Warrior Chef 2: Round 1

Talia: @Rose, Vin, and I all have immunity going into the first round of this competition and that feels awesome. @I know that I can stand up with the best of them and win that title now.

Lilian: @I’m feeling good about this competition because I did really well in the Eliminator Round, but I still need to work my butt off or else I’m gone for good next.

Victoria: Welcome to the main competition! So let’s get into the creativity challenge! Everyone, please draw knives!

Talia – 1

Duke – 1

Amanda – 1

Rose – 2

Vin – 2

Jo – 2

Enrique – 3

Betsy – 3

Marisa – 3

Lilian – 4

Trisha – 4

Nate – 4

Nate: @I’m with Trisha and Lilian and that’s a good team to have. @The three of us can easily bust this out.

Amanda: @I’m working with Talia and Duke, so I’m excited. @Duke did really well in our preliminary and Talia won the Eliminator Round, so both of them are talented cooks.

Victoria: So this challenge will have two parts. In the first part, it’s a mise en place race. Members of your team will need to filet and portion 10 pieces of salmon, juice and seed 10 lemons, brunoise 8 shallots, and then peel 20 pieces of asparagus. And each member must be solely responsible for one task. The fourth task, all three of you can work on at the same time.
Rose: @Mise en place shouldn’t be the worst. @I know that I can handle the shallots or salmon easily.

Victoria: The winning team is going to be the team that finishes first. They will not receive immunity, but they will be given $500!

Vin: @Immunity is off the table, and that’s fine, because Rose and I both have it anyways. @So I’m not too worried.

Victoria: The team that finishes last, they will have to cook head to head to head to remain in the competition, using the mise en place from the first leg.

Jo: Oh. @I’m on a team with two people who both have immunity. @If they screw up and we end up on the bottom, then I’m going home.

Marisa: @I am definitely not envious of Jo, Amanda, or Duke right now. @If either of their teams are on the bottom, then one of those three are going home.

Victoria: So four tasks to complete and your time starts now!

Amanda: @So Duke is going to filet the salmon, I’m going to juice the lemons, and Talia is going to peel the asparagus. @We decide to handle the shallots together because peeling and chopping will take a lot of time.

Rose: @So Jo is going to do the salmon, I’m going to do the lemons, and Vin is handling the shallots. @We know that we will all jump onto the asparagus together anyways, so it won’t be a huge challenge.

Betsy: @Marisa is handling the salmon, I’m going to do the shallots, and Enrique is on lemon duty. @Right now, I’m thinking about who the biggest competitor in this season is, and it probably has to be the four cooks who came out of the Eliminator Round. @They’re going to be the toughest to beat by far.

Nate: @I’m going to do the salmon filet, Trisha is on lemons, and Lilian is handling asparagus. @I think that nobody would be dumb enough to try to delegate the salmon to multiple people, because you really can’t filet with more than one person.

Jo: @I manage to get the salmon filleted and now I’m starting to portion it out. @Rose finished off her lemons and she’s already starting to peel asparagus, and Vin’s working hard on those shallots too. @I think our team is doing well and I hope that they won’t try to sabotage me with their immunity.

Marisa: @I see that Rose’s team is almost done, and I’m pretty surprised. @If I were Rose and Vin, I might use that immunity to my advantage.

Enrique: @I almost finish the lemons, and then I squirt some of the juice into my eye. CRAP! @It hurts. @A lot.

Trisha: @Enrique managed to screw up his lemons, and I just finish mine and move on to the shallots with Lilian. @I see that our team is neck and neck with Jo’s.

Vin: @At this point, Jo, Rose, and I are all on asparagus, and we are just cruising through it. Check!

Everyone stops and looks up at them.

Victoria examines the mise en place.

Victoria: Congratulations! Team 2! You are the first team done, and you’ll win $500 each! Well done!
Rose: @At this point, I have immunity and $500 to burn. @Life is great!

Victoria: Everyone else, keep cooking!
Nate: Are you kidding me?! @They managed to just edge us out. Check!

Victoria examines the mise en place.

Victoria: Team 4, you guys are safe!

Lilian: Awesome!

Amanda: @Two teams are safe, and now I’m really hustling. @If our team is on the bottom, then it’s either me or Duke going home. @Duke finished the salmon and now he’s joining Talia and I on the shallots.

Betsy: @At this point, Enrique getting lemon juice in his eyes is setting us back. @It’s up to me and Marisa to get things done.
Marisa: @Betsy and I are on the asparagus while Enrique is recovering, and then my heart just sinks when I hear…

Duke: Check!

Victoria examines their mise en place.

Victoria: Team 1, you guys are safe. Team 3, that means you guys will be up for elimination tonight.

Betsy: Oh no….

Victoria: So you guys have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish using salmon, lemon juice, diced shallots, and asparagus. And your time starts…. now!

Marisa: @30 minutes is a lot of time for just salmon, so I know I need to push myself. @I’m going to make a salmon with a caramelized shallot and asparagus pesto, and a grated potato cake.

Enrique: @I decide on an asparagus soup with smoked salmon. @I’m going to sweat out the shallots, deglaze with white wine and lemon juice, and then blitz that with olive oil. @I think it’ll be good enough to keep me in the competition, especially against someone as white bread as Betsy.

Betsy: @I’m making a seared filet of salmon with a lemon hollandaise sauce, blanched asparagus, and caramelized shallots. @I’m not too confident on the shallots, just caramelizing them, but I just hope it all works together really well here.

Nate: @Looking at the three dishes, I like the direction Marisa is going in. @The pesto is definitely a cool idea with the pesto and she’s got the balls to add a component that doesn’t even use the mise en place.

Vin: @I think Marisa is surprisingly strong competition judging from how composed she is. @Enrique’s got the coolest idea, making a soup, but I don’t know about Betsy. @I still think she’s playing it too safe.

Betsy: @I’m hoping that the flavors come through, because my hollandaise is good and the salmon is cooked nicely. @I see that Enrique isn’t even cooking his salmon and that makes me interested. @He’s blanching asparagus however.

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

Marisa: @I see Enrique and Betsy’s dishes. @Betsy went a really obvious route in my eyes. @I’m not too impressed.

Victoria tastes the three dishes.

Betsy: @I’m really nervous at this point. @Victoria has hosted multiple Warrior Chef competitions in the past, so she definitely knows good food.

Victoria: Alright, so off the bat, one of you is definitely safe. Enrique, your soup was really clever and that just stood out to me. You are safe.
Enrique: Thank you. @It’s down to one of the girls, and I couldn’t care less. @One of them deserves to leave tonight.

Victoria: Marisa and Betsy, you guys just lacked the same creativity as Enrique. And that’s what it came down to. Both of you nailed your cook on the salmon and everything was well seasoned. But Marisa, your pesto is the one thing that set you apart. And that’s why, Betsy, you are going home tonight. Please leave the kitchen.

Betsy: Alright. @I’m leaving first in the main competition. @Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming. @It sucks so much, because I wanted to go all the way to that finale and be crowned the Warrior Chef.

Betsy leaves the kitchen.

Trisha: @I feel bad for her, but that’s the name of the competition. @Everyone here except for one will have to lose.

Victoria: Now for the elimination challenge! Tonight, we want you guys to prepare a dish inspired by your first food memory! You have 1 hour, starting now!

Vin: @I’m half Italian and half Singaporean. @Risotto is probably the first dish where I felt like my two cultures combined into one. @For the challenge, I’m going to prepare a miso risotto with basil poached shrimp. @I hope that I can continue nailing my dishes and staying on top of challenges. @It’s be nice to go three for three.

Amanda: @Right now, Vin and Rose have won every challenge they’ve attempted. @I really want to show both of them that I’m not somebody that’s just going to be eliminated just because I’m a freshman. @I learned this dish from my mom, so I decide on preparing grilled trout with poached escargot, tarragon butter sauce, and lemons. @She taught me everything I know about French food, so this will be a great homage to her and it’ll just be full circle.

Talia: @Being half Black, I do love my soul food. @I remember learning how to make chicken and waffles from my grandma Hilda, but I want to do something even more than that. @I’m preparing fried duck wings with waffles, orange syrup, and foie gras butter. @I think that it’ll show my willingness to take risks.

Enrique: @I love myself Latin or seafood. @I already proved in the last challenge that I can nail salmon, so tonight, I need to do something else with Latin flavors. @I’m going to make a ceviche with seabass, and then serve that with some roasted chilies and mango salsa. @I’m excited, because this is my chance to redeem myself from almost going home.

Marisa: @I need redemption. @At this point, everyone must be thinking that I am the weakest link in the competition, and I need to prove them wrong. @I’m making a mascarpone panna cotta with poached pears and cannoli crumble. @I love Italian food and it runs through my veins. @Cut my wrist and out spills tomato sauce. @Okay, I’m joking. @It’s obviously blood. @You get where I’m going with this.

Lilian: @Being a baker who loves using fruit, that’ll be my advantage. @I’m making schaumtorte, which is like a pavlova served with fresh fruit and berries. @I’m also going to prepare a champagne sorbet. @Right now, I think my biggest competition will be Rose and Vin, because they have won every challenge so far and have immunity.

Trisha: @Right now, Jo, Amanda, and I are the three youngest cooks here. @I want to make it to the end with them just for that reason. @I’m going to prepare Taiwanese soup dumplings with black vinegar and ginger sorbet. @I’m taking a risk using the liquid nitrogen to freeze the black vinegar and ginger, but that’s going to be what makes my dish unique to me.

Jo: @I love making stir fried noodles and I want to do exactly that. @I’m going to do stir fried noodles with grilled chicken thighs. @I’m using a wok to do the stir fry, and if I can nail the cook on the noodles with my wok, then I’m not going home. @I know that the competition is tough, but I’m more than ready to prove myself.

Rose: @Nobody can beat me. @My food speaks to who I am, and when I think about my first food memory, I just think about dim sum and offal. @I’m making steamed rice in a lotus leaf, so like a Chinese tamale, and then I’m going to serve that with crispy liver. @It’s two of my childhood favorites, coming together as one.

Duke: @Being raised in Arcadia, I was exposed to plenty of Asian food growing up. @I’m making a lamb hotpot, where I will slice the lamb tataki style, and then have the judges pour a savory Chinese broth using goji, wood ear, star anise, and kombu. @I’m hoping that my flavors come together and make something that’ll win me the first elimination challenge tonight.

Nate: @I know my biggest competition right now is Rose and Vin. @Both of them are strong. @I’m making glazed pork belly with rice and grilled bok choy. @It’s a relatively safe dish, but I know my pork belly will be killer and that will save me from being eliminated tonight. @It’s too early in the competition for me to feel comfortable taking risks. @I want to test the waters first and see how to approach the rest of my competition, using this dish first.

Victoria: Time’s up!

Rose: @I think that my dish, I’m feeling regret. @I could have done char su in a phyllo roll, and that would be a better merging of my two heritages.

Lilian: @I’m feeling bad. @All of the alcohol in the champagne kept the sorbet was freezing properly, so now it’s melting into the rest of the dessert.

Victoria: Your judges are:

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Erwin Ko

Victoria: Let’s start with the dishes by Trisha, Amanda, and Jo!

Trisha – soup dumplings with black vinegar-ginger sorbet

Amanda – grilled trout, poached escargot, tarragon butter, lemons

Jo – stir fried noodles with chicken thighs

Aster: I thought Trisha made a good dumpling, but the sorbet was just a complete miss. What she accomplished with her dumpling, she completely missed with that attempt at an ice cream that wound up more like vinegar-ice. It was just wrong.

Miriam: Amanda nailed her trout and the usage of escargot was daring. I loved her butter and the lemon highlighted those flavors. There was absolutely nothing I would change about her dish. Vive la France.

Erwin: Jo’s noodles were cooked nicely and I loved the grill on the chicken thighs. Mine were cooked through so I was happy about that. The biggest issue I’m having is that he played it safe. Nothing was wrong, but it was a really safe dish, even with the wok.

Victoria: Next are Vin, Talia, and Enrique!

Vin – miso risotto with basil poached shrimp

Talia – fried duck wings with waffles, orange syrup, and foie gras butter

Enrique – seabass ceviche, mango salsa, roasted chilies

Erwin: Wow. Vin’s risotto was delicious! The layers of umami in the rice was really addictive. I liked how he cooked the shrimp as well. This dish met the challenge brief perfectly. I loved it.
Aster: Talia just knocked it out of the park here. The innovative take on chicken and waffles was awesome and the foie gras butter and orange syrup were brilliant. I really loved her dish.

Miriam: The ceviche was just… disappointing for me. I enjoyed the flavors, but he had an hour and all he did was marinate fish? That’s playing it safe and in all of the wrong ways. I’m feeling frustrated right now.

Victoria: And finally, Duke, Nate, and Lilian!

Duke – lamb tataki hot pot
Nate – glazed pork belly with bok choy and rice

Lilian – schaumtorte with champagne sorbet

Erwin: Duke nailed his hot pot and I really enjoyed the flavors of it. The broth in particular, he developed so much flavor and that’s where you know his time went.

Aster: Nate played it safe. His rice was well cooked and I loved the pork belly, but really with the bok choy? It tasted like take out food. I’m feeling let down here.

Miriam: Lilian’s dessert, my biggest issue was that she tried to make a sorbet, and it just soaked everything. The meringue was soggy and it all tasted like cough syrup.

Victoria: So can we decide who won this challenge and who is going home?

Erwin: Yes.

In walks Vin, Talia, and Amanda.

Victoria: Tonight, the three of you prepared the judges’s favorite dishes, and one of you has won the elimination challenge!

Aster: Vin, that risotto was delicious and you were creative in melding your two heritages into a single dish. Talia, the play on chicken and waffles was nothing short of brilliant. And Amanda, You took the biggest risk tonight, cooking a dish with snails. That might be a first in this competition where somebody voluntarily chose to cook with them. But you nailed your dish and we loved the texture you achieved with them.

Talia: @Right now, I feel like it’s between me and Amanda for the challenge win. @Vin made a solid dish, but our dishes stood out against his.

Victoria: Miriam, please announce the winner tonight.

Miriam: It was tough, but the best cook was… Amanda.

Victoria: Congratulations, Amanda! You won the first elimination challenge!
Amanda: Oh wow! Definitely wasn’t expecting that! @I won! @Being the winner of the first elimination challenge feels wonderful. @I didn’t think I had it in me, but I’m proving to all of the older cooks that I am a strong contender in this competition.

The top three leave.
Vin: @Amanda’s strong, but I can’t let that stop me from putting up my best every single time. @This is just a wake-up call.

In walks Enrique, Lilian, and Trisha.

Victoria: The judges agreed that the three of you are on the bottom of tonight’s challenge and one of you is going home.

Aster: Enrique, we felt you were playing it too safe. Lilian and Trisha, you both felt the need to put a sorbet on your dish, and while we appreciate the risk taking there, it wasn’t a good choice in either of your dishes.

Trisha: @I’m scared. @I really hope that they value my creativity and just send Enrique home, but I think it might be my time.

Victoria: It was a tough call, because so many people played it safe. But Lilian, please return to the kitchen and leave.
Lilian: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to compete and I know it’s been a short ride, but I’ve honestly had a blast. @I’m leaving feeling grateful for the friends I’ve made and the dishes I’ve put up. @I’m proud of how far I’ve come along. @Warrior Chef, it’s an experience that I will appreciate for the rest of my life.

Enrique: @Seeing Lilian going home, it’s a wake-up call that I need to figure out the blend between staying in my comfort zone, but taking some risks, or else I’m gone.

Warrior Chef 2: Preliminary Rounds + Eliminator Round

Preliminary Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Time’s up!

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

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

Victoria: Your judges are:

Aster Walker – renowned Los Angeles food critic

Kierra Johnston – famous food critic in the Chicago area

Guy Flannigan – food television personality

Lotte Amazo – award-winning cookbook author from the UK

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

Chloe Lula – highly acclaimed vegan and vegetarian cooking expert

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

Roman – grilled skirt steak, salsa verde, mango salsa

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

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

Victoria: Next is Rose’s dessert!

Rose – homemade baklava with goat milk ice cream

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

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

Victoria: Now Brandon’s dish!

Brandon – lamb ribs with homemade noodles

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

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

Victoria: Next is Enrique’s dish!

Enrique – mahi mahi taco with pineapple slaw and lime sauce

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

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

Victoria: This dish was made by Marisa.

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

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

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

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

Duke – soft shell crab bao

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

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

Victoria: This dish was prepared by Jessica.

Jessica – herb embedded lasagna, mushroom ragout, garlic chips

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

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

Victoria: Finally, Amanda’s signature dish!

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

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

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

Victoria: So can we decide on our scores?

Guy: We can.

In walks the competitors.

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

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

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

Aster: My steak was overcooked. 6 stars.

Kierra: Mine was cooked nicely. 7 stars.

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

Lotte: 7 stars.

Frank: 7 stars.

Chloe: 7 stars.

Roman – 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60

Victoria: Now we have Rose’s dish!

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

Kierra: 9 stars.

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

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 10 stars.

Chloe: 10 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And now, Brandon’s dish!

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

Kierra: 6 stars.

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

Lotte: 6 stars.

Frank: 6 stars.

Chloe: 7 stars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guy: 8 stars.

Lotte: 8 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: 9 stars

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

Victoria: And next, Marisa’s score!

Aster: 9 stars.

Kierra: 9 stars.

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

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: For your beautiful pasta, 9 stars.

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

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

Victoria: We next have Duke!

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

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: 9 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

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

Duke – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60

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

Victoria: Next up is Jessica’s score.

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

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

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

Lotte: 6 stars.

Frank: 5 stars.

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

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

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

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

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

Aster: Beautifully presented dish. 9 stars.

Kierra: 10 stars for something just so unforgettable.

Guy: 9 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: 9 stars.

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

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

Scores:

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

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

Duke – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60

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

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

Roman – 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60

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

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

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

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

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

Preliminary Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Time’s up!

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

Victoria: Your judges are:

Miriam Adjanti – chairwoman of the European Culinary Institutes

Max Hudson – renowned seafood chef from Los Angeles and Honolulu

Scott Connors – restauranteur in New York and Miami

Erwin Ko – famous Korean-fusion chef in Los Angeles

Missy Skies – Michelin starred Italian chef from New York

Chelia Van Buren – award-winning cookbook author and restauranteur

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

Betsy – chicken pot pie

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

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

Victoria: And next is Vin’s signature curry!

Vin – lamb rendang, homemade roti

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

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

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

Yang – fried bass spring rolls, black bean dipping sauce

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

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

Victoria: Then we have Lilian’s dessert!

Lilian – chocolate ganache tart, raspberry compote and fresh raspberries

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

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

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

Nate – scallop-mushroom broth, shrimp crystal wontons

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

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

Victoria: Next is Talia’s pate choux!

Talia – lemon meringue cream puffs, strawberry coulis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Finally, Jo’s family dinner!

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

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

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

Victoria: So can we bring them in for scoring?

Miriam: Yes.

The eight contestants walk in.

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

Miriam: It was a strong effort. 9 stars.

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

Scott: 9 stars.

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

Chelia: 10 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: Next is Vin’s score!

Miriam: I was a huge fan. 10 stars.

Max: 10 stars.

Scott: I would not change anything. 10 stars.

Erwin: 10 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Chelia: 9 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And now we have Lilian’s score!

Miriam: 9 stars.

Max: 9 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars

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

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

Victoria: And now we have Nate’s score!

Miriam: 9 stars.

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

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 9 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Chelia: 9 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And next is Jo’s score!

Miriam: 8 stars.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: Here we have Talia’s score next!

Miriam: 9 stars for an inventive dessert.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: The next score will be Trisha’s!

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

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

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

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 7 stars.

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

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

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

Miriam: Just no. 4 stars.

Max: 4 stars.

Scott: 4 stars.

Erwin: 4 stars.

Missy: 3 stars.

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

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

Victoria: Here are the total scores of this round!

Scores:

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

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

Nate – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 8 + 8 = 51/60

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

Talia – 9 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 49/60

Jo – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 48/60

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

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

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

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

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

Yang leaves the kitchen.

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

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

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

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

Cumulative Scores:

Vin – 58

Rose – 57

Betsy – 56

Amanda – 55

Duke – 54

Marisa – 53

Enrique – 52

Nate – 51

Lilian – 50

Talia – 49

Jo – 48

Trisha – 47

Roman – 40

Brandon – 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eliminator Round (Four will be eliminated)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Time’s up!

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

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

Victoria: Your judges for this challenge are:

Ashlee Pou – former Warrior Chef runner-up

Sophia Pham – former Warrior Chef runner-up

Karen Laverre – Warrior Chef 1 third place finalist

Lucas Powers – Warrior Chef 1 fourth place finalist

Fanny Robinson – Warrior Chef 1 fifth place finalist

Tadashi Hamilton – Warrior Chef 1 runner-up

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

Roman – Asian pork sandwich with lotus root chips

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

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

Victoria: Next is Daniel’s dish!

Daniel – Pickled jicama spring rolls, dashi espuma

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

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

Victoria: Next is Lilian’s dessert.

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

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

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

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

Brandon – Seared sirloin, potato puree, fried carrots

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

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

Victoria: And next is Talia’s dessert!

Talia – Rhubarb financier, beet-strawberry ice cream

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

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

Victoria: Now we have Courtney’s dessert!

Courtney – Cherry mousse, meringues, chocolate soil

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

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

Victoria: Next is Trisha’s dessert!

Trisha – Sticky toffee pudding, bruleed figs, buttermilk sorbet

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

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

Victoria: So the last dish belongs to Jo.

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

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

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

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

Tadashi: We can.

In walks the eight contestants.

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

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

Sophia: 6 stars, babes.

Karen: 7 stars.

Lucas: 7 stars.

Fanny: 7 stars.

Tadashi: 7 stars.

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

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

Victoria: Next up is Daniel’s score!

Ashlee: 10 stars. babes.

Sophia: 9 stars, babes.

Karen: 9 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And now we have Brandon’s score!

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

Sophia: It was dry and boring. 3 stars.

Karen: 3 stars.

Lucas: 4 stars.

Fanny: 4 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And next is Courtney’s score!

Ashlee: 7 stars.

Sophia: 7 stars.

Karen: 7 stars.

Lucas: 7 stars.

Fanny: 7 stars.

Tadashi: 7 stars.

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

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

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

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

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 9 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

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

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

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

Brandon leaves the kitchen.

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

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 10 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

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

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

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

Roman leaves the kitchen.

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

Ashlee: 9 stars.

Sophia: 9 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 10 stars.

Fanny: 10 stars.

Tadashi: 10 stars.

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

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

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

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

Courtney leaves.

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

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

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 10 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 10 stars.

Tadashi: 10 stars.

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

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

Victoria: Here are the final scores!

Talia – 59/60

Jo – 58/60

Trisha – 57/60

Lilian – 56/60

Daniel – 55/60

Courtney – 42/60

Roman – 40/60

Brandon – 23/60

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

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

Daniel leaves the kitchen.

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 1: Finale Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carrie: Your judges for this challenge are:

Aster Walker
Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Frank Torres

Chloe Lula

Missy Skies
Carrie and the judges taste the amuse bouches.

The judges then score each amuse out of 10 stars.

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

Erwin – 9 stars.

Miriam – 9 stars.

Frank – 9 stars.

Chloe – 9 stars.

Missy – 9 stars.

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

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

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

Aster – 10 stars

Erwin – 10 stars

Miriam – 9 stars

Frank – 10 stars

Chloe – 9 stars

Missy – 10 stars

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

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

Aster – 9 stars
Erwin – 9 stars

Miriam – 10 stars

Frank – 8 stars

Chloe – 8 stars

Missy – 8 stars

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

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

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

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

Karen leaves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carrie: You have one hour, time starts now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the judges room:

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

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

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

Back in the kitchen:

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

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

Carrie: Time’s up!

Leona: *to Tadashi* Good job.

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

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

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

In the judges room:

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

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

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

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

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

Carrie: And now we have the main courses!

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

Tadashi – miso cod with uni risotto and pistachios

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

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

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

Carrie: And now, we have the final courses!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erwin: We can.

In walks Vanilla and Tadashi.

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

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

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

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

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

Vanilla: WHAT?! OH MY GOD!

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

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

How it is: Chapter 14

“Wait, so you slept in the hallway?” Valerie looked dumbstruck and horrified. She was eating breakfast with Tarou in the dining hall when the model told her what happened the night before, sans Timmy’s feelings. “Well, you don’t need him. Here, grab some of your stuff. You can sleep on my floor.” The pastry chef offered. “Thanks, Val.” Tarou smiled. It felt good to know that he had somebody to rely on when things got tough. That person used to be Timmy, but now Valerie was starting to be more like his rock. And she felt the same way with Tarou. “No problem. Hanging out with you is a lot of fun.” She admitted. “I missed being able to just goof off with you.” The girl giggled before stopping herself. She was not one to giggle. It felt really unusual to her. And then it started to settle in: she just asked the boy she had a crush on since freshman year of high school to live with her. Were there not steps that preceded this? Valerie felt like she skipped ahead of a lot of cornerstones in a friendship or relationship and just plunged into the deep end. The girl started to feel awkward at her own proposal, but she knew that, her feelings for him aside, the model needed a place to stay, and she could offer him one. Tarou, on the other hand, was oblivious to Valerie’s feelings for him. He just felt vulnerable and helpless, and needed somewhere safe to shelter himself from Timmy.

Valerie’s single room was not terribly big. Granted, it was designed for one person, and in Manhattan, where rooms were small to begin with, it would be about the size of a walk in closet. It was later in the afternoon, after class. Tarou settled in a mattress pad on the floor. He did not care about the space. The room was only going to be where he slept. “Are you all-good?” Valerie looked at him. “Yeah.” He nodded, as the two walked out of their now-shared room. They both had work and needed to head out. Unbeknownst to both of them, they were seen by one of Valerie’s floor mates and an ACU officer, Holly. The girl looked intrigued, seeing Timmy’s really attractive roommate walk out of Valerie’s room with her. At first, she did not pay much attention to it. She assumed that he was just going over to hang out. Until later that night, when she saw both of them walk back into Valerie’s room as well. “Oh my god, they’re fucking.” She gasped in horror. Grabbing her phone, she texted Timmy. “I just saw your roommate. He’s hooking up with my floor mate, Valerie.” In his room, Timmy picked up his phone, and read the text. “WHAT?!” He screamed, slamming his fist into his wall. It left a fairly deep dent, chipping away the paint and revealing the brick beneath it. Timmy did not care though. As much as his hand hurt, his heart hurt more. He felt genuinely betrayed.

The next morning, a lonely Timmy got out of bed. He had very little sleep that night. He was too angry. Eyes red from crying, he quickly got changed. Looking at Tarou’s empty side of the room, he frowned. “Fucking bastard.” He growled, cracking his knuckles. A part of him wanted to throw the empty bed out the window. It would have made him feel a lot better. But he had to get that out of his system. Today was the day for the Asian Cultural Awareness Event for ACU. As sophomore rep, he was in charge of representing the club during this event, and had to be composed. If he let himself slip and lose composure here, then that would make a horrible first impression for his first ever event as an officer. He worked this hard to get on board, attending every event and getting to know every officer. It had finally paid off, and now he just wanted to continue working hard to make ACU the best club he can. At this point, aside from his computer friends, ACU was all the boy had left. He was not going to lose this on top of Valerie and Tarou. He could feel himself shaking from anger again at the mention of their names. Logging onto FaceBook, he pulled up Tarou’s account. “Block user?” A small window popped up. Hesitant at first, the boy clicked the “Yes” button to confirm.

For the Asian Cultural Awareness Event, it took place in the Rosenthal Pavilion, a large room normally equipped with several round tables and windows that overlooked the city. In this case, the round tables were removed and replaced with rectangular booths, each representing a different country. “Wow, we really got every club. Even JBA! And they never want to do things with us!” Alice giggled. “Yeah…” Timmy sighed. If it was not for Tarou, the Japanese Business Association would not have agreed to coming. “Hi.” A tall, tanned junior, Akinori approached Alice and Timmy. He was Tarou’s president. “Thank you for having us.” He bowed politely. Even though he was being amicable towards Timmy and Alice, the presence of the Japanese Business Association just made the Taiwanese boy uncomfortable. He felt uneasy because of how close the club was with Tarou; there was a part of him that was worried that Tarou had already told his fellow officers in the club about his current situation with Timmy. “Well, if you need any other help, feel free to ask Timmy or any of our other reps!” Alice smiled. “Alright, I’ll be sure to!” Aki grinned, walking off. “Hey, what’s wrong? You looked kind of… out of it.” She looked over at him. “It’s nothing. I’m just a little tired is all.” Timmy lied through his teeth. Timmy normally hated lying, mostly because he was not very good at it; keeping a straight face was a constant challenge for him, and it felt morally wrong. But in this situation, what else was there to do, other than lie?

The event started to drag on forever, or so it felt for Timmy. No matter where he was, he constantly bumped into JBA officers, who would constantly mention Tarou to him. “Hi, I’m Mari. Nice to meet you. I’m the freshman representative.” A small girl smiled at him. “Hi. I’m Timmy.” He grumbled. “Oh! I think Tarou mentioned me to you.” She giggled. “How is he?” “I don’t know.” Timmy froze. He was not sure what else to say, so he accidentally said the truth. “What do you mean?” She raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t you like his roommate?” She pressed. Timmy started to feel a lump form in this throat. “He’s not living with me right now. I did not want to live with somebody who’s bisexual. And he’s sleeping with that skank baker, Valerie!” He burst, unable to hold the truth back anymore. Unfortunately for him, the officers of ACU, JBA, and the Singapore Student Association overheard him. “Valerie? Like Valerie Ang? And with Tarou, JBA’s hot treasurer? No way.” One of the girls in SSA whispered to her friend. “Wait, so they’re dating? And I didn’t know he was bi. That’s actually pretty interesting.” Akinori looked at his sophomore rep, Taichi. Unfortunately, the rumor spread through the entire hall, with everyone thinking that Tarou and Valerie were having sex. “What?!” Melissa, Enya, and Sarah screamed. “NO! TAROU!!!!” Melissa flipped over a table as Enya put her leg through a nearby cutout. Sarah just began sobbing hysterically. “YOU LIED! YOU TOLD US YOU’D SAVE YOURSELF FOR MARRIAGE!” Despite escalating the situation, nobody stopped Melissa and Enya’s rampage. Everyone in the room was too preoccupied, being repulsed at Timmy’s statements. “I think we should leave.” Somebody suggested. And then surely enough, all of the other organization’s officers and event-goers left the venue in a rush.

“Well, that was shit.” Alex growled. The ACU officers had to stay after the event to clean up the mess Enya, Melissa, and Sarah caused. The entire room was a mess. The floor was covered in torn up posters and broken glass. Two wooden tables were smashed into pieces because of Melissa, who was a black belt in krav maga, decided to unleash hell upon them in a fit of rage. In terms of the event, it was a complete failure: all of the other clubs were unwilling to collaborate with ACU again because of the incident. Not only for the commotion that Tarou’s fan club caused, but also because of Timmy’s comment on Tarou and Valerie. “We do not condone homophobia. We will never work with ACU again. Have him issue an apology to his roommate.” Read one of the feedback responses, from the Taiwanese American Student Association. All of the clubs were sent a survey to fill out once the event was over, and these were filling in quickly. “He was born bisexual, he did not choose to be that way, nor should he be treated like the plague because of it. For a club that promotion inclusion, you guys should know better.” This was what the Chinese Student and Scholars Association stated. “How dare one of your officers call somebody a skank. We know Valerie personally, and she is nothing close to promiscuous.” That was another comment, this time by the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. “This is a nightmare.” Alice sighed, pinching her temple. This event was the definition of a PR nightmare. “Hey, Timmy, how are you feeling? You know you can talk to us about these kinds of things too.” Gary looked at the shaken freshman. “Yeah, we elected you because we wanted you in our club. If other clubs don’t want to work with us or whatever, then it’s their loss.” Holly reassured him as well. But Timmy was still mortified. No matter what Gary and Holly said to comfort him, he felt entirely responsible for the chaos that ensued. If only he had kept his mouth shut. “It’ll be okay.” Holly and Gary hugged him.

“Wait, he called me a skank?” Valerie received a FaceBook message from one of her friends, Alexa, in the NYU Hospitality Facebook page. The two were still in her room together, later that night, getting ready to sleep. “He outed me?!” Tarou could feel himself feeling nervous. Apparently all of the Asian community’s officers knew that he was bisexual now. “Wait, look at this.” Somebody had uploaded a video of Timmy and Mari at the event. “Aren’t you like his roommate?” She asked him. “He’s not living with me right now. I did not want to live with somebody who’s bisexual. And he’s sleeping with that skank baker, Valerie!” He shouted back. The video cut off at there. The model turned to his friend. He was not sure what exactly to say. “Well, he’s dead to me.” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. Tarou was still speechless. Not knowing what to say, he decided to scroll through the comments. “This homophobic little shit needs to be expelled.” “Where does he get off, calling somebody a skank?” “Well, peace, ACU. I’m not going to attend your events anymore.” Suddenly, Tarou’s phone stared going off. He was receiving a ton of messages. “Are you okay?” “The Gay-Straight Alliance wanted to interview you.” “I just saw what happened on FaceBook. He’s the worst.” There were at least 50 messages that read along those lines. It was overwhelming. And then the model noticed he received an invitation. “You are invited to join the group, Boycott: ACU and its derogatory ways.” Looking at the page, it already had 200 members, including all of the officers from JBA, SSA, TASA, KSA, NSMH, CSSA, the Gay-Straight Alliance, the Modeling Club, and a lot of students from both the Hospitality and Performing Arts schools.

How it is: Chapter 8

Valerie was on break when she received a text from Timmy. “Hey, so what’s wrong? Why were you so angry on Friday? Do you need to talk?” She ignored the text. All she could think about right now was finally nailing a perfect service. Even when she was walking down the street, she would get people asking her how it felt to be the first runner up to ever mess up to the degree that she did. Everyone, even on the Warrior Chef sites, were commenting on how she made Warrior Chef history in one of the worst possible ways. All over the internet, she was being called an idiot for not following the challenge rules and that she just threw away the title. It was humiliating to hear that. “Argh!” Valerie fumbled with her Vitamix blender, causing the violet sorbet base to spill onto her station and floor. “Crap.” She groaned, cleaning it up. Everything she tried to do, it was not working. She could not cook or think in these conditions. But she just had to endure it for another night, and then relax tomorrow. It would be her day off, so she could just put all of her thoughts and worries behind her.

“Hey, why have you been sucking at service lately?” Jacky finally confronted Valerie on her recent performances in the kitchen. Valerie was usually a strong pastry chef, clean, efficient, and productive. She was a capable leader too, normally having a strong gasp over her staff and making sure that everyone was on track with their usual tasks. But as of the past week, she had been dropping things, over seasoning, spilling sauces, using the incorrect garnishes. To Jacky, he felt like the person standing in front of him was not the co-worker he knew. It was the right time to confront her about this. Dinner service was over, and Valerie was on her way out while Jacky was heading into the locker room to grab his things. “I take it you haven’t seen the finale yet?” Valerie huffed angrily. “Oh, well, no. I haven’t had much time to.” He shook his head. “Wait, you lost?” He raised an eyebrow. “Well, no duh. But it was not the losing part that’s getting me down. It’s how I lost.” She walked off, not wanting to talk about it. “Hey, wait! Val! Wait!” Jacky shouted. It was too late. Valerie was already gone from the restaurant and on her way home.

The walk back, all of those comments she read on the internet were still ringing through her head. It made losing that much more difficult of a pill to swallow. “Come on, think about the positives. Think about the things that make you happy.” She told herself. She needed a distraction. “Timmy and Tarou, I need to talk with them right now.” She got out her phone, and tried to give Tarou a call. No answer. “Oh, right! He’s got that Modeling Club event tonight.” She frowned. “Alright, let’s try Timmy.” She dialed his number. “Hey, what’s up?” Timmy picked up the phone. That should have been expected. Timmy was never as busy as Tarou anyways. “Sorry about being so moody all the time. I was just going through a lot of shit. You know, losing the finale, and being projected on national television as an idiot or somebody trying to rely on copouts, it is a really hard pill to swallow.” She started.

Timmy was alone in his room while Valerie was making the call. Tarou was doing his Modeling event, which meant that he was having a really quiet Saturday to himself. He was excited to be talking to Valerie. He really enjoyed having time alone with her. But at the same time, he was a little nervous. She must be in a really vulnerable emotional state at that moment. The last thing he wanted to do was make it worse. “Well, you lost. But what can you do? Yeah, everyone is going to call you an idiot or a dumb ass, but you know that you are not that person anymore, right?” He asked her. “Well, duh, I know, but how do I get that across to everyone else?! I can’t even go down the street or show my face in school without somebody making a comment about how dumb I am! And all I can do is laugh it off!” She screamed. “Then keep doing that! Eventually, it’ll die down, and nobody will even remember you at all.” “Yay, that’s what I want.” Valerie hung up the phone, as Timmy’s heart sank. “Crap, I just pissed her off even more.”

“Useless. Fucking idiot.” She slammed her hand into the wall. “The only person who would get me is Tarou, not Timmy. Timmy’s still a child. Tarou, he actually gets what it means to be stressed and fail.” She was still alone in her room, mumbling to herself at this point. The one thing she regrets now, more than ever, about putting work first was how few friends she has from it. In Warrior Chef, all of the girls looked to her as the strong, dependable type. She was used to having that sort of dynamic with them, so calling Claire or Coco was out of the question. They would not know how to react if somebody that they looked up to was in this sort of emotional and mental state. Work, she did not want her personal issues to leech into the restaurant. She did not want her coworkers thinking of her as some overtly emotional girl who needed consoling. In the kitchen, nobody has time for feelings or egos. You just had to keep going and put your emotions on hold. Even though Janice might understand what she’s going through, why would somebody as important as Janice Arrington, who is her boss on top of it all, want to talk to her about the aftermath of being on a reality show? That made no sense to Valerie.

Meanwhile, Timmy was alone in his room, sobbing into a pillow. He felt horrible about what had just happened. Both of his best friends, he could feel rifts forming between the three of them. Valerie in particular, Timmy always had a crush on her. She was one of the first and few girls he had ever spoken to, and as much as he tried to keep their relationship platonic, there was always a voice in the back of his mind, telling him to just try dating her. She was hardworking, confident, independent, driven, and these were all qualities that made her so attractive to Timmy in the first place. Watching her compete on Warrior Chef just reminded Timmy of why Valerie was such an incredible person. She was a proven leader, taking charge in a lot of the team challenges, winning quite a few of the challenges with her impeccable pastry and savory skills, and while many people were calling her an idiot for sticking to her guns and making only pastries in the finale, Timmy felt like that was just Valerie representing herself. She was always the type who did things her own way, and this was just another shining example of that.

“Ew, why are you hanging out with them? They’re boys!” A 5 year-old Valerie was being confronted by her female classmates, who were not terribly happy to see her hanging out with Tarou and Timmy. “You’ll catch their grossness!” Another one whined. “Shut up. Girls, boys, it doesn’t matter. Hanging out with them is fun, and they’re not annoying like you girls are.” She spat, walking too to Tarou and Timmy. “Sorry about that, they were telling me to not be friends because you’re boys, but I told them that they suck.” She giggled. Hearing her say that was touching for Timmy. He was nervous that Valerie was going to ditch the two of them to spend more time with the girls in their class. But instead, she chose to be with them, because she liked spending time with them more. It was at that moment that Timmy started having feelings for her.

Warrior Chef 1: Round 1

Round 1

Vanilla: @Haha! @I’m so happy to make it to the main competition, and with immunity? @This is awesome! @I’m chuffed. @Couldn’t have asked for a better start!

Karen: @I’m looking around, and there’s no other freshmen here. @I’m the last one standing in my grade already, and that’s terrifying!

Lucas: @I’ve made it to the first of many challenges, and I’ve already made Warrior Chef history with the last round. @I’m here and I’m going to make big waves.

Carrie: Welcome to the first real elimination challenge. Tonight, we want to see you guys prepare a fine dining-worthy dish. The best dish will win the challenge, but the worst two dishes will be going home tonight.

Leona: @Being an Eliminator and making it into the competition controversially, I don’t want to be the one going home first.

Jackson: @I don’t want to think about who’s going home, but I know that three people have immunity, so it’s almost a 1 in 4 chance you’re going home.

Carrie: You’ll have an hour. And your time starts now!

Fanny: @Now there is no way I’m going home first. @Tadashi, Vanilla, and Lucas all have immunity, so eyes are on them to see how they perform. @Personally, I know that I’m a better cook than all three of them. @I’m making a seared duck breast with charred leek puree, caper-blood orange fritto misto, and brown butter-champagne emulsion.

Jimmy: @Not getting immunity makes me want to try harder. @But fine dining and Hawaii, it’s going to be a fun challenge for me to put Hawaiian food on the map. @I’m making roasted boar loin with pineapple pickles, roasted clams, and a yogurt sauce to pair with couscous. @It’s a weird combination, but I made a weird combination work really well in the preliminaries, and I know I can do it again. @Lightning can strike the same place twice.

Angelina: @I’m pretty confident that I can do fine-dining. @I love to make desserts, and that’s my edge. @I’m going to prepare a vanilla-coconut cupcake with chili caramel sauce and lime buttercream. @For my buttercream, it’s going to be an American buttercream using powdered sugar, butter, and lime zest and juice. @It’s going to be good. @I know I can make this work really well.

Duncan: @I got dinged in the preliminaries because I overcooked my venison. @Tonight, not going to make the same mistakes. @I’m preparing cockles with potato chips, shaved kohlrabi, and black olive puree. @I think that the olives and cockles will go together really well. @Angelina’s making a cupcake, and I think she’s screwed. @There’s no way a cupcake is considered fine dining.

Karen: @Fine dining is going to be tricky, because I’m going to need to devote a lot of time to just plating alone. @I’m going to prepare a roasted game hen with poached egg, shredded phyllo nest, parmesan-kale chips, and a carrot puree. @I’m making my own phyllo from scratch and it’s insane. @I have to make sure that the dough doesn’t break apart and that the butter won’t melt into the layers and keep them from forming.

Lucas: @Having immunity, I already know people are going to think I’m one of the people to beat. @But I want to play it safe with immunity, because I want people to let their guards down and not think of me as a huge threat, even if I actually turn out to be. @I’m making seared ribeye with cauliflower steak and mushroom jus. @The combination of textures and flavors will be very hearty, and if I execute everything perfectly, nobody will be able to fault my dish anyways.

Tadashi: @I want to keep proving, no matter what, that I am a frontrunner and that nobody can beat me in this competition. @I’m preparing an ash crusted hamachi loin with shaved radishes, red seaweed, sago, ruby grapefruit vinaigrette, spring pea-butter emulsion, and paprika dusted mango. @I want to transport the judges underneath the sea. @I’m bringing a lot of techniques to the table, but I want them to be balanced and work together harmoniously. @That’s the key to proving myself.

Vanilla: @Haha! @I’m so happy! @I have immunity, I’ve got a chance to prove myself again, and I know that I can do it!~ @Haha, ha! @I’m making a chocolate-mascarpone fonduta, hazelnut crusted bomboloni, caramelized hazelnuts, salted dark chocolate shards, and salted caramel-mascarpone ice cream. @This is such a thrill! @Hehehe! *squeals inaudibly*

Leona: @Vanilla’s shrill squealing is driving me insane. @I’m going to kill her. @Idiot. @I’m making a poached lobster in coconut broth, roasted corn, and yams. @I’m going to use the corn husks to season my broth, kind of like pandan leaves in Asian cooking. @I’m a stronger cook than all of these guys here, even Tadashi. @He raised the bar, yeah, but I’m going to raise it higher and leave him in my dust.

Zack: @Leona’s competitive, but I am too. @I’m making a pork roulade with apples, goat cheese, and currants, and I’m pairing that with an apple-parsnip puree and a cider-mustard butter sauce. @I’m pretty certain that the whole grain mustard will be the perfect accompaniment to the dish and I’m going to be on top with my flavors. @The roulade, I’m wrapping it in prosciutto and finishing it in the oven after I sear it.

Jackson: @This challenge is right up my alley. @I cook French-American food, and most high-end concept revolve around that. @I’m making gougeres with gruyere cheese, speck, and goat cheese. @I know I need something else to serve with that, so I grab the frisee and I’m going to make a frisee lardon with mustard vinaigrette, using the speck the bridge the ingredients together.

Vincent: @I had to cook twice to get to this point, so I’ve got a lot to prove to myself and everyone else. @I can’t keep disappointing chef. @I’m making a poblano soup with cream cheese puree and crostini. @But then I remember I can’t proof bread in that time, so I decide to make fritters, and those will be a good vehicle to soak up all of these delicious flavors. @It’s looking good for me!
Carrie: Time’s up!

Fanny: @I look over and see Tadashi’s dish. @It looks like a garden popping out of his hamachi. @I’ve got that beat, for sure.

Carrie: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Carrie: Let’s start with the dishes by Lucas, Tadashi, and Vanilla!
Lucas – seared ribeye with cauliflower steak and mushroom jus

Tadashi – ash hamachi, radishes, red seaweed, sago, grapefruit, spring pea, mango

Vanilla – chocolate fonduta, hazelnut bomboloni, caramel-mascarpone ice cream

Erwin: The steak Lucas cooked was beautifully seared. The cauliflower steak was tender on the inside, but had a nice sear on the exterior. The mushroom jus, I think he had a triple win in terms of each individual component. Together, it was a bit plain.

Miriam: Tadashi cooked his hamachi perfectly. I loved all of the accompaniments on his dish and I’m surprised how spring peas and mango can actually work together. This was a very good dish.

Aster: Vanilla made a dessert worthy of her name. The fonduta was creamy, silky, and the bomboloni were fluffy and crisp. I loved that salted caramel ice cream a lot, and the chocolate and hazelnuts were a beautiful combination.

Carrie: Next are the dishes by Fanny, Angelina, and Duncan!

Fanny – duck, charred leek, caper-orange fritto misto, brown butter-champagne

Angelina – vanilla-coconut cupcake with chili caramel sauce and lime buttercream

Duncan – cockles with potato chips, shaved kohlrabi, and black olive puree

Miriam: Fanny cooked her duck breast perfectly and I loved that the fat was rendered so it had crispy skin. The fritto misto was an unusual garnish choice, but it worked with the different textures and levels of acidity. Her champagne emulsion was gorgeous. Smoky, light, airy, it was a nice combination of flavors.

Aster: Angelina’s cupcake, it was very bland. The cake itself was baked properly, but it had no real hit. The chili caramel, I was expecting a kick in there, but I didn’t get any. The buttercream was just a major letdown.

Erwin: Duncan’s cockles, mine weren’t opened, so I couldn’t eat most of them. The chips were soggy and the kohlrabi, I don’t know what it’s doing on this dish, but it’s just not working for me. His puree was a salt lake.

Carrie: And finally, the dishes by Karen, Jimmy, and Leona!

Karen – roasted game hen, poached egg, phyllo nest, parmesan-kale chip, carrot puree

Jimmy – roasted boar loin with pineapple pickles, clams, yogurt couscous

Leona – poached lobster, coconut broth, roasted corn, and yams

Aster: Karen’s game hen was roasted really nicely and it was juicy. I thought the combination of a poached egg and a baked nest, it was soggy and clunky. Her chips were tasty on their own, but it wasn’t necessary to have both those and the nest. Her puree was delicious, however.

Miriam: The boar loin Jimmy prepared was cooked and seasoned properly. But the combination of flavors between that and the pickled pineapples, clams, and couscous in yogurt, it was confusing. I didn’t know what to make out of it.

Erwin: Leona’s lobster dish was beautiful. The lobster was tender, that broth had a depth of corn and coconut flavor, and the vegetables in the soup were cooked perfectly. It was an impressive dish.

Carrie: So can we decide on a winning dish, and who’s going home?

Aster: We can.

In walks Angelina, Duncan, and Jimmy.

Carrie: Sadly, the three of you made the weakest dishes tonight, and two of you are going home.

Angelina: @They hated my cupcake?! @I’m starting to freak out a little bit.

Aster: Angelina, my question is why a cupcake?

Angelina: The challenge was to make a dish that showed finesse, and I thought a dainty little cupcake would have captured that.

Aster: Unfortunately, it came off as pedestrian. You even served the cake in the wrapper still. I felt like I was at a $5 bake sale, not a Michelin starred restaurant.

Erwin: Duncan, where were you trying to go with the dish?

Duncan: I wanted there to be a balance of flavors and textures. The kohlrabi and potato were there to mellow it out.

Erwin: We found the dish to be really clunky and it was hard to eat any component on it’s own, let alone together.

Miriam: Jimmy, what was your inspiration for this dish?

Jimmy: I wanted to take classic Hawaiian dishes and jazz them up.

Miriam: I still remember your signature dish and you managed to do that perfectly then. Tonight, it was just too many clashing flavors. Clams didn’t need to be there, nor did the pineapple. Editing was your enemy tonight.

Angelina: @After hearing the judges, I think Duncan is going home for sure. @But the question is, who else is joining him?

Carrie: It’ll be a tough decision to make, so in the mean time, please bring in Vanilla, Fanny, and Tadashi. Thank you.

The bottom three leave.

In walks Tadashi, Fanny, and Vanilla.

Carrie: Congratulations.The three of you impressed the judges tonight, and one of you won the challenge!

Fanny: @I’m the only one here without immunity, and it’s awesome. @I knew that I’m a better cook than the others, and I’m proving it here tonight.

Tadashi: @If I win this challenge, I’ll really cement myself as a huge contender to win the title. @I want to win this.

Vanilla: @Haha!~ @Winning would mean so much to me! @I want to be the person to beat in this season!
Carrie: Erwin, please announce the winner!

Erwin: We had three incredible dishes to choose from and you’re all setting the bar really high for just the first elimination challenge. But tonight, the person who won produced the best dessert I’ve ever tasted in Warrior Chef. Thank you, Vanilla.

Carrie: Congratulations, Vanilla! You won the elimination challenge!

Vanilla: Oh my goodness! Thank you, thank you, thank you very much! Haha!~ @I won! @I won! @I won the first challenge and I’m so excited and happy! @All of my friends and family back home will be so proud of me!

Tadashi: @Vanilla is a happy-go-lucky person, but she’s definitely using that as a facade to hide her cooking skills. @She’s someone to watch out for.

Fanny: @That’s high praise, the best dessert ever. @But I want to see where she’s at with savory dishes.

The top three leave.

Carrie: So let’s figure out who’s going home tonight.

Miriam: Well I think it’s obvious that Duncan’s going. His dish didn’t work for any of us. But between Angelina and Jimmy, who made the bigger mistake?

Erwin: I’d say Angelina. Jimmy cooked a lot of components, but they tasted nice, just not together. Angelina, her cake was flawed.

Aster: Her buttercream was powdery too. I just don’t think we can really excuse that. But at the same time, Jimmy’s mistake wasn’t forgivable either.

Carrie: So can we finalize our decision?

Aster: Yes.

In walks Angelina, Duncan, and Jimmy.

Carrie: Two of you are going home. The first person leaving us is… Duncan. You may leave the kitchen.

Duncan: Alright. @I”m not happy with the results, but I cooked a dish that sucked and that’s how the cookie crumbled. @At least I’m leaving with my dignity intact.

Duncan leaves.

Jimmy: @I might be going home tonight. @I really don’t want to be eliminated right at the beginning of the competition. @I have so much more left to prove!

Angelina: @I’m not sure which one of us is going home. @I really hope Jimmy leaves. @I’m a much better cook than he is!
Carrie: Angelina, you’re also going home. Please leave the kitchen.

Angelina: Alright. *to Jimmy* Good luck. @I don’t agree with the judges’ decision, but that’s just their choice, and I apparently made more mistakes. @I’m not proud of that, but it’s all I can do in terms of trying to be the next Warrior Chef. @I’ll still find a way to open my bakery. @You haven’t heard the last of me.

Warrior Chef 1: Eliminator Round

Eliminator Round

Contestants:
Freshmen:
X

Sophomores:
Angelina Yeo: Slim half Latin, half Chinese girl from Las Vegas, Nevada. A former ballet dancer, she currently bakes for her friends on the dance team and sells desserts for fun. Wants to work at China-Poblano, a restaurant that perfectly envelops her heritage.
Leona Closier: Athletic African American girl from Bronx, New York. Is a varsity track runner and pole vaulter, and works as a line cook at Butter, under Alex Guarnaschelli, through the CCap program. Wants to win to prove her worth to chef Guarnaschelli.
Vincent Edner: Brunette raised in Japan, but currently lives in Washington D.C. Loves to prepare dishes with both Japanese and American influences, and has recently staged under celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. Wants to win to do his mentor proud.

Juniors:
Zack Gomez: Dark, spiky-haired boy with bright blue eyes, from Los Angeles, California. Has recently turned down a chef de partie position at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant to compete. Wants to win so that he can draw in better work opportunities.

Seniors:
Silvia-Olympia Judd: Tall girl with long silver hair with purple streaks from Portland, Oregon. Originally an aspiring artist, but found a love for food styling after she was introduced to fine-dining. Wants to open a culinary gallery.
Tadashi Hamilton: Half Japanese, half American boy from Los Angeles, California. Has worked under the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Josiah Citrin, and Quinn Hatfield. Cooks Californian and new American food, and wants prove to his parents he’s a good chef.

Angelina: @I’m walking back into the kitchen, and we’ve got three gatecrashers in the competition. @I’m terrified.

Leona: @Angelina and Vincent are both in my grade, but I know I’m a stronger cook than both of them.@ Vincent might have worked for Bobby Flay, but he still screwed up enough to get on the bottom.

Carrie: So everyone, you’ll have just one hour to prepare a dish that represents who you are as a cook. The best score will earn that cook immunity. The worst, you’re going home. Your time starts now!

Angelina: @So my last dish, it was the pork belly tostada, and it just didn’t work. @Tonight, I’m making a dessert. @It’s a chestnut-chocolate cake with brown butter-banana ice cream. @It’s a simple dessert, but I know that the flavors will work so well together. @I’m feeling really okay about this.

Leona: @Angelina’s making a cake, and Vincent’s making carrot soup. @I thought this was their chance at redemption, not their chance to go home. @I’m making grilled shrimp with prickly pear salsa and corn milk. @I don’t feel even an ounce of fear towards the bottom three cooks. @As it stands right now, it’s going to be between me and the two other Eliminators for first place.

Vincent: @So I’m making a carrot soup with brown butter croutons, and pickled carrot slaw. @I don’t want to do anything too fussy like last time with the smoked creme fraiche, and I can’t afford to go home over a stupid mistake like that again. @Looking at the Eliminators, Zack’s dish looks boring. @I think my carrot soup will take him down.

Zack: @I’m prepared a seared halibut with pommes fondant, and red wine reduction. @The fondant, I get that going first, because it needs to get cooked in stock for almost a whole hour. @The red wine reduction, I get that going next. @The originals aren’t doing anything interesting. @I think it’s funny that Olympia’s cooking a halibut dish next to mine. @I’m going to beat her on this.

Olympia: @I’m preparing roasted halibut, eggplant tempura, and a rich tomato puree. @I want there to be a variety of colors, so I’m shaving the graffiti eggplant, which has all of these beautiful colors, and I know it’ll be gorgeous. @The presentation needs to be spot-on, or else I’m going home next. @I want to beat out these Eliminators are send them packing. @That’s for sure.

Tadashi: @I’m not thinking about who is and who isn’t an Eliminator. @Everyone here is my competition, regardless. @I’m preparing a bone-in ribeye, pomme puree, potato rosettes, and a potato-caramelized leek torte, with a rich steak jus. @It’s a play on a dish we cooked at Melisse, and it’s a real crowd pleaser. @I think this dish will be awesome. @The torte, it’s like a savory dough stuffed with caramelized leeks and creme fraiche infused potato puree, and it’s delicious.

Angelina: @I check on the cakes, and they’re nice and fluffy. @Using the chestnut flour in the cake batter paid off! @The ice cream, I taste it, and it’s delicious. @I think my dessert is simply divine, and hopefully, the judges will agree with that. @The other cooks are strong, but I’m playing to my strength and that’s making desserts.

Leona: @The shrimp are finally peeled and de-veined, and I know that I can cook them in the time we have left. @The corn milk, it’s a mixture of water, the corn cobs and corn kernels. @I blend those together, strain them, and allow the cobs to simmer in there until the liquid becomes creamy and soft. @It’ll be the perfect contrast to the rest of my dish. @I’ve got this.

Vincent: @I taste my soup, and it needs more salt, so I just season it with more salt and butter. @The croutons are delicious, and the pickled carrot slaw, it has delicious flavors, but I think the mixture of the slaw and the soup, it’s just weird. @It’s not going to work together, but I took the time to make both, so I just decide to plate the slaw over the croutons so that they won’t directly mix into the soup.

Zack: @The halibut is coming out of the pan, and it’s looking moist. @The fondants and reduction are still going, but I should be good for time. @Being a former cook under Gordon Ramsay, it’s intimidating and humbling. @Luckily, I didn’t have to work directly under him, just under one of his many, many executive chefs, but still, the pressure in that environment, these original cooks better watch out, because I’m bringing it with me.

Olympia: @The puree looks vibrant and fresh, and the halibut is coming out of the oven, and it’s just a tad overcooked. @But the tempura is looking good, so I just keep treading on. @I don’t have much time left, so I’m frantically starting to plate everything.

Tadashi: @The steak was rested enough, so I’m slicing into it, and it’s medium rare. Perfect! @I get the tortes onto the plate, swipe the puree, and then place the steak on that with the rosettes. @Then I get the torte onto the rest of the plate with a small jug of the sauce. @It’s looking good.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Zack: @I look at my dish, and it’s looking good. @I think I’m going to take down one of the originals tonight.

Angelina: @The Eliminators came in here and they mean business. @But I know that my dessert is solid. @I’ve got this.

Leona: @Angelina looks confident, but I know that she’s not going to make it far in this competition. @She thinks a cake is going to beat me? @I doubt it.

Carrie: Your judges are:

Thyme De Lys – renowned food personality

Scott Connors – award-winning Italian chef with restaurants in New York and Miami

Kierra Johnson – critically acclaimed food critic in Chicago

Aster Walker – famous food critic in Los Angeles

Erwin Ko – renowned food critic in Los Angeles

Miriam Adjanti – chairwomen of the European Culinary Institutes

Carrie: Let’s start with Angelina’s signature dish!

Angelina – chestnut and chocolate cake, brown butter-banana ice cream

Miriam: The cake was moist and I liked the combination of the chestnut and chocolate. The brown butter worked too, but the banana made the dessert a tad sweet.

Thyme: I didn’t mind the sweetness as much. The dish was simple, but beautifully executed. It was pleasant.

Kierra: I wanted to be wowed, and the cake was pretty spectacular. It was moist, the ice cream was creamy, and the chocolate was smoky. I loved it all.

Carrie: Next is Leona’s dish!

Leona – grilled shrimp, prickly pear salsa, corn milk

Erwin: Leona cooked those shrimp impeccably. The salsa was actually really tasty. The corn milk was creative and it worked with everything.

Scott: The corn milk tied the shrimp and salsa together in a way I didn’t expect. It really made that dish something special.

Aster: My shrimp were undercooked, but the rest of the dish was delicious and I just loved the creativity.

Carrie: Next is Vincent’s signature dish!

Vincent – carrot soup with brown butter crouton, pickled carrot slaw

Aster: The soup had a deep flavor, but the crouton and the slaw, it didn’t work together as a cohesive dish.

Kierra: The brown butter crouton was crispy but the slaw tasted fermented. I just didn’t like any of it together. But the soup, the main element, it was beautifully prepared.

Thyme: The soup was delicious to me, anyways. There were a lot of beautiful flavors, but I just didn’t understand the combination of flavors.

Carrie: Now we’ve got Zack’s dish!

Zack – seared halibut, pommes fondant, red wine reduction

Scott: The halibut was cooked beautifully, but the combination was a bit too much for me. It was heavy.

Erwin: I just didn’t get what he did if he was reducing red wine and baking potatoes for most of the hour. The halibut was cooked nicely, however.

Miriam: I wanted to see more technique. More balance. Why not a fresh component on the dish?

Carrie: Now we’ve got Olympia’s signature dish!

Olympia – tomato puree, roasted halibut, eggplant tempura

Scott: The halibut was raw. The tomato puree was delicious and it worked with the tempura, but together, the halibut was lost.

Thyme: The presentation was dramatic, gorgeous, and I really loved that about her dish. The halibut, mine was cooked properly. But the tempura was greasy to me.

Kierra: I loved the acidity of the puree against the crunchy tempura and the halibut, mine was moist as well. For me, it was an alright dish, but I wasn’t wowed by any of the flavors. Nothing was really complex.

Carrie: Finally, Tadashi’s dish!

Tadashi – bone-in ribeye, pomme puree, rosettes, potato-leek torte, jus

Aster: The steak was cooked beautifully. The puree was smooth and creamy, and him embracing the potato three ways, I was deeply impressed.

Miriam: The torte was delicious. The leek and potato combination was brilliant. The jus, I just enjoyed dipping everything into that.

Erwin: The presentation was beautiful, the rosettes were crunchy, and the puree was velvety. I just couldn’t fault anything.

Carrie: So can we finish scoring?

Miriam: Yes.

In walks the six cooks.

Vincent: @I think I did enough to keep myself in the competition. @These new cooks better watch out, because one of them is going home.

Olympia: @After seeing the other dishes, I don’t think anyone made a better looking plate than me. @The judges definitely will score me higher based on presentation.

Carrie: So only five of you will be continuing to the next stage of the competition. Let’s start with Angelina’s dish!

Thyme: I loved the flavors a lot. 9 stars.

Scott: 8 stars. It was a solid dessert, but not an astronomical one.

Kierra: It was a spectacular dessert. Simplicity embodied. 10 stars.

Aster: 9 stars.

Miriam: 8 stars. It was a tad sweet, but I appreciate the effort greatly.

Erwin: 8 stars. You definitely stepped it up from last time.

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

Carrie: Next is Leona’s score.

Thyme: 9 stars for an incredibly inventive dish.

Scott: 10 stars. I loved the combination.

Kierra: 10 stars. It was beautiful and creative.

Aster: My shrimp were undercooked. 6 stars.

Miriam: You cooked the shrimp beautifully. 9 stars.

Erwin: 9 stars for a creative but refined dish.

Leona – 9 + 10 + 10 + 6 + 9 + 9 = 53/60 stars

Leona: @I make a point to look at Angelina, because she was so cocky during the cooking period, and I knew that I could beat her. @She’s in danger of going home.

Carrie: Now we’ve got Vincent’s score!

Thyme: I liked the flavors and your effort. 8 stars.

Scott: 7 stars.

Kierra: 8 stars for a good soup.

Aster: 8 stars.

Miriam: 7 stars. I just didn’t like the combination of flavors.

Erwin: 7 stars.

Vincent – 8 + 7 + 8 + 8 + 7 + 7 = 45/60 stars

Vincent: @This was my second chance, and I blew it. @I’m definitely going home tonight. @This sucks so much.

Carrie: Next is Zack’s score!

Thyme: The halibut, mine was overcooked. 6 stars.

Scott: 8 stars. It was a bit heavy for me.

Kierra: 9 stars. I wanted more freshness, but the flavors worked.

Aster: 9 stars.

Miriam: 9 stars.

Erwin: 9 stars.

Zack – 6 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 50/60 stars

Zack: @It wasn’t perfect, but I knew I could do it. @I’m not going home!

Carrie: Now we’ve got Olympia’s dish!

Thyme: 9 stars for gorgeous presentation.

Scott: My halibut was under. 6 stars.

Kierra: 7 stars. It was average.

Aster: 6 stars. My fish was dry.

Miriam: 7 stars.

Erwin: 7 stars.

Olympia – 9 + 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 = 42/60 stars

Olympia: @I got excited because I got a 9, but then I wound up with a 42. @That sucks so much. @I’m feeling nervous.

Vincent: @Better her than me. @That’s all I got to say.

Carrie: Tadashi, you need to beat 42 to stay and 53 to win. Do you think you’ve beaten either of those?

Tadashi: I’m not sure about the 53, but I just hope that I can beat 42. It would be amazing if I could make it into the main competition.

Carrie: Judges?

Thyme: It was perfection. 10 stars.

Scott: I just loved the entire concept. 10 stars.

Kierra: 10 stars.

Aster: 10 stars.

Miriam: You’ve honestly raised the bar. 10 stars.

Erwin: If you continue cooking like this, the title’s yours. 10 stars.

Tadashi – 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 60/60 stars

Carrie: Tadashi, you are the first person to ever achieve a perfect score! Congratulations, you won immunity going into the next round of the competition!

Tadashi: Oh my god! @I’m so relieved and just dumbstruck. @I can’t believe that I won immunity! @I’m really thankful for the judges for appreciating the food I prepared.

Carrie: Now let’s look at the leaderboard!

Tadashi – 60

Leona – 53

Angelina – 52

Zack – 50

Vincent – 45

Olympia – 42

Carrie: Olympia, you did a good job this time, but it wasn’t enough. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Olympia: Thank you for this opportunity to compete. It was real. @I’m so annoyed that I’m getting sent home and that I lost my spot to an Eliminator. @I didn’t deserve to go home. @I got a 9 from one of the judges! @I know that I have a successful career, so I’m going to make sure that it happens for me.

Carrie: And congratulations, everyone! You’re all safe and through to the main competition! Well done!

Angelina: @The preliminaries were tough, but I made it through! @I’m in the competition! @This is such a great feeling!

Tadashi: @Winning the challenge and immunity feels incredible. @I honestly cannot believe that I’m starting the competition on such a high. @Warrior Chef history. @That’s just great.