Warrior Chef Redemption: Finale Part 2

Jessica: This is it! The Warrior Chef Redemption Finale! Tonight, three returning runner-ups are back to compete for the title! The runner-up of season 1, Tadashi Hamilton! Trained under Californian legends such as Wolfgang Puck and Josiah Citrin, Tadashi just narrowly lost in his original season, only to come back with a vengeance! Being a consistently strong competitor, Tadashi has amazed time and time again with his modern Japanese cuisine! Next, Kira Taso! One of the two runner-ups from season 3, Kira has managed to dazzle the competition with techniques taken from her Michelin starred experiences! Finally coming back to her native San Francisco, Kira is here to claim the title that eluded her last time! And lastly, Phung Pham! The sassy Vietnamese juggernaut, and the other runner-up from Warrior Chef 3! While her competitors in this final round are professionally trained chefs, Phung has no professional cooking experience, and despite this, has won the most challenges, with a whopping nine! One of the strongest competitors ever in Warrior Chef history, Phung is a force to be reckoned with! Tonight, one of these three cooks will claim the title! Who will it be?

Phung: @I’m back in the final three and it feels great. @Kira and Tadashi are both alright, but let’s be real here, this is my time to claim the title. @They are NOT going to stop me. @I’m ready to unleash World War Phung, this time, not on my teammates, but on the other two teams here. @They are so going down.

Kira: @I barely made it into the final round but it’s down to the three strongest people, and I still have a shot here to win the entire competition. @Phung, I beat her last season, and it came down to the fact that this girl can’t lead to save her life. @Tadashi is my real competition here. @I have to watch out for whatever it is that he makes.

Tadashi: @I’m the last man standing, and I’m against Kira and Phung, who are easily the two best competitors here. @This is definitely going to be a blood bath tonight. @I know that the first challenge is the amuse bouche, so I’m already thinking about what kind of amuse bouche I want to make.

Jessica: So for tonight, we have two final challenges to determine who will be crowned Warrior Chef. For the first challenge, we want you guys to put up your best amuse bouche in 30 minutes. There are two twists to this challenge. The first one is that the weakest performing cook in this challenge will be eliminated.

Tadashi: @In my season, that’s how Karen got sent home and I barely scraped by to the final challenge against Vanilla. @I’m determined to put up a better dish this time.

Jessica: The second twist will be revealed later on. So 30 minutes, one bite, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I run into the pantry and I see the spot prawns. @I grab those, because I know that I can extract a lot of flavor out of them. @I’m making spot prawn broth with butter poached prawn and an edamame and endive microsalad to garnish it with some crunch. @I don’t have time to think about what Phung or Kira are making. @I’m trying my best to develop my flavors.

Kira: @I grab oysters because I know I can make a great dish with those. @I’m making crispy-fried oysters with nuoc cham shooter. @Phung won the challenge last time, and I came in second. @Had the elimination rule still been in place, one of us would not be in this redemption competition right now. @One of us would have actually won. @Thinking about it does frustrate me a little, but at the same time, those were the rules, and Lauren earned the title by out-cooking both of us, even when the odds were stacked against her in the last challenge.

Phung: @I won this challenge before so I know I can win it again. @But Kira grabbed all of the oysters and Tadashi took the prawns. @And Kira took all of the ingredients to make nuoc cham, something I was going to make. @That little bitch. @She knows how to fuck me over. @I grab eggs, and I’m going to make a poached egg with some fish sauce-fried artichoke shavings. @I have no fucking clue what I’m making here, but that’s not going to deter me. @I’m here to be redeemed, and redeemed I shall be!

Jessica: I hope you’re all not too attached to your ingredients, because this is the twist! You guys are switching ingredients! Everyone, step over one station to your left.

Tadashi: @I’m stuck with Phung’s ingredients, which include fish sauce, artichokes, eggs, panko, and it’s looking really sparse.

Phung: Yay! @I get Kira’s nuoc cham and oysters. @I’m pretty confident that I can win this challenge now.

Kira: @I’m gifted Tadashi’s station, and he has spot prawns. @I’m feeling great about this, because I’m not stuck with Phung’s nightmare station.

Jessica: 10 minutes have passed, but you guys still have 20 more minutes, and access to a limited pantry of staple ingredients. You must use every ingredient on your station in some way, and your time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making nuoc cham and oyster shooters. @But then I see that Kira has ingredients to make a breading, and I decide to make an oyster pancake with spicy nuoc cham dipping sauce. @I’m feeling great about that, because an oyster pancake is not something people expect me to pull, but I know I can do it and do it well.

Kira: @I’m going to make a spot prawn ceviche with prawn shell crackers. @I’m frying the shells until they are super crunchy and then making my tuiles, crushing the shells onto that and baking them off together. @I think it’ll taste great and I can stand apart from the rest of the competition.

Tadashi: @I’m making fried artichokes with a fish sauce aioli. @I have no choice but to keep it really simple here, but I want to make the artichokes different, so I’m going to toss them with salt, basil, mint, and cilantro, just to really give them a different flavor profile than what people would expect in a dish like this. @Phung’s station was a mess, but I think I sorted it out.

Phung: @Tadashi’s going home tonight. @There is no way that he knows how to handle my station. @I don’t even know how to handle my station, and I’ve won 17 challenges across two seasons, bitches.

Kira: @I’m not even thinking about what Phung or Tadashi are making. @I can hear Phung laughing a lot, and I know she’s not focusing on her food. @She’s honestly a strong competitor, but I hope she trips up and gets sent home first. @I just need to make sure that my dish is delicious, and that will keep me safe.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I think that the dish looks good. @The prawn shell cracker is definitely an innovation that could either make or break me here.

Tadashi: @I think that I made something unique out of a very ordinary concept. @Hopefully minty artichokes put me in the lead.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is Warrior Chef winner, Sally Cho!
Sally: Hi, guys! I still remember when I competed and made it this far, and it was tough! I was up against Wolfgang Puck’s prodigy and somebody who had been winning all the challenges at that point, and even against all odds, I managed to pull out the victory! I can’t wait to see what amuse bouches you have made.

Sally and Jessica taste the amuse bouches.

Jessica: So Sally, how did they all do?

Sally: There were some really great flavors across the board. One of you made a solid offering, and that person was… Phung. You did not win this challenge, but you definitely put up a close second to the actual winner with your nuoc cham, which resonated with me personally. I used nuoc cham in my signature dish and it scored me a perfect score.

Phung: @Thank you, Kira, for trying to go Vietnamese against me. @I’m going to be on top, bitches.

Sally: Kira, the flavors of the ceviche were really good. Tadashi, your concept was seemingly simple, but the herbs transformed that dish. Both of you took risks here. Tadashi… you won the challenge for me! Your thought process, you are already thinking like how a Warrior Chef should be!

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the last creativity challenge of the season!

Tadashi: @It feels great to get my eighth win under my belt. @I redeemed myself by getting this far against some incredibly strong competitors, but now I have a chance to take the title. @It’s surreal.

Sally: Kira, unfortunately, the prawn shells were not cooked down enough, and they were inedible. You made the weakest dish tonight.

Jessica: Kira, I’m so sorry. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Kira: Thank you. @Being sent home in the final round again, it really sucks. @It doesn’t get much easier the second time around, but at least I did really well this season. @I’m proud of myself regardless. @I took a risk with the prawn shells, and it just backfired.

Phung: @Seeing Kira get eliminated feels somber. @She was easily my strongest competition, and now she’s out. @Tadashi shall face my wrath. @I will go crae-crae on him and he will hate living afterwards.

Tadashi: @Seeing Kira go is hard. @I respect her so much and I wanted to go head to head with her in the finale. @It’s rough.

Jessica: Now it’s time for the elimination challenge! But first, let’s welcome back in some familiar faces!

In walks Rose, Karen, Fanny, Lucas, Justin, Henry, Amanda, Nate, and Jo.

Phung: @I see these guys and I know that these are our potential sous-chefs. @I need to make sure that I assemble a better team than last time.

Jessica: Tadashi, you get to choose your sous-chefs first!
Tadashi: @I see their faces, and I know right away I do not want Jo. @Rose, I think she’s good, but can I really trust her when I have no experience cooking with her? @Not at all. I’m picking Fanny and Karen. @I’ve competed with them and we are close. @I know that these two girls have got my back.

Fanny: @Tadashi is such a sweetheart and I’m going to give it my all for him. @I deserved to make it further in this season and this is my chance to win the challenge for Tadashi and prove everyone wrong.

Karen: @He’s like an older brother figure to me and I really look up to him. @I’m just honored that he would put so much faith in me.

Phung: @I’m pissed that Kira’s not an option, so I take a look around. @Justin sucked this season, and Henry was alright. @But I know Henry hates me. I’m going to choose… Amanda… and Nate. @Nate, I’m iffy on, but he is a talented cook, so I’m hoping that it works in my favor.

Nate: @I hate Phung, but does anyone really love her anyways? @She’s just a big, dead-set joke and I want to see her go home.

Amanda: @Phung terrifies me. @I’m nervous working with her, but at the same time, I just have to let myself focus on the food and executing that well.

Jessica: Everyone else, you are free to go.

Rose: @I’m the only runner-up who did not make it to the finale this season and it sucks. @I’m just glad I’m not cooking tonight, because it sounds like it will be a major shitshow, and I’m not into that.

Jessica: You have just 1 hour to make the best three courses, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I’m having Fanny handle the dessert while Karen and I work together on the two savory dishes. @I’m going to break down the scallops and oysters for the first course and the beef for the second course and get those all going. @For my first course, it’s scallop and oyster crudo with chili, orange, and mint. @The second course is confit beef belly with purple cauliflower puree, roasted beef loin, and cauliflower salad. @For my dessert, it’s passionfruit gelato with coconut tuile, and rum-pineapple savarin. @I’m trying to really showcase Californian cooking to the best of my ability.

Fanny: @I’m in charge of the entire dessert and I’m looking forward to this. @Tadashi’s got a lot of well-placed confidence in me and I’m going to try my best to deliver. @

Karen: @I’m going to be handling the cauliflower and the actual cooking of the beef in terms of getting it pressure cooked for the confit. @I’m strong with French techniques and that’s going to be how I plan to help Tadashi win this tonight.

Phung: @Amanda is going to do the first course, which is scallion banh xeo with octopus and mussel stew, because I know she can do that one to the best of her ability, with her heavy French background. @For the second dish, it’s homemade lobster banh mi with lotus root chips. @I’m going to do that because I know how to nail it. @I’m making Nate handle the dessert, which is papaya milk sorbet with lime compressed dragonfruit, lime snow, and rice foam.

Amanda: @I know how to stew mussels and octopus, but the banh xeo is what I’m not as familiar with. @It’s apparently a cross between a crepe and an omelet which are both French, so I should be fine, so long as I follow Phung’s recipe. @I’m just going to put the food before my nerves here.

Nate: @Phung freaks me out, but I don’t want to screw her over here. @I’m not the type of person who would sabotage somebody like that because it’s horrible. @I get the sorbet in first, then I focus on making the dragonfruit next. @The foam, I’m making rice pudding, blending it with a rice milk simple syrup, straining it, and then foaming it up. @For the lime snow, I’m foaming lime juice with soy lecithin, and then dunking that into liquid nitrogen and shattering it. @I practiced molecular gastronomy for fun, and now it all pays off for Phung, of all people.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Vanilla Cuylenberg

Vin Rugnetta

Lauren Wilson

Jessica: Lauren, how does it feel knowing that Phung is back in the finale?

Lauren: She was tough then and I think Tadashi is going up against one of the strongest home cooks in the world. He’s got his work cut out for him.

Vanilla: I went against Tadashi and he was strong. I’d be scared to go against either of them, but the fact that they are going head to head means that we can all expect some really good food tonight.

In the kitchen:
Tadashi: @Time is winding down, but we are getting everything onto the plates at this point. @I think that Fanny and Karen worked perfectly with me and I do not regret my choices with them as my sous-chefs.

Phung: @I definitely am dialing back the drama twentyfold from last time, and I’m letting these bitches just do whatever they want with my recipe. @I chose them because neither of them suck as cooks, and that will help me win this.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Fanny: *to Tadashi* Good luck!

Karen: *to Tadashi* We know you can win this.

Phung: *to Nate and Amanda* Hopefully I won this tonight.

Nate: *to Phung* We gave it our all, so hope it does you proud.

In the judges room:
Jessica: Here come the first courses!

Tadashi – scallop and oyster crudo with chili, orange, and mint

Phung – scallion banh xeo with octopus and mussel stew

Vin: Tadashi’s crudo was light and elegant. I really think it’s a nice way to start out the meal, but it was not anything mind-blowing or risky.

Aster: Phung’s banh xeo was an odd choice to pair with her stew. The stew was delicious and the banh xeo was tasty, but both together did not eat well.

Erwin: I think Tadashi nailed the dish and faltered with creativity while Phung made delicious food that just did not work together.

Jessica: And next we have the entrees!

Tadashi – confit beef belly, purple cauliflower puree, roasted beef loin, cauliflower salad

Phung – homemade lobster banh mi with lotus root chips

Vanilla: I loved Tadashi’s dish. This is the type of cooking I remember him doing in my original season. He plated beef and cauliflower two ways, and all four components were really good!

Lauren: Phung’s banh mi was delicious and her presentation was gorgeous. But overall, I question why you would serve us a sandwich, even with homemade bread, in the finale. That’s not terribly inspired.

Miriam: For Tadashi, his second course stepped it up a lot and he delivered a flawless dish. Phung’s lobster roll banh mi was delicious and I love that she made her own bread. That shows ambition.

Jessica: And finally, the desserts!

Tadashi – passionfruit gelato, coconut tuile, rum-pineapple savarin

Phung – papaya milk sorbet, lime compressed dragonfruit, lime snow, rice foam

Vanilla: Tadashi’s dessert, it was not his best dish tonight. The gelato was phenomenal and I loved that component. The tuile was alright, but the cake, too much rum. He dropped the ball with the savarin.

Vin: Phung’s dessert just blew my mind. Just wow. The presentation was again, gorgeous. The dragonfruit, I thought it was actually palatable and that’s rare, given how bland the fruit is.

Lauren: Between the two tropical fruit desserts, Phung delivered on everything that makes fresh fruit beautiful. The sorbet was light and refreshing, the rice foam just soaked up all of those bright flavors. It was unforgettable.

Jessica: So can we come to an agreement on who is going to be redeemed and become the next Warrior Chef?

Lauren: Yes, we can.

In walks Tadashi and Phung, who are greeted by the judges and their fellow competitors from this season.

Phung: @I’m feeling good about my meal. @Those three courses were Phung Pham, all the way.

Tadashi: @It’s been a tough season, and I don’t know which way this is going to go. @Phung is strong competition, surprisingly.

Jessica: So let’s get into the courses.
Aster: Tadashi, your crudo was delicious and we enjoyed the fact you used two different kinds of shellfish. But it felt safe. Phung, you also did a dish with two kinds of shellfish, but you developed robust flavors in that stew. The banh xeo, it felt disjointed from the stew. We understood you wanted a toast point, but that was not the right way to do it.

Phung: @He still liked my dish and I took a risk, unlike Tadashi. @That should be awarded the win.

Erwin: For the second courses, Tadashi, you delivered perfection. That beef and cauliflower dish, we are all going to walk away feeling satisfied because everything was done so perfectly. Phung, your bread delivered and the lobster banh mi roll concoction was clever. The presentation was beautiful, but it ate messy.

Tadashi: @It seems like I beat her on the second course for sure. @The first course sounds like a toss-up. @But if I nailed the dessert, then I will definitely win tonight.

Miriam: Tadashi, for the dessert, we loved that gelato. The tuile was alright, but your savarin, there was too much rum and it overpowered the pineapple, which is surprising given how strong a flavor pineapple is. Phung, your dessert was as strong a dish as Tadashi’s entree. The sorbet was beautiful and velvety, the dragonfruit added a nice crunch with the seeds and the lime infusion worked so nicely there. The rice foam just screamed of ingenuity. Well done.

Phung: @Miriam wants to marry me over my dessert and it’s awesome. @I think I might actually be Warrior Chef tonight.

Tadashi: @She destroyed me in dessert and I think I made the largest mistake of the night with the rum. @This could send me home tonight.

Jessica: It was a close, close call. You each clearly won in one course, and it came down to the minute details. Tadashi… you are Warrior Chef! Congratulations! You finally redeemed yourself and you won $100,000!

Tadashi: Thank you! I can’t believe it!

Phung: @I’m pissed. @Two-time runner-up? @Are you fucking serious? @I’m so much better than that. @Tadashi got really lucky tonight, because if my lobster roll was on-point, I would have won this season. @Lucky bastard.

Tadashi: @Winning Warrior Chef is a dream come true. @I didn’t think that this would be possible, but I won and it feels amazing. @Coming back to compete again and being able to represent the food I stand behind, and getting the validation of the title, I’m proud of myself. @I don’t think I would change anything about my Warrior Chef journey. @It’s been an incredible ride.

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Warrior Chef Redemption: Finale Part 1

The finalists arrive in San Francisco, California, where the remainder of the competition will take place.

Tadashi: @My original finale was also in San Francisco, so it feels a little strange to be back here again so soon. @Hopefully this isn’t a sign that I’m going to come in second place again. @That would seriously suck.

Kira: @This is it. @The finale. @Last time, it was New Orleans and Lauren took the prize. @This time, it’s my time to shine.

Phung: @I’d say it’s anybody’s game, but let’s be real here. @Jo is not going to be Warrior Chef. @Kira’s won five challenges, I’ve won seven, and Tadashi’s won seven as well. @Jo’s won an impressive zero. @If he beats any of us and makes it into the final three, I would saw off my own foot and do voodoo on it!

Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for this challenge, you will be cooking in pairs. Please decide who you want to be in a team with.
Kira: @I would love to work with Tadashi, but, Phung grabs me and I guess it’s decided.

Tadashi: @I’m working with Jo, and I’m already dreading it. @He’s not a team player, but maybe he might have a change of heart in today’s challenge?

Jessica: So in this challenge, you’ll be working in pairs to create a dish using local, Californian produce! You have just 15 minutes, and your time starts now!

Phung: @Right away, we see the Santa Barbara spot prawns and uni, and they look succulent. @We would be dumb not to use those.

Kira: @For our dish, we are going to make spot prawn ceviche with uni vinaigrette, shaved radishes, blood oranges, puffed black rice, and some pea tendrils. @Phung is handling the seafood while I do the vegetables. @15 minutes, it’s intense. @Honestly, I’m terrified that we won’t finish in time, but I’m just keeping my head down and focused on making sure each and every component is perfect.

Tadashi: *to Jo* How about the heirloom tomatoes?
Jo: I hate those.

Tadashi: What about the figs?
Jo: I hate figs.

Tadashi: @At this point, I’ve lost 3 minutes trying to get some ideas on the board. @This… it’s aggravating. @In the end, I decide to just ignore Jo entirely, and just focus on cooking. @My dish is wilted beet green-mascarpone pesto, beet chips, charred shallots, and crispy pancetta. @Jo’s not going to be a team player, but I still want to try my best and win, regardless of his bad attitude.

Phung: @I almost feel bad for Tadashi, but if he does win this challenge despite being with Jo, then he really does deserve the title. @But I think that he is failing at featuring the produce, even though he’s from here.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Jo: @Tadashi was being bossy and it shows on the plate. @We failed to work as a team together and it’s because he’s not a good teammate.

Tadashi: @The dish looks like a complete mess and it’s just a metaphor for this experience with Jo. @I think that this is frustrating, but I’m just glad I’m not going home over this dish.

Jessica: Your judge is Warrior Chef past winner, Jane Ognibene!

Jane: Hello, everyone! I’m excited to be the judge for this!

Phung: @Jane is the baking queen and when she competed in Warrior Chef, she managed to dominate the entire way through. @I’m nervous being judged by her.

Jane and Jessica taste the dishes.
Jessica: So Jane, how were the two dishes?

Jane: So let’s start with Tadashi and Jo’s dish. I liked the beet pest a lot. That was genius. The chips were good and I felt like the pancetta added a nice, savory flavor. But my biggest complaint is that the dish felt disjointed. There was nothing really tying it all together for me.

Jo: @It was Tadashi’s dish. @So it’s his fault.

Jane: Phung and Kira, the ceviche was delicious and I loved the fact you transformed the sea urchin into a vinaigrette that really highlighted its flavor profile. Overall, I loved the colors, presentation, and texture.

Jessica: So who won?
Jane: Definitely Phung and Kira’s seafood dish.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung, Kira! You both won the creativity challenge!

Phung: @I’m glad I won the challenge because I know I’m better than everyone else here. @They’re all screwed.

Kira: @Winning back to back feels amazing! @I know that Phung and Tadashi are major threats, and I want to show both of them that I’m worthy of the final challenge and that I can still win the title.

Jessica: Now for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, you guys will be cooking head to head. The winners move into the final round of this competition, and the losers will cook head to head in sudden death, where one of you will be sent home.

Jo: @I know that one of these losers are going to be axed tonight. @There’s no way I’m going home when I’m so close to the end.

Jessica: The theme of the challenge is to create a dish inspired by San Francisco’s iconic Chinatown. Please draw knives to determine who you’ll be going up against.

Phung – 1

Tadashi – 2

Kira – 1

Jo – 2

Tadashi: @I’m stoked. @I’m glad I got Jo for once, because if I can’t beat Jo here, then I don’t deserve to win the title.

Phung: @I’m with Kira, and she’s strong. @But I’m not going to let her and her home turf take me down. @She’s a goner here.

Jessica: You have an hour, your time starts… now!

Phung: @Chinatown is the inspiration, and I’m stoked. @I’m going to make chicken dumplings with cilantro and mint slaw, lime infused black vinegar, and chicken-ginger sauce. @I’m pretty confident that I can beat Kira with my dumplings, because they bring all the boys to the yard, and damn right, they’re better than hers. *to Kira* What are you making tonight, boo?

Kira: *to Phung* None of your business, boo! @I’m making sticky rice steamed in banana leaves, and I’m going to stuff the rice with pork adobo, homemade Chinese sausage, compressed shiitake mushrooms, and preserved egg yolks. @For my sauce to go with it, I’m making my own sweet chili paste, because that will be delicious and it cuts through the richness of the dish.

Tadashi: @Chinese food, not my forte. @But I do love duck, so that’s the route I’m going to take tonight. @I’m doing an orange glazed duck with roasted yucca, a duck jus infused hoisin, and crispy-fried leeks. @I don’t even want to waste my time thinking what Jo is making. @He’s not worth my attention, because his level of pettiness will only drag me down.

Jo: @Tadashi, I can’t wait to beat him. @He doesn’t cook Chinese food, and I do. @This is my ballpark. @I’m making wok fried lobster with homemade noodles and a lobster-ginger broth, and chili poached eggs. @I think that the three people who will make it into the finale are me, Kira, and Tadashi. @Phung’s just too inconsistent and I think she’s a goner.

Kira: @Jo thinks Phung is going home, and as much as I’d like that myself, I know she won’t go home that easily. @The thing I can relate to with Phung is that we both are hardworking and ambitious and that translates well in this competition. @There’s a reason why we both made it to the finale twice.

Phung: @Jo can think I’m going home, but he’s delusional. @Bitch, I’ve won eight challenges. @You’ve won zero. @Come talk to me once you’ve even won half the number of challenges…. oh wait, you can’t, because there’s not even that many challenges left in this season. @Motherfucker, go eat a bag of dicks.

Kira: @I’m fumbling with getting my rice into the leaves. 25 minutes?! Shit. @I’m feeling under the pump for sure. @I finally get the rice wrapped and into the steamers with 20 minutes left. @I’m hoping that I can get them cooked in less than 20 minutes. @I’m hoping that I can plate the dish elegantly, but who knows at this point? @I’m just trying to get something plated, because I refuse to be in the sudden death cook-off.

Jo: @Kira’s struggling and she’s lucky that this is not an immediate elimination or else she’s going to be eliminated tonight. @I’m really feeling confident because these other cooks don’t make Chinese normally.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling great about my dish, but then I see what Jo made. @I don’t like him, but his dish, I would order that in a restaurant. @I’m actually nervous.

Kira: Shit. Shit. Shit. @My dish, I plated it, but I’m nervous. @What if the rice was not steamed enough? @I could be screwed.

Jessica: Your judges are all previous Warrior Chef contestants:
Ping “Pam” Ling – 3rd place

Noura Narwhal – 5th place

Tina Wang – 3rd place

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung and Kira first!

Phung – chicken dumplings, cilantro-mint slaw, lime black vinegar, chicken-ginger sauce

Kira – pork adobo rice with Chinese sausage, shiitake, preserved yolk, sweet chili paste

Pam: I don’t know Phung, but I like her style. This dish, I would happily eat it with a nice, cold beer. It was banging.

Noura: I completely agree with Pam. I would love to get high and just devour Phung’s dish. Kira’s dish, the rice was undercooked and it sucked. I hated it.

Tina: The rice was undercooked and she tried to do too much in too little time. I appreciate the ambition, but at the end of the day, we had to eat it, and it was not good.

Jessica: And next up are the dishes by Tadashi and Jo!

Tadashi – orange glazed duck with roasted yucca, duck jus-hoisin, and crispy-fried leeks

Jo – wok fried lobster with homemade noodles, lobster-ginger broth, chili poached egg

Noura: I thought that Tadashi’s dish was very stuffy and boring. It was just not inspired at all to me. I could have done this dish sober. It was not a trip and I wanted a journey.

Tina: Jo’s lobster was actually quite nice. I enjoyed the flavor of the lobster and the broth and his noodles were great. Overall, nicely done.

Pam: I felt like Tadashi was cooking with a giant black dildo up his ass. He needed to loosen up more and really just be him. I think that he made a dish that I would need to put on panties in order to eat it and feel like I’m in the right setting.

Tina: Uh…… okay?

Jessica: So can we agree on the winners of each round?

Tina: Unfortunately, not. The first round was unanimous, but for the second, it’s a split decision at the moment.
Pam: No? Noura and I both preferred the same dish.

Tina: I felt like the lobster dish, it was good. The duck dish had a lot of flavor as well.

Pam: So which way are you swinging on this, Tina?
Noura: I think that I might change my vote.

Pam: Fuck me. I don’t like being the odd one out here.

Jessica: Do we have a decision?

Pam: Yes. Yes, we do.

In walks the final four.

Tadashi: @I’m feeling nervous. @All four of us are called in, and that almost never happens. @This… it’s scary.

Jessica: So let’s get into the results of the first match up.

Pam: Phung, Noura, Tina, and I would all love to get shit-faced drunk, high as hell, and then devour your dish. Kira, the rice was undercooked and it was the worst thing I ever put into my mouth. Honestly, you should be banned from cooking with rice, period.

Tina: I never said anything about getting high as hell, but I will admit, after this judging experience, I might need a drink or two. Pam and Noura are something else.
Noura: What she’s trying to say is that she loves us, like the rest of the world.

Tina: Let’s go with that.

Jessica: So who won?

Tina: It was unanimous. Phung was the best.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung!

Phung: Thank you! @Winning the challenge feels great. @I knew I had what it took!

Jessica: Kira, that means that you will be going into sudden-death. Judges, who won the second match-up?

Noura: Tadashi, we felt like your dish was very buttoned-up. And we wanted to send you to the cook-off, because you were definitely not cooking for your audience. That being said, you did not actually know who was judging, so we had no choice but to judge you for your flavors.

Pam: Jo, we would have loved to get high as hell and then eat the shit out of your noodles and lobster. If this challenge was not set up this way, Kira would be packing her shit and leaving, because both dishes in this matchup did not suck.

Jessica: So who won and who is going to cook against Kira?

Tina: Tadashi won. And Jo is going into the sudden death cook-off.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi!

Tadashi: Thank you! @I’m confused by their critiques, but I’ll take the win and run into the final three with that. @Phung and I are both runner-ups, and it’s going to be an interesting turn of events to see who will join us.

Tadashi and Phung leave.

Phung: @I hope Kira sends Jo’s ass packing. @He’s so dumb. @But if Jo does stay, it’s not the end of the world. @I can beat Jo, so that’s fine by me.

Jessica: Kira, Jo, you both will be cooking for your lives. For this challenge, we want to see you guys make a delicious dish using… soy sauce! You have just 25 minutes, and your time starts now!

Kira: @I’m determined to win this challenge. @I’m going to make a soy glazed pork loin with crispy miso rice balls, ponzu vinaigrette, and apple-cabbage slaw. @I’m hoping that I can really deliver on flavors here, because Jo does have strong flavor profiles, and like the judges said, I almost got sent home. @I am desperate for redemption here.

Jo: @I’m making soy glazed pork belly with fried rice and a soy sauce fried egg. @I’m confident that I can beat Kira, because I see her using the pork loin, and that is going to dry out a lot faster. @I’m confident that I can make tastier food and Kira’s definitely going to fumble tonight. @I’m going to get redemption and land into the final three.

Phung: @Tadashi and I both have reasons for either of them being in the final three with us. @For me, I think Kira deserves it more, but if Jo is in the finale, I can beat him. @So I honestly want Jo here because it will be a lot easier for me to win.

Tadashi: @I want Kira in the finale because I want to go against the best of the best. @Jo does not belong in the last challenge because he’s not a chef to me. @Kira’s my biggest competitor and if I am not going against somebody as talented as her, then I would not deserve the title at the very end.

Kira: @I taste my rice balls and they’re crunchy. @I’m feeling great about the pork loin’s cook and I’m looking at Jo and he’s trying to cook pork belly in 25 minutes. @That’s already a huge mistake.

Jo: @I think that the pork belly is not cooking fast enough, so I cut it up and dunk it into the deep frier to finish cooking it. @Kira’s not taking enough risks and I know that my usage of the soy sauce in fried rice and the pork will really sing and make the soy sauce the real hero of the dish.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I like the dish and then I see that Jo deep fried his pork. @It might come out tough, but I think his dish did not use soy as much as he could have, and that’s going to be a major point against him.

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

-soy glazed pork loin, crispy miso rice balls, ponzu vinaigrette, and apple-cabbage slaw

Pam: The pork loin was cooked nicely and I liked her rice balls. The ponzu was tasty but I wanted some sort of soy component in her slaw. Overall, I would get high and go to town on this dish.

Noura: The pork loin was boring and I’m disappointed in her choice of protein. Serve me pork belly, or wrap the pork loin, don’t just give me a boring pork loin. I love the balls. I would put Kira’s balls in my mouth anytime.

Tina: A nice dish overall. I agree with Pam that Kira could have used more soy for that slaw, like maybe edamame, just for texture, but she put up something memorable.

Jessica: And now we have Jo’s dish!

-soy glazed pork belly, fried rice, soy fried egg

Pam: The fried rice and egg were bomb as fuck. Holy shit, somebody pass me a fucking joint right now, that is the shit. I want to kick this bitch over and make it rain on him, because that rice, I could make love to it.

Noura: I really liked the flavor of the fried rice and I could eat that alone with a nice, cold beer. Mmmm, beer. I could really go for a beer right now. This dish made me crave it and I hate that fucker for that.

Tina: The fried rice was delicious because of how nice the seasoning was. The flavor of the egg was great as well. Overall, he made a lot of delicious components and the taste of soy came through. I liked it.

Jessica: So can we agree on who is going to join Phung and Tadashi in the final three?

Noura: Hell, motherfucking yes, we can.

In walks Kira and Jo.

Jessica: One of you is going home tonight, and one of you will be in the final three. Judges, let’s get into the scoring of Kira’s dish first.

Pam: It was good, but not amazing. 8 stars.

Noura: 8 stars.

Tina: 9 stars. I think you used the soy and soy products well.

Kira – 8 + 8 + 9 = 25/30 stars

Kira: @That’s not good. @I might be a goner tonight. @I’m shaking because I’m so close to the end and I really don’t want to go home here.

Jessica: Jo, you need at least 26 to knock Kira out of the competition. Judges?

Pam: The fried rice and egg were flawless. But your pork was completely hammered. It was like shoe leather. 5 stars.

Noura: 4 stars. The pork not only ruined half the dish, it detracted from the good you managed to accomplish with the rice.

Tina: 3 stars for an incredibly tough, leathery pork belly. I honestly was horrified by that because you had something good going on.

Jo – 5 + 4 + 3 = 12/30 stars

Jessica: Jo, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jo: Oh. Okay then. @I’m pissed. @I didn’t deserve to go home. @I’m scared and confused and angry right now because Kira was a weak cook who got lucky. @She messed up at the right time, and that’s why she is not in this position going home. @Coming in fourth twice, it fucking sucks. @I’m angry.

Jo leaves the kitchen.

Jessica: Kira, congratulations! You’re going to the final round again!

Kira: Thank you. @I’m so happy that I’m safe. @If I did not make it into the next round, it would have sucked so much. @I really want redemption and now it’s time for me to put my head down and focus.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: You have just 30 minutes, starting now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Your judge for this is Chelia Van Buren!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Chelia, who won?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Your judges are:
Ashlee Pou

Talia Garrett

Sophia Pham

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

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

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

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

Jessica: And now we have Kira’s dish!

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

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

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

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

Jessica: And now we have Nate’s dish!

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

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

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

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

Jessica: This next dish was made by Jo!

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

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

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

Jessica: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-Korean fried chicken with cabbage slaw

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

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

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

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

In walks Tadashi and Kira.

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

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

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

Jessica: Ashlee, please announce the winner.

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

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

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

Kira and Tadashi leave.

In walks Nate, Phung, and Jo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phung: Whatever. Like I fucking give a shit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Time’s up!

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

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

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

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

Jessica: And who won?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Time’s up!

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

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

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

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

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

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

Jo – noodles with shiitake-chicken broth, braised chicken

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

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

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

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

Amanda – ratatouille with crostoli and 63 degree egg

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

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

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

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

Erwin: We can.

In walks Phung, Nate, and Tadashi.

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Erwin, please announce the winner!

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

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

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

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

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

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

In walks Amanda and Jo.

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

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

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

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

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

Jo: *to Amanda* Ha!

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

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 3

Tadashi: @Karen going home was heartbreaking for me to see. @She was like a little sister to me and seeing her cook put a smile on my face. @I’m definitely feeling down knowing that she’s not longer competing.

Henry: @Stepping into the kitchen, I’m feeling amped and ready for whatever’s next. @I’d love to win back to back creativity challenges. @It would be great!

Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for today’s creativity challenge, please draw knives!

Henry – 1

Nate – 1

Kira – 1

Amanda – 1

Phung – 1

Justin – 2

Jo – 2

Tadashi – 2

Lucas – 2

Fanny – 2

Amanda: @We have Kira, Nate, and Phung, who are all really good cooks, and I’m thinking we might be able to win!

Phung: @Not too big about having Henry on our team, because he’s a whiny bitch, but I’m stoked to have Kira. @She’s bae.

Fanny: @I’m the only girl on my team and that feels really awkward. @Looking around, I’m still a bit disappointed in the girls this season. @Two of us have gone home already. @We need to step it up or else this season is a sausage party in the making.

Jessica: You’ll be cooking in a 5-legged cooking relay. The first cook up must filet a turbot and make five portions. The second will have to peel five artichokes. The third have to juice five lemons perfectly. The fourth cook will have five minutes to grab whatever additional ingredients and all the necessary equipment to cook the dish with. When the fourth cook on either team is finished, a timer will start counting down from 15 minutes. And the last cook gets, at the most, 15 minutes to prepare a dish using all of the mise en place set up from the first three cooks, and can only use the produce grabbed and prepared by the fourth cook. Once time is up, time is up and we will taste your dishes.

Tadashi: @This challenge is complicated. @Already, we need to decide who is best at filleting a turbot, which is not an easy fish to filet, then we have to decide on who can peel artichokes, and on top of that, we need to trust that one person can pick out good produce and another person can put together an amazing dish.

Phung: @Kira is going to filet, Amanda will peel because she loves artichokes, Henry is going to juice lemons, Nate is grabbing the produce, and I will cook the actual dish. @I think that out of everyone here, I’m the best cook by far.

Nate: @Phung’s our captain, but I’m in charge of grabbing ingredients for her vision. @I just hope that our dish comes together.

Lucas: @So Tadashi will filet, Justin is on artichokes, Jo will juice the lemons, I’m grabbing the produce, and Fanny will finish the dish, because her plating skills are great. @I think our team might actually win this one!

Jessica: Those on the turbot your time starts now!

Tadashi: @Turbot is basically like a flounder, where it’s a flat fish. @It’s a very strange thing, but I know how to break it down, just by following the lines along the skin. @I’ve practiced breaking down fish before, so I’m feeling great about that.

Kira: @Tadashi and I are going head to head. @He’s really strong, but I want to prove that I’m even stronger. @At this point, only four of us, being me, Phung, Henry, and Tadashi, have won challenges. @At the end of this, an entire team will share a win. @I want that win to go to us, because three of the four of us are on the same team, and I want to prove that I am consistently stronger than everyone else.

Henry: @It’s pretty epic, seeing the two of them go at it. @Kira and Tadashi, they are on another level. @I would be really impressed, but since I’m competing against them at the end of the day, it’s intimidating and it shows me how much more I need to step up my own game here.

Tadashi: Check!

Fanny: That’s our boy! *claps hands*

Jessica: Tadashi, well done! Next person!

Tadashi leaves his station as Justin runs in.

Justin: @The key to peeling artichokes is being quick and having a sharp knife, and a steady hand so that you can angle it well. @I remove all of the outer leaves, and then using a paring knife, shave off the outer skin from the stem and the base of the bulb area. @Then I cut off the top half of the flower, rub the whole thing in lemon, cut it in half, scoop out the gross, inedible choke innards, and rub that with more lemon as well.

Kira: Check!

Jessica: Kira, you’re done!

Kira: @I literally finish seconds after Tadashi, and I can see that Justin’s already halfway done with his first artichoke. @I really hope Amanda can catch up.

Amanda runs to the station.

Amanda: @I love artichokes. @Deep fried artichokes are an addiction of mine, and I’m pretty confident that I can deliver on peeling them.

Lucas: @Seeing Amanda and Justin, you can clearly tell who has the culinary background. @Justin’s whizzing through the artichokes, and Amanda is trailing behind him. @I think our team is going to do well at this rate. @We will have the full time advantage, and that’s going to help us win this whole thing.

Justin: Check!

Jessica: Justin, your artichokes are peeled perfectly, and you cored them too! Nicely done, you’re finished!

Justin leaves and Jo runs to the station.

Jo: @Juicing lemons is tedious, but I love lemons, and I know I can do this job well overall. @I see the other team, and Amanda’s still on her third artichoke at this point. @She’s going to tank her team for sure.

Amanda: @I see that Jo’s on the lemons already, and it is disheartening, but I need to be steady and careful. @If I slash through an artichoke, then that’ll only set me back even further.

Phung: @I’m pissed by how long Amanda is taking. @It’s like, bitch, do you want us to lose the challenge? @I’m trying not to scream.

Jo: Check!

Amanda: Check!

Jessica: Jo, you’re good! Amanda, you took a bit of time, but your artichokes are perfect! Next people!

Jo leaves and in runs Lucas, who grabs a hotel pan.

Lucas: @I have up to five minutes to grab everything I need. @But if I leave anything behind, then Fanny cannot go back for it, so I need to set her up perfectly. @I grab a ton of pans, pots, a strainer, spatula, sheet tray, a blender, and a food processor. @It’s taking up a lot of my time, but I know it’ll be worth it.

Henry: @Juicing lemons isn’t hard. @I literally get into my station and I bust it out in less than a full minute. Check!

Jessica: Henry, congrats! You caught your team up!

Henry: *to his team* You’re welcome!
Nate runs into the pantry, and starts grabbing equipment.

Nate: @I have five minutes to grab my stuff, but Lucas is already almost done with his collecting, and the moment he yells check, my collecting time will cut into our cooking time. @I’m feeling scared. @I make sure to grab pots, pans, sheet trays, strainers, spatulas, a whisk in case, and a mixing bowl. @I also manage to snag a food processor and a blender, in case we need those. @Now I need to start thinking about the ingredients. @I’m feeling nervous.

Lucas: @I’m thinking about the ingredients we already have, and I know we need butter, garlic, herbs, and capers right away. @I’m also thinking about Fanny’s style and what she likes to cook with. @So I grab some pomegranates, quinoa, fennel, and I think we’re good. Check!

Jessica: Lucas, you still have a minute left. Are you sure you’re done?

Lucas: Yes!

Jessica: Alright! Last person! And 15 minutes, starting now!

Fanny runs into the kitchen, and looks at the ingredients.

Fanny: *to Lucas* Such a sweetheart, you are! @I’m stoked with what Lucas gathered for me. @I’m going to make a butter basted turbot filet, caramelized artichokes, a minted fennel and pomegranate salad, and puffed quinoa and capers as a garnish. @I want the dish to resemble a fish splashing out of the sea.

Nate: Sh*t! @I literally just load up a sheet tray with one of every kind of vegetable, grab a basket and load it with plenty of butter, eggs, oil, and I run over to the station. Check!

Jessica: Nate, you still have 2 minutes left, are you sure you’re done?

Nate: Yes.

Jessica: Next person!

Nate leaves and in runs Phung.

Phung: *to Nate* You better fucking set up our station, or else I’m going to fucking kill you! @I only have 12 minutes to put together a dish, and Nate didn’t really think through what he grabbed, he just grabbed a shit ton of random fucking shit. @I’m so angry right now. @I decide, fuck it, I’m not going to touch any of the produce Nate gave me, and I’m focusing only on the prep ingredients first. @I’m making a seared turbot filet with caramelized artichokes and a lemon sauce. @Once I get everything going, I check to see what kinds of herbs he got me. @I see that there’s fresh mint and cilantro, and I can work with those. @I’m going to add the mint into the butter sauce, and then I’m mixing together the fish sauce with cilantro, and I’m going to deglaze the artichokes in that. @I dust the top of my fish with some powdered ginger before I flip it, and I know I’m going to bring it home.

Fanny: @Phung might be one of the strongest cooks here. @But I’ve worked for Jean-George, so she better watch herself. @I’m not going to let her beat me. @I look around for the oil, and I only have olive oil or butter. @I can’t puff the quinoa or capers in that because it’ll go soggy, so I have to nix that. @It’s frustrating, but I’m not going to let it get to me or else I’ll just be my own worst enemy.

Phung: @Fanny’s hot. @Like, if I were into women, I’d absolutely date her. @She’s tall, smart, gorgeous, and a talented chef. @A total babe. @And that’s why I want to beat her. @I’m not going to let some 6 foot model take me down. @Phung don’t roll that way.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: @I see my dish and it looks awesome. @Fanny’s dish looks like a complete mess. @I’m not feeling like she’s going to stay at this rate.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is guest critic, and 1 star Michelin chef from Washington, D.C., Julianna Hurley!

Julianna: Hi, everyone! It’s exciting for me to be here and judge your dishes! I can’t wait to see what kinds of things you’ll come up with!

Julianna and Jessica taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Julianna, how was each dish?

Julianna: Phung, the Vietnamese influences on a dish I expected to be European, it was really clever and I was blown away by how much the herbs changed the dish. The turbot melted in my mouth. Well done on that. Fanny, the presentation was avant-garde, and I liked the salad. Your fish was cooked nicely.

Phung: @She’s going to give me the win. @I’m using my Jedi mind powers right now. @Phung-Jabba WILLS you to do it.

Jessica: So who won?

Julianna: The best dish belonged to…. Phung!

Jessica: Congratulations, Amanda, Henry, Nate, Kira, and Phung! The five of you won the challenge! And one of you is going to receive immunity. Please draw knives to determine who that person will be!

Everyone draws knives, and Nate’s is labeled “immune”

Nate: Awesome!

Jessica: Nate, you won immunity!
Nate: @I’m stoked to have received it. @I don’t think that I deserved it, but it doesn’t matter. @I want to rub it in Phung’s face, but I’m not really the type to do that.

Phung: @Nate doesn’t deserve immunity. @He’s a piece of shit. @I want him to go home, but now he can’t.

Jessica: And now it’s time for the elimination challenge! In this challenge, you’ll be cooking head to head! Please draw knives to determine who your opponent will be!

Nate – arctic char

Phung – arctic char

Justin – venison

Kira – venison

Jo – jumbo prawns

Amanda – jumbo prawns

Fanny – duck

Henry – duck

Lucas – wild boar

Tadashi – wild boar

Jessica: You’ll be cooking head to head, using the same proteins. Also, this challenge, you definitely want to win your cook-off, because it is a double elimination!
Justin: @Double elimination? @That’s terrifying. @I don’t even want to think about going home this early in the season. @I made it to the final four last time, and I need to make it to the last challenge at the very least.

Jessica: You have 45 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @Being up against Nate, I’m stoked. @Even if he has immunity, I can still crush his punk ass. @I’m going to prepare seared arctic char filet, a char-lime broth, manilla clams, mint, and fried shallots. @Nate can’t possibly beat me. @I’m just that good.

Nate: @Phung is a bitch. @She’s crazy and I don’t understand why she’s like that. @I’m going to not make anything for this challenge, just to fuck with her. @I have immunity, and I’m not going to bother with this. @Plus, she has no reason to complain. @She literally did that in the pie creativity challenge.
Phung: @He’s not cooking ANYTHING?! @This little bitch! @He knows he’s a weaker cook, and he’s going to hide behind his immunity! @And he’s done that before too. @I’m so angry right now. @The next time I have immunity, I’m going to do that myself.

Amanda: @Nate’s just that kind of person. @He enjoys taking it easy when he has the chance to. @In this case, it’s funny because of how angry Phung is getting. @I’m going against Jo and it’s a great chance to put him in his place. @I have jumbo prawns, and I decide to make deep fried prawns that I’m going to wrap in freshly made pasta noodles, and then for a sauce, I’m making a white wine-shallot puree. @It’s sort of a nudge at Jo, because he almost got sent home making a shrimp and tomato pasta dish last season.

Jo: @I hate shrimp and prawns, so I decide to go Chinese with it and make har gow. @The shrimp and scallop dumpling, but I’m going to prepare it using the prawn flesh, and then I’m making a sauce using the prawn shells. @Amanda’s not going to beat me, because she’s arrogant. @She thinks because she made it further than Nate and I that she’s a better cook and that will be her downfall.

Justin: @I’m cooking venison against Kira. @Kira and I went toe to toe a lot in our season because both of us had professional experience. @But I want to beat her. @I’m preparing a coffee crusted venison loin with sage-parmesan polenta, blackberry-port sauce, and parmesan tuile. @It’s going to be a solid dish, but will it be enough to beat Kira? @That, I’m honestly not sure about.

Kira: @I’m feeling nervous about the double elimination, but I have to just be confident in my own skills. @Venison is lean and it is very gamey. @I don’t want that quality of the gaminess of the meat to come through in my dish. @I see that Justin is coffee crusting his venison, and I think that’s pretty brilliant. @I decide to prepare caul fat wrapped venison with smoked cauliflower puree and a red wine-onion gastrique. @Smoking the cauliflower will be a very original take and I think it’ll help mask those flavors.

Lucas: @Going head to head with Tadashi is intimidating. @He was the runner up in my season, and I honestly thought I was going to go head to head with him in the finale back then. @In a way, this is what I anticipated that final challenge to be like. @Wild boar, it’s lean, gamey, and it can be a little nutty. @I decide to make brown butter basted boar chops with an apple-morel mushroom bread pudding and a bacon jus. @It being bone-in, that’s the big challenge. @I think that the cook on the boar is a very critical thing, so I need it to be cooked medium to be safe.

Tadashi: @I have to cook with wild boar. @Boar chops are delicious and I want to respect them as they are. @I’m going to prepare a smoked boar chop with spinach glass, spinach-parsnip puree, glazed peas and morels, and pea tendrils. @I see that Lucas is going more rustic, so I need to make sure that the flavors and presentation of my dish are much more refined so that they can combat his cooking style. @I honestly think Lucas has the potential to be Warrior Chef. @He was strong in my season, and he’s still a threat here.

Fanny: @I have duck, and I’m cooking against Henry. @Henry’s been coming out of nowhere and winning challenges, even when he won nothing in his original season. @I want to demolish him here. @For my dish, I’m preparing a tea smoked duck breast with fried cipollini onions and a duck and peach jus. @I am also going to make duck fat spheres, and shatter those over the dish, just to give an enhanced duck flavor. @I refuse to lose to Henry. @We both came in 5th place in our seasons, but I know I’m a much better chef than he is.

Henry: @I’m going to make a crispy duck breast with roasted rainbow carrots. duck jus, and homemade bread rolls. @I’m positive that the flavor combination of the duck and that jus with the rolls, it will be a major winner. @Fanny better watch out, because I’m packing a punch behind this dish. @I learned how to make bread really quickly from Phung, so I’m using that to my advantage.

Jessica: Time’s up!
Fanny: @I see the other dishes and I’m feeling good about what I’m presenting. @I see the other dishes in general, and I don’t see any bad looking dishes.
Justin: @I’m happy with how my dish looks. @But the question is, how does it taste? @If it’s gross, then I’m going to be a goner for sure. @I don’t want to go home tonight. @This double elimination is freaking me out.

Phung: @If Henry wins the challenge, he can thank me for stealing my bread proofing methods. @But I’m more preoccupied with kicking Nate’s sweet, perkalicious ass!

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Nate and Phung first!

Nate – nothing

Phung – seared arctic char filet, char-lime broth, manilla clams, mint, fried shallots

Erwin: Well, Phung basically won her cook-off by default. Nate was able to produce nothing in the time allotted, and that’s why she wins this one.

Miriam: But you need to actually taste her dish. Those flavors… they popped. Any dish would have had a lot of trouble going up against it. She balanced the flavors of the herbs, citrus, and seafood gorgeously.

Jessica: And next are the venison dishes by Justin and Kira!

Justin – coffee venison, sage-parmesan polenta, blackberry-port sauce, parmesan tuile

Kira – caul fat wrapped venison, smoked cauliflower puree, red wine-onion gastrique

Erwin: Justin’s dish, I liked the sauce, loved the polenta, liked the seasoning on the venison. The meat was a tad dry from being dry rubbed, and the flavors did not work together cohesively.

Aster: Kira’s venison was cooked nicely. The usage of caul fat was clever to retain the moisture in the meat. The puree, it was everything I loved about cauliflower and the sauce worked as well. She nailed it for me.

Jessica: And then we have the dishes by Jo and Amanda!

Jo – shrimp and scallop dumpling with shrimp sauce

Amanda – pasta wrapped jumbo prawns with shallot-white wine sauce

Miriam: Jo’s dumpling was bland. The technique was definitely there, but the overall flavors just did not come through. I did not really taste anything across any of his components, and that’s disappointing.

Erwin: Amanda was innovative with her take on the prawns, wrapping them in fresh pasta and then deep frying them. The sauce was delicious and worked well with the sauce. She nailed it.

Jessica: And now we have Fanny and Henry’s duck dishes!

Fanny – tea smoked duck breast with fried cipollini onions, duck-peach jus

Henry – crispy duck breast, roasted rainbow carrots. duck jus, homemade bread rolls

Aster: Fanny cooked the duck breast to medium rare, but smoking it meant that she did not render the fat, so that’s inedible. Her overall dish, a slice of duck breast, where 20% of it is inedible, a sauce, and a small garnish, it was beautifully presented, but the techniques were flawed.

Miriam: Henry’s duck was cooked perfectly and he delivered on each promise. The duck was crispy and the carrots were roasted. The jus was delicious and I liked his rolls. But he suffered the same problem as Justin, where he had good components that did not work together.

Jessica: Finally, Lucas and Tadashi’s wild boar dishes!

Lucas – brown butter basted boar chops, apple-morel bread pudding, bacon jus

Tadashi – smoked boar, spinach glass, spinach-parsnip puree, peas, morels, tendrils

Erwin: Lucas’s boar… it was overcooked. Trying to cut into it, it was like leather. I liked the sauce, but his bread pudding was just weird. I could not tell what I was eating, it was like a soggy piece of mush.

Miriam: Tadashi cooked his boar perfectly and I loved how to he presented it and the flavors throughout. Phung’s dish, in my eyes, it was the best, but Tadashi’s gives her a huge run for her money. It was gorgeous.

Jessica: So can we decide who is going to be eliminated tonight?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Phung, Kira, Amanda, Henry and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the five of you were on the winning side of your cook-offs, and you each won the challenge! Congratulations!

Phung: @I knew I could beat Nate because Nate is a little punk-ass who knew he could not beat me and yes, he can’t. @Boom. @Drop the mike, bitches.

Henry: @Winning back to back challenges feels amazing. @It definitely bolstered my confidence and I know that coming back to the competition was the right choice, especially because I didn’t win anything last season!

Jessica: You all won, but Erwin, please announce the overall best dish!

Erwin: Five incredible dishes, and you all should be proud of yourselves. The best dish for us was definitely made by…. Phung!… And Tadashi!

Kira: @Hearing that Phung and Tadashi made the best dishes, it’s just showing us how strong they are. @These two are definitely going to be in the finale.

The top five leave.

In walks Fanny, Lucas, and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, two of you are going home.

Lucas: @My heart is pounding out of my chest. @I really don’t know what to think or expect at this point.

Erwin: Lucas, the boar was overcooked. Fanny, your duck breast did not have the fat rendered. And Jo, your dish sorely lacking salt.

Fanny: @No matter what, two of us are going home. @I am not ready to go home yet. @This is not how I’m getting eliminated.

Jo: @I lacked salt, but at least my dish was edible. @I think I might be safe, but you really never know. @I’m feeling it for sure.

Jessica: Lucas… and Fanny. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Lucas: Thank you for inviting me back to compete again. It was a lot of fun! @Coming back, I expected to do better. @I was thinking that this would be easier, because I have so much more experience than a lot of the younger contestants, and I came in fourth place in my original season! @There was a point in my original run where I genuinely thought the competition was mine to win. @But that past experience did not help in the slightest. @Everyone here is talented and it really can be anyone’s game.

Fanny: @Leaving Warrior Chef this early, it sucks so much. @I really did not think I was going to be eliminated this early. @This double elimination was brutal. @I thought I would make it to the final five at the least, and now I don’t even get that chance. @I’m feeling really frustrated, but I’m just going to go back to work and cook my ass off.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 1

Kira: @Walking back into the Warrior Chef kitchen feels bittersweet. @I came really close to snagging the title just one season ago, but at least now I have a chance to redeem myself and win the entire title.

Tadashi: @I’m looking around and the entire competition looks a lot more intense this time around. @I know it’s going to be a long road to redemption, but I’m ready to put my head down and work through it.

Amanda: @I get back to my station and it feels oddly nostalgic. @I went so far, and so close to that final challenge. @I see Jo, Rose, and Nate, and they were all really talented on my season. @I’m starting to wonder why I signed back up for this again.

Jessica: Welcome back to Warrior Chef, everyone!

Lucas: @We are greeted by Jessica, and it just becomes that much more real that the competition is on.

Jessica: You guys know the drill on how this competition works. So let’s get into the creativity challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying a variety of animal carcasses

Jessica: We know you are all talented cooks. That’s why we invited you all back to compete for a second chance. But what we want to see if what you guys can do with scraps of meat. Using what’s on the cart and a limited pantry, you’ll have 45 minutes to prepare a dish. And the winner of this challenge will receive immunity.

Karen: @Immunity? @That’s going to be a lifesaver. @Especially when everyone here is that good. @And lucky enough, everyone from season 1 has a huge advantage. @We had this exact creativity challenge already!

Jessica: You have 45 minutes, time starts now!

Fanny: @I won this challenge in my season, so I’m going to win it again this season. @I decide on making a venison consomme with yogurt dumplings and roasted mushrooms. @Last time, I went with a deconstructed curry pie, but I don’t want to repeat the same dish. @I know that from my season, Tadashi, Lucas, and Karen are all strong cooks, but this is my challenge to win.

Lucas: @I manage to take lamb bones and I decide on making a lamb sauce to go with some homemade gnocchi and some fried mint to finish. @I know we have really strong competition here, and I want to show them what I’m made of.

Tadashi: @Even though I have tough competition from just my season, I can’t underestimate anyone here. @Amanda, Rose, Justin, Kira, and Phung are all major threats too. @I’m preparing a niku jyaga, which is a broth with scraps of meat and potatoes. @I’m going to use dashi and the bones to really concentrate that flavor and then portion out the meat from the scraps for the actual dish itself.

Karen: @I almost won this challenge last time and I got really lucky that I landed the foie gras. @This time, there’s none of that. @I see chicken and I decide on a chicken jus with some crispy root vegetables and a piece of fried chicken skin to garnish on top with. @It’ll be tasty.

Amanda: @In my season, I almost won the first challenge with my lamb lollipops. @I grab the lamb and decide on preparing a lamb and tripe stew with tomatoes and white wine. @I’m using the pressure cooker to make sure that it’ll get done in time.

Justin: @Amanda is breaking out the pressure cooker and that’s pretty genius. @I decide on a ground meat infused carbonara pasta. @I was known on my season for making the best pasta by far and I don’t intend to drop that title anytime soon. @Phung is my biggest competition, because she nails everything she attempts.

Phung: @I know that this challenge was catered to me. @I know how to use scrap meat. @I’m going to make Vietnamese crepes with braised pork and some pork cracklings and then adding in some cilantro, bean sprouts, mint, and lime to garnish the entire dish with.

Henry: @I manage to get the duck carcass and I’m going to make a duck stock risotto with some orange salad on top of it. @I think that the rice and salad will be a clever way to go and I know how to make a delicious risotto, so this should be a really easy dish for me to nail.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: @I see what everyone else made and I’m not too impressed. @My dish will definitely win me immunity tonight.

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

Fanny: @Aster is such a sweetheart and I know he’ll be a generous judge when it comes to saying what it is he wants from our food.
Aster: Welcome back, everyone! What I love about these Redemption seasons is how much talent we re-invite to the kitchen and how much higher the bar gets set!

Aster and Jessica try the dishes.

Jessica: So Aster, who failed to impress you with the scraps today?

Aster: Justin, the carbonara was delicious but the sauce overpowered the actual scraps.  They couldn’t be tasted under all of that fat. Henry, the risotto was undercooked and placing the salad on top made the vegetables too wilted. And Lucas. The gnocchi were just a tad overcooked.

Lucas: @I feel like crap for being on the bottom. @I really wanted to have a stronger start this season.

Henry: @Being on the bottom really sucks. @You don’t want to start a season as an underdog, you know?

Aster: So for my favorites. Fanny, the consomme, mushrooms, and dumplings all came together nicely. Tadashi, the niku jyaga was a clever way to organically incorporate the scraps and the flavors were delicious with the umami in that broth. Phung. The Vietnamese crepes were fantastic and the fact you got pork crackling in less than 30 minutes, it was brilliant.

Jessica: And who prepared the best dish?

Aster: It was a close call, but the best dish was… Tadashi’s.

Phung: Are you kidding me? @Who the hell is Tadashi?! @It should’ve been me!

Kira: Yikes. @Phung is being her usual self.

Henry: @Straight up, Phung is a raving bitch when she doesn’t get her way. @That’s both her best and worst quality. @I fear for my life in her presence.

Tadashi: Thank you. @Winning immunity feels great, especially because I’m up against 11 previous competitors who all are thirsty for the win as much as I was.

Jessica: And now it’s time for your elimination challenge! For this challenge, it’s simple. Redo the dish that cost you the title last time and make it a winning dish. Some of you have competed in the Redemption Rounds before. For those of you who have, you have to redeem that dish, not the one that eliminated you the first time. 60 minutes, starting now!

Kira: @I lost last time because of my scallop dish. @The judges felt it was too simple and forgettable. @This time, I’m going to use those same flavors, but differently. @I’m making a scallop en papillote with fennel, lemon, pepper, and butter. @I’m going to serve that with a fennel couscous and hope that’ll be good enough to impress the judges. @I’m making my own couscous, so that’ll show a lot more skill. @I still remember in the first elimination challenge in my finale, I was dinged for not trying to make my own, so I’m going to do it here to prove to everyone why I am Warrior Chef-worthy. @I promised that if I had the chance to redeem this dish, I would and I would make it a winner. @Now’s the time to put my money where my mouth is.

Jo: @I got eliminated over a tuna dish last time because my black garlic marinade was too strong. @I’m going to redeem that dish by removing the black garlic entirely, and focusing on citrus, cucumbers, and avocado. @I’m going to make a tuna and avocado poke with cucumber ribbons and citrus granita.
Karen: @I got eliminated over pate choux fritters with shrimp and tomato-caper relish. @It was the amuse bouche challenge. @I lost it because my shrimp were overcooked. @This time around, I’m going to prepare the same dish, but dialing back on how long I cook the shrimp for.

Phung: FUCK ME! @I got eliminated for two dishes, not one. @My Shaking Beef tartare was bland and then the snapper and squid dish, my team fucked up my proteins. @So I have to prepare both dishes. @For my snapper, I’m doing a snapper crudo with chilies and lemongrass-coconut gazpacho. @For the squid dish, I’m going to have to prepare a fried calamari with ginger compressed vegetables.

Tadashi: @I still remember the dish that cost me the title my first season around. @I prepared a dessert, castella with white nama chocolate, honey comb candy, matcha ice cream. @It was deemed way too sweet. @So for this rendition, I’m going to make a matcha cake with honey-cream cheese chantilly and matcha ice cream. @I’m omitting the white chocolate, because it made my dessert too sweet last time.

Henry: @I was eliminated over my chicken dish. @It was a fried chicken thigh with parsnip puree, chips, and chicken jus. @I’m going to prepare it, but this time, make a chicken roulad with parsnip confit, chicken jus, and stuff my roulad with a savory bread pudding. @I got criticized for being boring, so I want redemption.

Amanda: @I feel like I have a huge advantage because I got eliminated in the 30 minute amuse bouche creativity challenge in the finale. @And I get an hour to re-do that? @Awesome. @I had a blood orange cured salmon with chervil and speck. @It was just too cluttered. @For this challenge, I decide to prepare a salmon sashimi with a speck-blood orange vinaigrette and some chervil foam.

Rose: @I lost the title because of my dessert. @The tespixhe, an Albanian pudding that is like a sugary cake-cookie. @The judges hated the texture, and voted for Vin instead of me. @I’m going to just prepare the exact same dessert, because I know that it’s delicious. @Last time, it came out dense. @This time, I will not allow that, so I’m adding in baking soda.

Nate: @I got sent home because a dish inspired by my most embarrassing moment aka when I was overweight. @It was a stuffed pork chop with thrice cooked chips. @The judges didn’t like it because it was too dry. @I’m going to do a bacon wrapped pork crepinette with yucca chips and a mustard aioli. @I think that changing it up with the yucca chips and mustard aioli will make my dish stand out a lot more in a good way.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Karen: @I’m thinking that I redeemed the dish by cooking it properly this time. @I’m a little older and a lot smarter this season, and I think I might be able to finally win!

Phung: @I know I crushed it. @In school, people think that I’m some sort of bitch or diva, and that I’m too bossy. @But I back it up with my actions and results.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Vanilla Cuylenberg – Warrior Chef 1 winner

Vin Rugnetta – Warrior Chef 2 winner

Lauren Wilson – Warrior Chef 3 winner

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Karen, Amanda, and Nate!

Karen – pate choux fritters with shrimp and tomato-caper relish

Amanda – salmon sashimi with speck-blood orange vinaigrette and chervil foam

Nate – bacon wrapped pork crepinette with yucca chips and mustard aioli

Vanilla: Karen cooked her fritters well, but the shrimp were undercooked for me. I liked her relish. But the dish she put up was the exact same one she was sent home on. I was expecting to see her re-do the concept too.

Vin: Amanda’s sashimi was sliced excellently. Her vinaigrette was unusual, but it worked really nicely against the meatiness of the salmon and the herbaceous chervil. Overall, she’s proving why she was such a strong threat in my season.

Lauren: Nate’s crepinette was cooked nicely but his yucca chips were dense and that aioli just made the dense dish even heavier. It was too much to finish in one go. He needed freshness, and half that portion per plate.

Jessica: And now we have the dishes by Phung, Kira, and Jo!

Phung – snapper with lemongrass, coconut, and chilies; calamari with ginger vegetables
Kira – scallop en papillote with fennel couscous
Jo – tuna and avocado poke with cucumber ribbons and citrus granita

Lauren: Phung… she’s doing what she does best. Overachieving. She prepared two dishes, and she managed to nail both of them. The snapper was cut nicely and the broth was great! And then the calamari with compressed vegetables was delicious.
Vanilla: Kira’s scallops were the best cooked piece of seafood I have tasted so far. They were buttery and succulent. And knowing that she took the time to prepare her own couscous was incredible!

Vin: Jo’s poke was an interesting idea, and it was a departure from his original concept. I remember he got dinged for black garlic, and he omitted it here. That was a good call. He definitely redeem himself here.

Jessica: Finally, the dishes by Henry, Tadashi, and Rose!

Henry – fried chicken thigh with parsnip puree, chips, and chicken jus

Tadashi – matcha cake with honey-cream cheese chantilly and matcha ice cream

Rose – tespixhe with citrus salad

Lauren: Henry cooked the chicken nicely and I liked the different kinds of parsnip applications. It’s not necessarily a winning dish in the bunch, but it showed that he knows how to cook chicken.

Vanilla: Tadashi’s dessert falls in the same category as Henry’s dish. It was alright, but you can’t expect cream cheese icing to be part of a winning dessert on Warrior Chef. It was good home cooking, but it wasn’t refined.

Vin: Rose’s dessert tasted chalky and the citrus salad just amplified that. I did not enjoy the flavors that much.

Jessica: Thank you, returning champions for coming back to judge. Have you guys decided on who redeemed themselves and who is going to be eliminated first?

Lauren: Yes, we have.

In walks Kira, Amanda, and Phung.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you redeemed your dishes, and one of you won the challenge! Congratulations!

Lauren: Phung, you managed to produce two solid dishes, and it showed why you were such a major threat. Kira, you made your own couscous. That’s insane. Your scallops were beautifully cooked and we just loved your flavors.

Vin: Amanda, you contrasted the flavors and textures perfectly. This wasn’t clunky or confused. It was delicious!

Jessica: Vanilla, please announce the winner.

Vanilla: Four great dishes, but the best cook tonight was definitely…. Kira. Your scallops were the best cooked scallops any of us have ever tasted.

Jessica: Congratulations, Kira! You won the elimination challenge!

Kira: Thank you. @I proved to myself and to everyone here that I didn’t deserve to leave without that title. @I’m so proud that the judges agreed with that and gave my dish the win. @It’s definitely a warm return to the competition. @It’s like I never left!

Kira, Amanda, and Phung leave.

Phung: @I think it’s bull that I didn’t win, because I made two good dishes, not one. @But at least I’m on top, which I rightfully deserved to be.

In walks Rose, Nate, and Karen.

Jessica: One of you is going home tonight.

Vin: Rose, your dessert was just chalky and unpleasant. The dish just didn’t eat well for any of us. Nate, the yucca chips were dense and unpleasant. You switched around the mistakes this time. Good meat, but really bad fries.

Vanilla: Karen, the shrimp was undercooked for me. It was gummy and almost squeaky. The choux fritter was delicious, just not the shrimp.

Karen: @Hearing that I served undercooked shrimp, I think I’m a goner tonight. @I’m trying to stay strong, but it’s hard to at this point.

Nate: @Hearing that my yucca chips sucked, that’s not a good feeling. @I’m potentially going home first, and that’s my nightmare. @Nobody wants to go out first. @None of us did that badly last time around.

Jessica: Rose, I’m so sorry. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Rose: Are you shitting me? @I can’t believe I’m going home first. @Bitch, I was a runner-up of my season! @I call foul play! @What the fuck is this?! @I’m not happy. @This is not why I came back. @These fools got so lucky I’m going home first.

Nate: @I was not expecting that. @I thought Rose was going to go to the very end, and she’s the first person going home. @This season, it’s tough. @Nobody is safe, that’s for sure. @I’m feeling vulnerable right now.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Announcement

Since I have concluded Warrior Chef 3 for quite a while now, I had been focusing on writing more Warrior Chef series since then. For the fourth installment of this series, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted there to be a Redemption competition. For this upcoming Warrior Chef, I will be featuring all previous contestants who have lost the title and are coming back for a second chance. Below is the list of the competitors who are vying for the title yet again! I have linked the rounds that they previously were eliminated in, just so that you can catch up to their respective seasons, as well as listed their total challenge wins from their previous runs.

Warrior Chef 1

Tadashi Hamilton – runner up (3 creativity, 6 elimination; 9 wins)

Karen Laverre – 3rd place (4 creativity, 2 elimination; 6 wins)

Lucas Powers – 4th place (3 creativity, 2 elimination; 5 wins)

Fanny Robinson – 5th place (2 creativity, 1 elimination; 3 wins)

Warrior Chef 2

Rose Fu – runner up (4 creativity, 2 elimination; 6 wins)

Amanda Bolen – 3rd place (4 creativity, 2 elimination; 6 wins)

John “Jo” Chang – 4th place (1 creativity, 3 elimination; 4 wins)

Nate Wong – 5th place (1 creativity, 1 elimination; 2 wins)

Warrior Chef 3

Phung Pham – runner up (3 creativity, 5 elimination; 8 wins)

Kira Taso – runner up (4 creativity, 1 elimination; 5 wins)

Justin Chiarello – 4th place (1 creativity, 1 elimination; 2 wins)

Henry Parker – 5th place (0 creativity, 0 elimination; 0 wins)

Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

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

Rose tastes the amuse bouches.

Michele: So Rose, which were your favorites?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Phung, you get first pick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James, Teddy, and Elizabeth leave the room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the judges’ room:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vanilla: Definitely Lauren.

Vin: Lauren.

Tadashi: Lauren.

Rose: Lauren.

Karen: Lauren.

Amanda: Lauren.

Michele: Wow! A clean sweep!

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

Michele: And we have the entrees!

Lauren – braised oxtail with homemade noodles and black garlic broth

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: And who made the best entree?

Vanilla: Kira.

Vin: Lauren.

Tadashi: Kira.

Rose: Kira.

Karen: Kira.

Amanda: Lauren.

Michele: So Kira took the second course!

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

Michele: And now, the desserts!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: So can we finally agree on a winner?

Amanda: Yes, we can.

In walks Phung, Kira, and Lauren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Tina and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Tina, who prepared your favorite beignets?

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

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

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

A cart is wheeled in, carrying crawfish and shrimp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

Michele: Your judges for this elimination challenge are:

Terrell Ayes – Warrior Chef two time finalist

Tina Wang – Warrior Chef finalist

Guy Flannigan

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: And now we have Lauren’s dish!

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

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

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

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

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-shrimp scampi with shrimp butter

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

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

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

Michele: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-drunken crawfish shabu shabu

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

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

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

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

Tina: Yes.

In walks the finalists.

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

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

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

Michele: Terrell, please announce the winner!

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

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

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

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

Phung and Lauren leave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3: Round 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Michele and Aster taste the dishes.

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

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

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

Michele: And who impressed you?

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

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

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

Justin leaves the room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

Michele: Your judges are:

Chelia Van Buren

Thyme De Lys

Kierra Johnson

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

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

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

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

Michele: Next is Phung’s dish!

-homemade pork banh mi

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

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

Michele: And now we have Henry’s dish!

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

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

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

Michele: And finally, Lauren’s dessert.

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

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

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

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

Thyme: Yes.

In walks Henry, Phung, Kira, and Lauren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lauren and Phung leave.

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

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

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