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 4

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

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

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

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

A cart is wheeled in, carrying pistachios.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Kierra and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Kierra, who failed to impress you?

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

James: I deep fried pizza dough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kierra: The best dish belonged to… Kira.

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Everyone else, please draw knives!

Jaenice – 2

James – 2

Gabe – 2

Cherry – 3

Justin – 3

Henry – 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Max Hudson

Chelia Van Buren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-roasted boar chops, polenta, chili kale

-fig-hazelnut tart with goat cheese ice cream

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

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

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

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

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

-banana pudding

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

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

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

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

Chelia: We can.

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

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

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

Michele: Judges?

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

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

Michele: Erwin, please announce the winning team tonight.

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

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

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

The top six leave.

In walks Jaenice, James, and Gabe.

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

Erwin: Who prepared what on this team?

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

James: I handled the sides for the venison.

Gabe: I actually cooked the venison tonight.

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

Chelia: Gabe, have you cooked venison before?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erwin: Alright.

In walks the bottom team again.

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

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

Warrior Chef 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.

Warrior Chef 2: Preliminary Rounds + Eliminator Round

Preliminary Round 1

Seniors:
-Roman Junior: Quarter Chinese, three-fourths American linebacker from Houston, Texas. Loves to cook homey, Southern dishes and wants to prove that he has what it takes to win the entire competition; he’s highly competitive.
-Rose Fu: Half Montenegrin, half Chinese girl from Brooklyn, New York. Loves to prepare rustic food true to both of her heritages, but does not partake in fusion cooking. Wants to win to put Montenegrin food on the map.

Juniors:
-Brandon Keane: Lanky blonde from New York City. Is a very confident individual and enjoys cooking with bold Asian flavors. Wants to win to prove that he is a capable cook and deserves his own restaurant.
-Enrique Morales: Fit Latin American from Portland, Oregon. Loves to cook with bold Latin flavors and specializes in seafood. Wants to win the competition and use the money towards funding his first restaurant, Cocina de la Playa.

Sophomores:
-Marisa Grafiato: Slim blonde with haughty brown eyes from Hollywood, California. Loves to sing and dance and cooks bold Italian food. Wants to win for her grandmother, who taught her everything about cooking.
-Duke Kensington: Tall brunette from Los Angeles, California. Loves to cook modern American food, namely Asian fusion. Wants to win to show that he is not just some trend-following millennial.

Freshmen:
-Jessica Yuo: Stout Taiwanese girl, raised in Warsaw Poland, but currently residing in Miami, Florida. Is obese, but also a fitness trainer. Wants to win the competition to prove that her lifestyle is amazing.
-Amanda Bolen: Slender brunette from Charleston, Massachusetts. Is a passionate French and American cook and loves to dance and play the cello on the side. Wants to win the competition so that she can pay for culinary school.

Rose: @I’m the first person walking into the room and I’m feeling stoked. @This is my chance to show off what I can make in a competition setting.

Brandon: @I love cooking Asian food and I want to use that money to travel throughout Asia. @I’m ready for this competition.

Victoria: Welcome to Warrior Chef! For this challenge, you’ll be preparing your signature dish in just one hour! And your time starts now!

Roman: @So for my dish tonight, I’m going to prepare a grilled skirt steak with salsa verde and mango salsa. @The inspiration for my dish tonight is Tex-Mex, because I’m from the South and I know how to make a delicious steak and a kick-ass salsa.

Rose: @Roman looks like a total hunk, but I don’t really see him as my main competition here. @Amanda looks like a really composed competitor, so I’m keeping my eyes out for what she’s got to bring. @I’m preparing a homemade baklava, making the phyllo dough from scratch, with a goat milk ice cream.

Brandon: @For my dish tonight, I’m going to prepare pressure-cooked lamb ribs with some homemade pulled noodles. @To make my noodles, I’m using flour, corn starch, and boiling hot salted water, and I’m using the dough hook on the stand mixer to help me do the rest of that.

Enrique: @I see that Roman cooking with spicy Latin flavors too, and I want to beat him. @I’m making a mahi-mahi taco with pineapple slaw and a lime-habanero sauce. @I’m making the tortillas from scratch, just to show even more technique in my dish.

Marisa: @I love to prepare Italian food, and I want to surprise everyone with what I can do exactly. @I’m making a salami-ricotta agnolotti with mostarda brown butter, apricots, and speck pangritata. @Amanda is probably my biggest competitor here, so I’m nervous about what she might put up.

Duke: @Brandon and I both cook Asian fusion, but I’m confident that I can do mine better, so I’m going to prepare a soft shell crab bao. @For the crab, I’m going to make a Singaporean spice paste, and the bao, I’m going to do a traditional Chinese styled bao. @For my dipping sauce, I’m going with peanuts, cucumbers, fish sauce, coconut milk, and shallots and mint. @I’m feeling good about this tonight.

Jessica: @I’m making an herb embedded lasagna with mushroom ragout and garlic chips. @I’m going with baked chips, because they are healthier, and the dish is vegetarian because that’s healthy too. @I’m confident that my healthy dish will be the winner of the night. @It’s going to be good.

Amanda: @I’m making lamb lollipops with red wine-onion jam, parsnip puree, and lamb jus. @Marisa’s making fresh pasta, and that’s incredible. @I’m not sure if my dish will measure up to all of the other older competitors, but that’s going to be what drives me to try harder.

Victoria: Time’s up!

Enrique: @I’m confident with this. @I see the other dishes, and I’m not impressed with Brandon’s lamb ribs. @They look greasy.

Brandon: @I know that the noodles are a bit greasy, but the lamb is cooked well, and that will need to count for something.

Victoria: Your judges are:

Aster Walker – renowned Los Angeles food critic

Kierra Johnston – famous food critic in the Chicago area

Guy Flannigan – food television personality

Lotte Amazo – award-winning cookbook author from the UK

Frank Torres – French-trained award-winning pastry chef from New York

Chloe Lula – highly acclaimed vegan and vegetarian cooking expert

Victoria: Let’s start with Roman’s dish!

Roman – grilled skirt steak, salsa verde, mango salsa

Aster: For me, my steak was overcooked. I liked the flavors, however.

Kierra: The presentation was sloppy, but I got a steak that was cooked properly.

Victoria: Next is Rose’s dessert!

Rose – homemade baklava with goat milk ice cream

Guy: Wow. She prepared the phyllo from scratch, and that already won me over.

Lotte: I felt that the dessert was a tad sweet, but the phyllo was impeccably done!

Victoria: Now Brandon’s dish!

Brandon – lamb ribs with homemade noodles

Frank: Brandon’s ribs were cooked nicely, but his noodles were greasy.

Chloe: Those were overcooked, limp, and swimming in oil. Just yuck.

Victoria: Next is Enrique’s dish!

Enrique – mahi mahi taco with pineapple slaw and lime sauce

Chloe: The mahi mahi was cooked nicely and I liked the tortilla a lot.

Aster: This dish was really well-executed overall. I enjoyed it a lot.

Victoria: This dish was made by Marisa.

Marisa – salami-ricotta agnolotti, mustard seed brown butter, apricot, speck pangritata

Kierra: Marisa cooked her pasta beautifully. The apricot was clever.

Frank: She managed to get creative with her flavor combinations, and the dish was nicely executed.

Victoria: Duke prepared the dish we are about to try next.

Duke – soft shell crab bao

Lotte: Wow. This was one of my favorites. The crab was fiery, and the sauce was beautiful. I really liked this dish a lot.

Aster: I felt that the bao was a bit underdone for me, but the crab and sauce were really inspired. It was nicely done.

Victoria: This dish was prepared by Jessica.

Jessica – herb embedded lasagna, mushroom ragout, garlic chips

Chloe: The lasagna was overcooked by a lot. And her chips were burnt.

Guy: I’m really disappointed. The dish was just bland. Creative, but mis-executed.

Victoria: Finally, Amanda’s signature dish!

Amanda – lamb lollipops, red wine-onion jam, parsnip puree, lamb jus

Kierra: The lamb was cooked perfectly, and I loved the combination of the flavors.

Lotte: She prepared a dish that was more simple, but perfectly done. It was solid.

Victoria: So can we decide on our scores?

Guy: We can.

In walks the competitors.

Brandon: @I’m feeling like I’m safe. @Jessica’s dish was a disaster, and she might be going home.

Roman: @I think Brandon or Jessica deserve to go home tonight.

Victoria: The lowest scoring cook will be eliminated, while the highest scoring receives immunity. Let’s start with Roman’s score!

Aster: My steak was overcooked. 6 stars.

Kierra: Mine was cooked nicely. 7 stars.

Guy: I unfortunately got an overcooked steak as well. 6 stars.

Lotte: 7 stars.

Frank: 7 stars.

Chloe: 7 stars.

Roman – 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60

Victoria: Now we have Rose’s dish!

Aster: It was really well done, but a bit sweet. 9 stars.

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: I enjoyed the dessert a lot, and I was impressed. 10 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 10 stars.

Chloe: 10 stars.

Rose – 9 + 9 + 10 + 9 + 10 + 10 = 57/60

Victoria: With that, Rose, you take the lead!

Rose: Oh my god! @I got a 57?! @How did I manage to get a 10 from Frank, the pastry master?! @I’m so floored right now. @I don’t even have to win the challenge.

Victoria: And now, Brandon’s dish!

Aster: It was just unpleasant to eat. 6 stars.

Kierra: 6 stars.

Guy: I enjoyed your ribs more than I disliked the greasy noodles. 7 stars.

Lotte: 6 stars.

Frank: 6 stars.

Chloe: 7 stars.

Brandon – 6 + 6 + 7 + 6 + 6 + 7 = 38/60

Victoria: Roman, you’re safe. Brandon, you are currently on the bottom.

Brandon: @Now I’m panicking. @I’m really hoping that somebody gets lower than a 38, or else I’m gone.

Victoria: Enrique, let’s see what the judges thought of your dish!

Aster: Beautiful mahi taco. I loved it. 10 stars.

Kierra: I thought that your flavors were good, but not quite hitting perfection. I wanted a bit more of a kick to be honest. 8 stars.

Guy: 8 stars.

Lotte: 8 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: 9 stars

Enrique – 10 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 9 + 9 = 52/60

Victoria: And next, Marisa’s score!

Aster: 9 stars.

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: 8 stars. The salami and speck, you should’ve chosen just one.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: For your beautiful pasta, 9 stars.

Marisa – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 53/60

Enrique: @So far, Rose has been crushing it. @But I hope that somebody can beat her.

Victoria: We next have Duke!

Aster: 9 stars. I liked the dish, but the bao tasted a little undercooked.

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: 9 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: You really delivered a lot of highs, so for that, 9 stars.

Duke – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60

Marisa: @So far, Rose is leading with 57, and then Duke, Enrique, and I all got in the 50s. @It’s not looking so good for Brandon right now.

Victoria: Next up is Jessica’s score.

Aster: Liked the idea for the most part. 6 stars.

Kierra: It was just not well executed. 6 stars.

Guy: I can’t give you more than 5 stars.

Lotte: 6 stars.

Frank: 5 stars.

Chloe: I’m personally offended by this dish, as a vegan chef. 2 stars.

Jessica – 6 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 2 = 30/60

Brandon: @I’m feeling really relieved right now. @Jessica is screwed.

Jessica: @I’m stuck with 30 stars, but I’m not scared. @Amanda’s lamb looked gross, so she’s screwed.

Victoria: Amanda, you need at least 31 to stay, and 58 to win. Judges?

Aster: Beautifully presented dish. 9 stars.

Kierra: 10 stars for something just so unforgettable.

Guy: 9 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: 9 stars.

Amanda – 9 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 55/60

Victoria: So let’s look at the final scores!

Scores:

Rose – 9 + 9 + 10 + 9 + 10 + 10 = 57/60 – won immunity

Amanda – 9 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 55/60

Duke – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60

Marisa – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 53/60

Enrique – 10 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 9 + 9 = 52/60

Roman – 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60

Brandon – 6 + 6 + 7 + 6 + 6 + 7 = 38/60

Jessica – 6 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 2 = 30/60

Victoria: Rose, you won immunity. And Jessica, you are going home.

Rose: @If I did not win immunity, I would be embarrassed. @I’m a senior, so I should be able to cook better food than the rest of these scrubs.

Jessica: I’m so embarrassed about the fact none of you liked my dish, but whatever. @It’s their choice, and they can live with it. @Bye.

Preliminary Round 2

Seniors:
-Betsy Saunders: Small brunette from San Francisco, California. Was taught how to cook from her mother, and loves to make American classics, but revised. Wants to win to showcase American food at its best.
-Vincent “Vin” Rugnetta: Half Italian, half Singaporean boy, currently living in Orlando, Florida. Is openly gay and proud. Likes to cook both Asian and Italian dishes from both his heritages. Wants to win to show his parents that he is a talented cook.

Juniors:
-Yang Yan: Tanned Chinese boy from Topeka, Kansas. Loves to cook Asian, namely Japanese and Chinese, and wants to bring both of those influences into his cooking going into the main competition. Wants to win for the title.
-Lilian Jagolta: Small, energetic brunette from Madison, Wisconsin. Loves to bake and enjoys making desserts with fresh, seasonal produce. Wants to win the money so that she can open her own bakery.

Sophomores:
-Nate Wong: Tall Chinese-Taiwanese boy from Boston, Massachusetts. Is unafraid to voice his opinion and knows how to cook classic Asian dishes. Wants to win to show that guys can cook and can cook well.
-Talia Garrett: Half Caucasian, half African American girl from Chicago, Illinois. Loves to cook small desserts and wants to open up her own bakery one day. Is good friends with fellow competitors, Marisa and Amanda, and wants to make the main competition.

Freshmen:
-Trisha Hou: An aspiring artist, originally from Montreal, Canada, but currently going to school in Pasadena, California. Wants to win the competition to show that her food is like art in itself.
-John “Jo” Chang: Slim Chinese-Taiwanese boy from Los Angeles, California. Loves to cook American food with Asian nuances. Wants to win the title so that he can open a business with his two older siblings.

Betsy: @I’m the first person walking into the Warrior Chef kitchen and I’m feeling pretty nervous. @The competition, we have eight of us, and it’s pretty intense already.

Yang: @I’m eyeing my competition, and I already think that the girls aren’t going to do very well. @Betsy looks basic, Lilian looks dumb, and Trisha and Talia both look spacey.

Victoria: Welcome to Warrior Chef! For this second preliminary round, you’ll be scored out of 60 points based on your signature dish. The highest scoring dish of this round will earn that cook immunity. The lowest, you’ll be sent home.

Jo: @I’m not feeling too confident that I can beat some of these guys. @Being one of the younger competitors, it’s intimidating.

Victoria: So just 1 hour to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Betsy: @I’m making a chicken pot pie with a cream cheese and sour cream infused crust. @It’s something I’ve made with my grandma all the time growing up, and I know that the flavor combination will really blow away the judges. @I look down the line, and I think I’m most impressed by what Vin is doing there.

Vin: @I’m making a lamb rendang curry with homemade roti bread. @I’m blending up the spices for the rendang and getting the lamb and paste into the pressure cooker so that it’ll braise. @I know with the roti bread, I need to layer and press it until I can get it light and flaky.

Yang: @I’m preparing fried bass spring rolls with a black bean dipping sauce. @Being Chinese, we eat a lot of bass and spring rolls and black beans, so why not fuse them together and make them one cohesive dish? @I look around, and I think Nate and Jo are my biggest competition. @I want both of them out.

Lilian: @For my dessert, it’s going to be a chocolate ganache tart with raspberry compote and fresh raspberries. @I really like the flavor and I think it’s for the best that the flavors come out in just using the chocolate and the raspberries, and nothing else. @My tart is going to be a pate sucre base, using chocolate liquor to make it crunchy.

Nate: @I’m going with classic Chinese flavors and preparing a dried scallop and mushroom broth with shrimp crystal wontons, also called har gow. @I’m using the tapioca flour to create the dumpling wrappers and then for the filling, blitzing shrimp meat with fresh scallops. @I think it’ll show scallops in a completely different way and that’ll be my key to surprising everyone.

Talia: @I’m making lemon meringue cream puffs with a strawberry coulis. @For the pate choux, it’ll be stuffed with lemon pastry cream and then I’ll pipe meringue on top to torch. @My biggest competition tonight will probably be Lilian and Trisha because they are both making desserts as well.

Trisha: @I’m going to prepare black sesame macarons, ice cream, mousse, and cake. @I’m doing this quartet of black sesame because I love that ingredient and I love to bake, and this is an opportunity to show off what I can really do with these ingredients. @This is my chance to really shine and make a strong first foot in the competition.

Jo: @For me, I cook because I want to show somebody how much I care about them. @I’m preparing braised short ribs with mac n’ cheese and kale chips. @These are all foods that remind me of home and my mom cooking for me and my older siblings.

Victoria: Time’s up!

Vin: @I see Betsy’s chicken pot pie and all I can think is, ‘honey, no.’ @There is no way that I’m going to lose to that tonight.

Victoria: Your judges are:

Miriam Adjanti – chairwoman of the European Culinary Institutes

Max Hudson – renowned seafood chef from Los Angeles and Honolulu

Scott Connors – restauranteur in New York and Miami

Erwin Ko – famous Korean-fusion chef in Los Angeles

Missy Skies – Michelin starred Italian chef from New York

Chelia Van Buren – award-winning cookbook author and restauranteur

Victoria: Let’s start with Betsy’s dish!

Betsy – chicken pot pie

Missy: The actual cook on the pie was great and I loved that she did an original take on the classic with the cream cheese crust.

Erwin: I thought she played it safe, but when her execution is this good, then she is more than allowed to do that. Nicely done.

Victoria: And next is Vin’s signature curry!

Vin – lamb rendang, homemade roti

Scott: Wow. Just wow. The flavors really build up and I’m just left wanting to finish the entire plate and lick it clean.

Max: I was really impressed tonight by what he put up. So far, two really solid dishes. No complaints here.

Victoria: Next are Yang’s fried bass spring rolls!

Yang – fried bass spring rolls, black bean dipping sauce

Chelia: Just.. no. I get that I’m supposed to be the mean judge here, but the rolls were just greasy and unpleasant. I did like the sauce, however.

Miriam: He hammered the bass. I did not want to go back for another bite. That was just an insult to whatever culture that was supposed to be from.

Victoria: Then we have Lilian’s dessert!

Lilian – chocolate ganache tart, raspberry compote and fresh raspberries

Missy: The pastry was nicely made and I liked that she included two kinds of raspberries. But it needed a cream to round it out.

Miriam: It was a pretty little dessert and I would have liked it with some coffee to be honest. I still enjoyed it overall.

Victoria: And then we have Nate’s scallop dish!

Nate – scallop-mushroom broth, shrimp crystal wontons

Max: Alright, not what I was expecting when I heard you say “scallop dish,” but this was a really inventive dish overall. I liked the flavors.

Erwin: I wanted more texture in the dish, maybe some crispy shallots, but the dish was still really good and it was true, traditional Chinese cooking.

Victoria: Next is Talia’s pate choux!

Talia – lemon meringue cream puffs, strawberry coulis

Chelia: The dessert ate a tad too sweet at first, but then the lemon and strawberry do balance that out.

Scott: For me, it was nicely prepared but a little too simple for me. It almost felt incomplete, but I couldn’t fault anything on the plate otherwise.

Victoria: And then we have Trisah’s black sesame quartet!

Trisha – black sesame macarons, ice cream, mousse, and cake

Scott: This is a tough dish to rate. I loved her macarons, ice cream, and cake. But that mousse was chalky and dry.

Miriam: I was disappointed in her mousse. That was just getting stuck in my throat. But the rest of the dessert was nicely executed. The macaron, I would happily purchase.

Victoria: Finally, Jo’s family dinner!

Jo – braised Korean short ribs, mac n’ cheese, kale chips

Missy: The ribs were delicious and I liked the concept, but it lacked that sauce to really tie it all together.

Chelia: For me, it ate like Southern barbecue, so I still liked it. It was just not as inventive as some of the other dishes.

Victoria: So can we bring them in for scoring?

Miriam: Yes.

The eight contestants walk in.

Victoria: The winning cook will win immunity tonight while the lowest scoring cook will be sent home. Let’s start with Betsy’s score!

Miriam: It was a strong effort. 9 stars.

Max: You took a classic and did it justice. 9 stars.

Scott: 9 stars.

Erwin: 9 stars.
Missy: I liked the originality with the crust. 10 stars.

Chelia: 10 stars.

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

Betsy: Wow! @I’m so excited that I got that high of a score! @This is incredible.

Vin: @Wait, seriously? @I’m shocked. @She got 56 for a chicken pot pie?!

Victoria: Next is Vin’s score!

Miriam: I was a huge fan. 10 stars.

Max: 10 stars.

Scott: I would not change anything. 10 stars.

Erwin: 10 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Chelia: 9 stars.

Vin – 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 9 + 9 = 58/60 stars

Betsy: @And just like that, he beat me right off the bat. @I’m feeling nervous.

Vin: Thank you. @And that’s how that’s done. @I got this in the bag.

Victoria: And now we have Lilian’s score!

Miriam: 9 stars.

Max: 9 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars

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

Lilian: @I’m feeling a little nervous about being on the bottom, but there’s still five more people to go. @I should be fine.

Victoria: And now we have Nate’s score!

Miriam: 9 stars.

Max: 9 stars. You really did a good job on this dish.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 9 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Chelia: 9 stars.

Nate – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 8 + 8 = 51/60 stars

Nate: Whew. @I’m safe and through to the next round! @It rocks!

Lilian: @Just by 1 point! @That’s what made this painful for me.

Victoria: And next is Jo’s score!

Miriam: 8 stars.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars.

Jo – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 48/60 stars

Lilian: @I’m sad for Jo, but now I’m safe. @Thank goodness.

Jo: @I’m feeling a little nervous now. @I’m on the bottom here. @It sucks a lot.

Victoria: Here we have Talia’s score next!

Miriam: 9 stars for an inventive dessert.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars.

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

Talia: @I’m through! @And Jo is still on the bottom. @Sucks to suck for him.

Jo: @My heart is racing through my chest at this point. @It’s down to Tricia and Yang’s scores and that makes me really scared for my place here.

Victoria: The next score will be Trisha’s!

Miriam: I loved almost every component, but the mousse. 8 stars.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars. Your mousse wasn’t the best, but the rest did make up for it.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 7 stars.

Trisha – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 7 = 47/60 stars

Trisha: Oh no! @I’m on the bottom now, and I’m feeling really, really anxious. @It’s down to Yang’s score.

Victoria: Yang, you need at least 48 to remain in the competition and 59 to beat Vin and take the lead. Judges?

Miriam: Just no. 4 stars.

Max: 4 stars.

Scott: 4 stars.

Erwin: 4 stars.

Missy: 3 stars.

Chelia: 1 star. You made me fear my job for once.

Yang – 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 20/60 stars

Victoria: Here are the total scores of this round!

Scores:

Vin – 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 9 + 9 = 58/60 – won immunity

Betsy – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 10 + 10 = 56/60

Nate – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 8 + 8 = 51/60

Lilian – 9 + 9 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 50/60

Talia – 9 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 49/60

Jo – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 48/60

Trisha – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 7 = 47/60

Yang – 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 20/60 – eliminated

Victoria: So Vin, congratulations! You won immunity! Yang, I’m sorry, but please return to the kitchen and leave.

Vin: @I won it and it feels good, because I’m a senior. @If anyone younger than me won, I would not be able to live it down.

Yang: Alright. Whatever. @I’m pissed. @I didn’t deserve to be eliminated and they know it. @This is bullshit.

Yang leaves the kitchen.

Victoria: And please help me welcome back the contestants from the first round!

In walks Rose, Amanda, Duke, Marisa, Enrique, Roman, and Brandon.

Rose: @I see the other seven and all I can think is, who the hell are they? @I’m going to take them down. @Bring it.

Victoria: We have tallied up your scores between both rounds!

Cumulative Scores:

Vin – 58

Rose – 57

Betsy – 56

Amanda – 55

Duke – 54

Marisa – 53

Enrique – 52

Nate – 51

Lilian – 50

Talia – 49

Jo – 48

Trisha – 47

Roman – 40

Brandon – 38

Victoria: Lilian, Talia, Jo, Trisha, Roman, and Brandon, the six of you are going to have to compete in the Eliminator Round against two incredibly strong contenders for the title. Let’s welcome the Eliminators!

In walks Courtney and Daniel, the two new contestants for the third round.

Courtney: @I see who I’m up against. @Not impressed. @I know I can knock them out of the competition.

Victoria: And to up the stakes, half of the contestants in this round will be going home.

Trisha: @Quadruple elimination? @Holy crap. @I’m trying to find a rock to hide under, because this is going to be intense.

Daniel: @That doesn’t scare me. @I’m in this competition because I’m that much better than everyone here. @I’m going to win this and the title, no questions asked.

Marisa: @All I can say is I am so relieved not to be in the bottom six right now. @Good luck to all of them, because that round sounds so brutal.

Jo: @I really don’t want to go home early, and this round is going to be the ultimate sink or swim. @I need to step it up and prove myself.

Eliminator Round (Four will be eliminated)

Seniors:
-Roman Junior: Quarter Chinese, three-fourths American linebacker from Houston, Texas. Loves to cook homey, Southern dishes and wants to prove that he has what it takes to win the entire competition; he’s highly competitive.
-Daniel Truong: Half Vietnamese, half American boy from Seattle, Washington. Has worked under some of the best chefs in the area, including chef Thierry Rautureau. Wants to win for the chefs he’s worked under and to make a name for himself.

Juniors:
-Lilian Jagolta: Small, energetic brunette from Madison, Wisconsin. Loves to bake and enjoys making desserts with fresh, seasonal produce. Wants to win the money so that she can open her own bakery.
-Brandon Keane: Lanky blonde from New York City. Is a very confident individual and enjoys cooking with bold Asian flavors. Wants to win to prove that he is a capable cook and deserves his own restaurant.

Sophomores:
-Talia Garrett: Half Caucasian, half African American girl from Chicago, Illinois. Loves to cook small desserts and wants to open up her own bakery one day. Is good friends with fellow competitors, Marisa and Amanda, and wants to open a bakery with them.
-Courtney Crnjac: Half Argentinean, half Italian girl from San Diego, California. Loves to cook with bold Asian, Latin, and Italian flavors and wants to win to show that her competitive drive cannot be stopped.

Freshmen:
-Trisha Hou: An aspiring artist, originally from Montreal, Canada, but currently going to school in Pasadena, California. Wants to win the competition to show that her food is like art in itself.
-John “Jo” Chang: Slim Chinese-Taiwanese boy from Los Angeles, California. Loves to cook American food with Asian nuances. Wants to win the title so that he can open a business with his two older siblings.

Courtney: @Walking into the kitchen, I’m feeling really to throw down. @The bottom six are weak and I know I can knock four them out just here and now.

Talia: @If I don’t bring it in this round, I’m out next. @Courtney and Daniel are strong and they’re meant to challenge us, but I’m ready to take them out of the competition.

Victoria: Welcome to the Eliminator Round. You have just 60 minutes to prepare a signature dish to keep you in the competition. Your time starts now!

Roman: @I’m preparing an Asian pork sandwich with pickled vegetables and fried lotus root chips. @Right now, I have a chance to prove that I can do better than 40 stars, and I know I can do it. @This dish better represents me than the last one, for sure.

Daniel: @I’m going to prepare pickled jicama spring rolls, stuffed with shrimp, vermicelli, cucumbers, mint, and chilies, and then a dashi espuma. @I’m going with something delicate but respectful for the seafood. @I don’t think anyone here, except maybe Courtney, is competition.

Lilian: @I’m going to prepare black currant ice cream with ricotta doughnuts and lemon curd. @I need to step it up and I know that the last dish, it lacked balance. @This time, I’m making sure to taste and really think about what my dish needs to improve it. @I have texture, freshness, tartness, creaminess, and sweetness, so it should be a really well-rounded dessert.

Brandon: @I’m going to make seared sirloin with potato puree and fried carrot chips. @I went with a really Asian dish last time, and I almost went home on that, so I’m dialing it back and going with something that I think should be able to work. @I see the other dishes, and there’s half dessert, half savory. @Literally all of the girls are making pastry tonight. @I’m making real food.

Talia: @I’m preparing a rhubarb financier with beet-strawberry ice cream, and an almond-oat brittle with rhubarb-strawberry-beet compote. @I see that Lilian and Trisha are occupying the ice cream machines right now, which makes me nervous, but I am just focusing on the mise en place and getting that done first.

Courtney: @I’m making a cherry mousse with meringues and chocolate soil. @I’m making the meringues, because I think that’ll be delicious. @I grab salt, and that’ll be my secret ingredient to making my dessert pop. @None of the other contestants phase me. @I’m just that much better than they are. @I am a competitive dancer, I work five jobs, and I’m on honor roll. @I live for the challenge.

Trisha: @I’m preparing a sticky toffee pudding with brueleed figs and a buttermilk sorbet. @I want the buttermilk because that’ll be a delicious addition and it’ll cut through the sweetness. @The judges liked my cake and ice cream last time around, so I know that making a cake and a sorbet will definitely go over well.

Jo: @I’m preparing fried sweetbreads in a miso-honey glaze and a roasted corn slaw. @The last time, I made a dish that was good, but not amazing. @I’m hoping that pushing myself with the sweetbread will really work in my favor and that it’ll set me apart. @I’m excited to see the dish and flavors come together.

Victoria: Time’s up!

Talia: @I’m freaking out because I managed to get everything done. @It feels amazing!

Daniel: @I’m an Eliminator, and I’m going to kick some major butt tonight. @Let’s do it.

Victoria: Your judges for this challenge are:

Ashlee Pou – former Warrior Chef runner-up

Sophia Pham – former Warrior Chef runner-up

Karen Laverre – Warrior Chef 1 third place finalist

Lucas Powers – Warrior Chef 1 fourth place finalist

Fanny Robinson – Warrior Chef 1 fifth place finalist

Tadashi Hamilton – Warrior Chef 1 runner-up

Victoria: Let’s start with Roman’s dish!

Roman – Asian pork sandwich with lotus root chips

Sophia: Babes, I knew what he was trying to make and that’s why it’s such a disappointment. This was just boring at best.

Ashlee: Babes, it definitely did not knock my socks off. I was put to sleep. Did he drug the sandwich? Either way, it was not particularly amazing or memorable.

Victoria: Next is Daniel’s dish!

Daniel – Pickled jicama spring rolls, dashi espuma

Lucas: Wow. Just wow. This really blew me away. The flavors and textures were there and it was inventive.

Fanny: I think he nailed the textures he was going for. I wish that there were more hot components, but it was still nice.

Victoria: Next is Lilian’s dessert.

Lilian – Black currant ice cream, ricotta doughnuts, lemon curd

Karen: The ice cream was flawless and so were the doughnuts. The lemon curd was a clever combination.

Tadashi: I really was impressed by her dessert. This is something that could easily win this round. Those fritters were perfectly done.

Victoria: And now we have Brandon’s sirloin dish!

Brandon – Seared sirloin, potato puree, fried carrots

Tadashi: Sirloin was cooked beautifully for me. But the dish ate really dry without a sauce and the fried carrots were a headscratcher. Why those and not more potato?

Fanny: The carrot chips weren’t even good, and you got lucky. My sirloin was overcooked and gray.

Victoria: And next is Talia’s dessert!

Talia – Rhubarb financier, beet-strawberry ice cream

Ashlee: Babes, the financier was on-point. Fruit based desserts normally don’t excite me, but the strawberries and rhubarb and beet really come together perfectly.

Karen: The almond brittle for texture was a nice touch and the flavors were great. I’m really happy with this dessert. It was possibly the best dessert I’ve ever tasted.

Victoria: Now we have Courtney’s dessert!

Courtney – Cherry mousse, meringues, chocolate soil

Sophia: Babes, this was just an abhorrence to chocolate and desserts in general. It was not mind-blowing. I found it rather offensive.

Lucas: Don’t know about abhorrence or offensive, but it’s not particularly amazing compared to the other dishes. But it was still a tasty bite.

Victoria: Next is Trisha’s dessert!

Trisha – Sticky toffee pudding, bruleed figs, buttermilk sorbet

Fanny: The cake was nicely baked and the buttermilk sorbet was delicious. I really enjoyed the flavors.

Tadashi: This was honestly a strong dessert to go up against. Every component she put it up was nicely done. The bruleed figs were a great contrast!

Victoria: So the last dish belongs to Jo.

Jo – Fried sweetbreads, miso-honey barbecue glaze, roasted corn slaw

Lucas: The flavors were there, the textures were there, and he’s only like what? 14? 15? And he prepared sweetbreads in probably the best way I’ve ever had them.

Fanny: If this is the type of food he makes, I would happily dine at Jo’s restaurant. I really enjoyed the texture of the sweetbreads, the glaze, and that slaw. It came together.

Victoria: So can we call them back in for scoring?

Tadashi: We can.

In walks the eight contestants.

Victoria: Unfortunately, half of you are going home tonight. Let’s start with Roman’s score first.

Ashlee: Babes, it was just boring. 6 stars.

Sophia: 6 stars, babes.

Karen: 7 stars.

Lucas: 7 stars.

Fanny: 7 stars.

Tadashi: 7 stars.

Roman – 6 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60 stars

Roman: @I got 40 stars. @I’m not feeling too hot.

Victoria: Next up is Daniel’s score!

Ashlee: 10 stars. babes.

Sophia: 9 stars, babes.

Karen: 9 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

Daniel – 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 55/60 stars

Roman: @Holy shit. @He just blew my score out of the water.

Daniel: @And this is why I am an Eliminator. @I’m that good of a chef.

Victoria: And now we have Brandon’s score!

Ashlee: 3 stars for a gross, overcooked piece of shoe leather.

Sophia: It was dry and boring. 3 stars.

Karen: 3 stars.

Lucas: 4 stars.

Fanny: 4 stars.

Tadashi: My steak was cooked nicely. But the rest was really dry. 6 stars.

Brandon – 3 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 6 = 23/60 stars

Brandon: @Fuck. @I’m definitely screwed right now.

Victoria: And next is Courtney’s score!

Ashlee: 7 stars.

Sophia: 7 stars.

Karen: 7 stars.

Lucas: 7 stars.

Fanny: 7 stars.

Tadashi: 7 stars.

Courtney – 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 42/60 stars

Courtney: @Right now, I’m in second place. @Brandon and Roman are definitely not going to stay tonight. @They’re both going home.

Roman: @I’m starting to think that my place is going to go to one of these Eliminators, and I really hope that doesn’t happen.

Victoria: Now let’s go into Lilian’s score!

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 9 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

Lilian: Wow! @I can’t believe I just beat both Eliminators. @This is a huge surprise to me. @I just guaranteed myself a spot in the main competition!
Brandon: @Crap. @I’m out.

Victoria: Brandon, unfortunately, that takes you off the top four scores, and your time in this competition is over. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Brandon: Okay. @My second chance was a flop. @I’m feeling embarrassed about this.

Brandon leaves the kitchen.

Victoria: Trisha, your score is up next! You need at least 41 stars to possibly remain in the competition.

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 10 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

Trisha: What?! @I just took the lead with my dessert! @This is amazing!

Victoria: Roman, that means that you will be going home too. Please leave the kitchen.

Roman: Alright. *to the other competitors* Good luck.

Roman leaves the kitchen.

Victoria: Jo, your score is up next. To stay in the competition, you need at least 43 to stay in the top four scores.

Ashlee: 9 stars.

Sophia: 9 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 10 stars.

Fanny: 10 stars.

Tadashi: 10 stars.

Jo – 9 + 9 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 58/60 stars

Jo: Thank you. @I just beat Trisha’s score, and now I’m in the lead! @I’m feeling really good about the fact that I put so much thought into my dish and it came through.

Victoria: Courtney, I’m sorry. Please leave the kitchen.

Courtney: Okay. @I can’t believe I’m going home. @I don’t deserve to be eliminated. @My dish was flawless and the judges couldn’t see that. @I’m an Eliminator. @It was my job to kick these losers out of the competition, not the other way around.

Courtney leaves.

Victoria: Talia, you need at least 56 to beat Daniel’s score and remain in the competition. Judges?

Daniel: @At this point, I think Talia’s going home. @She can’t beat me. @I’m here to kick these guys out of the competition, and I’m going to deliver on that promise.

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 10 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 10 stars.

Tadashi: 10 stars.

Talia – 10 + 10 + 10 + 9 + 10 + 10 = 59/60 stars

Talia: Thank you! @I can’t believe my eyes. @I literally went up 10 points from my last score. @This is unbelievable. @And I got a higher score than Vin did! Oh my God!

Victoria: Here are the final scores!

Talia – 59/60

Jo – 58/60

Trisha – 57/60

Lilian – 56/60

Daniel – 55/60

Courtney – 42/60

Roman – 40/60

Brandon – 23/60

Victoria: Talia, congratulations. You won immunity going into the main competition! And Daniel, unfortunately, your score was not in the top four, so you’re going home

Daniel: What? @I don’t think there’s ever been an instance where not even one Eliminator made it through to the main competition. @I can’t believe it.

Daniel leaves the kitchen.

Lilian: @I can’t believe it. @The four of us are all original competitors, and we managed to stay in the competition. @This is great!

Trisha: @I’m so happy right now. @I really hope that the four of us make it to the finale together. @This round was magical. @Just getting a 57/60 from the judges is enough of a reason for me to be really happy.

Talia: @Being immune rocks. @I know I’m not going home now and I can take much more risks in the main competition for that first round. @Let’s do this! @I’m ready to finally be crowned Warrior Chef!

Warrior Chef 1: Finale Part 3

Carrie: This is it! The ending to the Warrior Chef finale! After several grueling rounds of competition, we have come down to the best three cooks here! Karen Laverre! A young prodigy, Karen has consistently delivered strong European and rustic dishes! And then we have Vanilla Cuylenberg! The Aussie fashion blogger turned baker, Vanilla won the Redemption Rounds and made her way back into the competition! And finally, Tadashi Hamilton! The Eliminator who has worked in multiple Michelin starred restaurants in Los Angeles, Tadashi has been one of the strongest cooks in this competition, earning a perfect score from the judges in the preliminary rounds. Tonight, one of these three cooks will be crowned Warrior Chef! Who will it be?

Vanilla: @Tadashi has a whopping 9 challenge wins, but I’ve got 8, and then Karen has 6. @Right now, Tadashi is going into this as the one to beat, haha!~ @But I know that I can beat him.

Tadashi: @Vanilla is my biggest competition by far. @Karen is a strong cook, but she’s not somebody that I would be too threatened by, just because Vanilla is that much of a threat compared.

Karen: @I’m feeling like this is going to be the hardest challenge of my life. @If I can come out of this the winner, then I would be blown away. @I really want to do this.

Carrie: Welcome to the Warrior Chef finale. So we have jus two more challenges before we determine who is going to be the winner. Let’s start with the high-stakes creativity challenge first!

Karen: @High-stakes? @That means that somebody is going home. @This is bad.

Carrie: We want you guys to prepare a memorable amuse bouche, which is a one bite start to your potential 3 course meal, in just 30 minutes. And your time starts now!

Karen: @For my amuse bouche, I grab the shrimp, and I decide to make shrimp and pate choux fritters with a caper-tomato relish. @I hope it all comes together and tastes delicious. @I need to focus on the flavors that got me to the final three, or else I’m going to be eliminated next.

Vanilla: @I’m making an apple roll stuffed with goat cheese, pickled raisins, and some hazelnut vinaigrette. @I’m making the roll using a slicer that will make the apple into this wrapper. @I think it’ll be ingenious, haha!~

Tadashi: @I’m feeling good about this challenge. @I’ve made the amuse at Melisse before. @I’m preparing a snapper crudo with spicy pickled cucumber and dehydrated olives. @I’m taking a risk with the dehydrated olives, but I’m not going to salt my dish just to balance that out.
Carrie: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling strong about my crudo, but there’s only three people left, and one of us is going home tonight.

Carrie: Your judges for this challenge are:

Aster Walker
Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Frank Torres

Chloe Lula

Missy Skies
Carrie and the judges taste the amuse bouches.

The judges then score each amuse out of 10 stars.

Carrie: So we have tallied up your scores for the amuse bouches. Let’s start with Tadashi’s scores for his snapper crudo!
Aster – 9 stars.

Erwin – 9 stars.

Miriam – 9 stars.

Frank – 9 stars.

Chloe – 9 stars.

Missy – 9 stars.

Tadashi – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60 stars

Tadashi: @That’s a solid score, but I’m nervous. @I really don’t want to get eliminated right before the last challenge.

Carrie: And next up are Vanilla’s scores for her apple rolls with hazelnut vinaigrette

Aster – 10 stars

Erwin – 10 stars

Miriam – 9 stars

Frank – 10 stars

Chloe – 9 stars

Missy – 10 stars

Vanilla – 10 + 10 + 9 + 10 + 9 + 10 = 58/60 stars

Vanilla: Yay! *claps hands* @I took the lead and I guaranteed myself a spot in the final challenge. @This is amazing!~
Carrie: Karen, you need at least 55 to beat Tadashi and enter the final challenge with Vanilla. Judges, what were your scores for her shrimp pate choux fritters?

Aster – 9 stars
Erwin – 9 stars

Miriam – 10 stars

Frank – 8 stars

Chloe – 8 stars

Missy – 8 stars

Karen – 9 + 9 + 10 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 52/60 stars

Chloe: Unfortunately, Frank, Missy, and I, we all got shrimp that were slightly overcooked, and that factored into our scores.

Carrie: Karen, I’m sorry, but with the lowest score, you are going home tonight. You may leave the kitchen.

Karen: Okay. @I’m feeling horrible right now. @I just got eliminated, and it was on overcooked shrimp. @I was so close to competing against Vanilla and it sucks.

Karen leaves.

Carrie: Tadashi, that means that you and Vanilla will now be competing head to head for the title of Warrior Chef!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling great that I’m going up against Vanilla, but I know that Karen would have beaten me had she not overcooked her shrimp. @This is the final challenge. @I can’t play it safe or else I’m a goner.

Carrie: So for the final challenge, we want to see you guys prepare the best three dishes of your life. And of course, you’ll need some help!

In walks Lucas, Fanny, Leona, Zack, Jackson, Jimmy, Vincent, Duncan, and Angelina

Carrie: Vanilla, you won the last creativity challenge, so your advantage is that you get to select your two sous-chefs first.
Vanilla: I’m taking Lucas and Fanny!

Fanny: @Vanilla is such a sweetheart and I can’t wait to be her sous-chef.

Lucas: @I’m stoked to be on Vanilla’s team, but Tadashi is tough competition. @She might not be able to take him down.

Tadashi: Alright then. @She took Lucas and Fanny, who are easily the two strongest. @But I don’t doubt the potential of everyone here. I’m taking Zack and Leona. @I pick the Eliminators, because we have been through this competition having been seen as the major threats.
Leona: @Being on Tadashi’s team, I want to beat Vanilla. @She’s not a chef in my eyes and I’m going to prove that tonight.
Zack: @I’m ready to show everyone why I did not deserve that early elimination. @I am a much stronger cook now, and I’m going to prove myself.

Carrie: You have one hour, time starts now!

Tadashi: @So for my final menu, I’m going to prepare a temarizuchi trio with blood orange, scallions, and wasabi, using hamachi, tuna, and salmon. @I’m taking care of the cuts because I want to prove that I have impeccable knife skills. @For the second course, it’s miso cod with uni risotto and pistachios. @I’m having Leona prep the cod and do the risotto and shell the pistachios, while I have Zack handle cooking the cod. @For the last dish, it’s dessert. @Castella with white nama chocolate, honey comb candy, and matcha ice cream. @Zack will handle the majority of the dessert, and I will step in to help him as he needs it. @I’m pretty certain I’m going to lose dessert, no matter what I put up, because Vanilla is that strong with pastry. @But I know my other two courses will be stronger than anything she puts up.

Zack: @I’m feeling pretty much in the weeds because I have to get the cake into the oven first, and then start on the nama chocolate, because that needs the whole hour to freeze. @Pastry is not my strength but I worked for Gordon Ramsay, so I know how to work under pressure and deliver the goods.

Leona: @The biggest pain is that I need to get the cod into the sous-vied after I filet and debone it, and then I need to rinse off the uni and get the rice going for the risotto. @And of course, I need to shell a shit ton of pistachios. @But I know that I am a strong asset or else Tadashi would not have chosen me. @I’m going to show why the Eliminators are the strongest cooks in this competition.

Vanilla: @For my first course, I’m going to prepare eggplant chips with lamb tartare and a yogurt skordalia. @I’m having Lucas handle the entire dish, because he knows Mediterranean flavors the best. @Fanny is doing the entree, which is coffee crusted kangaroo with cornbread, corn-peach salsa, and a brown butter-garlic cream. @For my dessert, it’s apricot-violet sorbet, homemade mascarpone cheese, violet syrup, and arlettes. @Arletts are caramelized puff pastry. @I’m making my own phyllo instead, just because I need to keep pushing myself. @I’m confident that I can take the dessert course, so that’s one down!~ @But I need to make sure that at least one of my other courses beats Tadashi, or else I’m not winning this.

Lucas: @The lamb tartare, the biggest thing I’m focusing on is the seasoning. @I got eliminated for not showing enough range, and this time, I need revenge. @I want to show that I can season aggressively, take risks, and show more range with the lamb and the skordalia, which is a garlicky hummus type of dip.

Fanny: @The roo filet is looking nice, but I need to make sure I cook it medium rare or else it will suck. @The cornbread, Vanilla is helping me on the batter because it’s not something that I am too familiar with. @But I’m glad Vanilla is trusting me, because my experiences with Jean-Georges will help me deliver on cooking these components.

In the judges room:

Miriam: This is the finale I think we were all waiting for.

Aster: All season, Vanilla and Tadashi have really delivered strong dishes. This is a true clash of the titans right now.

Missy: Seeing their menus, it’s interesting to see Vanilla go with more Western flavors, ranging from the Mediterranean to Australia to England. Tadashi is going full-blown Japanese, which is a bit of a departure from the French-Californian flavors I am so used to seeing from him.

Back in the kitchen:

Tadashi: @Time is winding down, but I’m proud of the first two courses. @The dessert, it’s looking a little sloppy to be honest, but I already knew that going into this finale that if I was up against Vanilla, my dessert wasn’t going to be the deciding dish anyways.

Vanilla: @My dessert looks stellar, but I need to really focus on the two savory courses. @Tadashi and I are both doing raw dishes to start, so I think that’s where the real competition is going to be. @The winner might just be decided in that first course.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Leona: *to Tadashi* Good job.

Fanny: *to Vanilla* You’re going to be Warrior Chef. Trust me.

Tadashi: @We finish and I’m feeling great. @It’s all up to the judges now.

Vanilla: @I’m feeling really nervous but we did all we can. @Hope it all works out!~

In the judges room:

Carrie: So here we have the first courses.
Vanilla – eggplant chips with lamb tartare and yogurt skordalia

Tadashi – temarizushi trio with blood orange, scallions, and wasabi

Erwin: Vanilla’s dish was really inventive. The usage of the eggplant as chips, it was clever. I loved the seasoning on the lamb tartare and the skordalia was tasty.

Chloe: The sushi on Tadashi’s plate was cut perfectly and the accompaniments were unusual but worked well with the sushi. Overall, a really strong start as well.

Aster: Trying to determine a winner between these two courses is going to be tough. Vanilla took more risks with this course, in my opinion, with those eggplant chips. But Tadashi using the blood orange was pretty ingenious as well. I loved both dishes.

Carrie: And now we have the main courses!

Vanilla – coffee kangaroo, cornbread, corn-peach salsa, brown butter-garlic cream

Tadashi – miso cod with uni risotto and pistachios

Missy: Vanilla cooked the kangaroo perfectly, so it was a nice medium rare. The salsa helped with the oiliness of the meat and the corn bread with the cream was delightful.

Miriam: Tadashi’s cod was delicious. The marinade really soaked in there. The uni risotto had great flavor and the usage of pistachios were surprising but tasty.

Frank: So far, we have had two great dishes from both menus. For me, I preferred Vanilla’s tartare, but Tadashi’s entree. Vanilla’s entree was just a tad cluttered for me.

Carrie: And now, we have the final courses!

Vanilla – apricot-violet sorbet, mascarpone cheese, violet syrup, homemade arletts

Tadashi – castella with white nama chocolate, honey comb candy, matcha ice cream

Frank: Vanilla’s dessert was elegantly presently. The violet was a surprising addition, but it worked so well with the apricot and mascarpone. I loved it.

Miriam: Tadashi made a nice castella but the dessert ate too sweet between the white chocolate and the honey comb. The dish just looked messy.

Missy: I’m feeling conflicted right now, before up until here, I slightly preferred Tadashi’s courses to Vanilla’s, but he dropped the ball on the dessert, while Vanilla’s meal ended on an epic high.

Carrie: So can we decide on our scores for their overall meals?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Vanilla and Tadashi.

Carrie: So tonight, one of you is going to be Warrior Chef. It was a really close call. The judges were split because quite a few of them preferred Tadashi’s first two courses just slightly more, but loved Vanilla’s dessert a lot more than Tadashi’s.

Tadashi: @Crap. @I might actually have lost the competition because of my dessert.

Vanilla: @I’m feeling it’s going to be close. @Tadashi did a great job with his savory dishes, so it’s a manner of if his dessert was that bad that I am able to squeak by.

Aster: We had to make our decision based on the meal as a whole. That being said, Carrie, please tell us who is Warrior Chef.

Carrie: Vanilla…. You are Warrior Chef! Congratulations! You won the title and $500,000!

Vanilla: WHAT?! OH MY GOD!

Confetti rains down as everyone walks over to congratulate Vanilla.
Vanilla: @I can’t believe I won!~ @I am Warrior Chef, haha!~ @Being able to prove myself and win the Redemption Rounds was huge, but to go on to win the entire thing was amazing! @I’m the winner!
Tadashi: @Seeing Vanilla win, I just feel horrible. @I knew that the dessert would be a huge factor, but I didn’t think it was the sole reason why I would lose. @I’m annoyed I didn’t win, but this is just another chance for me to learn and grow as a chef. @I really am appreciative of this entire experience. @I learned so much about myself and my love for cooking and food.

Vanilla: @Becoming Warrior Chef just helps me prove that I am going to make it in the culinary world. @This is my chance to make my dreams come true. @I can’t wait to open my bakery, and really make a name for myself. @I am not just a former beauty guru, haha!~ @I am a talented, passionate, and loving chef!