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 5

Kira: @I feel horrible that Justin got sent home. @He was the first person from our season to be eliminated this time, and I wanted the four of us to make it to the finale together. @Stepping into the kitchen today, I just need to focus.

Tadashi: @I swept the last round, but I need to win individual challenges too, just to prove that I can stand out. @Phung is my biggest competitor. @Everything she cooks is flawless, so I need to cook perfect dishes every time just to guarantee my safety.

Jessica: Welcome back! Tonight, for the creativity challenge, we want to see you guys get inventive with… watermelon! You have just 25 minutes to prepare a savory watermelon dish, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @Watermelon is tricky.@It’s sweet, relatively bland, I’m just struggling to think of a savory application. @In the end, I decide to make a watermelon gazpacho, and I hope I can really balance out the flavors with chilies and ginger.

Amanda: @I’m immediately at a loss at what to do because watermelon is not in my wheelhouse and we can’t do a dessert with it. @I think about the rind, and that’s where I’m going. @I’m preparing a crab and pickled watermelon rind salad with a semolina tuile. @I think that’s the best way to go. @I’m debating on whether or not to use the flesh of the melon, but I decide just not to.

Kira: @I want to use the whole watermelon. @I’m going to make a watermelon sphere with goat cheese, pickled watermelon rind, and I’m still thinking about what kind of vehicle to do, because I have only 25 minutes. @I decide to make crispy wonton wrappers from scratch, and then I’ll stack everything up like a Napoleon.

Jo: @I’m feeling good about watermelon. @I decide to make a watermelon soup with fried mackerel and noodles. @I’m going to nail this dish because I’m tasting everything and making sure that it all works together. @In the last challenge, I made a good dish, but I was knocked down for not being ambitious. @I’m making my own noodles in 25 minutes, so there’s your ambition for you.

Nate: @Jo’s annoying me. @Two seasons with him, it’s wearing on me a little, especially just seeing how he’s been acting recently. @For my dish, I’m going to make a pickled watermelon rind-fish sauce vinaigrette with compressed watermelon, feta, and kumquats. @I’m feeling good about the dish coming together and I’m determined to make this my second win in a row. @I want to get a streak going!
Henry: @I’ve been doing really well this season and I think I’m something of a frontrunner, which feels great! @For my watermelon dish, I decide to prepare a watermelon broth with soup dumplings and shrimp. @I just hope that it will work together, because I’m not 100% certain what to do with this.

Phung: @I’m preparing a watermelon snow with pickled watermelon rind, prosciutto wrapped feta fritters, and ginger vinaigrette. @I’m not afraid about this challenge. @After winning the last one, I want to prove that I can win this one too, mostly because I don’t think that this challenge is dumb, and I want immunity, since we are getting into the midpoint of the season. @I decide when I want to win things, because I’m that good.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Amanda: @I’m feeling good about the dish overall. @I notice that almost everyone did soups or salads of some kind, and that makes me feel a bit nervous.

Jessica: Your judge is produce queen, Chloe Lula!
Chloe: Hi, guys! Watermelon is an ingredient typically eaten fresh, and I’m excited to see how you guys managed to innovate or transform it!

Jessica and Chloe taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Chloe, who failed to impress us?

Chloe: Jo, the mackerel just overpowered your broth, which tasted medicinal. Henry, again, a watermelon broth, it needs a lot of flavors to counteract the sweetness, or else it ends up sickly sweet like how your dish did.

Jo: @I think I did a good job, but I guess not. @This sucks.

Henry: @I’m on the bottom with Jo, who has been sucking at everything lately. @It’s a horrible feeling.

Jessica: And who nailed the watermelon for you?

Chloe: Kira, the watermelon sphere was cute, but the idea to make a napoleon and stack up the components, it all worked. Amanda, your dish was classy and elegant, and I loved the pairing of crab with watermelon. Phung, your dish was simply put, brilliant. I really loved everything you did there.

Jessica: And who won?

Chloe: It was honestly by a landslide. Phung, you made the best dish.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge! Well done!

Phung: Boom! @I won with a savory watermelon dish. @And it’s an individual win, and it’s not from something stupid like shit you’d find in a 7-11. @I’m back, baby!

Jessica: And now for the elimination challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying seven cloches.

Tadashi: @I see the cloches and I’m feeling a bit nervous. @I won’t know what to expect at this point.

Jessica: One by one, take a cloche and lift the lid!

Phung: @I grab the first one, and I’m afraid that it’s going to be a bitch.

Phung – blueberries

Amanda – raspberries

Kira – strawberries

Tadashi – gooseberries

Nate – tayberries

Henry – cloudberries

Jo – blackberries

Jessica: So for the elimination challenge, we will be giving you an hour to prepare a beautiful dish using your berry! Your time starts now!

Henry: @Cloudberries look like orange raspberries. @I taste them and they’re tangy. @I decide on a cloudberry shortcake, using homemade buttermilk biscuits, with whipped cream and I think it’ll be simple, but delicious. @I’m proud of how successful I’ve been in this season thus far. @I’ve done well in challenges, and I think that I have an actual shot at this title.

Nate: @Tayberries, they’re a blackberry-raspberry hybrid. @I’m feeling good about having them, because they finish sweet and they’re really delicate. @I’m going to make a tayberry and elderflower sorbet to go with almond biscotti and a goat milk custard that I’m topping with tayberry gelee and tayberries tossed in olive oil. @I know I’m a strong, solid cook, and this is going to be a breeze for me.

Amanda: @Raspberries are gorgeous, but I do not want to do a dessert here. @Everyone is going to make dessert, and that’s how I’m going to stand out from them. @I’m making a raspberry harissa to go with seared prawns, grapefruit-raspberry salad, and a rainbow carrot puree. @I’m hoping to really capture the colors and flavors of the raspberries and make it a pretty looking dish.

Phung: @I think this challenge is stupid. @So I’m going to sit there, eating blackberries, throwing them at people who walk past my station. @I decide that I’m hungry, so I go to cook breakfast for myself. @I’m making some french toast to go with my blackberries, and I’m still a little hungry, so I’m making some seared steak with a blackberry barbecue sauce and home fries.

Tadashi: @I have to cook with gooseberries. @I’m pretty stoked, actually. @I love gooseberries! @What’s great about them is that I can go sweet or savory, and it could work either way. @I decide on a gooseberry nage with braised octopus, poached lobster, roasted gooseberries, and whipped gooseberry butter on rusk. @I’m feeling determined to impress the judges, because we are almost at the halfway point, and I need to be consistently on the top if I want to win the title in the end.

Kira: @I’m not terribly excited to have the strawberries. @I don’t want to bake tonight. @I decide on a strawberry and celery ragout sauce, and then to pair with that, a polenta that I’ll infuse with a tea made with the strawberry leaves. @I’m not terribly confident that I’m using the strawberries as much as I possibly can, but at this point, I’m going with it and hoping for the best.

Jo: @I have blackberries. @I’m going to make a blackberry sauce to go with some duck breast and a duck ragout. @I’m feeling good about the dish, because my best dishes have kept me in the competition thus far, and it shows that I’m here to play and remain in the competition until the very end.

Phung: @Honestly, in five rounds, Jo has managed to be the only person left to not win a single challenge. @How the hell did he make it this far? @I honestly think Jo is going home tonight, because he sucks that much.

Tadashi: @I’m looking at my dish, and it feels jumbled and like a mess. @I decide to go slightly German, and I’m going to make a potato dumpling stuffed with a coulis of gooseberries inside of them in place of the gooseberries on rusk. @It’s about editing myself and knowing what makes sense on this dish.

Amanda: @It’s still anybody’s game in this season. @I think Henry has been a major threat recently, and I’m impressed by how much better he’s doing in this season compared to his last one. @But I need to make it to the finale. @I keep having flashbacks of being sent home over my amuse, and even though I redeemed myself on that, it’s still not okay. @I have to win this season.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I step back from my dish, and it looks… alright. @It’s not terrible, but I don’t think I can win with this.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Max Hudson

Scott Connors

Chelia Van Buren

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

Jo – duck breast, duck-blackberry ragout, blackberry sauce

Nate – tayberry-elderflower sorbet, goat milk panna cotta, tayberry gelee, biscotti

Scott: Jo cooked the duck breast perfectly and I liked the ragout and the sauce. Honestly, the flavors were good, but it felt incomplete. He needed a starch or something to add more body to the dish and to contrast the tartness of the blackberries.

Chelia: Nate’s dessert was elegant, classy, and he captured the tayberry beautifully. I loved the panna cotta, biscotti, gelee, and the sorbet all together. He highlighted the berry and made a phenomenal dessert.

Jessica: And next up, we have the dishes by Phung, Kira, and Amanda!

Phung – nothing

Kira – strawberry-celery ragout with strawberry tea polenta

Amanda – raspberry harissa, prawns, grapefruit-raspberry salad, rainbow carrot puree

Max: Well, it was disappointing that Phung did not present anything, but she had immunity, so we can just settle on putting her in the bottom three and not send her home? She could have easily done something with blueberries.

Chelia: Kira’s ragout was delicious and it was clever of her to go savory with the strawberries. I liked the creativity of the polenta as well. Overall, I just felt like her dish needed protein. She had the opposite issue to Jo. Combine their dishes, and it would have been perfect.

Scott: Amanda’s harissa was delicious, I loved her salad, and the puree as well. The prawns were cooked nicely, and overall, I think she did a phenomenal job with the raspberries and making that the center.

Jessica: And finally, the dishes by Tadashi and Henry!

Tadashi – gooseberry nage, octopus, lobster, gooseberry dumplings

Henry – cloudberry shortcake

Max: Tadashi’s nage was a brilliant idea, because the dish perfumed with the gooseberry’s flavor. The octopus and lobster were great, and those dumplings, they were ingenious. He is living up to his Michelin-starred resume right now.

Scott: Henry’s shortcake, it was uninspired. The biscuits were dense and that killed the dish for me. The cloudberries, he did not do anything to them either. Topping the cream with fresh berries, and doing nothing else? It’s pissing me off.

Jessica: So can we agree on a winner?

Max: Yes.

In walks Amanda, Nate, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you made the best dishes using your berries!

Chelia: Amanda, your raspberry dish was colorful, vibrant, and we loved the flavors of the raspberry harissa. Nate, the tayberry dessert, you nailed it. It was easily one of the best desserts I have ever had as a judge. And Tadashi. Your gooseberry nage was inventive, and your dumplings, incredible.

Jessica: Chelia, who won?

Chelia: Three wonderful dishes, but the best one was definitely prepared by… Tadashi.

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

Tadashi: Thank you. @This season, my goal was to focus on the challenges and the food, and it’s playing off for me in spades. @I want to keep doing better, because I want to win Warrior Chef in the very end. @That finale is still a while away. @But if I keep improving myself, I will be ready for those challenges to come.

Nate: @I was honestly expecting to win that because of what Chelia said, so I’m disappointed. @But Tadashi is the strongest person here, and I need to be on my game or else he’s going to just blow us all away.

Jessica: The three of you are safe. Please bring in Phung, Henry, and Jo.

Amanda: @Seeing Jo on the bottom of the challenge, is it bad that I feel really happy on the inside? @I know it’s not a nice thing to say, but he keeps talking about ego, and just seeing him get knocked down a peg feels really good.

The top three leave.

In walks Phung, Henry, and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, the three of you are on the bottom, and one of you, other than Phung, will be going home.

Phung: @I’m on the bottom but I have immunity. @Yeah, I didn’t want to cook a dish tonight, so what? @I have immunity so I should not have been called up at all.

Scott: Jo, we just felt like your dish was incomplete. It needed a starch to soak up the flavors of your ragout.

Jo: Well then why the fuck  am I here if you liked the dish?

Scott: We were picking hairs at this point.

Max: Henry, the idea to do a shortcake, it was already questionable. A shortcake could be a great inspiration, but you needed to improve on that in same way and elevate it. We wanted to see you really push yourself, and if you wanted to do a basic shortcake, then it needed to be perfect. The biscuit was dense and it ruined the experience.

Henry: @At this point, I know I’m screwed and it sucks, because Jo has been on the bottom of so many challenges that I could not even begin to describe how pissed off I am right now.

Jessica: Henry, please leave the kitchen.

Henry: Alright. Thanks. @I’m going home in 7th place. @This honestly sucks. @I’m proud of how many more challenges I have won this season, but I’m still angry that I’m going out this early. @I wanted to make it to the finale this time around, and I’m not even close to doing that.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 4

Tadashi: @Seeing Fanny and Lucas get sent home was a huge shock for me. @They were both incredibly talented cooks and I expected to make it to the end with both of them. @But now I need to focus on my own cooking and making sure that I can win it.

Nate: @At this point, almost everyone from season 1 is gone. @Jo, Amanda, and I are all still here, and I want us all to make it into the final three together. @I think that Amanda and I would make a pretty bomb final two.

Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for today’s creativity challenge, we want you to draw knives!

Phung – chicken

Nate – beef

Tadashi – salmon

Amanda – pork

Justin – finger limes

Jo – huitlacoche

Henry – jew’s mallow

Kira – sunchoke

Jessica: So for this challenge, you must prepare a dish in pairs that features a classic protein and an unusual vegetable. You guys are allowed to choose your own pairs, so long as a vegetable and a protein are represented!

Tadashi: @I immediately go to Kira, because I love sunchokes, and I have a dish in mind that we can prepare with that and the salmon.

Kira: @I’m stoked to be working with Tadashi because I respect him a lot. @I think that we have a strong team already!

Amanda: @I go to Justin, mostly because I think he’d have a good idea on how to cook with the finger limes. @I know what jew’s mallow is, and it’s really slimy and difficult to work with. @I’d rather not work with it if I do not have to.

Nate: @I don’t want to work with Jo, but I don’t want to cook with the jew’s mallow either, so I’m stuck with him and his huitlacoche. @I’ve heard of what it is, but I’ve actually never cooked with it before.

Phung: @I’m stuck with Henry and his jewish spinach but I don’t care because it’s a creativity challenge and that means guaranteed immunity and no elimination. @I don’t need to try here.

Jessica: You guys have 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @Henry wants to prepare a roast chicken thigh with jew’s mallow-potato puree and a french onion jus. @I think that this would be an epic thing to attempt, but I’m just going to let Henry lead the way, because I know I can nail it in any elimination challenge, so I’m not nervous.

Henry: @Phung’s normally a bossy bitch, but in this challenge, she’s clammed up. @She’s not even trying, and that’s annoying me. @I want to just win the challenge, but it’s basically another repeat of what happened last season with James.

Kira: @This is why I’m glad I’m not paired with Phung. @She would have killed me on this challenge. @Tadashi and I are working together really well, but that’s to be expected. @We both have Michelin starred backgrounds, and naturally, we are used to the same kinds of environments.

Tadashi: @Our dish is salmon with crispy sunchoke chips, sunchoke puree, and a butter sauce. @I’m feeling great about the dish mostly because Kira’s handling the sunchoke while I’m going to break down the salmon and cook that along with prepare the sauce.

Nate: @I’m not happy to work with Jo. @I’m feeling angry. @But huitlacoche, I’m tasting it and it’s actually a delicious ingredient. @I’m going to prepare grilled steak with huitlacoche puree, chimichurri, which I need to make authentic, or else I’ll be grilled. @Classic chimichurri has parsley, garlic, pepper, oregano, and onion, that I then blend up with sherry vinegar and the lemon juice.

Jo: @I’m handling cooking the steak while Nate does the puree and the chimichurri. @Nate’s a good cook, and I think he’s going to make it into the finale this season, because of how strong he is.

Amanda: @We have finger limes and pork. @Justin and I… don’t have any familiarity with the limes. @I taste them, and they’re really pungent. @We decide on seared pork medallions with finger lime gremolata and a pork, lime, and apple jus.

Justin: @Amanda is very focused on business and productivity, so I know that the two of us gel together when it comes to cooking. @I’m going to handle the jus and the gremolata while Amanda does the pork. @I’m taking scraps of the pork and using that with bones to prepare the jus. @I need to get that going ASAP so it has time to develop and reduce.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Henry: @I know that the chicken is undercooked and I’m sweating underneath my skin. @I don’t want to be on the bottom. @I’ve been on such a roll and I really don’t want it to stop here.

Jessica: Your judge is house critic, Lotte Amazo!

Lotte: Hello, everyone! Nice to see you all again!

Amanda: @Lotte is an intense critic and I know that impressing her is going to be a major challenge.

Lotte and Jessica sample the dishes.

Jessica: So Lotte, which team failed to impress you?

Lotte: Phung and Henry, the chicken was undercooked. That was a disappointment.

Phung: Like I give a shit. @It doesn’t matter. @If I got immunity, I wouldn’t try in the elimination most likely anyways, so I’m not really in the mood.

Jessica: And which teams did a good job marrying their ingredients together?

Lotte: Nate and Jo, the flavors actually worked really well together! The huitlacoche puree and chimichurri contrasted each other and lifted the steak. The dish by Tadashi and Kira, the salmon was delicious and I loved the sunchoke puree and chips.

Jessica: And which team won?

Lotte: It was close, but the best dish was prepared by… Tadashi and Kira.

Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi and Kira! You won the creativity challenge!

Kira: @I’m stoked to win the challenge, but I can’t help feel that I would not have won if Tadashi was not my partner. @In my first season, I have bad luck with team challenges. @I’d always be on the bottom, so winning this one feels odd.

Tadashi: @Winning feels nice, but I’m just thinking about what the next challenge is going to be. @I’m getting nervous.

Jessica: Now for the elimination challenge! For this one, in teams of four, you’ll be creating your own pop-up restaurants! The captains of each team actually were decided in the last challenge! They will be Tadashi and Kira!

Amanda: Oh shit. @They are easily the two most experienced, so this is a clash of the titans. @I’m interested to see how this turns out.

Jessica: Tadashi, Kira, draw knives to determine who gets first pick.

Kira – 2

Tadashi – 1

Jessica: Tadashi, choose your first teammate!

Tadashi: I’ll take… Phung. @She’s crazy, but she’s extremely talented. @It’s an elimination challenge, so she’s going to be motivated.

Phung: We got this, bitches! @I will be the winner tonight, hands down.

Kira: My first teammate will be… Justin.

Justin: @Kira’s got my respect, and it only makes sense that we’d be on a team together. @I’m feeling good working with her.

Tadashi: I’ll choose Amanda. @She’s a solid worker as well, and I think she’s going to be a major asset to my team.

Kira: Hm…. @There’s Nate, Jo, and Henry left at this point. Henry. @He’s been doing really well this season, and I trust him more than I do Nate or Jo.

Henry: Thanks! @Kira, Justin, and I all competed together last season, and if we had Phung, it would have been all the season 3 people on the same team. @That would have been sick!

Tadashi: @It’s down to Nate and Jo. @That’s kind of a no-brainer. Nate. @He does tend to do better with creativity challenges, but I know he’s a much more mature team player than Jo is.

Nate: Thanks. @I’m on Tadashi’s team and it’s overall a solid group. @But if we are on the bottom, then I’m a goner.

Jessica: And Jo, you’re on Kira’s team!
Kira: @I don’t want Jo on my team, but he did decently in his original season, and he made it pretty far, so at least I know he can cook edible food.

Jo: @Kira’s not somebody I can really respect. @You work for a Michelin starred restaurant and yet you can’t win the title? @That’s disappointing.

Jessica: For this challenge, we want to see six dishes, three courses being appetizer, entree, and dessert! You guys have 2 and a half hours to pull off your dishes, and your time starts now!

Tadashi: @So on my team, we have Phung, Amanda, and Nate. @Everyone but Amanda cooks Asian, but that’s not really fair to put her in that position. @So in the end, we go with a Vietnamese concept, with Phung taking the lead.

Phung: @We got this. @Amanda cooks French, and in Vietnam, we have French influences. @For the first two courses, we are going to prepare a chili-chicken liver pate with fish sauce pickled artichokes and homemade crostini, which Amanda will work on. @For the second dish, we are making homemade goi cuon, which are the spring roll wrappers with shrimp in them, and I’m going to have Nate work on that. @For the mains, homemade pho, which Tadashi will work on, and I’m going to prepare ca kho to, which is caramelized fish in a clay pot, using catfish and cola to braise it. @For the desserts, I’m going to prepare a black sticky rice with jackfruit and a mango-coconut sorbet. @For the second dessert, Tadashi and Amanda are going to work together and make a lime creme brulee with Vietnamese coffee dusted doughnuts.

Amanda: @I’m handling the pate dish, which I know how to do, and the doughnuts. @I’m basically on yeast duty today, because I’m making the doughnuts and baguette for the crostini from scratch. @Phung basically overthrew Tadashi as team captain, and I’m mildly scared of her, because she’s definitely crazy.

Nate: @The trick with making my own spring roll wrappers is that I have to steam these individually. @It’s a major bitch, and they are sometimes tearing, but I know that doing this will show a lot more technique and it’ll justify why I needed almost 3 hours for it.

Tadashi: @I’m getting the creme brulee going after I start my broth for the pho. @I’m using the pressure cooker to release as much of that flavor in the bones as possible. @The creme brulees, they need to bake for basically an hour, so I have time to get those going right after the bones go into the pressure cooker.

Kira: @My team is Justin, Jo, and Henry. @We talk it over, and we decide to go with comfort food, because that’ll be the easiest way to incorporate our different backgrounds. @For the appetizers, we are going with a homemade grilled cheese with tomato soup, made by Henry, and a kale caesar salad spring roll with bagna cauda, which Jo is making. @For the second courses, we have Justin and Henry’s roasted chicken with gnocchi and mushrooms, and my own pork adobo with cilantro-lime rice. @For the last courses, I’m making a pear upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream and brown butter ice caramel, and then Justin and Henry are working together on the other dish, and it’s going to be a raspberry tart with lemon curd ice cream. @I’m feeling nervous, because I’m tackling two dishes, but Henry’s going on a limb and doing three and Justin’s going to be helping us as we go.

Henry: @I’ve got a gargantuan task ahead of me. @For the first course, I’m getting the tomatoes into the oven to roast them and then I get the bread dough proofing for the sandwiches. @For the second course, I have the potatoes in the oven as well, and then I’m breaking down the chicken and getting the mushroom and chicken sauce going. @For the last course, I’m helping with making the lemon curd for the ice cream, so I get that going as well while I have everything proofing and baking off. @I’m stressed, but I want to prove that I am an ambitious and capable individual.

Justin: @Henry’s insane for taking on so much. @But we can’t really trust Jo, because he’ll just get passive aggressive and yell at us. @I’m helping Henry make the gnocchi, because I know I can do that well for him, and then I get started on the raspberry tart and the ice cream base.

Amanda: @I get my pate finished, and then I check on the bread. @It’s good to go, so I chuck that into the oven. @It needs to bake, and then cool so that I can slice it, and then from there, I need to also grill it. @For the bread, I’m using steam in the oven to help create that proper crust.

Tadashi: @I get my brulees into the oven, and I see where everyone else is. @I’m feeling good about where my teammates are at overall. @Phung is taking us in a great direction, and we are just going to go with what she’s thinking.

Phung: @I’m going to help us nail this shit. @Our dishes are modern or authentic Vietnamese dishes. @These other guys can kiss my ass.

Justin: @I go to the ice cream machine and pour the mixture into there. @I get the tarts out of the oven, and the shells are perfect. @I check the raspberries, and they’re reduced into this nice jam consistency. @I get those into the tarts and cool them all down together. @I’m feeling great about this!

Henry: @The gnocchi is done, the chickens are roasting, the sauce tastes great, and so does the soup! @I’m getting the sandwiches done, and the lemon curd is already made. @It was stressful, but we managed to get it done!

Jessica: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling great about our team’s efforts, but Kira doesn’t look disappointed about her menu, so it might be a close match.

Phung: @If we lose, I hope Tadashi does home. @He failed as a captain and that’s why I stepped up and took over.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Frank Torres

Missy Sky

Max Hudson

Jessica: Let’s start with the first courses from each team!

Team 1

Amanda – chili-chicken liver pate, fish sauce pickled artichokes, crostini

Nate – goi cuon

Team 2

Henry – tomato soup with grilled cheese

Jo – kale caesar salad egg roll with bagna cauda

Missy: Interesting how both dishes incorporated freshly made bread and a variation of a spring roll. I loved Amanda’s pate, and the artichokes were an interesting choice, but they worked really well.

Max: Nate’s goi cuon, he cooked the shrimp well, the fact he made his own wrappers, that’s incredible. I loved the spicy-sour sauce he made with it. Overall, it was refreshing and delicious.

Frank: Henry’s tomato soup was dynamite. I loved how much flavor he got into the bisque, and then the fact he made his own bread was brilliant. For Jo’s, I liked the concept a lot, but the usage of flower kale, it made the dish hard to eat, because the kale, I found myself choking on it. And compared to the other dishes, knowing he did not make his own wrappers, that worked against him here.

Jessica: And now for the second courses!

Team 1

Nate – beef pho

Phung – ca kho to

Team 2

Kira – pork adobo with cilantro-lime rice

Henry and Justin – chicken thigh with gnocchi and mushrooms

Missy: Going into the next set of courses, I loved the flavors in Nate’s pho. He used the pressure cooker to extract a ton of flavor out of those beef bones. The fact he made his own pho noodles here, I’m blown away.

Frank: Phung’s catfish was delicious. It was succulent, juicy, and I loved that she used cola to glaze it. The flavor of her dish were phenomenal. I also loved Kira’s adobo a lot. She packed so much flavor into there and the rice was great. I actually used Kira’s rice to finish Phung’s dish.

Max: Henry’s chicken thigh was expertly cooked and I really enjoyed the flavors in the gnocchi and the mushrooms. Out of all four dishes, I’d say Henry’s was the most beautifully presented. But I preferred Kira and Nate’s dishes overall for these.

Jessica: And finally, our desserts!

Team 1

Phung – black sticky rice, jackfruit and mango-coconut sorbet

Tadashi and Amanda – lime creme brulee with Vietnamese coffee doughnuts

Team 2

Kira – pear upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream and brown butter caramel

Justin and Henry – raspberry tart with lemon curd ice cream

Max: I just loved Phung’s dessert. It was delicious. The combination of jack fruit with rice pudding, it was inspired. The sorbet was creamy and it tasted of mango. I really loved it. For the second dessert, creme brulee was executed perfectly and I loved the doughnuts. Together, too bitter, but I still liked the consistency of that brulee.

Frank: Kira’s cake was moist, light, and the pears were stewed and beautiful. The ice cream was great and the caramel was divine with those pears. This dessert was a great end to the meal.

Missy: I liked the tart portion of the second dessert, but that ice cream, it had a strange, chalky consistency. I’m not that big on the ice cream overall, but the tart was executed really well.

Jessica: So can we decide on which team won?

Max: It came down to the desserts, but yes, we do.

In walks Tadashi, Phung, Nate, and Amanda.

Jessica: Tonight… the four of you won the challenge! Congratulations!

Frank: You four made six incredible dishes and you have a lot to be proud of!

Amanda: @Hearing that we won, it feels amazing. @I’m pretty stoked!

Max: We all agreed that the menu was great, the food was fantastic for the most part.

Jessica: So you’re all safe, and can leave. Thank you.

Tadashi: @I’m proud of us for doing this well. @It feels good to know you’re safe, and that you led a team to victory!
Phung: @Winning the restaurant concept challenge is awesome, and it was well deserved. @The Phung Dynasty continues, even now!

The top four leave.

In walks Kira, Justin, Jo, and Henry.

Jessica: Tonight, the four of you are on the losing team. However, two of you are safe.

Max: Henry, Justin, the two of you worked together on two of the dishes. Who did what on each dish?

Henry: For the chicken dish, I prepared the chicken and the sauce. I made the lemon curd for the ice cream, which Justin finished.

Justin: I did the gnocchi for the second course, and then I made the raspberry dessert.

Max: Then we have a slight dilemma here. Justin, we loved the gnocchi and the raspberry tart, but the ice cream, you made that, and it was chalky.

Frank: Jo, did you feel like your one dish contributed to the team’s success?

Jo: I think I made a good dish. It was not something that would have cost my team the victory by any means.

Frank: It was a good dish, but when you compared it to what everyone else made in the first course, and on top of that, you had three hours to focus on one dish. Everything on that dish, it needed to be made from scratch, and you did not. So we are mostly questioning what you did with your three hours.

Jo: I focused on my own dish because nobody else wanted my help.

Missy: Kira, your adobo was fantastic and the dessert was delicious. You are definitely safe tonight.

Kira: Thank you.

Frank: Henry, your appetizer was great and we loved the chicken dish. You pushed yourself, helping out with half the menu, and we all agreed that you are safe as well.

Jessica: Henry, Kira, the two of you can leave the room.

Kira: @I feel bad, because I’m the captain of the losing team. @I should be standing there with Jo and Justin right now, up for elimination.

Henry: @i’m glad that the judges recognized me trying my best. @I had to push myself because Jo was not.

Kira and Henry leave.

Jessica: Justin, Jo, one of you is going home tonight.

Justin: @I’m feeling like Jo might be going home. @Yeah, they hated half of my dessert, but I did a lot more than he did in the time allotted, and I was much more of a team player. @I think Jo needs to be eliminated.

Jo: @We both made it to the final four, we both are skilled. @I think that Justin should go home, though, because that lemon curd ice cream was gross, and he was responsible for screwing that up. @If they save Justin, they’re awarding him for basically tanking the team.

Jessica: The judges have talked it over, and it was not an unanimous decision. Tonight… Justin, you’re going home. Please return to the kitchen and leave.
Justin: Alright. Thanks for inviting me back, and I’m sorry about the ice cream. @It sucks. @I really thought that I would be safe tonight. @Seeing Jo not go home when he clearly deserves to, it sucks so much. @He did not even try to be a team player. @To work as a chef, you need to be able to work well with others and be a leader, and he can’t even do that. @I know, whether or not I am a Warrior Chef, that I can do that. @I will be successful in my career, because I’ll continue to push myself.

Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 2

Amanda: @Seeing Rose get eliminated was a huge shock. @I’m nervous because she beat me, Nate, and Jo, but she’s out first. @This season is intense.

Karen: @Nobody expected a runner up to go home in the very first elimination. @I think none of us are taking that well.

Jo: @I’m glad Rose went home. @She bullied me last season, so she deserved it.

Jessica: So for this creativity challenge, you have just 45 minutes to prepare a delicious pie! And your time starts now!

Phung: @I think making pies are stupid so I’m not going to bake a pie. @I’m just going to make myself breakfast instead, because it’s a creativity challenge, Jessica outright said that there’s no elimination in this, and I’m hangry.

Karen: @Hearing that Phung isn’t even going to try in this challenge is a huge shock. @Immunity is on the table! @I decide to prepare a meat pie, because I want to do something unique. @I’m doing chorizo, ground beef, apples, and bacon. @I think that the flavors will be great!

Amanda: @I’m not too stoked on the whole idea of making a pie. @For me, what separates a pie from a tart is that a pie has a top crust or maybe just a topping in general. @I’m going to make a classic apple pie with ice cream.

Fanny: @I just made a pie in the last creativity challenge, but that was a savory pie. @For this challenge, I think about a lemon tart with meringue on top. @Yes, it’s a lemon meringue pie. @I think that it’ll be alright, but I’m not aiming to win this challenge.

Henry: @I’m feeling great about it being a pie challenge. @I love key lime pie, and I’m going to make that but with raspberries because raspberry-limeade is something I love to drink when I go fishing with my dad on his yacht. @I’m going to top the pie with a basil meringue. @I think it’s going to be good.

Lucas: @I’m shocked how Henry is still here, because he’s a much weaker cook than the rest of us here. @For this challenge, I’m going to make a mint-chocolate pie. @I’m making a mint Italian meringue and then the chocolate pastry with chocolate ganache. @I think that the flavors are great and it’ll be a general winner.

Tadashi: @I have to prepare a pie and that’s not going to be a whole lot of fun for me. @I’m making a matcha pastry with strawberry-azuki bean filling and a white sesame whipped cream. @I think using the matcha and azuki will set me apart from the rest.

Nate: @I want to get immunity because after that last challenge, I got reamed. @I want to make sure that I stay in the competition. @I’m going to make a blood orange-ginger-blueberry pie with a chai-honey ice cream. @I think that the flavors I have are going to be delicious.

Kira: @I won the last elimination challenge and I want this to keep going. @For my pie, I’m going to make a mint infused key lime pie with basil meringue. @I have some familiarity with pie pastry, so I’m hoping that my basic understanding will be great.

Justin: @Kira and Phung are still my biggest competitors. @Tadashi has Michelin starred experience, but I know that Phung could take him down in the end. @I’m making a blackberry-lavender pie with a thyme infused pastry.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Nate: @I step back and I think that I made a nice pie. @But I see the other pies. @I am stunned by what Lucas put up. @It looks nice.

Karen: @I made the only savory pie. @I think that’ll set me apart.

Jessica: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Frank Torres!

Frank: Hi, everyone!

Frank and Jessica taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Frank, who failed to impress you?

Frank: Phung, you didn’t put up a dish, so you’re automatically on the bottom. Fanny, the pastry was slightly undercooked. And Amanda. Your apple pie, I liked the ice cream, but the filling was too watery.

Amanda: @Being on the bottom sucks, but I know that there are strong cooks in this season and I need to step it up. *to Jo* I just feel really bad, because I expected it to be a lot better than this.

Jo: *to Amanda* You’re on the bottom because you’re too cocky and it’s definitely to your hubris.

Amanda: @I’m shocked that he said that. @I thought we were alright, but I guess some people will do whatever it takes to win this season. @Even bully others.

Frank: For my favorites. Karen, the meat pie was inventive and very unique. I loved it. Henry, the raspberry-lime-basil combination was excellent. I really enjoyed the nuances. And Lucas. Presentation-wise, you presented a gorgeous pie and the flavors were there. But tonight, the best pie was baked by… Henry.

Jessica: Congratulations, Henry! You won immunity going into the elimination challenge!

Henry: Wait, really? What?! @I won the challenge and it’s a huge shock, because I have never won a challenge before, and I was on the bottom of the first one this season! @Getting immunity feels awesome!

Phung: @Henry got immunity? @What’s next? @He’s going to win the title? @I don’t even understand it.

Jessica: And now time for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, we want to see you guys make some homeruns!
A cart is wheeled in, carrying pretzels, popcorn, and hotdogs.

Phung: @I see that shit and I’m not happy. @I wish I tried harder so that I could just get immunity and not deal with this.

Nate: @Oh shit. @This sucks.

Jo: @I see the ingredients and I’m feeling a little nervous. @If I have to cook a dish using the hotdogs, then I’m screwed.

Jessica: You have 1 hour to prepare a dish using at least one of these three ingredients. And your time starts now!

Everyone runs to the cart and grabbing the ingredients.

Tadashi: @I grab the popcorn because I do not want to touch those hotdogs. @For my dish, I’m making a corn-uni soup with poached prawns and grilled leeks. @I’m feeling great about this dish and I want to get a second win. @After losing to Vanilla last time, I managed to get promoted to chef de cuisine at Spaggo. @I want to prove to everyone that with hard work and determination, you can become Warrior Chef.

Fanny: @I got the hotdogs. @I’m going grind those up, and combine them with other meats such as short rib, oxtail, and pork shoulder, and prepare a hunters stew, and serve it with some grilled hot dog bun to act as a crouton to soak up the juices. @It’s not really my style, but I know that I can win this challenge.

Justin: @For my dish, I’m going to use the pretzels. @I’m making a pretzel bread crumb to top my squid ink pasta, and then crust some squid rings in the crumbs and deep fry those on top as well. @The twisting of the pretzel reminds me of the tentacles.

Karen: @I got hotdogs. @What the heck does one do with them?! @I grab chicken livers, and I decide to make a ketchup and hot dog pate on a toasted hot dog bun crostini. @Then I’m making my own cornichons and mostarda, to be a play on the relish and mustard. @This might actually work out for me.

Phung: @I grab the hotdogs and the pretzels. @I’m going to make a hot dog ice cream, infusing it with the hot dog fat, and the hot dog buns, and tahini. @For my garnish, I’m going to make a chocolate-stout bread pudding using the soft pretzels. @I’m going to nail this shit because I’m the fucking best and I know I’m going to beat everyone here. @Gonna kick their asses!

Nate: @I can already tell that I do not like Phung. @I’m working next to her, and she’s just making loud noises and rubbing it peoples’ faces that she was a runner-up. @But I know I’m a stronger cook than her. @I got the popcorn, and I’m making a corn congee with popcorn crusted shallots and shrimp, and a popcorn infused soy sauce.

Kira: @Henry, Amanda, and I are sharing a work station, and we can see Nate and Phung across from us, and it’s funny. @Phung is so in your face, and Nate is not having it at all. @I got lucky with the popcorn, and I’m making a steamed corn cake with brown butter ice cream and caramel corn crumble. @I see the other people with popcorn, and there’s Jo and Tadashi. @Tadashi is my biggest competitor. @I’m nervous, but trying my best not to show it.

Henry: @I like working with Kira because she’s got her head on straight. @Then I have Amanda next to me, and she’s also a strong cook. @It’s just dawning on me how strong the people in this season really are.

Amanda: @Kira was a runner-up, and so were Phung and Tadashi. @So they should be the ones to beat. @But I thought that about Rose, and she got sent home. @I honestly think that everyone here is a strong competitor, but I want to be the best. @I still have the three dishes I wanted to make in that challenge running through my head. @It’s about time for me to cook those in this season’s final challenge.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Kira: @I think that my dessert looks cute. @But is cute going to cut it? @I really don’t know. @I’m feeling nervous.

Jessica: Your judges are:

Frank Torres

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung, Karen, and Fanny!

Phung – hot dog ice cream with chocolate-stout bread pudding

Karen – hot dog pate on toasted hot dog bun crostini with pickles and mostarda

Fanny – hunters stew with grilled hot dog bun

Frank: Phung’s ice cream tasted amazing. I honestly was astounded by her flavor profiles. She got meat into her dessert and it worked. I’m just blown away right now.

Erwin: Karen’s concept was really clever, but the flavor in the pate was bland, and the texture was grainy. It made the dish unpleasant.

Aster: Fanny hid the hotdog with other meats, and in this case, that worked. I actually ate the entire dish. It was delicious.
Jessica: Next we have the dishes by Tadashi, Jo, and Nate!

Tadashi – corn-uni soup with poached prawns and grilled leeks

Jo – popcorn crusted mahi mahi tacos with lime-corn-chili salsa

Nate – popcorn shrimp with corn congee and corn soy

Aster: The soup Tadashi prepared was gorgeous. The presentation was there and so were the flavors. I wanted more of the corn, but it was by far the best thing I’ve tried.

Erwin: Jo’s dish description sounded good, but the thing I struggled with was the actual fish. It was dry and crumbled in my mouth. It was disappointing.

Frank: Nate’s congee was tasty. I felt like he captured different textures of the popcorn, and that appealed to me.

Jessica: Finally, the dishes by Kira and Justin!

Kira – corn cake, brown butter ice cream, caramel corn crumble

Justin – pretzel and squid ink pasta

Erwin: Kira’s cake was delicious and I liked her ice cream. The crumble was a bit clunky and needed to be chopped more, but overall, it tasted good.

Frank: Justin’s pasta was well prepared but the ingredient became a complete afterthought. I did not feel like the pretzels necessarily enhanced the dish in any way.

Jessica: So can we decide on who won and who is going home?

Aster: We can.

In walks Phung, Fanny, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you impressed the judges, and one of you is going to be the winner!

Frank: Fanny, your stew was delicious. The hot dog accented the other meats and you using the bun as a crostini, it all worked together. Tadashi, your flavors were incredible and I just fell in love with the dish, even though popcorn was only used in the soup. Phung, you blew us away with that ice cream, and you embraced hot dogs and pretzels, so we just really loved it.

Jessica: Aster, please announce the winner.

Aster: Three great dishes, but the one that hit the challenge and impressed us the most was prepared by…. Phung.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung!

Phung: About fucking time! @I finally won a challenge! @I’m so angry that it was over cooking concession stand shit like fucking hotdogs and pretzels but at least it’s a win.

Aster: Tadashi, had you used the popcorn in at least one more way, you would have won this challenge. Phung just embraced the criteria of it that much more.

Jessica: The three of you are safe and can return to the stew room.

Phung: I won! I fucking won!~

Tadashi: @It sucks to hear that, but I know where I need to improve moving forward. @Phung’s definitely  the biggest threat.

Fanny: @I knew Phung was a threat. @She won eight challenges in her season. @I definitely need to keep an eye on her.

Phung, Tadashi, and Fanny leave.

In walks Karen, Jo, and Justin.

Jessica: Unfortunately, one of you is going home tonight.

Aster: Karen, the pate was just bland and grainy. Two things you definitely don’t want that to be.

Karen: Oh, really? @I’m shocked that I underseasoned it. @I thought that the hot dogs would be salty enough on their own, but I was wrong.

Erwin: Jo, the dish’s description had us all salivating. It sounded so good. But you messed up on the mahi mahi, and it was dry and unpleasant.

Jo: @I’m nervous that I’m going home. @I just screwed up too much on the dish.

Frank: Justin, your pasta was delicious and the squid was cooked beautifully. But it was obvious that you barely tried to incorporate the pretzels into your dish. If you removed the pretzels, the dish would have been better. At that point, you should’ve realized that maybe you need a different concept.

Justin: @I think I might be the one going home tonight. @They hated my concept and it just sucks to hear that.

Jessica: It’s unfortunate because all three of you were finalists. But the one going home tonight is… Karen. Please return to the kitchen and leave.
Karen: Thank you. @I’m feeling disappointed and depressed. @Pate, something so classically European, it’s what I’m going home on. @I’m proud of myself for getting so far the first time around. @I’m proud of myself for even coming back. @But the early elimination, I will need time to digest that. @It sucks. @I did not come back to the competition just to get sent home in the second elimination.

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: Round 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phung: @Want.

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

Michele: Your time starts now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Lotte and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Lotte, who failed to impress you?

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

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

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

Michele: So who won the challenge?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

Michele: So your judges are:

Aster Walker

Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Missy Skies

Guy Flannigan

Frank Torres

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

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

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

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

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-spaghettieis

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

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

Michele: And next is Lauren’s dish!

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

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

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

Michele: And now we have Kira’s dish!

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

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

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

Michele: And this is Henry’s dish next.

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

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

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

Michele: And finally, Gabe’s dish!

-seared duck breast with guava glaze and chili fried rice

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

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

Michele: So can we score the dishes?

Erwin: We can.

In walks the six contestants.

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

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

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

Michele: And now we have Kira’s score.

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

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

Michele: And now we have Justin’s score!

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

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

Michele: And next is Lauren’s score!

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

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

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

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

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

The three leave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3: Round 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

Lotte and Michele taste the dishes.

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

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

Michele: And your winner?

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

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

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

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

Michele: And Lotte, who is on the bottom?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele and Lotte taste James and Phung’s dishes.

Michele: Lotte, how did they do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

James leaves the kitchen.

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

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

A cart is wheeled in, carrying two whole lambs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

Michele: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Finally, the dishes by Gabe and Cherry!

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

Cherry – lamb shank with rice cakes and lamb broth

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

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

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

In walks Justin, Kira, and Lauren.

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

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

Michele: Aster, please announce the winner.

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

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

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

The top three leave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3: Round 4

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

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

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

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

A cart is wheeled in, carrying pistachios.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Kierra and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Kierra, who failed to impress you?

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

James: I deep fried pizza dough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kierra: The best dish belonged to… Kira.

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Everyone else, please draw knives!

Jaenice – 2

James – 2

Gabe – 2

Cherry – 3

Justin – 3

Henry – 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Max Hudson

Chelia Van Buren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-roasted boar chops, polenta, chili kale

-fig-hazelnut tart with goat cheese ice cream

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

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

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

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

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

-banana pudding

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

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

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

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

Chelia: We can.

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

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

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

Michele: Judges?

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

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

Michele: Erwin, please announce the winning team tonight.

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

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

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

The top six leave.

In walks Jaenice, James, and Gabe.

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

Erwin: Who prepared what on this team?

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

James: I handled the sides for the venison.

Gabe: I actually cooked the venison tonight.

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

Chelia: Gabe, have you cooked venison before?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erwin: Alright.

In walks the bottom team again.

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

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