cuts for the lamb to prepare it, it was genius.

Miriam: Kira also delivered on a simple but well-done dish. The chop was butchered perfectly and I enjoyed her sauce and the puree was perfect. Smooth, velvety, but creamy. I had no complaints.

Michele: And next are the dishes by Phung and Lauren!

Phung – grilled chop, tongue, carpaccio, Vietnamese coffee, crispy belly, ramp pancake

Lauren – braised lamb leg with grilled cabbage slaw and spicy tomato relish

Erwin: The chop Phung prepared was undercooked. I appreciate that she was being ambitious, serving us lamb four different ways, but she didn’t really nail any single execution perfectly. I did enjoy her pancake and the Vietnamese coffee jus a lot.

Miriam: Lauren braised that lamb leg nicely and I was surprised by how much I liked the combination of grilled cabbage and spicy tomato with the braised lamb. The flavors of her dish came together.

Michele: Finally, the dishes by Gabe and Cherry!

Gabe – braised lamb belly with mint-chili chutney and corn puree

Cherry – lamb shank with rice cakes and lamb broth

Aster: Gabe braised his lamb belly nicely and I liked the chutney a lot. The corn puree just confused me. I didn’t really know where it belonged on the plate, because it was so bland and uninteresting compared to the rest of his dish.

Erwin: Cherry cooked her lamb shank nicely. The broth, I couldn’t even get to it because of how much rice cake she put in proportion. Eating her dish was like eating a bowl of glue and mud. I didn’t like it at all.

Michele: So can we crown a winner and decide who is going home?
Aster: We can.

In walks Justin, Kira, and Lauren.

Michele: Tonight, the three of you prepared the judges’ favorite dishes!

Aster: Justin and Kira, both of you did well with breaking down the lamb and your dishes were both well made. Lauren, the dish had great flavors and you surprised us with that grilled cabbage.

Michele: Aster, please announce the winner.

Aster: It came down to Lauren and Justin’s dishes for me. And the best dish belonged to… Justin.

Michele: Congratulations, Justin! You won the elimination challenge!

Justin: Thank you! @I won my first challenge ever and it feels good! @I’m definitely going to make that lamb ragout again when I open up my restaurant.

The top three leave.

In walks Phung and Cherry.
Michele: Tonight, both of you had glaring technical errors and one of you is going to be sent home.

Erwin: Phung, you didn’t deliver on any of your four lamb components. The chop was undercooked, the tongue and carpaccio were underseasoned, and you didn’t render out enough fat from the belly. We did enjoy your sauce and the pancake a lot, however.

Miriam: Cherry, the lamb shank was braised beautifully but the broth was nonexistent. The rest of your dish was basically taken over by your rice cakes, which weren’t good.

Cherry: Shit. @I’m feeling like I’m screwed at this point. @But they hated Phung’s lamb, so there’s hope for me.

Phung: @Cherry has been decently strong this season, but I know I can take her down. @Just send her on her way already.

Michele: Cherry, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Cherry: Thank you. *to Phung* Congratulations. @I’m going home tonight and it fucking sucks. @I didn’t think I’d be out this early. @I felt like with each challenge, I was getting stronger, and I didn’t quite reach my potential yet.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 3

Phung: @Walking into the kitchen, thus begins another chapter of the Phung Dynasty. @I’m going to continue dominating, because that’s what I do best.

Cherry: @Elizabeth going home makes me excited, because that’s one less person between me and the title. @I’m going to win the competition. @And not listen to Elizabeth’s whiny voice anymore. @God, she makes me want to smoke a joint so badly.

Taylor: @James and Henry have both been underperforming in this competition and they’re definitely going home within the next two rounds. @I’m not feeling too nervous, knowing that they’re still around.

James: @I haven’t really been on top of any challenges so far, but I think tonight might just be my night to win something. @I got to believe.

Michele: Hi, everyone! So for tonight’s creativity challenge, we want you to make something delicious using an ingredient that might not be commonly used.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying vats of sour cream.

Lauren: @Whoa. @Sour cream. @I’m not really sure what I can do with that. @I’m not feeling super confident, but that’s going to be where I need to improve.

Michele: You have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish using sour cream. And your time starts… right now!

Phung: @I grab an entire vat, because I don’t like to share. @I’m going to prepare a sour cream crepe with caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, and pork belly. @I’m keeping it super simple but savory.

Lauren: @I’m stoked to be cooking with the sour cream, because I know that the majority of the cooks here will be going with something sweet. @I don’t want to do that. @I’m making sour cream marinated curry chicken salad. @I want to show a much more creative use of the ingredient so that I can continue proving myself in this competition.

Cherry: @With sour cream, I know you can use it in cakes. @I’m making a sour cream chocolate cake with chocolate-sour cream frosting. @I’m keeping it really forward with the flavors, because that’ll really make it a special dish.

Gabe: @I’m making tacos. @You give me sour cream, I’m going to make a good fish taco with pico de gallo and sour cream. @I’m sure that I’ve got this one in the bag, because it goes straight to my roots, and I know what I’m doing here.

James: @I’m going to make a beet and sour cream soup with olive oil croutons and lemon juice vinaigrette. @The beet and sour cream combination will be a huge risk, but huge risk, huge reward. @I’m going to push myself.

Henry: @So far, I’ve been coasting or skating by on the bottom. @Tonight, it’s got to change. @I need to win this challenge. @I’m making a sour cream and caramelized onion puree under a coffee crusted sirloin and sour cream battered onion rings.

Justin: @I’m not too afraid of the challenge tonight. @For my dish, it’ll be a sour cream polenta with spice crusted lamb chops and a mint-sour cream butter. @Out of everyone in this competition, Kira, Phung, and Lauren continue to be the strongest three, and I want to stop them in their tracks.
Kira: @I can’t keep thinking about the previous challenges, or else I’ll get too distracted. @I’m making a charred sour cream puree, sour cream-strawberry puree, and lime-sour cream foam. @Going with this super modern take on strawberries and cream, I’m hoping it’ll stand out and that I’ll really make an impression.

Michele: Time’s up!

Cherry: @My cake is still in the oven. @Fuck. @I’m so not going to win tonight.

Gabe: @Cherry ran out of time, but I also not happy with my presentation. @The tortillas tore when I filled them, and I can’t do anything about that.

Michele: So your judge for this challenge is pastry chef, Frank Torres!

Frank: Hi, everyone. It’s great to be judging this challenge, and I can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for me!

Cherry: @Well, I’m so screwed. @I couldn’t plate up my dessert, and I’m being judged by a pastry chef. @This is really embarrassing.

Michele and Frank taste the dishes.
Michele: So Frank, who didn’t really impress you tonight?

Frank: Cherry, you didn’t plate your dish, so by default, you are on the bottom. Gabe, your tortilla was torn, and the taco ate very sloppy. And James. Your soup was bitter and astringent. I didn’t enjoy it whatsoever.

James: @I thought I dug deep, but I clearly didn’t. @This really sucks.

Frank: So for my top three, let’s start with Henry. Your dish, the puree was phenomenal, and the coffee steak was great, and the onion rings were beautiful. Phung, the crepe was delicate but the flavors inside were bold. The sour cream tied everything together nicely. Lauren, your curry salad was simple, but just so clever. You took the sour cream to a dish I never would have suspected, and that makes me incredibly happy to see you innovate the ingredient.

Henry: @Hearing that I’m on top feels great. @I’m finally starting to show that I don’t suck at this!

Jaenice: @Not being on top is disappointing. @I really wanted to win a challenge.

Michele: And your winner?

Frank: Three incredible dishes, but my favorite had to be… Lauren’s curry chicken.

Michele: Congratulations, Lauren! You won immunity!

Lauren: Thank you. @Winning my first creativity challenge feels great. @I just got immunity, and now it means I can take a lot more risks in the next challenge.

Michele: So for the next challenge, you’ll have to cook in pairs! Please draw aprons!

A box is passed around, and the contestants have to draw the aprons blindly

Lauren – red

Cherry – red

Jaenice – green

Justin – green

Phung – blue

Kira – yellow

Taylor – yellow

James – blue

Henry – purple

Gabe – purple

James: @I’m with Phung, and I’m feeling like I just got immunity. @Phung is such a strong cook that I doubt I can weigh her down.

Phung: @Shit. @I’m with James. @Has he ever NOT been on the bottom? @Oh well, I know how to work like a machine, and I’ll just put him in the corner so that he can’t touch anything.

Michele: So in pairs, you’ll need to prepare a creative surf and turf! You’ll have an hour, and your time starts now!

Lauren: @I’m working with Cherry, and she’s been on top and on the bottom a lot, so not quite sure what to make of her. @So for our dish, we decide on preparing a crab dumpling with pork belly and ginger infused black vinegar.

Cherry: @Both of us have Chinese backgrounds, and I’m pretty confident that I’m going to nail this one for both of us. @I’m in charge of the pork belly and the vinegar while Lauren handles the entire dumpling.

Kira: @So Taylor and I agree on lamb and squid. @We are preparing a lamb stuffed squid sausage with tomato puree and lemon oil to toss with some deep fried capers. @I’m going to handle the puree and the capers with the lemon oil.

Taylor: @I’m comfortable grinding up the lamb and stuffing the squid. @Kira is a strong cook and I know that she is a hard worker, so I’m confident that the two of us can knock this one out of the park.

James: @Working with Phung is great. @We are going to prepare a Vietnamese pancake with shrimp, pork, and a fish sauce vinaigrette.

Phung: @Yeah, so James is going to grab the pans and plates, and I’ll handle the entire dish on my own, because James just sucks, and I don’t want to work with him. @I don’t care if there’s no I in team. @There’s a me, as in there’s a me who doesn’t want to go home. @So he can deal with that.

Jaenice: @Justin and I agree on a pancetta seared scallop that we will also sear in duck fat, and then we will also prepare a corn succotash and a corn milk beurre blanc. @This skinny white boy had to agree with me on what we doing, because if he tried to make me submit to his white hand, then he be racist, that little fucker, he be.

Justin: @Jaenice will handle preparing the corn milk for the beurre blanc and the succotash while I do the scallop and the final sauce. @I think we can work well together, because we are communicating. @I’m feeling good.

Henry: @We agree on a tostada with scallop and beef ceviche. @I’m going to let Gabe handle the tostada while we work together on the filling and I’ll do the entire ceviche portion on my own.

Gabe: @Henry and I are communicating and we are making sure to taste each other’s dishes. @I see that Phung is making James run around the kitchen, which is hilarious for me to see, but I have no time to be amused by that. @I need to focus on the tortilla and redeeming myself on that.

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

Kira: @I’m feeling really screwed right now. @Time is called, and Taylor didn’t plate the squid sausage on every plate. @We might be going home tonight.

Phung: @Crap. @I forgot to plate an entire portion. @Fucking James did not do anything, so I ran out of time trying to do everything while he was just in our way.

Michele: Your judges are:

Max Hudson

Chelia Van Buren

Scott Connors

Michele: Let’s start with the dish Lauren and Cherry prepared!

-crab dumpling with pork belly and ginger infused black vinegar

Chelia: Wow. The flavor of the dumpling was just an umami bomb. The vinegar infused with the ginger was subtle and it paired well with the crab.

Scott: The crispy pork belly on top was a clever idea and it added a nice texture to the steamed dumplings. I’m impressed.

Max: The fact that they cooked the crab so perfectly, I really loved it. There was nothing I could really change with this dish.

Michele: And next, Jaenice and Justin’s dish!

-pancetta seared scallop, corn succotash and corn milk beurre blanc

Max: The scallop was cooked beautifully. The inside was still opaque and glistening. That was already a good sign that this dish was going to be great.

Scott: The beurre blanc was nice, the succotash was pleasant, and I’m just really impressed by the usage of the corn milk. That was brilliant.

Chelia: So far, we’re off to a strong start. All of the dishes we’ve tried have been really solid. I’ll give this team more points on creativity, for the corn milk beurre blanc.

Michele: Now we’ve got Kira and Taylor’s dish!

-lamb stuffed squid sausage with tomato puree, lemon oil, fried capers

Scott: Well the squid sausage was a bit chewy. I liked the puree and the lemon oil with the capers a lot. The flavors worked well together.

Chelia: The squid exterior was not cooked enough, so it was just tough and almost leathery. The biggest disappointment was the sausage.

Max: I can’t even criticize the sausage, because I didn’t even receive any on my plate. The things I did taste, however, the puree and the capers, I really enjoyed that.

Michele: And finally, James and Phung’s dish!

-Vietnamese pancake with shrimp, pork, and fish sauce vinaigrette

Scott: Well, I guess the teams are struggling to work together here, since I didn’t get a pancake. I just have lettuce and the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette tastes great, however.

Max: The pancake was delicious and the fish sauce vinaigrette was dynamite. Honestly, this was the best dish I’ve tasted out of the five and it’s a shame they didn’t finish.

Chelia: I’m so pissed because the dish was so close to perfect, but they messed up royally with portioning. That’s such a shame.

Michele: So can we decide on which teams are up for elimination and which ones are up for the win?

Chelia: We can.

In walks Kira, Taylor, James, and Phung.

Michele: Unfortunately, the four of you are on the bottom, and one of you is going to be eliminated tonight.

Max: Kira and Taylor, who prepared what?

Kira: I made the tomato puree, the lemon oil, and the capers.

Taylor: I handled the squid.

Chelia: James and Phung?

Phung: I did literally everything. James did not touch the dish.

Max: Kira, the tomato mixture was delicious and the capers were our favorite part of it. The biggest difficulty was that the dishes weren’t consistent, and then the squid sausage was just bad.

Chelia: Phung, you put us in a difficult position. The actual dish was delicious, but you failed to plate for all of us.

Phung: But James didn’t do anything. Eliminate him!

James: *to Phung* I tried to help, but you wouldn’t let me touch anything! You were being a control freak!

Scott: Unfortunately, this is a team challenge, so teamwork will have to be a factor in who gets eliminated tonight. Phung, you weren’t a team player, but James, you needed to assert yourself more.

Phung: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! @This is some bullcrap. @I might be going home when fucking James didn’t do anything? @I can’t even right now.

Kira: @Phung is showing a terrifying side of her and Taylor and I are hoping that with her bad attitude, she might be going home next.

Michele: The judges have talked it over. Kira, you are safe. Phung, Taylor, James, we will ask you to come back, after we announce the winner.

Kira: Thank you. @I’m feeling relieved that I was declared safe, but I’m worried for Taylor. @We are really hoping that Phung or James go home instead.

The bottom four leave.

In walks Cherry, Lauren, Justin, and Jaenice.

Michele: Tonight, the four of you prepared the best dishes, and one team will win the elimination challenge!

Chelia: Cherry and Lauren, the dumpling was elegantly done and I really was impressed by your choice tonight. I was amazed by how dainty the dish was!

Max: Justin and Jaenice, you prepared that scallop perfectly and the best part of that dish was definitely the corn beurre blanc. That was genius.

Michele: It’s a tough call for who our winner was. Scott, as one of our judges, can you please announce the winner?

Scott: I am happy to say that tonight’s winning dish belonged to… Lauren and Cherry.

Michele: Congratulations, Lauren, Cherry! You won the elimination challenge!

Cherry: Oh my god! @I won! @Yes! @Freaking yes! @Elizabeth goes home, and now I win a challenge. @Life is getting better and better.

Lauren: @Winning the elimination challenge feels great. @I’m hoping that I can keep this streak up and continue impressing the judges.

Michele: Lauren, you won both challenges! How does that feel for you?

Lauren: Honestly, I’m just still amazed I won even a single challenge tonight. Thank you.

Jaenice: @Damn it. @I was hoping that this Southern belle was going to win something. @I know I belong in the competition.

Justin: @And out of nowhere, Lauren sweeps a round. @I can see her as that girl who gets into the finale, and then loses out at a spot for the final three. @She’s got talent, but she’s not going to make it to the end.

The top four leave.

In walks Phung, James, and Taylor.

Phung: @I can’t believe it’s between me, James, or Taylor. @I think that’s complete bullshit. @What the actual fuck.

Michele: Phung…. the judges agreed that you have an attitude issue. But the dish was virtually flawless. Taylor, unfortunately, the sausage was the weakest component tonight, and you will be leaving tonight.

Taylor: Okay. @I’m leaving, and I’m feeling really deflated. @I thought I’d make it further than just the third round, and I’m getting cut nowhere near where I was hoping to go. @I really hope that Phung’s attitude comes back to bite her.

Phung: @Crap, we just escaped elimination. @James really should be going home tonight. @He did not do jack fucking shit. @I’m going to punch a wall after we leave the kitchen. @Maybe set fire to some senior citizens. @I’m just pissed.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 2

Lauren: @I’m walking into the kitchen feeling a lot more excited. @But I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. @If I think I’m the top dog for winning one challenge, then I’m definitely going home next.

Phung: @I’m the top dog in this kitchen, and I’m definitely going to win the next elimination challenge. @There’s no way that I’m going out next.

Michele: Welcome back to the Warrior Chef kitchen! So for this creativity challenge, you’ll have to prepare a dish, any dish you want…. without a knife.

James: @Without a knife? @How do you even do that?

Taylor: @I’m just racking through my brains for anything I can make without a knife. @This is going to be hard.

Justin: @I’m ready for this challenge. @I can make pasta without a knife, so I’m pretty much set.

Michele: So you have an entire hour to prepare your dish. Your time starts now!

Phung: @Right away, I know what I can grab instead of a knife. @I grab a food processor and a cheese grater, and I’m set. @I decide on making a pumpkin pie with whipped goat cheese and candied pumpkin seeds. @I’m going with a dessert because you’re stupid to try savory without a knife.

Jaenice: @I’m going to make hushpuppies with chorizo and shredded crab meat. @I grab the pizza cutter because I need something to cut up my crab meat with, and that’s where I’m going to go. @Phung and I are good friends at this point, and I want to see the two of us in the finale together. @It’ll be great times. @The rest of them can go fuck themselves, because they’re all boring little bitches. @Especially Henry.

Taylor: @I’m going to prepare a baba ganoush, but I’m trying to figure out what the heck to make with it. @I decide to make pita bread, but I don’t know if my pita will be proofed enough by the time the challenge is over. @It’s a risk, but I need to take those if I want to keep standing out.

Lauren: I’m going to prepare Kahlua pork with macaroni salad. @It’s classic Hawaiian food, and I can make that with a pressure cooker and no knives. @I’m confident in my dish, because it’s going to set me apart, making something savory.

Cherry: @I’m stoked that this challenge means that a lot of people are going to struggle. @I’m making crab rangoons with an apricot-Sriracha sauce. @I’m making my wrappers from scratch and using a pizza cutter to portion the dough. @I’m confident that the homemade wrappers will put me on another level from everyone else.

Elizabeth: @I’m making a miso glazed black cod with tempura vegetables. @For my vegetable tempura, I’m going to only do okra, mushrooms, and broccoli, because those don’t require knives to portion out for tempura. @I’m going to sous-vide the cod, just to make sure that the flavor is really packed in there.

Gabe: @I’m making chicken tamales with a salsa verde and roasted almonds and coconut flakes. @I’m confident with the choice to top the dish with almonds and coconut flakes because that’ll add a lot of texture to my dish. @After the last challenge, I really want to win this one. @Once you’re in the top 3, you want to continue to stay there.

Justin: @I’m preparing mushroom and beef ragout with paparadelle. @I’m lucky that our pasta machines are lined with the cutters, because I don’t have a knife to cut my own noodles with, and the pizza roller, I don’t trust that around my fingers. @I know that my biggest competitors are Phung and Kira, so I need to watch myself around both of them.

Kira: @I grab the scallops, because I don’t need a knife for those. @I’m going to prepare seared scallops with semolina gnocchiette, brown butter, pea tendrils, and black garlic. @I think it’ll be a great chance for me to show a lot of technique without needing to use a single knife.

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

James: @I step away from my dish and I’m feeling happy. @I see what Elizabeth made and it looks like cheap takeout.

Michele: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Chloe Lula!

Chloe: Hi, guys! As a vegan chef, I understand how difficult it can be to work with restrictions. That being said, I’m excited to try your dishes!

Chloe and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Chloe, who failed to impress you?

Chloe: Cherry, your rangoons, you didn’t drain them on a towel, so they wound up being really greasy.

Phung: @Seriously? @Everyone making fried food this season keeps forgetting to do that. @How dumb can you be?!

Chloe: Elizabeth, the dish ate really dry. It needed a sauce. And Taylor. Your dish was pretty unimpressive. I didn’t really like anything on your plate at all.

Taylor: Crap. @I reached too far and didn’t make anything good. @This sucks.

Michele: And your top three?

Chloe: Kira, you made gnocchi, seared scallops, and just showed a lot of technique. I completely forgot you were handicapped without a knife in this challenge. Phung, your pumpkin pie was phenomenal and I’m genuinely stunned by how much I loved that. And Jaenice. Your hushpuppies with chorizo, it was great. The texture was brilliant and you fried those perfectly.

Jaenice: @See, Elizabeth and Cherry? @That’s how fried food is done. @Dumb skinny Asian bitches think they know how to beat me in a deep frying battle? @Think again!

Michele: And your winner?

Chloe: The best dish belonged to…. Kira.

Michele: Congratulations, Kira! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Thank you. @Winning immunity means that I can’t be sent home tonight. @I can take a lot more risks and not hold back!

Phung: @Kira’s the last person who needs immunity right now. @So long as idiots like James are in the competition, she’ll be far from in danger of going home.

Michele: So for your elimination challenge, you’ll need to get narrative. You’ll need to prepare a dish inspired by a special moment or story in your life.

Cherry: @I already know which moment appeals to me. @I’m going to win tonight’s challenge so easily.

Michele: You’ll have just one hour on the clock, your time starts now!

Lauren: @I have to tell a story through my dish tonight. @I’m just thinking about the moment I met my boyfriend, Dennis. @We were practicing kung-fu together and just clicked. @He’s Taiwanese, and I decide to make a dish inspired by our first date. @He prepared Taiwanese soup dumplings for me, and I’ll just recreate that dish, and it’ll be my story for this challenge.

James: @I want to make a dish inspired by what got me into cooking. @I’m going to prepare a baklava, which is layers of phyllo pastry with nuts, dates, and spices mashed together into a paste and stuffed in there. @I’m going to serve that with coconut ice cream. @I really wanted to make a delicious dessert to impress a Turkish girl in my class, and that’s what I presented to her. @I didn’t get the girl in the end, but I developed a love for cooking from it.

Justin: @When I think about stories, I remember my grandma’s journey from Italy to New York. @Transitioning to life in Brooklyn was tough on her, and the only real comfort she found was making burrata cheese. @I’m making Grandma Angela’s burrata with tapenade crostini and pork crackling. @It’ll be simple but really well executed. @Just making the burrata from scratch should show a lot of technique.

Elizabeth: @I’m making a gluten-free and vegan chocolate-pumpkin bread that is inspired by my best friend, Casey, who can’t have eggs or gluten. @Casey was the person who sent in my Warrior Chef application, so I really want to win this challenge for her and show how our friendship can take me to the end of the competition.

Cherry: @I’m going to make my story based on the first time I had pot. @It was a delicious brownie. @I’m making a matcha-white chocolate blondie with matcha crumble and matcha ice cream. @I want to have two baked components on the plate, because they need to be baked. @Yes. @Very baked. @So fucking baked.

Kira: @I’m trying to dig deep and think about my childhood. @Growing up in San Francisco, we had good seafood. @I want to make a cioppino but with coconut milk, lemongrass, and chilies instead of the tomato and white wine. @It’s a fusion of my Asian heritage and my upbringing, and that should be an interesting story to tell.

Jaenice: @I love Korean soul fusion. @I’m going to make spicy chicken wings with kimchi-red bean butter and misugaru waffles. @If that does not tell you right away that I am a black woman who eats Korean food, then I really don’t know what else would. @I’m going to win tonight’s challenge with my story, for sure.

Phung: @I’m going to make a banh mi, but make the bread from scratch. @I only have an hour, but I’m going to go with a yeast based dough, because why not? @It’s going to have pate, my favorite, lime cured beef, and lots of chilies and herbs. @I’m looking forward to serving this to the judges, because they won’t be expecting this in just an hour, but I will deliver.

Taylor: @I wanted to do something with hapuku fish, but we don’t have that in the pantry, so I grab the cod instead. @I’m going to prepare oven roasted cod with beetroot chips and an olive hummus with tomatoes. @I’m feeling really good about this dish, because it’s mostly Greek, and it’s something that my parents would make for me all the time growing up.

Gabe: @Right now, Kira and Phung are the two best cooks in the competition. @I want to make sure that I can knock at least Phung out by the end of this challenge. @For my story, I’m going to talk about the time I did peyote in the dessert. @I’m making a chayote squash and cactus pear spring roll with jalapeno crumble and a lime-cilantro dipping sauce. @I think that making spring rolls will set me apart and show a lot more innovation in the challenge.

Henry: @I’m making poutine, because that’s what my grandma, Bella, would make for me all of the time whenever I would visit her in Montreal. @For my poutine topping, it’s a duck gravy with duck confit and some homemade cheese curds, that I’ll pickle for some extra tang and flavor. @When I see the other competitors, I’m just thinking about which one of them will be going home next. @I’m not too threatened, because it’s still early in the competition.

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

Gabe: @I don’t feel too confident with the spring rolls, but I see Elizabeth made yet another gluten-free chocolate cake. @She’s so going home tonight.

Cherry: @I think I nailed it. @Matcha domination, right?

Michele: So your judges are:

Miriam Adjanti

Guy Flannigan

Lotte Amazo

Michele: First are the dishes by Kira, Jaenice, and Justin!

Kira: So for my dish tonight, I have an Asian riff on a cioppino. I’m Filipino, but I was raised in San Francisco, so my dish embodies both my heritage through my choice of ingredients, but also the city I was raised in, by being an iconic San Franciscan dish. The seafood just reminds me of the beaches in both California and the Philippines.

Jaenice: I’m a black woman, and I love Korean food. I combined both of those and created a Korean fried chicken with kimchi-red bean butter, and misugaru waffles. I’m bringing to you guys the Soul in Seoul.

Justin: This dish is inspired by my grandma Angela. She always would make burrata cheese from scratch, so I did the same. My dish is fresh burrata cheese with tapenade crostini and pork crackling. I did the pork crackling as well because we would always have porcetta at the dinner table, and my grandma was the heart of my family.

Miriam: Kira’s Asian cioppino was delicious. I think her story-telling wasn’t terrible, but she could have sold her dish a lot more. That being said, the dish was faultless!

Guy: Jaenice’s story very bizarre. But she fried that chicken beautifully and I loved her waffle a lot. The one thing I didn’t appreciate was that kimchi-red bean butter. I don’t know what she was hoping to accomplish with it, but it was putrid.

Lotte: Justin had the best story out of the three of them. But in terms of the actual dish, his burrata was bland, and the cracklings were soggy. And what’s left of his dish? Just a piece of toast with tapenade. What could have showed skill, he fell flat on.

Michele: And next we have the dishes by Lauren, James, and Phung!

Lauren: So my dish is inspired by my first date with my boyfriend, Dennis. He is Taiwanese, and he took me to try Taiwanese soup dumplings, which were absolutely phenomenal. So I prepared exactly those with black vinegar and ginger for you.

James: I made a baklava inspired by when I first got into cooking. I met a girl in my dance class, and she is Turkish. I wanted to impress her, so I made this dessert. I didn’t get the girl, but it made me passionate about baking.

Phung: Growing up in a Vietnamese household, we know how to make pate and we know how to cure our own meats. My mom taught me how to do use every part of the animal from a young age, so that’s what I did with my banh mi tonight. It’s a homemade baguette with beef pate, lime cured beef, and plenty of sprouts, chilies, pickled vegetables, and herbs. Enjoy.

Lotte: Lauren’s dumplings were actually really well done. I loved the juiciness and the texture of the wrapper and meat. It was a bit simple, but her story sold it for me.

Miriam: I liked James’ story, but maybe there’s a reason why his baklava didn’t win over the girl. For his dish, the phyllo was soggy and undercooked. It wasn’t pleasant.

Guy: Phung just blew me away. Her story was alright, but the fact she made her own bread in less than an hour. I’m at a genuine loss for words. That plus the fact that her sandwich was perfection. I need time to process that achievements behind executing this dish in that time frame.

Michele: Finally, the dishes by Cherry and Elizabeth.

Cherry: So I used to be a pot addict, so my dessert is inspired by pot brownies, which were a thing I used to live by. To overcome my addiction, I deferred to drinking green tea and that helped me recover. I made green tea blondie with green tea ice cream and green tea crumble. I made sure to have two baked items on the plate, just because I used to be twice-baked.

Elizabeth: I prepared a gluten-free and vegan chocolate pumpkin bread that I used to make for my friend, Casey. Casey was the one who signed me up for this competition, and I want to do her proud with this dish.

Lotte: Cherry’s story was a combination of dark and hilarious. The dish was really well-executed and the flavors balanced nicely. It was a great blondie sundae.

Miriam: Elizabeth’s dessert bread was dense and chewy, and her story sounded more like her justifying why she should win the competition.

Michele: So can we decide on our top and bottom 3?

Guy: We can.

In walks Cherry, Kira, and Phung.

Michele: Tonight…. the three of you prepared the judges favorite dishes, and one of you is going to win the elimination challenge!

Kira: @I really want to win back to back challenges. @It would be amazing to set the bar high from the get-go.

Cherry: @Wait, I’m on top? @That’s amazing! @Wow. @I didn’t expect that!

Michele: Miriam, please announce the winner!

Miriam: Two of you made phenomenal dishes, but one of you really pushed the envelope, and possibly defied the laws of proofing bread. Phung, however you managed to make that light, airy baguette in just an hour, we will never know, but you won this one.

Phung: Oh my god! @I’m top dog, bitches! @I just won my second challenge, and I’m proving why I am the one to beat. @Come at me. @I’ve either won or been on top of everything so far, and I intend to stay there.

Kira: @Phung is my biggest competition. @I don’t even know if there’s any stopping somebody like her. @She’s something else.

The top three leave. In walks James, Justin, and Elizabeth.

Michele: Tonight, one of you will be going home.

Miriam: James, your story was good, but your baklava was obviously the reason why you didn’t end up safe tonight, or winning the girl over in your story. Justin, the dish was just bland and soggy, but we liked your story about your grandmother. Elizabeth, your story sounded more like you trying to explain why we should give you the title, and your bread was just dense and gummy.

Michele: Elizabeth, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Elizabeth: Alright. @I’m feeling deflated having to pack my bags and leave this early. @I know that I had the potential to make it so much further than this, and I’m disappointed in myself for not being able to show it.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 1

Kira: @I’m the first one who walks into the kitchen, and it’s a nice kitchen. @I’m ready to see what I can do in this season.

Taylor: @I walk to my station, and it’s just feeling that much more real. @I have a chance here to make a difference with my future.

Phung: @Looking at the pantry, I’m trying to figure out where the tupperware are. @I need to stock up some ingredients before I get eliminated so that I don’t need groceries.

Michele: Welcome to Warrior Chef!

Elizabeth: @Being a gluten-free baker, I think this competition will be a great opportunity for me to showcase my unique set of skills. @I’m ready to show the world what I got.

Michele: So we all know you’re here to prove why you are ready to take the culinary world by storm. So for starters, we wanted to make this first challenge something people are familiar with!
A cart is wheeled in, carrying three kinds of potatoes: russet, yukon gold, and sweet.

Michele: So for your creativity challenge, you will be responsible for two things! The first is to peel 1 pound of whatever potato you choose. The second, to take that potato, and create a dish out of it. The twist is that not all of you will get to cooking in this challenge. The last three people who are still peeling their potatoes will not be allowed to cook. For the actual cooking process, you’ll have 30 minutes, counting down from when the first person finishes. So everyone, 1 pound of peeled potatoes, your time starts now!

Lauren: @I immediately grab the russet potatoes, because they are the longest in shape, so I can get more peeled per pound, and I can advance to the second half of the challenge immediately.

Kira: @I’m currently a line cook, so I know how to peel a potato. @I grab the russet potatoes, because they are the largest, and that’ll be easier to get a pound out of them. @I see Elizabeth and James grabbing the sweet potatoes. @Good luck with those. @The shapes of them are already a challenge to peel around.

Elizabeth: @I grab the sweet potatoes because I know how to make a delicious dessert out of them. @The Yukon gold, in my eyes, they will be the trickiest to peel because the starch is too sticky.

James: @The sweet potatoes just remind me of Thanksgiving and I know that I can make a pretty awesome dish using those, so that’s what I’m going with. @I think it’s the smartest option.

Henry: @I grab the Yukon potatoes because they are very small, and I know that I can get through peeling them faster than everyone else.

Phung: @I grab the Yukon potatoes because I know how to make a delicious potato dish using the Yukons. @And if I lose the challenge, I’m going to just take the rest of the Yukons and pocket them for later. @Whoops.

Jaenice: @I love myself a sweet potato, so I go straight for that.

Cherry: @Jaenice, Elizabeth, and James all run for the sweet potatoes, but I think that’s suicidal, so I grab the Yukon golds, because they might take longer to peel, but they are an inherently smaller potato, so I need less time to cook them.

Teddy: @I grab the Yukon gold potatoes, because I see Phung grabbing them, and I know that she’s good at cooking. @Phung’s reputation on the East coast is legendary. @The girl who has won multiple culinary competitions in the area. @She’s the one to watch out for.
Justin: @I grab the russet potatoes because I want to make gnocchi, and those potatoes will lend themselves the best for being riced.

Kira: Check!

Michele: Kira, your russet potatoes are peeled perfectly, and you have a pound of them! You’re good to go!

Kira: Awesome. Thanks! @So now I have a full 30 minutes to prepare a potato dish, and the first thing I think about is a spanish tortilla with some speck wrapped shrimp and a paprika-chili crema.

Lauren: Check!

Phung: Check!

Michele: Lauren, you’re good to go. Phung, you are too!

Lauren: @I have 26 minutes left on the clock, and I don’t really know what I want to do with the russet potato quite yet. @I decide on a lobster, corn, and potato chowder, because it’ll be something I know how to execute.

Phung: @I’m going to make a potato croquette with pate butter and a Vietnamese styled cabbage salad with the fish sauce vinaigrette and pickled vegetables. @I have 25 minutes to make this, so my goal is to get the potatoes grated and into boiling water first, and then going onto the pate right after that.

Jaenice, Taylor, Teddy, and Justin, Cherry, Justin all finish their peeling, and move onto the actual cooking

Jaenice: @I’m going to make a sweet potato pie. @It’s going to be a tart with a blind-baked crust, because I don’t have enough time to bake the filling into the dough.

Elizabeth: @It’s down to me, James, Henry, and Gabe for the last spot. @There’s only 21 minutes left and it’s terrifying me.

Gabe: @I’m with Henry who picked the Yukon potatoes, and Elizabeth and James who chose the sweet potatoes.

Henry: @I see that Gabe’s struggling with his Yukon as well, but I might be able to overtake him at this point.

Justin: @I notice that the bottom four are still struggling to peel their potatoes, and that’s fine with me. @I’m making gnocchi with brown butter sauce and crispy fried sage, and a parmesan potato chip crumble. @I’m microwaving the potatoes to get them cooked in time and I should be golden.

Taylor: @I’m going to prepare a deconstructed moussaka, which is Greek meat, potato, and eggplant casserole. @It’ll be pretty awesome, if I can pull it off. @I’m using lamb ragout as my meat and tomato component.

Cherry: @I’m going to make a Yukon puree with black vinegar reduction and seared scallops. @I’m trying to blend my Chinese heritage with the potato, which isn’t really something we eat a whole lot of in traditional Asian cuisine.

Gabe: Check!

Michele: Gabe, you only have 17 minutes to prepare a dish! Elizabeth, Henry, and James, unfortunately, the three of you won’t be continuing in this creativity challenge.

James: @Damn it. @It’s embarrassing to not even get tasted in this challenge.

Gabe: @I’m struggling to get any ideas right now, but I’m not on the bottom, and I need to run with it. @I’m going to prepare a simple breakfast platter with chorizo, potatoes, and an egg. @I’m running out of time here, and I just need to get something cooking and not give up yet.

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

Taylor: @I think that my moussaka Napoleon will go over well. @It’s a really cool layered dish, and that’s original.

Lauren: @I see what the other cooks have made, and I know I lost this challenge. @Phung, she went overboard, and I’m amazed by how much she got done in the time allotted. @Justin made gnocchi in less than 30 minutes. @Just give one of them the win already and let’s get on with the next challenge.

Michele: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Aster Walker

Aster: Hi, guys! I’m always excited to see what new talent comes into this kitchen, and being able to judge the first challenge of the season is always a pleasure.

Phung: @Aster is a renowned critic in the Los Angeles area. @So he has yet to try my food. @PhungFood is going to blow him away.

Aster and Michele taste the dishes.

Cherry: @I’m nervous, because Aster has been the longest standing judge in this competition, and I know that he’ll be a harsh critic. @I’m shaking as he tastes my food.

Elizabeth: @Not being able to put anything up for Aster in the first challenge makes me want to try harder in the next.

Michele: So Aster, we already determined a bottom three for this challenge, so who made your favorite dishes?

Aster: Overall, there were some major standouts for me. Kira, the flavors you developed in your Spanish tortilla were amazing, and I liked that you paired that with the chilies and shrimp. It was really inspired. Phung, you pushed the envelope, pickling vegetables, making a croquette, and making pate. That was an unusual approach, but the flavors were excellent. Justin, you made gnocchi in less than 30 minutes. And they were flawlessly executed. It was a classic dish, but superbly done.

Michele: And who won the first challenge and immunity?

Aster: It had to go to…. Phung.

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge!

Phung: Hells yeah! @I won!~ @I won!~ @Go, Phung! @Go, Phung!

Kira: @Phung making that dish without even having the full 30 minutes, it’s going to put a huge target on her back. @She might be my biggest competition in this season.

Michele: So now for the elimination challenge! You’ll be cooking head to head! Phung, for winning the last challenge, you will have your pair-up decided in the end. Justin, you had the second best dish, so you get to choose first.

Justin: I’m going to go up against…. James. @He didn’t even plate up a dish, so he’s going to be an easy target for me.

Kira: I’ll have to pick Gabe. @Gabe’s dish just didn’t show that he’s a major threat in this competition. @I know I can take Gabe.

Jaenice: I’m going to pick Henry. @Henry was on the bottom, and he’s a natural target for me to choose.

Cherry: I want to go up against Elizabeth. @Elizabeth is not a real threat to me, and I know I can take her down.

Taylor: @So it’s down to me, and I can either choose Phung, who has immunity, Lauren,  or Teddy. I’m going to go with Lauren. @I don’t see Lauren as a huge threat. @She did show that she can peel a potato. @But her dish just was boring.

Michele: So the match-ups are:
Teddy vs Phung

Justin vs James

Kira vs Gabe

Jaenice vs Henry

Cherry vs Elizabeth

Taylor vs Lauren

Michele: For this elimination challenge, you’ll have an hour to cook a dish centered around a single ingredient! And that ingredient is…. eggs! Your time starts now!

Teddy: @Already, I’m nervous. @I’m going up against Phung. @That girl can cook. @I see the eggs, and I decide to use it to bread some flounder, and make some fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce, using the eggs there as well.

Phung: @Teddy is not a real competitor to me. @I know I can take him. @I’m making a braised pork belly with soft-boiled egg, Japanese styled scrambled egg with some crab, and a homemade chili paste sabayon. @I’m ready to slam Teddy against some pavement and let him know who is the head bitch in this kitchen!

Justin: @I’m against James, and I’m feeling great. @I’m making an egg yolk raviolo. @It’s such an obvious dish for me, because I know it’ll showcase the eggs perfectly, and it’ll let James know just how strong of a cook I really am.

James: @I’m making creme brulee. @It’s a great egg dish, and I know that I can make it in the time constraint. @To spice it up, I’m going to make a matcha flavored custard and I’m going to sprinkle matcha powder into the sugar that I’m bruleeing on top.

Kira: @I’m feeling good going up against Gabe. @I’m preparing an egg congee with chicken adobo and crispy chicken skin. @Gabe didn’t really do so well in the creativity challenge, and if he keeps letting that stress get to him, I know I can outperform him.

Gabe: @Kira is intense, and she might be the best cook in this kitchen. @I’m definitely nervous, but I need to step it up so that I can take her down. @I’m making a coconut curd tart with lime meringue. @I want to do a dessert because it’ll show more range.

Jaenice: @I love cooking with eggs. @I’m going to make a Korean styled seafood pancake with a gochujang-egg sauce. @The sauce will be like soondooboo, but I’m blending it all up to give it a richer, but smoother texture. @Henry’s food looks like it came out of a WholeFoods. @It’s really snooty, but it’s not really anything hard to make. @I’m not threatened by him. @I can take him. @I’m from the South, you fuckers.

Henry: @Jaenice is a sassy person, but I know I can take her down a few pegs. @I’m making uni scrambled eggs with lobster knuckles and black truffles. @I’m feeling good about the combination of flavors, and I’m even going to garnish the dish with some caviar, just because those are eggs too.

Cherry: @Elizabeth should be an easy win. @She can’t even peel a potato quickly. @I’m making fried soft shell crab with an egg yolk-tamarind vinaigrette. @I’m stoke about the combination of shellfish and eggs, and I’m using the tamarind, because it’s not a really conventional ingredient and it’ll set my dish apart.

Elizabeth: @Cherry thinks she’s better than me, but I’m going to show her why she’s wrong. @I’m making ice cream. @It’s going to be a black sesame-miso ice cream with a gluten-free chocolate cake and meringue shards. @I’m trying my best to utilize the eggs in as many applications as possible to beat Cherry.

Taylor: @I’m making a shakshuka, which is a baked egg with a spicy tomato sauce that’s layered with different kinds of herbs and spices to really bring up the flavor. @I’m feeling good about going back to my roots, because it seems to be really well-received in this competition thus far. @Lauren is not going to beat me tonight. @Her biggest weakness is that she freezes up and doesn’t deliver.

Lauren: @Taylor made a really good dish in the first challenge, and I have to make sure I set the bar higher than that for this challenge. @I’m going to prepare a matcha ice cream sandwich with honey meringue. @For my sandwich, I’m going to prepare a matcha-yogurt chiffon cake. @I’m only using honey to sweeten my dish, because I want there to be balance.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: @I see Teddy’s dish, and it looks like crap. @Never mind beating me, he needs to worry about staying in the competition at this rate.

Gabe: @I see that Kira made congee. @It looks tasty, but I don’t really see the eggs in her dish. @I think with my dessert, it shows off more of the egg.

Michele: Your judges for this challenge are:

Erwin Ko

Vanilla Cuylenberg – Warrior Chef 1 winner

Vincent “Vin” Rugnetta – Warrior Chef 2 winner

Michele: Let’s start with the dishes by Teddy and Phung!
Teddy – flounder fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce

Phung – pork belly, soft-boiled egg, Japanese scrambled egg, crab, chili sabayon

Vanilla: Teddy’s flounder is really greasy, and I just couldn’t stomach that. The chips were nice, so was the sauce, but he dropped the ball on the protein.

Vin: Phung nailed that pork belly and the soft-boiled egg. Honestly, she just nailed everything. She’s flying really close to perfection here. The only fault is that it felt like too many things on a plate.

Erwin: Phung’s plate was cluttered, but everything was executed perfectly, and it all worked together, which to me was incredible. Teddy, he just dropped the ball.

Michele: So who won that match-up?

Vanilla: Phung.

Vin: Phung.

Erwin: I voted for Phung as well.

Michele: Alright. So now we have Justin and James’s dishes!

Justin – egg yolk raviolo with brown butter and crispy leeks

James – matcha creme brulee

Erwin: Justin’s dish was delightful. I really loved the texture of the pasta, being so silky and soft, and the crispy leeks and the brown butter sauce.

Vin: James, his creme brulee was creative, but the custard, mine was a little undercooked. And the brulee topping, it was acrid and bitter.

Vanilla: I got lucky, because my brulee was cooked through. Overall, I just preferred Justin’s pasta dish.

Michele: And how are we voting here?

Vanilla: Justin.

Vin: Justin.

Erwin: It has to be Justin.

Michele: So next up are the dishes by Kira and Gabe!

Kira – chicken adobo with egg congee

Gabe – coconut curd tart with lime meringue

Vin: Kira’s chicken tasted delicious, but the egg, just stirred into the rice, and not really seasoned, it fell to the wayside of the chicken adobo.

Vanilla: Gabe definitely showcased the egg a lot more, and the dessert was simple, but really well executed. And just how he showed his heritage, it was really innovative.

Erwin: Gabe’s dessert was really strong. Even if Kira’s dish didn’t showcase the egg, it would be hard to go against that.

Michele: So the winner?

Vin: I’m voting Gabe.

Vanilla: I second that.

Erwin: Gabe won this one for me as well.

Michele: And now we’ve got Jaenice and Henry’s dishes!

Jaenice – Korean seafood pancake with soondooboo-egg sauce

Henry – uni scrambled eggs, caviar, lobster knuckles

Erwin: Interesting that both of them prepare a seafood and egg dish, but I preferred Jaenice, just based on actual execution and the showcasing of the egg.

Vanilla: I have to disagree. Henry’s usage of the caviar was clever, and yeah, his dish was a bit excessive, but the flavors were great.

Vin: Jaenice made as good a dish as Henry without using nearly as expensive or luxurious ingredients, so for me, Jaenice deserves the victory.

Michele: So your votes?

Erwin: Jaenice.

Vanilla: Henry.

Vin: Jaenice.

Michele: And the next two dishes we’ve got were made by Cherry and Elizabeth.

Cherry – fried soft shell crab with tamarind-egg vinaigrette

Elizabeth – black sesame-miso ice cream, gluten-free chocolate cake, meringue shards

Vanilla: The soft shell crab Cherry prepared was fried beautifully, but where was the egg? Her vinaigrette was just too tamarind-heavy. I’m disappointed here, because eggs are not an easy ingredient to hide.

Vin: Elizabeth prepared an ambitious dessert, but her meringue shards were a bit too soggy for me. That part of the dessert wasn’t really enjoyable.

Erwin: It’s between a decent dish with no real usage of the egg, and an interesting dessert with technical flaws. It’s a bit of a hard call for me.

Michele: But can you guys make it?

Vanilla: I’d have to give it to Elizabeth.

Vin: I agree that Elizabeth embraced the egg a lot more.

Erwin: Elizabeth won, but just because Cherry’s dish hardly had any eggs in it.

Michele: And finally, we have the dishes by Taylor and Lauren!

Taylor – shakshuka

Lauren – matcha ice cream sandwich with honey meringue

Vanilla: Taylor prepared a really classic dish and the flavors were beautiful. The eggs were cooked perfectly.

Erwin: Lauren’s dessert just wowed me. The chiffon cake was light, springy, but still moist, her ice cream inside was delicious, and I liked her meringue.

Vin: I really loved her dessert. Lauren and Taylor both prepared really delicious dishes, and I’m honestly split on who took it for me.

Michele: So who won this match-up?

Vanilla: I have to give this to Lauren, because that dessert was so technically perfect that I could not fault it.

Erwin: I’m giving it to Taylor, because his dish showed the egg perfectly and I was really impressed that he stuck with his roots.

Vin: The chiffon cake…. it just won me over. I’m voting for Lauren as well.

Michele: Alright. So out of the winners, we have Phung, Justin, Gabe, Jaenice, Elizabeth, and Lauren. We need to choose a top three from them, and then a bottom three out of the six losers.

Erwin: I think we have made our decision.

Michele: Alright.

In walks Phung, Gabe, and Lauren.

Michele: Tonight, the three of you… prepared the best dishes and won your individual match-ups! Congratulations!

Gabe: @Being on top makes me feel a huge sense of validation. @I didn’t expect to come out with one of the best three dishes.

Phung: @I’m just dominating. @This season is going to be the dawn of the Phung Dynasty. @Mark my words.

Michele: Vin, please announce tonight’s winner!

Vin: It was a tough decision. Phung, you blew us away with your incredibly complex dish. Gabe, that dessert showed your heritage and it was well-crafted. And finally, Lauren, that chiffon cake sandwich was inventive and we were all impressed. Lauren, you are tonight’s winner.

Lauren: Oh my god! I just won the challenge?! @I’m feeling over the moon right now. @Winning the first elimination challenge is awesome!

Phung: @Drat, I lost. @Well, there’s always next time.

The top three leave. In walks Cherry, Teddy, and James.

Michele: The three of you made the judges’s least favorite dishes, and one of you will be going home tonight.

Vanilla: Cherry, your dish tasted good, but your usage of the egg was almost non-existent. We had no idea what you were going for with that.

Vin: Teddy, you made good chips, but the flounder was greasy, and your egg sauce was also really oily. It tasted like it was split.

Erwin: James, the creme brulee had promise. Your creme was good, but the topping was acrid and bitter. Torching the matcha was a mistake.

Cherry: @It sounds like we all made equal mistakes. @My egg was non-existent, Teddy made a greasy dish, and James made a bitter dish. @It really can go either way.

Michele: It was a tough choice…. Teddy, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Teddy: Alright. @It sucks. @I’m getting sent home first. @I thought my fish and chips represented me well, but in the end, I’m just going to be remembered for being the guy who couldn’t even make it past one elimination. @This is embarrassing.