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!

Warrior Chef 1: Finale Part 2

Tadashi: @Karen, Lucas, and I are the final three, but we are about to be re-joined by the winner of the Redemption Rounds. @We don’t know who competed against Fanny, but we do know that it’s a 50% chance that the final four will remain the same.

Karen: @Personally, I think that Fanny or Vanilla will be coming back. @I don’t know who if it’s neither of those two.

Carrie: Hi, guys! So the Redemption Rounds just concluded, and the winner of the final round is about to re-enter the competition.
Lucas: @I really hope it’s Fanny, because she might be too shaken from the entire situation to be a strong competitor.

Into the room walks… Vanilla.

Vanilla: Hi, guys! Did you miss me?

Tadashi: @Oh lord. @Vanilla is one of the strongest competitors in the whole season and I know she’s going to be back in the final four with a vengeance.

Carrie: Please help me welcome back Vanilla!

Vanilla: It feels great to be back!~ @I managed to beat Fanny, win the Redemption Rounds, and now I’m back and ready for take the entire competition.

Carrie: So now that we are back to four again, let’s go into our next creativity challenge! Please draw knives!

Vanilla – 1

Lucas – 1

Tadashi – 2

Karen – 2

Carrie: So for this challenge, you’ll be working in teams! Vanilla and Lucas, you are team 1, Tadashi and Karen, you are team 2!

Tadashi: @I’m confident working with Karen. @She’s been on top of every challenge since the finale has begun, and I know that she’s going to be a strong teammate.

Carrie: In teams, you’ll have to prepare 10 portions of the same dish in just 25 minutes. And the catch is that only one person can taste, and one person can plate. Just 25 minutes on the clock, your time starts now!

Vanilla: *to Lucas* Do you want to taste or plate?

Lucas: I’ll taste. @So for our dish tonight, we are going to prepare fried oysters with pickled apples and mustard aioli. @Vanilla will handle the garnishes while I shuck the oysters. @It’s more of my concept, and I can just tell Vanilla how to plate the dish, so we should be good.

Tadashi: @We decide very quickly that I’ll plate and Karen will taste. @Our dish is roasted king oyster mushroom “scallops” with grapefruit segments, frisee, and brown butter vinaigrette.

Karen: @The scallops and brown butter, I will handle that. @Tadashi is going to segment the grapefruit and get everything ready to be plated, because we need to serve 10 portions.

Vanilla: @It’s interesting to be in the final four, but I’m ready to win the entire competition now that I’ve come this way. @The Redemption Rounds, it was my stomping ground, and I’m going to take the title away from these guys!~

Karen: @Vanilla is a terrifying threat in the kitchen. @She’s upbeat and cheerful, but that hides somebody who is extremely capable in the kitchen. @Vanilla coming back into the competition, I’m definitely worried about her.

Lucas: @Vanilla, Tadashi, and I all won our original rounds, so I’m expecting the three of us to make the next round of the competition. @I don’t really think that Karen is a threat, because she’s so young. @She might be strong in team settings, but she’s not going to make it to the end.

Tadashi: @I know that Vanilla is talented, especially since she came back from the Redemption Rounds. @But I’m not going to be distracted by her or the other two when it comes to winning the title. @I need to focus on my food, because if I try anything else, then I am going to be eliminated. @That title, it’s going to validate all of those years of work that I’ve put into my career.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Karen: @I’m hoping that our dish wins the challenge, because these creativity wins give us a huge advantage, and I need any advantage to get into the next round.

Carrie: Your judge is house critic, Max Hudson.

Max: Hi, everyone. I can’t wait to try your dishes tonight.

Max and Carrie taste the dishes.
Carrie: So Max, how did they do?

Max: So Vanilla and Lucas, the oysters were fried nicely and I was impressed you managed to shuck that many in the time allotted. Really well done.

Vanilla: @I’m feeling good that Lucas and I might be on top of this one. @I really want to win my first challenge back in the main competition to prove that I can win this!

Max: Tadashi and Karen, the fake scallops was clever. I really liked the flavors of the grapefruit and brown butter. It was nice.

Carrie: And who won?

Max: It was close, but the best dish was made by…. Tadashi and Karen!

Carrie: Congratulations, Tadashi, Karen! The two of you won the creativity challenge and you’ll each receive $500!

Karen: Thank you! @I’m surprised we won money, but I’m not complaining. @Lucas, Vanilla, and Tadashi are all a lot older, so if I can beat them, and win Warrior Chef, it would mean the world for me.

Carrie: So now for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, we want to see you guys prepare two courses each that represent your culinary dreams. You have 90 minutes, and your time starts now!
Vanilla: @I have just 90 minutes to prepare two dishes. @But in the Redemption Rounds, I had just 30 minutes to prepare one, so I think I can do this, haha!~ @My first dish is going to be a dessert. @Brown butter-apple-yogurt cake with caramel gelato, and fried apple chip. @This first course represents my love for using apples and caramel, and this cake is something I learned from my grandmother. @For the second course, I’m going to make a fennel gelee, strawberry coulis, ginger beignets, and strawberry-fennel sorbet. @I feel bad, hogging the ice cream machines, but I need to make sure that my desserts are perfect or else I’m going home again!

Lucas: @Vanilla coming back already is a huge shock, but I know I can beat her again. @For my first course, I’m going to make a seared scallop with peach salad and a basil emulsion. @The second dish is going to be poached lobster with potato puree and lobster butter sauce. @The dishes are ones that I would feature in my dream restaurant, where I will focus on seasonal ingredients, but with seafood.

Tadashi: @I need to stretch myself and show off that I can cook savory and sweet. @For the savory dish, I’m going to prepare abalone sashimi with a cold shiitake broth and truffled tamagoyaki. @For the second course, I’m making an ube mochi with blackberry-rhubarb coulis and swiss meringue. @I’m taking a huge risk using the abalone and the ube, but if I can nail both of them, then I know that the judges will be impressed by me taking a risk with some challenging ingredients. @Abalone needs to be cooked and sliced quickly or else it’ll be tough. @The ube is very dry, so I need to make sure that I add enough liquid or else it’ll be starchy.

Karen: @I’m going all savory all the way. @I’m not going to bake tonight, especially when Vanilla is back. @I’m preparing a roasted pork chop with apple slaw, cider jus, and celeriac puree for the first course. @The second course, I’m going to make a seared rainbow trout with spaetzle, pickled-grilled carrot coulis, and artichokes. @I’m hoping that with my rainbow trout dish, the carrot coulis will be a surprising but delicious addition. @The big challenge here is cooking two different proteins to two different temperatures, having to filet and debone my trout, and prepping those artichokes and the celery root. @It’s a mountain of prep, but once I bust those all out, then I’m golden.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I step back and I’m feeling good about the entire dish. @The two courses I prepared have a lot of refinement. @I see the other dishes, and Karen doesn’t look terribly happy.

Karen: @My dishes are done, but they’re complete messes. @The carrot coulis looks like watered down baby food, and the pork chop dish looks like something you’d get from a cafeteria. @I’m not feeling good at all at this point.

Lucas: @I’m worried that my first dish didn’t show enough real technique. @And then the second course, it might not be complete enough. @I’m feeling nervous.

Carrie: Your judges are:

Max Hudson

Scott Connors

Miriam Adjanti

Carrie: Let’s start with the dishes by Tadashi!

-abalone sashimi with cold shiitake broth and truffled tamagoyaki

-ube mochi with blackberry-rhubarb coulis and swiss meringue

Max: The sashimi was delicious. I was apprehensive about having sashimi with a soup, but the dish being served cold, it was great! I felt like he managed to develop a lot of flavor in the broth, and getting that cold in the amount of time he had was impressive.

Scott: The mochi was a nice dessert. I didn’t expect to like it, but the ube, blackberry, rhubarb, it all came together nicely, and then the swiss meringue kept it from being too savory. He did a great job across two courses.

Carrie: And now we have Karen’s dishes!

-pork chop, apple slaw and cider jus, celeriac puree

-rainbow trout with spaetzle, pickled-grilled carrot coulis, artichokes

Scott: The pork chop was grilled beautifully, and the flavors were there in the pork alone. The apple slaw and cider jus were both delicious and worked well with the pork and the celeriac. It was just a great dish, flavor-wise. The presentation, it was sloppy.

Miriam: The rainbow trout was cooked phenomenally. I loved how she got the skin crispy. But the consistency of the sauce was a huge let-down. It was lumpy. The artichokes, they were cooked nicely, but the spaetzle was bland.

Carrie: And up next are Lucas’s dishes.

-scallops, basil emulsion, peach salad

-poached lobster, potato puree, lobster sauce

Max: The first dish felt incomplete. The scallops were cooked nicely and I felt the combination of his ingredients worked, but that was not even half a portion of food on the plate. Especially when you see his other course, which is a hearty, heart serving.

Miriam: The lobster was cooked nicely, but my biggest issue is just that Lucas has done lobster and scallops so many times and his dish was really basic for somebody who has made it this far. I’m wondering if we do see his final menu, if lobsters and scallops will be on that as well.

Carrie: And finally, Vanilla’s desserts!

-brown butter-apple-yogurt cake with caramel gelato, and fried apple chip

-fennel gelee, strawberry coulis, ginger beignets, and strawberry-fennel sorbet

Miriam: The brown butter cake took me back to my childhood. It was fragrant, moist, the apple flavor does come through, and the yogurt made the cake tender. The gelato and the apple chip were nice touches as well.

Scott: The second dessert blew it out of the park for me. The flavors were not something I would think to work, but the strawberry really did bring it together and I loved it.

Carrie: So have you guys agreed on which cooks are moving forward to our grand finale, and who is going to be eliminated?

Miriam: We have.

In walks the final four.

Carrie: Two of you really impressed the judges tonight. Vanilla, Tadashi, the judges agreed the both of you made the strongest dishes tonight!

Vanilla: Yay! @I hear this and I’m feeling good, haha!~

Tadashi: Thank you.

Carrie: Scott, please announce the winner.

Scott: Both of you blew us away tonight. But we had to award the win to the person who showed more range. Tadashi, you did just that for us.

Carrie: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the elimination challenge! Vanilla, Tadashi, the two of you are safe and can leave the judges’ room.

Tadashi: Thank you. @Winning the elimination challenge was phenomenal. @I’m feeling really good about the final challenge at this point. @The question is, is it Lucas or Karen joining the two of us in that final round?

Vanilla: Yay! @Even though I didn’t win the elimination challenge, I still made it to the final three, haha!~ @I’m ready to fully redeem myself and be crowned the Warrior Chef!

Tadashi and Vanilla leave.

Carrie: Karen and Lucas, one of you is going home.

Miriam: Karen, we had an issue with the presentations of both of your dishes. For your trout dish, there were quite a few technical errors. The sauce was like baby food. And then the spaetzle was bland.
Max: Lucas, the first dish was gorgeous, the scallop and basil came together. But the dish was too basic. The second dish, we just felt like we’ve had that and just your general menu before. Scallops and lobster, you have proven you can cook both well. But we want to see more range.

Lucas: Crap. @I’m feeling terrible right now. @Those ingredients, I choose to cook them because they are challenging to prepare, but now I’m looking like a broken record here.

Karen: @It’s between me and Lucas, and I really want to beat him. @Tadashi, Vanilla, and Lucas, they all won the first challenge, so I want to make it to the end for the people who didn’t win with their signature dishes.

Carrie: Lucas. I’m sorry. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Lucas: Okay. Thank you. I agree with your decision entirely. *to Karen* Good luck. You deserved it. @I’m feeling like shit for being eliminated right before the final challenge. @I was expecting to be the final challenge and getting sent home right before it really sucks. @I wish the three of them the best of luck.

Lucas leaves the kitchen.

Carrie: And Karen, that means that you will be joining Vanilla and Tadashi in the final challenge! Congratulations!

Karen: Thank you! @I’m in complete disbelief right now. @I’ve made it to the end. @I really hope that I can beat Vanilla and Tadashi. @I want to prove to them that I can be the Warrior Chef!

Warrior Chef 1: The Redemption Rounds (All Parts)

Part 1

Olympia vs Judith and Corey

Carrie: Eliminated cooks will have a chance to gain back their spot in the competition! Tonight, three cooks who were sent home in the preliminaries will be competing head to head to remain in the competition!

Judith: @I got eliminated because I made a dish completely different from what I set out to make. @Tonight, I hope I don’t hallucinate over mayonnaise again. @That would suck a lot.

Corey: @Being eliminated in the first round, I want redemption right now. @I’m a freshman, I’m the youngest one here, and I’m ready to prove myself.

Olympia: @Being the most experienced cook, I’ve got to prove myself the most to the others. @I’m ready to win this.

Carrie: Welcome to the Redemption Rounds. The three of you have a chance to re-enter the competition. But first, you need redemption. I want you guys to prepare the dishes that eliminated you last time. But this time, make sure they have been done correctly. You’ll have 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Corey: @I got eliminated because my tortillas weren’t working for me. @Tonight, I’m determined to make them work. @I’m preparing a grilled ahi taco with tomato salsa. @It’ll be very similar to the dish I made before, but I’m making the corn tortillas from scratch and they’ll be good. @Olympia and I competed together in my round, and she beat me. @I want to reverse the tables tonight.

Judith: @I didn’t get to prepare the fennel and mushroom salad with the coconut oil stuffed dates last time, so I’ll do that this time. @I make sure to avoid the mayonnaise jar, because it’s evil, and to be safe, I’m not going to taste anything, just because I don’t want to take that risk. @I don’t know Corey or Olympia, but I’m ready to beat both of them and win the competition!

Olympia: @I was eliminated because my halibut was overcooked. @This time, I’m going to cook it properly. @I’m making halibut wrapped in caul fat with a smoky tomato puree and pickled eggplant. @The last time, I went with fried eggplant, but I got dinged for greasy cooking. @Tonight, I’m doing the pickled eggplant, because it’ll be a better balance @Judith isn’t competition. @But Corey, he’s a threat. @If he plated his tortilla last time, he would’ve beaten me. @I don’t want to be eliminated again!

Corey: @Olympia and Judith are going home for sure. @I won’t let these girls beat me. @I might be younger, but I’m definitely stronger than them both. @The tortillas are properly rolled this time, so I’m stoked. @Olympia’s strongest dish was a salad last time, and I see Judith is making one now. @I’m confident my dish is the strongest.

Judith: @I shave the fennel on the mandolin, and then I cut myself. Sh*t @It’s a serious cut. @I’m bleeding so much blood that the paramedics have to pull me aside.
Paramedic: It’s looking bad. You might need a skin graft.

Judith: Sh*t. @And that’s all she wrote. @Just like that, I’m out. @I don’t even get a chance at redeeming myself. @This sucks so much.

Olympia: @Judith cuts herself really badly and the paramedics just escorted her out of the building. @It’s down to me and Corey at this point, and I’m pretty sure his tacos will give me a run for my money. @The halibut is cooked perfectly. @I taste the pickled eggplant and it’s delicious. @Corey’s dish can’t beat me.

Carrie: Time’s up!
Corey: @I look at Judith and Olympia’s stations, and Judith is gone.

Carrie: So Judith was deemed unable to physically continue in the competition. So it’ll come down to one of you two.

Corey: @I hear that and I’m relieved. @That’s one less person I need to think about. @Olympia’s dish, she made halibut, and I’m sure she overcooked it.

Olympia: @Corey’s looking smug, but his dish doesn’t look that good. @I’m going to be the person moving forward.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So let’s start with Corey’s dish. Corey, you prepared beautiful tortillas and a nicely cooked piece of ahi. The salsa was fresh but a little bland.

Corey: @Perfectly cooked. @The tortillas are supple and soft. @I’ve got this.

Carrie: Olympia, the halibut was cooked beautifully. The puree was tender, soft, and melted in the mouth, with this nice, smoky flavor. The eggplant added a nice hit of acidity and a great meaty texture.

Olympia: @No negatives. @I think Corey’s going home now.

Carrie: Tonight, it was a clear choice. Olympia, you’re going through.

Olympia: Awesome! @I’m still in the competition. @Nobody pinch me, I still want to keep dreaming. @It sucks to see Corey go home twice, but better him than me.

Corey: @Not winning sucks. @I wanted to get back into the competition, but good for her. @I’m just going to keep on cooking!

Part 2

Olympia vs Angelina vs Duncan

Duncan: @I’m walking into the kitchen and I see Olympia. @She wasn’t that strong in my preliminary, and I’m positive that I can beat her.

Angelina: @Olympia’s standing with Carrie and I know she must have beaten people already just to get to this point. @I’m confident I can take her and Duncan down.

Carrie: Welcome back! So for this Redemption challenge, you’ll have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish. The challenge you two were eliminated over was a fine-dining inspired one. So for tonight, I want to see you guys make the opposite. I want street food. 30 minutes on the clock, starting now!

Olympia: @Street food isn’t my forte. @I’d much rather do the fine-dining one. @But that’s the brief, and I need to meet it. @I’m going to prepare a crepe with an arugula and tomato salad with crispy pancetta and mozzarella cheese. @I’m keeping the dish simple, because I want to focus on the execution and presentation.

Angelina: @I got eliminated over cupcakes, and I know that I can make another dessert work in this challenge tonight. @I’m making churros with spicy Mexican chocolate. @Making the churros will be the best way to show some technique, and for my chocolate, it’s a ganache set with horchata.

Duncan: @Street food is awesome. @I’m making poutine. @It’s such a perfect dish for this challenge. @The gravy, the cheese curds, the thick cut French fries. @It’s such a good dish. @I’m going to do a spin on that, and I’m adding in crispy fried spam, because that’ll definitely add another nice flavor and texture.

Olympia: @I’m going French, Angelina’s going Mexican, and Duncan is making a Canadian dish. @It’s funny how diverse our backgrounds are, but at the end of this, I think I’m going to be the one coming out on top. @The crepes are looking perfectly crisp and beautiful. @My advantage is that I’m not frying something.
Angelina: @Duncan’s using the friers right now for his fries, and I need the frier too for my churros. @I’m just hoping that I can fry something in time, because it’s going to be cutting it close. @I taste my chocolate, and that’s perfect. @My dough is ready, I just need to fry something.

Duncan: @I pull my fries out of the frier, dab them with the towel, hit them with some salt, and then I leave them in the oven to keep them warm. @Angelina and I are both frying, which is interesting, because I don’t see Olympia touching the frier at all. @When you think street food, you think very cheap, unhealthy, so it’s odd, seeing her not touching too many unhealthy ingredients.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Angelina: @I get the churros out in a nick of time, and I’m feeling good. @I don’t think that poutine or crepes will beat me.

Duncan: @I’m not feeling so nervous this time. @The poutine looks great. @I made Canada proud.

Olympia: @My dish looks so much healthier compared to the other two. @Maybe I didn’t meet the brief?

Carrie tastes the three dishes.

Carrie: So let’s start with Olympia’s dish. Olympia, the crepe had a nice, golden-brown exterior and it was evenly browned. The presentation was gorgeous, per usual. The combination of flavors, it worked, but was it too simple to stuff a salad into a crepe and call it a day? Regardless, it was a tasty bite and it works as street food.

Olympia: @I think she liked it for the most part. @I might be in with a chance here!

Carrie: Duncan, your poutine was delicious. It was hearty, laden in fat, and I just wouldn’t mind eating that on a cold Sunday night while bing-watching reality TV. It was a tasty bowlful of fries and gravy.

Duncan: Awesome. @I have a lot of confidence in my poutine tonight. @This could be my crack at Redemption!

Carrie: Angelina, the dessert you presented was probably the simplest of the three dishes I tried tonight. Two components, nowhere to really hide. However, your churro dough was fried perfectly. It was crispy, but not too greasy. The chocolate was divine. I loved that you just went for it and used horchata to boost the spice levels.

Angelina: @She called my dish perfect. @But it wasn’t as ambitious as the other two dishes. @It’s up to Carrie’s call at this point, and she doesn’t have an easy job.

Carrie: You guys all presented three really nice dishes. Tonight, the best dish belonged to…. Angelina. Those churros and the horchata chocolate, it was a special combination.

Angelina: Thank you! @I’m still in it! @This is awesome! @After getting sent home so early, I felt like I had a lot left to prove. @I’m not going home anytime soon, that’s for sure. @Bring in the next opponent! @I’m ready for them!

Duncan: @Not winning the challenge, I’m a bit disappointed. @On one hand, she loved my dish, but on the other, it wasn’t enough to win.

Olympia: @I thought I did enough, but Angelina played it smart, and it worked in her favor. @I’m not sure who’s going to be her next opponent, but they’ll have a hard time competing against Angelina.

Angelina: @One round down, several more to go! @Come at me!

Part 3

Vincent vs Angelina

Vincent: @I’m back in the kitchen for another shot at the competition. @I see Carrie standing there with Angelina, who is an incredibly ambitious cook. @Bring it on!

Angelina: @I see Vincent, and he’s one of the weaker cooks in the competition. @He’s so obsessed with being trained by Bobby Flay that he doesn’t focus on his dishes.

Carrie: Vincent, welcome to the Redemption Rounds!

Vincent: Awesome. Pleasure to be here.

Carrie: So Vincent, you were eliminated for trying to put turkey into ice cream.

Angelina: @What?! @He got eliminated over that?! @And how was he able to outlast me? @I better win this challenge now, or else I’ll be devastated.

Carrie: Tonight, you’ll have a chance at redemption. You can either prepare a dish using turkey or a dessert. Vincent, you get to choose.
Vincent: I’d like to show that I can make a proper dessert.

Carrie: Alright. You’ll both have 30 minutes to make a dessert, your time starts now!

Vincent: @I’m making the same exact dish, but I’m not going to use turkey in my ice cream. @It’s a vanilla-cinnamon ice cream with cornbread crumble, rosemary caramel, and cranberry jam. @Angelina is a weak cook. @I think I can take her down.

Angelina: @Vincent thinks he’s a better cook, and that’s laughable. @You worked for a celebrity chef, and you still managed to make mistakes on that magnitude? @For my dessert, I’m making an apple crostata with vanilla bean ice cream and brown butter caramel. @I’m taking a risk making a crostata in 30 minutes, but if I can nail this, then I’m definitely going to win the challenge.

Vincent: @Angelina’s making a dough in that amount of time, and she’s got to roll it out and everything. @I think she’s going to waste too much time, and that’s going to be my advantage tonight. @My ice cream is tasting good, and that’s going to guarantee that my dish will be good.

Angelina: @Vincent’s looking cocky, but my ice cream is coming out perfectly. @The crostata is delicious, and I know that we’ve got a winner right here.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Angelina: @Vincent’s dish looks like what would happen if you pushed a Christmas tree over. @My dish isn’t going to send me home.

Vincent: I’m going to win this one. @Nobody will send me home.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So Angelina, I appreciate the ambition with your dish. The crostata was cooked nicely and your ice cream and caramel combination was delicious. Vincent, your dessert was tasty as well. It came down to a seasoning issue. Vincent, just too much rosemary. Angelina, you won this one. Congratulations!
Angelina: Thank you! @I won my second challenge, and I’m feeling redemption! @I just beat a moron! @Yay!

Vincent: @I’m feeling so angry that I’m shaking. @Angelina didn’t deserve to beat me and she knows it. @This was some bullshit.

Part 4

Jimmy vs Angelina

Jimmy: @I just got eliminated attempting a vegan dessert. @I know that I can cook better food. @It’s time to bring it.

Carrie: Jimmy, welcome to the Redemption Rounds!

Angelina: @Jimmy demolished me in the Preliminaries, and I’m ready to knock him out of the competition. @This would be pure redemption for me.

Carrie: So Jimmy, in the last challenge, you were eliminated because your pineapple upside down cake was dry. Tonight, I want to see you cook with pineapple again. The dish must be vegan, but it must also be savory.

Angelina: @A savory vegan pineapple dish? @That’s going to be terrible!

Carrie: So 30 minutes, time starts now!

Jimmy: @I’m still not sure what I can make that is vegan, savory, and incorporates pineapple. @I decide to make pickled pineapples with miso-mustard vinaigrette, paprika roasted walnuts, and frisee. @I’m hoping that this salad-type of thing will go over well and show plenty of technique, especially against Angelina.

Angelina: @I’m making a roasted pineapple curry with seitan, eggplant, and okra. @I’m going with an Indian-Chinese fusion here, because I know that these flavors will work well together and that the sweetness of the pineapple will offset the curry paste I’m preparing. @Jimmy, you’re going down.

Jimmy: @I see that Angelina’s making a curry with the pineapple. @Now I’ve really got to step it up. @I grab the pineapple and I’m going to deep fry them, because deep-fried pickles are pretty tasty, and I know that the pineapples will be able to hold up to being pickled and then fried. @I have to step it up against her.

Angelina: @Jimmy’s frying the pineapple, and that’s ballsy. @But I’m tasting my curry, and it’s delicious. @His fried pineapple needs to be really phenomenal if he hopes to beat me with it. @I’m not scared at all.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Angelina: @I step back, and my curry is perfect. @Jimmy’s got this fried pineapple salad going on there, and I’m just confused.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: Tonight, I had a really tough criteria. And for the most part, you both delivered. Jimmy, the flavors of your dish were vibrant, fresh, and bold. The pineapple, it was definitely the star of the dish, being sweet, sour, crunchy. It was nice. Angelina, you prepared a curry using the pineapple, and you used your own curry paste to do it. I was really impressed by the balance of flavors you’ve achieved in just 30 minutes. Tonight, the winner is… Angelina. Congratulations!

Angelina: Awesome! Thanks! @I won three in a row! @I think I can definitely take it all the way to the finale. @This is my road to Redemption! @So awesome!

Jimmy: @I’m feeling a bit deflated that I lost, but at least I’m leaving on a dish that the judge actually liked for once. @That’s still a bit of a win for me, anyways. @Good luck, Angelina, you better win the whole thing!

Part 5

Vanilla vs Angelina

Vanilla: @Walking into the kitchen after that elimination, I’m not feeling too good. @I just got sent home in a trail of tears and embarrassment. @I can’t believe I disappointed my nan with that recipe.

Carrie: Welcome to the Redemption Rounds, Vanilla!

Angelina: @Seeing Vanilla is terrifying. @She’s been a strong cook from the get-go, getting immunity and the first elimination challenge win. @But she’s just going to be another step in my road to Redemption.

Carrie: So Vanilla, you were eliminated on a venison dish. The meat was tough, chewy, and overcooked. Tonight, do you think you can redeem yourself?

Vanilla: I hope so.

Carrie: Our challenge is about solely technique. You’ll have just 15 minutes to cook three steaks. I want one medium rare, one medium, and one rare. Whoever can nail the cooking temperatures of the three steaks will remain in the competition. You’ll have 15 minutes, time starts now!

Vanilla: @I wish I could cook, because I know I could beat Angelina in a dessert cook-off. @But I’ll take what I can get. @My oven is already preheated, and my strategy is to fire each steak within 1-2 minutes of one another. @They’ll all be able to flip at the same time, and then I can get the ones that finish cooking, namely the rare, resting, while the medium rare and medium can go into the oven. @Right now, it’s not laughs and giggles anymore. @I’m really determined to get back into the competition.

Angelina: @Vanilla is not going to be an easy opponent, but my strategy is to get the steaks cooked individually, so that I can get the medium steak into the oven first, then the medium rare, and once the rare is done cooking, I can rest all three at once. @I’ve already beaten Olympia, Duncan, Vincent, and Jimmy, so I’m determined to beat Vanilla and show everyone that my food reigns supreme.

Vanilla: @Showing up, I was always told to smile and laugh through everything. @I wasn’t allowed to cry, I wasn’t allowed to be sad. @If I needed to cry, I’d only do it when it was raining, and I’d run outside and hide my tears with the raindrops. @It was hard not to cry, when you were bullied for being overweight. @So I’d act outwardly happy and make the effort to exercise and get fit. @It wasn’t easy, but I managed to overcome almost a decade of being called fat or ugly, and if I could do that, then I can win this challenge and stay in the competition.

Angelina: @Vanilla’s steaks are all resting, either on the cutting board or in the oven. @I’m feeling good, because we’re cooking filet mignon, and those don’t need as much resting as most other cuts. @Winning this challenge just validates that I am a fantastic cook and that my future in this industry is going to be a bright one. @I really want everyone to know that this is my passion, and it’s my dream.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Carrie cuts into the steaks on both cooks’ stations.

Vanilla: @I’m feeling petrified, but at the same time, I know that my steaks are cooked perfectly. @Angelina better get ready to leave the kitchen.

Angelina: @Vanilla’s got this murderous look in her eyes, and I don’t care. @I know I’ve knocked her out of this competition.

Carrie: So overall, you both were really consistent between the cooks of your steaks. Angelina, your steaks were about 5-10 seconds over on each one. Vanilla, you had a perfect rare steak, but your other two were both about 10 seconds under. Overall, it’s a tough decision to make. But Vanilla, you did have one perfect steak, and that’s what’s keeping you in the running. Angelina, I’m sorry, but you’re going home tonight.

Angelina: That’s fine. *to Vanilla* Good luck. Represent the girls out there! @It sucks to be leaving! @I felt so ready to win the whole way through, but instead, I’m out. @Vanlila better win the whole thing, because I knew I would have done that if she was not so damn lucky!

Vanilla: Ciao!~ @Winning again feels nice, especially when you were doubting yourself about your abilities to cook meat. @I think I need to keep giving this savory cooking a go, because my dessert skills are incredible, but my savory cooking needs more work. @If I want to win the title of Warrior Chef, the only way for me to smash it out of the park is to fire all cannons and charge straight ahead.

Part 6

Jackson vs Vanilla

Jackson: @Walking back into the Warrior Chef kitchen, I’m feeling like shit. @I really tried to tackle my weakness with dessert and it totally backfired on me.
Carrie: Jackson, welcome to the Redemption Rounds! Any clues who you’re going up against in this challenge?

Jackson: It really could be anyone. Either Jimmy or Vanilla?

In walks… Vanilla.

Vanilla: Hi, Jackson! @I see Jackson, and he’s a strong cook. @His ability to cook beautiful French food is going to be a real problem in this challenge.

Jackson: @Vanilla is terrifying. @Her dessert skills are astronomical and I’m already feeling screwed if we have to make a dessert in this challenge, which is probably going to happen.

Carrie: So Jackson, you were eliminated on a black velvet cake. The judges, they thought it was too sweet and the usage of Oreos was just too juvenile. Tonight, I’d like to see what you can do with Oreos again. But this time, you need to use them… in a savory dish. I don’t want a dessert. I want an entree or an appetizer, incorporating the Oreos.

Vanilla: What?! @Oreos in a savory dish?! @Oh, well I have, you know, ZERO recipes for this.

Jackson: Well sh*t! @Oreos aren’t meant to be eaten in an app or entree! @I’m already struggling to think about what I can make.

Carrie: Just 30 minutes, starting now!

Vanilla: @I grab the Oreos and I think about what the heck am I going to do with them?! @I decide to remove the cream filling. @I’m making a turnip puree, adding the cream filling to cancel out that sulfurous quality in the root. @For the cookies, I’m roasting them in spices and blending them up for a crust for my liver. @I’m sous-viding the calves liver in milk and then crusting and frying it. @I’ve never cooked with liver before, and thinking about cooking with it just reminds me of how I used to be anorexic, and I thought food was my enemy. @Hopefully it won’t be the case tonight, because my food, I’m determined to make it delicious and make sure that I shine through!~

Jackson: @I grab the cookies and I decide to make a mole. @I’m blending them into the sauce and it’ll thicken them and provide the chocolate flavor so I don’t need to add in real chocolate. @I’m making a stewed pork mole. @I’m thinking that it’ll be a huge risk, making this sort of dish in 30 minutes, but I’m used the ground pork so that it won’t have to braise for as long to be soft.

Vanilla: @I get the liver into the hot oil and it’s looking good. @I made sure to remove as much sinew as possible and slice it into thin pieces so that it’ll cook faster. @Jackson’s station, it smells beautiful, but I don’t think he’s going to be as creative as I am, and I’m hoping that’ll pay off.

Jackson: @Vanilla’s at a huge disadvantage because she’s got to cook savory food and her lack of experience with it is what sent her home. @I’m feeling great about the flavor and texture of my sauce and I know my pork is going to be really tender because I put in plenty of honey and onions to break it down even further. @I’m not threatened by Vanilla at this point. @I think I have this one.

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

Jackson: @I’m feeling good about my dish, but Vanilla’s presenting liver. @That’ll either win her the challenge or give her a one-way ticket out.

Vanilla: @Mole is such a safe dish. @I don’t think Jackson played it as smartly as he could have.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So this was a really… interesting challenge. Vanilla, you took a huge risk using liver in your dish. Nobody would ever think to pair chocolate cookies with liver of all things. Jackson, you went with a much more obvious route. Chocolate and mole is an immediate association and I loved that you made such a delicious sauce.

Jackson: @At this point, I think I got this. @I’m confident I beat her.

Carrie: Vanilla, your liver was…. cooked beautifully. And that puree was gorgeous. Jackson, your pork was a bit tough. So I have to give this win to Vanilla.

Vanilla: *to Jackson* Ciao!~ @I’m feeling so excited to have won again!~ @The Redemption Rounds are intense but I’ve managed to wow my way into the next stage of the competition! @Let’s do this! @I’m ready for the next one!

Jackson: @I lost?! @I’m feeling a bit pissed, because Vanilla cooked liver and that’s how she beat me. @This is such a disappointment. @I lost to liver? @Just yuck.

Part 7

Zack vs Vanilla

Zack: @I’m walking into the Warrior Chef kitchen again feeling mortified. @I just got sent home over chili con carne. @That was something that surprised everyone! @It’s hispanic cooking, and I should have won that challenge!

Carrie: Hi, Zack! So welcome to the Redemption Rounds! Any guesses on who you’ll be facing tonight?

Zack: I’d guess Vanilla?

In walks Vanilla.

Vanilla: Hey, Zack! @Zack was an eliminator, and now he’s been sent packing. @I’d love to take him out of the competition for good, and this is the perfect chance to do it.

Carrie: So Zack, you were eliminated over chili con carne. The judges loved the chili, but the cheesy bechamel component you added completely overwhelmed your spices.

Zack: Yeah, it sucked.

Carrie: So for this challenge, you must prepare a dish using cheese! You have just 30 minutes, time starts now!

Zack: @Getting eliminated over trying to do a cheesy bechamel, it’s pretty sucky. @But I know how to cook with cheese, and I’ll prove that I can do that tonight. @I’m making a four cheese ravioli, using goat cheese, parmesan, pecorino, and ricotta, with sage brown butter sauce and toasted pine nuts. @Vanilla is a strong cook and she’s managed to last this long, so I know I have to watch myself against her and make sure that I cook everything perfectly.

Vanilla: Haha!~ I love cheese! @I’m so excited to be working with the cheese! @I grab the mascarpone and the ricotta and I know I need to make a dessert just to add some shock value. @I’m making a meyer lemon curd swirled mascarpone posset with ricotta doughnuts and mascarpone poached meringues. @To make the meringues, I’m going to melt mascarpone into some water and poach meringues in that to make them have a creamier finish.

Zack @I make sure that the pasta is rolled super thin. @I don’t have a lot of time left and I need the pasta to cook all the way through. @I see that Vanilla’s making a dessert per usual. @Does she ever make savory food? @I think she’s going to go home the moment the challenge actually requires her to cook real food. @But I might just be saying this because her desserts have done nothing short of win her challenge after challenge, and yeah, I’m definitely nervous going against a Vanilla dessert.

Vanilla: @I test my doughnuts and they float up, and I cut into one, and it’s still raw in the center. Sh*t! @I make them smaller because then they’ll actually fry properly. @The possets are in the blast chiller and I know that those will show off my skills. @I see what Zack is preparing and it’s a pasta dish! @I’m not feeling too nervous, because a filled pasta is not something I’m intimidated by.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Vanilla: @I step back from my station and I’m feeling excited!

Carrie tastes the two dishes.

Zack: @Carrie’s cutting into my pasta and it looks perfectly filled. @I’m stoked.

Carrie: So overall, I loved both dishes. Zack, pasta was rolled and filled perfectly. It was almost like cutting into a poached egg. The filling was cheese-packed and that sauce was the proper compliment. Vanilla, I didn’t think about a dessert when I thought about cheese. The posset was set and it was smooth and beautiful. The fritters were crispy and cooked all the way through and the meringues were creamy and tangy with the mascarpone flavor. Tonight, it was a hard decision because neither dish was poorly executed. But Vanilla, for featuring the cheese in more creative ways, I’ll have to give the win to you! Zack, please leave the kitchen.

Zack: Alright. @I’m leaving pretty disappointed. @I gave it my all and it just fell flat. @I’m really angry. @But I still knew it. @Vanilla’s desserts are undefeated. @I was basically set up to lose this one.

Vanilla: *to Zack* Ciao! @I’m feeling ecstatic that I won another challenge! @There aren’t too many people left in this competition and I’m hoping that I can win my way back into the main competition.

Part 8

Leona vs Vanilla

Leona: @I’m walking back into the Warrior Chef kitchen, and I see Carrie standing there with Vanilla. @Great, she’s back.

Vanilla: @Seeing Leona, it’s really bringing back some bitter memories. @We were on the bottom two together when I got sent home. @Maybe this is my chance to reverse my fate, and send her packing for a change.

Carrie: Welcome to the Redemption Rounds, Leona.

Leona: It’s great to be here. Glad to have another chance to send Vanilla packing.

Vanilla: I’m glad you’re honest, anyways.

Carrie: Leona, you were eliminated because the dish you prepared, it was dry and disjointed. For tonight’s challenge, you’ll both need to take unusual ingredient pairings, and make a cohesive dish out of them. You’ll have to choose between either squid and vanilla beans, or rhubarb and blue cheese. Vanilla, since you are the reigning champ, you get to decide.

Vanilla: It’s kind of an obvious one. I need to go with the vanilla beans and squid.

Leona: What? @Are you kidding me? @She just shot herself in the foot. @I’m not complaining or anything, but rhubarb and blue cheese, it’ll be so much easier to work with, and I know Vanilla’s going to struggle now.

Carrie: So Leona, you have the blue cheese and rhubarb. You’ll have just 30 minutes to cook, time starts now!

Vanilla: @I grab the vanilla beans, and I’m going to prepare a lemon verbena-vanilla vinaigrette, lightly dressed cucumbers and fennel, and fried calamari. @I’m feeling pretty confident that my flavors can carry me through to the next round.

Leona: @I’m going to make an ahi tuna crudo with pickled rhubarb and blue cheese foam. @I’m thinking that cutting the blue cheese with heavy cream will be key to making that funkiness go away. @I’m going to embrace the rhubarb, because it’s fresh.

Vanilla: @I see what Leona’s making. @Blue cheese with tuna? @I’m not sure if that’s a good combination to go for, and she might be in trouble. @I’m hoping that the flavors of my dish are going to be nice, and I grab a blood orange, and segment that into my salad, because I know that the citrus will bridge the vanilla and seafood.

Leona: @Vanilla is going with a lot of herbaceous and bitter notes, so I think that might overpower the vanilla and squid. @I am embracing the flavor of the rhubarb and balancing that with the pungent blue cheese. @From a flavor standpoint, I know that I’m going to be highlighting my ingredients much more than she is.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Leona: @I see what Vanilla prepared. @Fried calamari? @That’s pretty lame.

Vanilla: @Leona’s pairing of blue cheese with tuna, I really think she shot herself in the foot there.

Carrie tastes both dishes.

Leona: @I notice Carrie’s reaction when she is eating my dish. @She finished off all of the blue cheese foam, so I know she liked that a lot.

Carrie: So tonight, I’m feeling like this decision was a pretty easy one to make.

Vanilla: @Now I’m scared. @Did Leona smoke me that much? @Maybe I shouldn’t have been so cocky about how her dish turned out.

Carrie: Leona, the blue cheese foam was delicious and it paired well with the rhubarb. Vanilla, you managed to blend together the two ingredients with herbs and citrus, and that was smart. It came down to the theme of the challenge, which was cohesion. Vanilla, your dish ate a little bit clunky. But Leona, the tuna had no place on that dish, so Vanilla, you’ll be continuing to the Redemption Rounds finale!

Vanilla: Oh my god!

Leona: Damn it.

Carrie: Leona, please leave the kitchen.

Leona: Got it. @Damn, damn, damn it! @I’m so pissed right now. @I’m feeling ripped off. @I deserved to win that!

Vanilla: *to Leona* Ciao!~ @I might still win this season, and that’s making me feel so happy right now. @Being so close to the end, and possibly winning this from the Redemption Rounds, it’s surreal. @I need a moment to process that.

Finale

Fanny vs Vanilla

Fanny: @I’m walking into the kitchen, and I don’t know what to expect. @I’ve made it to the original final four, and I’m ready to defeat whoever I need to if it means I can secure my place in the final four, and then take the title.

Carrie: Fanny, I’m sure you’re interested in seeing who your opponent will be. Any guesses on who that is?

Fanny: It’s tough to say. Maybe Leona or Vanilla?

Carrie: You’ll see soon enough! Come on in!

In walks Vanilla.

Vanilla: @Fanny is a strong, strong cook. @Honestly, any of those four who were in the finale, I’d be scared to face off against.

Fanny: @Vanilla is not a lightweight in this competition. @Since the beginning, she was dominating, so I’m feeling like this is my chance to really prove myself as a cook.

Carrie: So Fanny, you were eliminated over a dish that the judges claimed was bland. This is the Redemption Rounds finale, so all I am really asking of both of you is to create a dish that is anything but bland. You have 30 minutes, starting now!

Fanny: @I run into the pantry, and I decide to redeem my previous dish. @I’m preparing a pea-yogurt panna cotta with coconut-lime sorbet. @It’s a huge risk making a panna cotta in 30 minutes, but I’m using cornstarch and gelatin to make it possible.

Vanilla: @Fanny is tough, but I need to be tougher. @I’m preparing a smoked scallop with corn puree, mint coulis, and fried mint leaves. @Fanny is going with a dessert, but I know that my dish will shine in the end. @I got to believe!

Fanny: So Vanilla how have the Redemption Rounds been?

Vanilla: *to Fanny* I’ve had to knock out some really good cooks! But I’m ready to take you out of the competition as well!
Fanny: Those are fighting words! It’s on!

Vanilla: @So far, I’ve won seven challenges, including my four wins in the Redemption Rounds. @If I can beat Fanny, then I’m really going to be primed and ready for what’s left of the finale!

Carrie: Time’s up!

Vanilla: @I step away from my dish, and I’m wondering if I did enough. @I see Fanny’s dish, and it’s this gorgeous dessert. @I’m beginning to second guess myself a little.

Fanny: @Vanilla’s scallops look very basic compared to my dessert. @I’m ready to re-enter the finale, and take down the other three.

Carrie tastes the dishes.

Carrie: So tonight, we have two really different dishes. Fanny, the dish was refreshing, light, and I liked that you attempted panna cotta in 30 minutes. The flavors were nice. Vanilla, the scallops were smoked beautifully and the usage of mint and corn was unusual, but it really did work. Tonight, it’s a hard decision, because both dishes tasted good and fit the criteria for being well-seasoned. But the person returning is…

To be continued….

Warrior Chef 1: Round 7

Fanny: @I’m in the final five, and it feels great! @Out of the five of us, I think that Leona is the weak link. @She’s never really impressed anyone with any of her dishes so far.

Karen: @Being the youngest doesn’t seem the matter at this point. @I’m stronger than most other cooks here because I’m cooking from the heart, and that’s how I plan to win Warrior Chef.

Carrie: After today’s round, four of you will be progressing to the finale in San Francisco, California. And one of you, will be cut just short of that opportunity.

Lucas: @I’m feeling good about my odds for getting to the end. @Fanny, Karen, Tadashi, and Leona are my competition, but I know that I can take down Fanny and Leona without any trouble.

Carrie: So for the creativity challenge, you’ll have to prepare a dish using a delicious piece of seafood.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying skate, razor clams, octopus, squid, and arctic char.

Fanny: @I see all of the seafood and it’s inspiring. @I’m feeling good about the options.

Carrie: You have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish, using one of these proteins, and it’s first come, first serve! Your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I manage to run to the table first, and I grab the razor clams. @I love the flavor of them, and I think the best way to prepare it is raw. @I’m preparing a razor clam crudo with cucumber, Korean pear, and spicy ponzu sauce. @The components will be simple, but I want the flavors to really stand out.

Karen: @I manage to get to the table right after Tadashi, and I snag the squid. @I’m making lamb stuffed squid with homemade pasta and a mint-lemon butter sauce. @I’m hoping that all of the components I prepare will make my dish stand out. @Making pasta, cooking two proteins, I think it’ll be good!

Lucas: @I manage to take the arctic char, and I’m surprised nobody wanted to go for the fish. @I’m preparing a seared char filet with charred radicchio, agro dulce strawberries, and purple potato chips.

Leona: @I’m going to make a seared skate wing with almond Waldorf salad. @It was between the skate and the octopus, and I do not want that octopus. @It’ll take too long to cook, and I don’t have that time to waste.

Fanny: @I’m stuck with octopus, and I’m going to sous-vide it with a wine cork, yogurt, and buttermilk to tenderize it immediately. @I’m making crispy octopus tentacles with fried chickpeas, and buttermilk beurre blanc. @I see the other dishes, and I don’t think that Karen or Leona are really embracing their proteins as much as they can be.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Lucas: @I’m feeling good about my dish, and then I turn to see the others. @Tadashi made a sashimi dish, per usual. @Karen did some stuffed squid, and that just doesn’t really highlight the squid, but sort of overpowers it. @I think I might win this one.

Carrie: Your judge is Warrior Chef seafood critic, Max Hudson!

Max: Hi, everyone! Good quality fish is hard to come by, so I’m excited to see what you guys are going to put up.

Max and Carrie taste the dishes.

Carrie: So Max, who wowed you tonight?

Max: The first dish that really impressed me belonged to Tadashi. I’ve never had a raw razor clam before, and the combination with the pear, cucumber, and spicy ponzu, it was refreshing and beautiful. The second dish was Lucas’s. The filet was cooked perfectly and you paired it with some really great ingredients. It was inventive to use the strawberries. Finally, Fanny. You tenderized that octopus beautifully and I loved the combination of the buttermilk with the chickpeas. It wasn’t something I’d expect to see, and it was executed very well.

Fanny: @Being on top is great, especially since Max is such a sweetheart. @I’m thinking that this might be my chance to win the creativity challenge.

Tadashi: @I really hope that I win the challenge tonight. @I want that validation that my seafood reigns supreme.

Carrie: Who won tonight?

Max: The three of you prepared some really good dishes. But in the end, the best dish belonged to…. Fanny.

Carrie: Congratulations, Fanny! You’ll win a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge! Well done!

Fanny: Thank you. @I won the creativity challenge and just getting that advantage will put me one step closer to the end. @I’m ready to be in that finale.

Carrie: So now it’s time for your elimination challenge! For this challenge, you’ll have to prepare a dish worthy of the finale. However, you’ll need to make the dish inspired by one of these five dishes!

-ginger dusted rock cod, confit morels, spaetzle, citrus-pepper butter sauce

-beet-pomegranate sorbet, cacao soil, lamb loin, balsamic-black garlic puree

-green curry lobster, basil gnocchi, lime buttered scallops, puffed rice

-grilled shrimp, prickly pear salsa, corn milk

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

Carrie: Fanny, you have the honor of assigning each person which dish they’ll have to base their own off of!

Fanny: @Right away, I recognize the second and third dishes as mine and Lucas’s, so I know that these are everyone’s signature dishes. @The first and last dishes sound like it could be Karen or Tadashi’s, because they both have such heavy European influences. The grilled shrimp sounds like it’s Leona’s, mostly by default.

Karen: @I know how to prepare the first dish, obviously because it’s mine. @But looking down the list, I really hope Fanny assigns me the last one.

Fanny: So for the rock cod, I’ll give that dish over to…. Leona. @I’m hoping that the cod will trip her up, because there’s a lot of different components that need go into it. @Leona might trip herself up and that’s what I’m aiming for.

Leona: Thanks. @I can handle Karen’s signature dish. @It’s not hard. @Karen is a baby and I can easily make anything she can cook.

Fanny: For the second dish, my course with the lamb, I’m going to have Lucas re-invent that. @It’s a very tricky dish, and even though Lucas has seen me prepare it, I don’t know how comfortable he’ll be with my techniques.

Lucas: @I don’t feel intimidated by her dish. @I just need to translate her ingredients into something I can do. @That’s how I can win the challenge.

Fanny: The curry lobster, I’ll have Karen handle it. @It’s not an easy dish, with balancing those herbs, and I’m hoping Karen will be stumped.

Karen: Thank you. @I love lobster, and the fact that gnocchi was involved and I killed it with the gnocchi in the last elimination, I might be able to pull this one off.

Fanny: For the grilled shrimp, I’m going to give that one to Tadashi. @It’s the simplest dish, and I’m hoping that Tadashi won’t know how to interpret it, because the components are a bit out-there.

Tadashi: Alright. @Shrimp and corn milk sounds interesting, but I need to take that dish and do my best with it. @That’s what makes a Warrior Chef.

Fanny: And I’ll assign myself the bone-in ribeye dish. @I’m feeling great. @That dish sounds incredible, and I’m familiar with all of the techniques involved.

Carrie: So just 45 minutes to recreate those dishes in your own cooking styles, and your time starts now!

Karen: @The dish I need to recreate was a curried lobster with gnocchi, scallops, and puffed rice. @I’m going to remove the curry entirely, and prepare a lobster butter sauce with gnocchi, poached lobster knuckle, and seared scallops. @I’m going to be true to myself, and not use the Thai curry, because it’s not something I’m entirely familiar with.

Fanny: @With the rib-eye, I’m going to prepare a seared tomahawk steak with thrice cooked chips, and a leek barbecue sauce. @I’m going to completely strip down the dish and prepare it in the most honest and rustic way possible. @It’s not necessarily my style, but I know that it’s the best way to present a nice bone-in steak!

Lucas: @I have the lamb dish with the beets and pomegranates and cocoa. @I’m making cocoa dusted lamb loin with beet puree and pomegranate relish. @I’m going to use the ras el-hanout to season my dish, because it’ll tie together all of the flavors. @I think it’ll be great.

Leona: @I have the rock cod dish with morels and spaetzle. @I’m going to make tempura fried rock cod with pickled morels, and instead of spaetzle, I’m going to make homemade noodles. @I think it’ll be a great way to show off some really good flavors and techniques.

Tadashi: @I want to take a huge risk tonight with the dish I’m going to prepare. @It’s going to be a spicy shrimp and corn cake with a poached egg in the center, and then I’m going to make a prickly pear-peanut dipping sauce. @I’m going down a really rustic Asian path, but the shrimp cake will be like a blend with a scotch egg, and hopefully the innovation will be there for me.

Leona: @Tadashi is my biggest competition. @He’s been strong from the get-go. @I want to see Tadashi get sent home tonight.

Lucas: @I taste the puree and it’s looking good. @The relish needs more vinegar, so I’m just trying to make sure that’s balanced.

Fanny: @I’m starting to wonder if this is the right dish for the challenge. @My steak is cooked perfectly and the chips are delicious, but is this really true to me?

Carrie: Time’s up!

Karen: @The finale is just around the corner, and nobody is guaranteed safety, so this is going to be a huge toss-up on who will be going forward.

Carrie: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Chelia Van Buren

Carrie: So let’s start with the dish by Fanny!

-tomahawk steak, thrice cooked chips, leek barbecue sauce

Chelia: The dish was certainly…. rustic. Okay, it wasn’t an elegant dish. It’s something I’d expect in a pub. Fanny’s style, this doesn’t really scream that.

Miriam: It’s a side to Fanny we haven’t seen before, and I can appreciate that. The steak was cooked nicely, as were the chips. I liked the sauce a lot too.

Erwin: I guess for me, the biggest thing I can’t get over is how the dish went from being this elegant, Michelin rated course to something from a pub. She didn’t really elevate the dish.

Carrie: Now we have Lucas’s dish!

-cocoa seared lamb loin, ras el hanout-beet puree, pomegranate relish

Erwin: The relish has a great balance of flavor and the loin was nicely cooked. Lucas’s puree, it was smooth and creamy.

Miriam: I’m surprised by how much I genuinely like that puree. It was delicious! The texture was smooth, which is unusual for a beet puree, and the ras el hanout just perked that up right away.

Chelia: The pomegranate relish was a great idea and the flavors worked. The addition of the ras el hanout really elevated the dish and made it beautiful.

Carrie: Next, we have Karen’s dish!

-lobster butter gnocchi, scallops, lobster knuckles

Miriam: The lobster was cooked beautifully, the gnocchi were pillowy and light, and the scallops were seared perfectly. She made an impeccable dish.

Chelia: Karen omitted the curry from the dish, and it made it that much different. I’m surprised by that, but the actual flavors were beautifully developed.

Erwin: Karen’s techniques were there, and I’m genuinely impressed by how much she managed to do in just 45 minutes. Omitting the curry felt like a copout.

Carrie: And here is Tadashi’s dish!

-shrimp-corn wrapped scotch egg, prickly pear peanut sauce

Erwin: Wow. The scotch egg was oozing and the shrimp around it was cooked perfectly. The sauce was delightful.

Chelia: He managed to make a delicious dish overall, and it’s got just surprising how he managed to come up with this dish.

Miriam: Tadashi has continued to deliver great food in this competition. The creativity and technique he showed here, taking Leona’s dish and doing that to it, I’m wowed.

Carrie: And finally, Leona’s dish!

-tempura fried rock cod, pickled morels, homemade noodles

Chelia: The rock cod was cooked beautifully. I liked the battering around it. The pickled morels were a nice touch as well. Her noodles were nicely crafted.

Erwin: I think that the biggest issue with this dish is that it ate really greasy and dry. There was no sauce on the noodles.

Miriam: I’m genuinely confused about what to do with her dish. It was clunky, hard to eat, and while the components were individually well done, it didn’t eat together well.

Carrie: So can we decide on who is going to San Francisco for the finale?

Chelia: We can.

In walks Lucas, Tadashi, and Karen.

Carrie: Tonight… the three of you prepared the best dishes, and you’ll all be joining us for the finale!

Lucas: Awesome! @I’m stoked that I’m on top, because now there’s only a few challenges left, and I’m ready to take all of them.

Miriam: All three of you really impressed us for different reasons. Lucas, the usage of ras el hanout changed the dish drastically, but for the better. Karen, you did the opposite, by omitting the green curry, but the flavors were beautiful. Tadashi, the innovation to use the shrimp meat to coat an egg, and the sauce, we cannot stress enough how brilliant that was.

Carrie: And who won?

Miriam: Three incredible dishes, all strong for their own reasons. But the winner was… Tadashi. Again, you really can take this entire competition if you keep cooking like how you are right now.

Tadashi: Thank you! @Winning this challenge, and knowing that I can come back home to California, it means a lot for me. @I really need to win this season, just because it’ll validate all of those hours of driving to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica and staging.

The top three leave.

In walks Fanny and Leona.

Carrie: Unfortunately, one of you will not be joining us in the finale.

Erwin: This challenge, it was hard to really judge. Fanny, you made a fine-dining dish into something from a pub. Tadashi may have done the same, but he elevated the dish with technique and unique flavor profiles. Your dish, it was too plain. The technical skills were dumbed down on it.

Chelia: Leona, you prepared three fantastic components, but the dish ate dry. You didn’t have a sauce, and it really hindered how your dish ate.

Carrie: So one of you is going home tonight.

Fanny: @I’m a bit nervous, because my dish came off as really plain. @But we have Leona, who had no cohesion, so I might be able to squeak by here.

Leona: @Fanny’s dish was boring and she didn’t take any risks. @I tried to do something innovative. @Have you ever had tempura fried rock cod? @I don’t think so.

Carrie: Leona, I’m sorry. Please return to the kitchen and leave.
Leona: Alright. Okay, I see how it is. @I’m leaving, feeling pretty pissed. @I deserved to be in that finale. @Fanny, she’s going forward, just skating by.

Carrie: Fanny, you’ve made it into the final four. Congratulations, you’ll be joining Tadashi, Lucas, and Karen in the finale in San Francisco!

Fanny: Thank you, hun. @I’m feeling good about making it into the finale, but I know I need to step it up, or else I’m going home next. @Either way, I’m in the final four! @I’m ready to take that title.

Warrior Chef 1: Round 6

Karen: @I’m the first person walking into the kitchen tonight, but it’s not a good feeling. @After almost getting sent home, I just need some time to really dig deep and think about what makes me passionate about food.

Leona: @I’m confident that I can beat the rest of these cooks tonight. @Nobody here is as scrappy as I am.

Carrie: Hi, everyone! So tonight, the six of you will be competing in teams of three. Please draw knives!

Leona – red

Tadashi – red

Fanny – blue

Lucas – blue

Zack – blue

Karen – red

Carrie: So in teams of three, you’ll be preparing two dishes in 30 minutes. You’ll each have 5 minutes in the pantry, time starts now!

Karen: @So Leona, Tadashi, and I are discussing, and Leona and I both cook more European food, and Tadashi is Japanese. @So we decide on our first dish, which is going to be a slow-cooked egg with truffle foam and uni. @The second dish is black garlic roasted lamb with potatoes and mint puree.

Lucas: @Fanny, Zack, and I are on a team together. @We decide that the first course will be beef carpaccio with pickled vegetables and roasted pumpernickel. @Our second dish is going to be grilled octopus with confit potatoes and fried onions.

The teams both arrive at their stations.

Carrie: Guys, just one more twist before you cook. Switch stations!

Leona: What? @You’re kidding me, right?

The teams swap stations.

Carrie: You’ll have 30 minutes to cook two dishes, using ingredients selected by the other team. And you don’t have access to the pantry. Your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I see what we have to work with. @Octopus and beef tenderloin are the main proteins, so we decide on takoyaki fritters with caramelized onion mayonnaise. @For the second dish, we have the beef, so we will prepare a seared beef loin with pangritata and a carrot puree with beef pan jus.

Fanny: @I see the uni and the eggs with the lamb, and I’m really happy. @For our first dish, we want to prepare an egg yolk raviolo with uni brown butter and shaved truffles. @For the second dish, we are making mint crusted rack of lamb with potato puree and black garlic jus. @Lucas, Zack, and I are going to be a strong team.

Karen: @Working with Tadashi, it’s pretty incredible. @He’s a strong cook, and his leading style, it’s coming through. @Leona and I are working in sync with him, and our components are getting finished, one right after the other.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Leona: @I think our team did the best. @I look over, and I’m not impressed.

Zack: @I’m worried that my lamb is not cooked properly, but the rest of the dishes look great. @We might have a shot here.

Carrie: Your judge is Warrior Chef alum, Ashlee Pou!

Ashlee: Hi, babes. @Babes, it’s great to be back. @I’m ready to criticize the dishes, and I’m not afraid to be a biatch if I have to.

Carrie and Ashlee taste the dishes.

Carrie: So Ashlee, how did the red team do?

Ashlee: Babes, the best part of their meal was the appetizer. The fritters were phenomenal. I loved the second course, but not as much as I did the first.

Carrie: And how bout the blue team?

Ashlee: The raviolo was stunning, babes. It was oozy, it was sexy, I just loved it. The second course, I thought that the potatoes were good, but the lamb was cooked unevenly, babes. I’m disappointed by that.

Carrie: And the winning team?

Ashlee: Babes, it was an easy call. The winners were most certainly…. the red team.

Carrie: Congratulations, Tadashi, Leona, and Karen! You won the creativity challenge!
Karen: @Winning this challenge just puts the wind back in my sails. @This is just what I needed to really bolster my confidence.

Carrie: And now for your elimination challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying six large crockpots.

Tadashi: @I’m seeing the large pots, and I’m feeling a little bit confused.

Carrie: So inside of each of these pots is a different kind of stew. Everyone, just take a pot, and open the lid!

Karen: @I grab the first one, and inside is a name tag. Hot pot?

Tadashi: Jambalaya.

Leona: Chairo? @What the heck is that?!

Zack: Cassoulet.

Fanny: Callaloo.

Lucas: Beef bourguignon.

Carrie: So for your dishes, you’ll need to make a dish inspired by the stew you drew. 1 hour, time starts now!

Lucas: @I got beef bourguignon, and all I really know is that it’s French, and it uses beef, and I think red wine. @I’m going to make red wine glazed beef short ribs with gnocchi and brown butter. @I’m keeping the dish relatively basic, focusing on the beef and red wine, so that I don’t really screw up.

Fanny: @I’m feeling a bit amused about the callaloo, because it’s another vegetarian-type of thing, and I just made a green soup in the last elimination challenge too. @I’m going to prepare a taro puree with mushroom stuffed spinach leaves and an olive oil-nasturtium emulsion.

Zack: @Cassoulet is like pork and beans. @I’m making chili con carne with a cheesy bechamel topping. @It’s going to be like a blend of shepherd’s pie and a gratin. @I think that my inventiveness with this will be great!

Leona: @I got chairo, and I have no clue what this is. @It’s supposed to be a stew. @I think it’s got corn in it, and I’m trying to figure out what sort of protein to use. @I’m making grilled skirt steak with coriander, and a homemade hominy, using plenty of butter and pepper to perk up that corn.

Tadashi: @I have Jambalaya. @It’s a delicious stew with sausage and rice. @I know right away that I can make a chicken roulade stuffed with farce and spices, and then for the rice, I’m making aranchini with corn and peas. @I think that the combination of flavors will be there, and hopefully, it’ll work well.

Karen: @I have hot pot. @Hot pot. @I decide to go with some raw mussels, parisian gnocchi, and then a scalding hot fennel broth. @I’m not really taking the flavors as much as I am taking the experience of hot pot and bringing that to the table.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Karen: @I look around, and I’m feeling a bit nervous. @I just won a creativity challenge, but in the last round, I almost got sent home, so I really don’t know where I stand.

Leona: @Karen’s weakness is that she’s still hung up on her previous progress. @That’s why she won’t ever win the title.

Carrie: Your judges are:

Miriam Adjanti

Frank Torres

Missy Skies

Carrie: Let’s start with the dishes by Tadashi and Karen!

Tadashi – chicken farce roulade with corn-pea aranchini and hot sauce

Karen – mussels, parisian gnocchi, fennel broth

Miriam: Tadashi’s roulade was cooked perfectly and his aranchini were great. But my biggest complaint was that hot sauce. It was the wrong kind of sauce for this dish. It made the dish one note too spicy.

Frank: Karen’s play on hotpot was brilliant. The flavors, not necessarily what I’d associate with the Asian styled dish, but the experience was completely there, and she translated the dish into her own profiles really well.

Missy: Overall, both dishes had strong highs. Tadashi’s roulade was really well done and I liked the aranchini a lot. He did jambalaya justice. Karen’s dish, it was really brilliant. I loved her dish a lot.

Carrie: Next, the dishes by Fanny and Leona!

Fanny – taro puree, mushroom stuffed spinach leaves, olive oil-nasturtium emulsion

Leona – coriander grilled skirt steak with peppered hominy

Missy: Fanny’s taro puree was brilliantly done. It was creamy, light, and heavenly. I’m amazed that she didn’t even add any additional dairy to that. The leaves were delicious, and I almost forgot that her entire dish was vegan!

Frank: Leona captured the flavor profiles of chairo surprisingly well and I liked the hominy and how much butter she put into that. But my steak was undercooked, bordering on completely raw.

Miriam: Fanny’s dish was really strong. If she keeps putting up food like this, she could very easily make the finale. Leona, had she cooked the steak properly, it would have had a lot of promise.

Carrie: Finally, Zack and Lucas’s dishes!

Zack – chili con carne with cheesy bechamel

Lucas – red wine glazed beef short ribs with gnocchi and brown butter

Miriam: I really loved the textures in Zack’s dish. But the chili con carne was not spiced enough, because the bechamel overwhelmed the flavors of it. He promised me a chili, but it wasn’t spicy at all.

Frank: The ribs Lucas prepared were beautifully cooked. Personally, I preferred Karen’s gnocchi to Lucas’s, but his were still delicious overall.

Missy: Zack made a different kind of stew out of a stew he was handed. I liked his bechamel a lot however. With Lucas, the dish was great. Just the short ribs on their own, brilliantly executed.

Carrie: So can we decide who is going home tonight, and who won the challenge?

Miriam: We can.

In walks Karen, Fanny, and Lucas.

Carrie: Tonight, the three of you made the best dishes, and one of you won the elimination challenge!

Lucas: @I’m feeling really happy! @I could win the challenge tonight, and that’ll make me a really strong contender to win.

Carrie: Missy, please announce the winner!

Missy: All three dishes were great, but the best one was… Karen’s hotpot.

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

Karen: Thank you! @I managed to win back to back challenges, and I’m feeling really good about my odds at winning the whole thing!

The top three leave.

Fanny: @Karen winning, she’s such a sweetheart. @I’m feeling like she’s somebody to watch moving forward.

In walks Leona and Zack.
Carrie: Both of you had good dishes, but the judges had different complaints.

Frank: Leona, the flavors were good, but my steak was undercooked, compared to the other portions. It might be those small differences that will send you home.

Miriam: Zack, your bechamel was textbook. But it was the very thing that made your dish not spicy enough. It made your dish very one-note.

Carrie: Zack, please leave the kitchen.

Zack: Thank you for this opportunity, and I’m just glad to have made it this far. @I’m going home. @The competition is getting tougher, and I just need to keep my head held high. @That’s all.

Warrior Chef 1: Part 5

Karen: @Walking into the competition today, I’m feeling really shaken. @Vanilla was one of the strongest girls in the competition and she’s out. @Anyone can get sent home in this competition.

Lucas: @Vanilla going home just meant she wasn’t a well-rounded cook. @Overcooking venison is a poor mistake to make. @If she was going to be a winner, she should’ve known better than to cook it the way that she did.

Carrie: Hi, everyone! I hope you’re ready for this next challenge!

A cart is wheeled in, carrying various animal carcasses.

Karen: @Oh my god. @I see so many dead bodies, and I almost gag. @It’s like Jason Vorghes just made his way through a farm in the woods.

Carrie: So for today’s challenge, we want to see what you guys to make using the scraps from a butcher shop. This includes the animal’s bones and just bits and pieces of meat that they managed to miss. You have just 35 minutes to make a dish, time starts right now!

Lucas: @I grab what used to be a rack of lamb, and I see the fat cap just dangling off of the bones. @I’m going to render lamb fat, and cook that with the bones to make a stock. @I decide to prepare a lamb crepinette with some mint and pea puree and a lamb sauce. @I think it’s going to be awesome.

Tadashi: @Cooking with waste is pretty cool. @I grab these big beef rib bones, and I have a good idea. @I take my scraps, grind them up, and then make a meatball mixture, which I’ll wrap around the bones and roast like a meat lollipop, almost. @It’ll give the meat so much more flavor and I love the idea of it.

Jackson: @Tadashi is playing around with giant beef bones, and I think he’s silly. @I decide on taking the scraps of pork fat, and I’m going to make a pork fat infused apple pie. @I think that making this will show a ton of risk, but I don’t have enough time to make a composed pie, so I’m deconstructing it into a crostata.

Fanny: @I’m excited about this challenge because I can nail it. @I grab the leftover pieces of the chicken, and I’m going to pressure cook them in a quick curry. @I’m going to then make that into a ragout, and serve that inside of a homemade phyllo puff. @I’m going with something completely out of my comfort zone, because I really want to impress the judge tonight and I want to win immunity.

Karen: @I managed to land some foie gras, which I’m surprised people would actually discard this. @I’m making a foie gras butter with lemon-thyme crostoli and whole grain mustard. @I’m feeling really good about this dish because it’s simple but the flavors do speak for themselves and the balance is there.

Leona: @I see that Karen lucked out with the foie gras. @It’s not hard to make that delicious. @I’m doing something much more challenging in that my dish does show technique. @I’m making grilled bone marrow with braised beef ragout and blood orange vinaigrette. @I’m confident that my dish will deliver a knockout punch.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling great about my beef lollipops. @I see Leona also grabbed beef, so it’ll be a direct competition between the two of us, I feel like.

Jackson: @I think my apple pie is the most creative thing here. @Nobody else went with a dessert, and I’m going to stand out for this.

Carrie: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge and expert meat authority, Kierra Johnson!

Kierra: Hi, everyone!

Karen: @She’s won a lot of barbecue circuits and has written a book about butchering game animals. @I think she’s going to be a harsh critic for this challenge.

Kierra: I love cooking with meat and meat is my life. I can’t wait to see what dishes you guys have made using butcher scraps. Every part of the animal can be used, and I just love that concept.

Kierra and Carrie taste the dishes.

Carrie: So Kierra, who disappointed you?

Kierra: Jackson. The usage of the pork fat was great but the pie itself was underbaked and the flavors were just not melding together. And Leona. The grilled bone marrow just melted into nothingness and I couldn’t really taste anything because it all oozed out of the bone itself.

Leona: @Really? @I’m on the bottom? @I only deserve to be on the top. @This is bullshit. @I don’t believe it.

Carrie: And who are you favorites?

Kierra: Karen, the foie gras, it was a bit of an easy go for you, but the balance of flavors were there and I loved your crostoli a lot. And Fanny. You managed to impart a lot of flavor into that chicken ragout and making your own phyllo was incredible. Tonight, it was a bit of a landslide win. Fanny, you earned that challenge win tonight.

Carrie: Congratulations, Fanny! You won immunity!

Fanny: Thank you, love. @I won immunity! @I’m not going anywhere and I proved that tonight by winning this challenge and showing I know what I can do with unusual curveballs. @Chef better be proud of me.

Carrie: So now for the elimination challenge! For this challenge we want to see you make a dish inspired by your own personal vice. You’ll have an hour to make it Your time starts now!

Fanny: @Even though I have immunity, I really feel like this is a challenge I can excel in, because I have had many struggles, being a model and boxer. @As a model, I struggled a lot with my weight and being a boxer, I just tried my best to give a knockout punch. @I want to do an homage to my old diet, which was a green smoothie. @I’m making a spicy tomatillo salsa verde, just to give it that punch, with smoked crema sorbet and spicy pork floss tuiles.

Lucas: @Being raised in a cutthroat environment back home, it was always you had to be first, or you weren’t a winner. @It was really hard for me to come to terms with losing, especially when you have an older and younger brother who just succeeded in everything. @Whenever I’d lose, it was humiliating. @I want to incorporate that sort of sense of humility or humanization into my dish. @So I’m going to make poached crab legs with peppercorn butter and fried capers. @I’m keeping the crab legs in the shell, because the struggle of breaking them represent my own struggle with coming to terms with looking or feeling like an idiot whenever I fell on my face.

Tadashi: @Having to prove to my parents that I was not going to fail in this industry was my personal vice. @I’m going to make a dish that shows my intelligence and my depth of knowledge with flavors and technique. @I’m making sunchoke veloute with pickled beetroot, roasted cauliflower leaves, and chickpeas in pork broth spheres. @I’m confident that my dish shows a lot of technique, and hopefully, the presentation will look like the blood and tears I had to shed to get past all of the struggles.

Leona: @Being from the Bronx, I think that’s already a vice in itself. @I was raised different, and people look at me like I’m bad in the head. @I want to show that I can make good food. @I’m going to prepare mofongo and take the judges to Africa. @I’m going to make the mofongo with plantains, plenty of spices, and then serving it with some brook trout.

Jackson: @My biggest personal vice is just not learning enough about baking from my grandma when I could have. @Tonight, I’m making Rachel’s black velvet cake with cream cheese-Oreo frosting. @I think it represents the darkness behind me not being able to talk with my grandma more when I had the chance, and how I had to overcome that with a lot of focus and determination.

Karen: @I think my own vice would just be being constantly underestimated. @I’m pretty small in stature, so most people don’t take me seriously. @For my dish tonight, I’m going to prepare a fairy tail eggplant lasagna, which really is meant to represent how good things can come in small packages. @I’m making the entire dish from scratch, just to show a lot more technique.

Zack: @Working under Gordon Ramsay, it teaches you to be a perfectionist. @For me, the vice I had was just accepting my faults as a person. @I’m going to prepare a shattered lemon tart, inspired by Massimo Bottura’s own iconic lemon tart. @It is imperfect, but beautiful in its own way. @I see the other stations, and I see what Fanny is making, and it looks like a green smoothie. @If that beats my lemon tart, I’ll be extremely disappointed tonight.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Jackson: @I’m feeling a bit nervous about my cake, but then I see that Fanny made some bizarre dish, and she might be the one going home instead.

Carrie: Your judges are:
Missy Skies

Guy Flannigan

Erwin Ko

Carrie: Let’s start with the dishes by Leona, Jackson, and Lucas!

Leona – mofongo with brook trout

Jackson – black velvet cake with cream cheese-Oreo frosting

Lucas – poached crab legs with peppercorn butter and fried capers

Missy: Leona’s brook trout was cooked beautifully and I liked her mofongo a lot. The flavors were really strong, but she needed a sauce.

Guy: The black velvet cake that Jackson prepared, it was dry and overcooked. I didn’t really enjoy it at all.

Erwin: Lucas’ crab legs were nicely cooked and I loved the accompaniments that he prepared with those.

Carrie: Next, the dishes by Tadashi, Karen, and Fanny!

Tadashi – sunchoke veloute, pickled beetroot, cauliflower leaves, chickpeas pork broth

Karen – fairy tail eggplant lasagna

Fanny – tomatillo salsa verde, smoked crema sorbet, and spicy pork floss tuiles

Erwin: Tadahi’s veloute was…. just beautiful. I was amazed by the flavors. His presentation was gorgeous and I was amazed.

Guy: Karen’s lasagna… the sauce was under-seasoned and the lasagna itself, I actually like the flavors, surprisingly enough.

Missy: Fanny’s dish, it sounded really strange. But the flavors came together beautifully and I loved the idea of taking a green smoothie and turning it on its head.

Carrie: So can we decide on who won and who lost this challenge?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Fanny, Lucas, and Tadashi.

Carrie: The three of you… prepared the judges favorite dishes! One of you won the challenge tonight. Erwin, please announce the winner.
Erwin: I’m honored to crown the best dish, because it was really that good. Tadashi, you won the challenge. Your sunchoke veloute was inspirational.

Tadashi: Thank you. @I won! @I’m really surprised, but winning the vice challenge feels like a huge relief. @I’m excited!

The top three leave.

In walks Jackson and Karen.

Carrie: Unfortunately, one of you is going home.

Karen: @I don’t really know how to feel at this point. @I thought that the lasagna showed a lot more of a risk, but I guess not.

Jackson: @If I go home over a cake, it’s going to be embarrassing. @I’m feeling very scared at the thought of going home.

Missy: Jackson, the cake was dry, Karen, the lasagna was bland. It was a tough decision for who to send home.

Carrie: Karen…. you are safe tonight. Jackson, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jackson: Alright. Thank you for this opportunity to compete. @I’m feeling really bad about how I got sent home. @I made a dish that I couldn’t stand by and I definitely disappointed my grandmother.

Warrior Chef 1: Round 4

Lucas: @After winning the last challenge, I’m feeling really awesome. @We’re down to eight, and I want to just keep winning everything!

Karen: @I got immunity in the last round, and I feel like it really helped. @Tonight, I need to keep trying my best with these creativity challenges and seizing whatever immunity or advantages I can get!

Carrie: Welcome back! I’m sure you’re all thirsty for another win, so here are some beverages to cool you off. Please just grab whatever beverage suits your fancy!

On the station are glasses filled with coca-cola, orange juice, root beer, hot cocoa, lemonade, iced tea, ginger ale, and a vanilla milkshake.

Fanny: @I know that we’re going to make something using a beverage in it, so I immediately grab the orange juice. @It’ll be the easiest thing to work with.

Lucas: @Fanny grabs the orange juice, and I make a run for the ginger ale. @Ginger ale won’t be a hard ingredient to use in any dish, sweet or savory.

Jackson: @I take the iced tea. @Man, I am parched. @This hit the spot!

Zack: @I take coca-cola and I’m happy with it. @I’ve got a couple cola ideas up my sleeve that I can pull off tonight.

Tadashi: @I’m not sure if we’re pairing the dish with the beverage or using it, but I think about using the lemonade, because it’ll offset fish really well.

Leona: @I managed to snag the root beer, and I’m so relieved. @Hot cocoa and vanilla milkshake are just laden with sugar, so they would both be bad choices. @Root beer, you can use that to make the bases of a lot of sauces and glazes.

Vanilla: @I wound up with the vanilla milkshake, and I’m so excited, haha!~ @I’ve got so many ideas on what I can make with it already!~

Karen: @I have the hot cocoa. @Immediately, mole comes into my mind. @But I don’t cook Mexican, so I’m just trying to figure out what the heck am I going to do with it.

Carrie: So you have just 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, using the beverage you selected. Time starts now!

Karen: @So I decide to marinate a lamb rack in a mixture of chilies, garlic, and the hot cocoa. @I’m pairing the sauteed lamb loin with a carrot-ginger puree and a red wine reduction. @I’m just hoping that the carrot, ginger, and red wine will balance out the chocolate flavors, and that I can get everything cooked properly in just 30 minutes. @I get the red wine on first, and the sous-vied the lamb to get everything marinated.

Leona: @With the root beer, I’m going to make a root beer glazed cornish game hen with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, a sage salsa verde using the root beer in there, and root beer brown butter sauce. @I’m using root beer in three of my four components today, in hopes that it’ll translate across in a successful manner.

Tadashi: @I have the lemonade, and I decide to make a ginger-yuzu-lemonade curd, and then I’ll pair that with some sesame-garlic compressed watermelon, which I’ll shave to resemble tuna. @And then I’m using avocado mash and edamame to add more textures to the dish. @I want to go a vegetarian way tonight, because it’ll show a lot more creativity. @I need to show everyone here that I’m not going home early.

Zack: @So with the coca-cola, I decide on making a glazed duck with chestnut puree and cranberry reduction. @I’m using the cola to glaze the duck, in the boiling liquid for my chestnuts, and as the base for my reduction.

Vanilla: @I got the vanilla milkshake, and I’m making a vanilla souffle, vanilla macaron, and vanilla ice cream. @I’m using the milkshake to make the souffle and the ice cream, while the macaron, I’m deciding on doing a coconut macaron instead of the almond, because it’ll just crack from being under-rested. @I think it’ll work!~ @Haha!~

Fanny: @Grabbing the orange juice, I decide to make a molasses and orange glazed duck breast with a parsnip puree and arugula salad with orange juice vinaigrette. @I taste the juice, and it’s concentrate, not the fresh stuff. @I’m feeling a bit screwed, because it’s got a huge citric acid kick to it, and it tastes so artificial, so I’m hoping that I can mask that with brown butter, dried orange peel, and spices.

Lucas: @Getting ginger ale rocks! @I’m making a ginger ale caramel and glazing some pork and squid in that. @It’s going to be a ginger glazed pork loin with a ginger ale battered calamari, apple slaw, and grapefruit segments in honey. @I’m thinking that the freshness of the flavor will be fantastic.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Fanny: @I see Vanilla’s dessert. @She’s such a sweetheart, and she keeps killing it with her desserts. @I want to see her actually excel with savory food, but I don’t think she can.

Carrie: So your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Thyme De Lys!

Thyme: Hi, everyone! There’s always a beverage for every season, and I can’t wait to see what ingredients you guys paired with the drinks!

Thyme and Carrie taste the dishes.
Carrie: So Thyme, who disappointed you?

Thyme: Tadashi, the lemonade was way too sweet and that translated poorly into your dish. I couldn’t tell if it was a dessert or a savory dish. Leona, the hen was undercooked, but I did like the glaze. Karen, the dish was way too rich and you didn’t balance that.

Lucas: @Hearing the critiques, Thyme is harsh! @Those three have been on the winning half of a lot of challenges so far.

Thyme: So my favorites. Fanny, the dish was gorgeous and the orange juice worked so well with the duck and arugula. Lucas, the glazed pork and fried squid combination was unexpected, but it was really tasty. Vanilla, your dessert was ambitious and you transformed your beverage the most in this challenge. Tonight, it came down to who used the drink the best and how cohesive the dish was. That’s why, Lucas, you made the best dish!

Carrie: Congratulations, Lucas! You won immunity!

Lucas: Thanks! @Not being able to go home again rocks! @We’re getting close to the halfway point, and the last thing I’d want is to go home early.

Carrie: Now for the elimination challenge. We want you guys to work in two teams of four to prepare a memorable four course meal. Lucas, for winning the challenge, you can select one of your teammates first, as well as the captain of the opposing team.

Lucas: @I look around, and I know I need strong cooks. I’m going to choose Tadashi to be on my team. For the other team, I’d like the captain to be…. Leona. @She’s strong, but very extreme. @I don’t think she’s going to captain well.

Leona: Very well. I’m going to choose Vanilla to be on my team. @Vanilla’s strong. @There’s no way that we’re going home.

Lucas: Karen, get on over.

Leona: Zack, you’re on my roster.

Lucas: @It’s now between Fanny and Jackson. I’m going with Fanny.

Leona: @I have Zack, Vanilla, and Jackson. @I don’t think my team is the weaker one. @I’m confident that I can beat the other team tonight.

Carrie: So you’ll have an hour to prepare a memorable four course meal. The team that cooks the better meal will win this challenge while the losing team, one member will be sent home.

Karen: @Already, I want our team to do well, because Lucas has immunity, and if we’re on the chopping block, it’s between me, Fanny, and Tadashi, and those two are older and much more experienced than I am.

Carrie: 1 hour, four courses, one coherent meal. Time starts now!

Lucas: *to Karen, Tadashi, and Fanny* So let’s come up with a theme. @Our meal needs to be coherent or else we’re not really going to show that a lot of thought went into our dishes. @Our theme is going to be date night. @I think it’ll be a smart way to show off some really cool concepts. @So Karen’s going to be in charge of the entree, Tadashi is on the cold appetizer, I’m doing the warm appetizer, and Fanny is doing the dessert. @For my appetizer, I’m making goat cheese and pickled apricot tortellini with brown butter and candied thyme. @I think it’ll be a really appealing dish, visually, taste-wise, and texturally.

Tadashi: @For my cold appetizer, I’m making oysters with basil vinaigrette, pickled strawberries, and avocado mousse. @In this competition, everyone knows that I am one of the best seafood cooks, so I’m hopeful that I can deliver on that and continue bringing in good dishes to the competition.

Karen: @I’m cooking the entree, and it’s exciting, because most of my dishes are entrees, and they’ve been pretty well-perceived. @Since it’s date night, I need to incorporate some sort of romantic theme to it. @I grab the pinot noir, and I have a great idea. @I’m making a seared ribeye with pinot noir-shallot jus, celeriac puree, and shallot and celeriac fritto misto. @I’m adding plenty of butter into that puree because I want it to be buttery, smooth, creamy, and just entice whoever is eating it.

Fanny: @Karen’s making a really simple dish, so I need to make sure that I can nail a complex dessert so that we can guarantee ourselves a winning menu. @I’m making a chocolate mousse cylinder with raspberry liquid gel center, caramel seesaw on top balancing a raspberry bonbon and chocolate-dulce de leche truffle, salted caramel ice cream, chocolate soil, and raspberry coulis. @It’s going to be an amazing dessert, assuming I can pull off every component.

Leona: *to Zack* I want you on hot appetizer. *to Jackson* You do cold appetizer. *to Vanilla* Can you make the entree? I have a dessert I want to make.

Zack: *to Leona* Are you sure you want Vanilla on entree? Her desserts have been the best in the competition.

Leona: *to Zack* I’m confident that the dessert I have up my sleeve will blow the other team’s dessert out of the water.

Vanilla: Alright then. I’ll do the main.

Leona: @So for the menu, we’re going with a spice trail. @For the first course, it’ll be a horseradish marinaded beef carpaccio, shaved apples, pickled blackberries, and pecorino romano by Jackson. @The hot appetizer is going to be Zack’s curried mussels with homemade na’an bread. @For Vanilla’s entree, we’re making spice roasted venison with chanterelle mushrooms, turmeric-butternut squash puree, and sticky fig-date-ginger reduction. @For my dessert, it’s chili marinated cherry tartlet with lime-buttermilk sorbet. @I see the other team, and they’re going with a date night theme. @I know our spices will be bold and they’ll be memorable.

Zack: @I’m making the mussel dish, so I start by getting the bread dough made because it’ll need a lot of time to proof. @For the mussels themselves, I need to start bearding them, because the beards are inedible, and that’ll just be gross to the judges if they get a single beard. @For my spices, I get the turmeric, ginger, cumin, garlic, onion, curry leaf, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom together into a pan, and add in coconut milk to make a delicious broth to cook the mussels in.

Jackson: @I’m doing a beef carpaccio, but I need to guarantee that my beef is sliced perfectly. @So I sous-vied the beef loin with mustard and horseradish to get it really spicy. @And then I drop the entire loin into liquid nitrogen, and then take that through a deli slicer to get the slices thin and even. @The rest of my dish is pretty simple to make, so I’m going to be helping Vanilla with her entree.

Vanilla: @I’m cooking venison, haha!~ @I get the meat seasoned in cayenne, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and oregano, and then I chuck it into the oven so that it can get roasting. @I heard that venison works well with spices, and that’s why I’m cooking with it. @I get the squash peeled and into water, and then I get started on my reduction, using port, dried figs and dates, and knobs of ginger, and then reduce them together. @For my mushrooms, I chuck those into the oven as well so that I can reduce the liquid and then I can caramelize them in brown butter.

Leona: @I get the tart shells into the oven and then I making the sorbet, which is equal parts lime juice, buttermilk, and simple syrup. @I get that churning and then start the poblano syrup that I can stew the cherries in. @Pitting the cherries is going to be a bitch, but once I get that done, my dessert will be almost perfect. @I think our menu is perfection. @The other team should be scared.

Lucas: @I see that Leona’s making Vanilla prepare a savory course and I just laugh to myself. @She’s so dumb. @Vanilla is one of the best pastry cooks here and you make her cook venison? @That’s not going to end well for the other team.

Vanilla: @I get the venison out of the oven and I start resting it. @I start passing the squash through the sieve and then start pureeing it with plenty of my turmeric compound butter. @And then I start to slice the meat, and it’s…. completely gray.

Zack: @The venison is overcooked and I just feel my heart sink. @Vanilla was our shining hope, and now we’re screwed.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @Vanilla overcooked her venison. @I look at our team, and Karen cooked her steak perfectly. @Already, we’ve won the entree.

Carrie: Your judges are:
Miriam Adjanti

Aster Walker

Erwin Ko

Carrie: Let’s start with the dishes by Team 1 led by Lucas!

-oysters with basil vinaigrette, pickled strawberries, and avocado mousse

-goat cheese and pickled apricot tortellini with brown butter and candied thyme

-seared ribeye, pinot noir-shallot jus, celeriac puree, shallot and celeriac fritto misto

-chocolate mousse cylinder with raspberry liquid gel, caramel

Miriam: I loved the appetizers right off the bat. The oysters were cleaned properly, so that was already a good start. The mousse, pickled berries, it all worked so well together. I loved the tortellini as well. They cooked that pasta beautifully.

Aster: The ribeye was such a simple dish, but the fritto misto on top was a clever touch and it really made this dish inventive and interactive, something you need in a romantic dish. I loved how they tied in the theme of this being a date into every dish.

Erwin: That dessert was possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. If Fanny can make something this amazing, then she could potentially win the entire competition. This was impressive. The raspberry, caramel, and chocolate notes were fantastic.

Carrie: And now we’ve got the dishes by Team 2, lead by Leona!

-horseradish beef carpaccio, shaved apples, pickled blackberries, pecorino romano

-curried mussels with homemade na’an bread

-spiced venison, chanterelles, turmeric-butternut puree, sticky fig-date-ginger reduction

-chili marinated cherry tartlet with lime-buttermilk sorbet

Aster: The carpaccio was delicious and I thought that the pickled blackberries were an interesting touch. Funny how both teams did raw proteins with pickled fruit to start. The curried mussels, I loved the flavor of them and the na’an bread was divine.

Erwin: The venison was so overcooked that it was basically like venison jerky. I couldn’t chew it. The other components were done beautifully, but the flavors didn’t work well together. I’m disappointed.

Miriam: I’m shocked by Leona’s method of marinating the tart. You’d think that the description referred to just the cherries being marinated but Leona marinated the entire pastry in the chili syrup and that just felt wonky. I don’t really think this team ended as strongly as the other team did.

Carrie: So do we have a winning team?

Erwin: We in.

In walks Karen, Tadashi, Lucas, and Fanny.

Carrie: Tonight, the four of you… were the winning team! Congratulations!

Erwin: Karen, your steak dish was one of our genuine favorites. You cooked the beef consistently across all of our plates and the fritto misto was a clever touch that we all appreciated greatly.

Karen: Glad you liked it. @I’m feeling good about my contribution to the team. @It was a team effort and we definitely worked well together.

Aster: Fanny, that dessert showed a ton of effort and we noticed it. That was easily the dish that won the challenge for your team.

Fanny: Thank you. @Hearing that from Aster solidifies my confidence as a cook. @I knew I had what it took to win a challenge!

Miriam: Tadashi and Lucas, you both started the meal on a high. I couldn’t fault your dishes and you both delivered on all counts.

Tadashi: @Hearing that is awesome because I knew we were a strong team. @Lucas chose the right people.

Lucas: @I’m proud of us. @I’d happily work with any of these guys again.

Carrie: You all won this challenge and are safe from elimination. Please bring in the other team.

The winning team leaves.

In walks Zack, Leona, Vanilla, and Jackson.

Carrie: Unfortunately, the four of you lose the challenge and one of you will be going home tonight.

Erwin: Zack, you actually made a great dish. You’re definitely safe tonight.

Zack: Thank you.

Miriam: Jackson, we all agreed your carpaccio was a solid dish. You’re safe as well.

Jackson: @I dodged a huge bullet. @But it’s between Leona and Vanilla for who’s going home. @I think Leona’s toast.

Vanilla: @I’m shaking. @Leona and I are the bottom two.

Aster: Vanilla, the venison was overcooked and it bordered on being inedible. Leona, you marinated your entire tartlet, so the pastry was sticky and soggy. It was a mess.

Leona: @I think Vanilla’s a goner. @My soggy pastry was messy, but it wasn’t inedible.

Carrie: Vanilla, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Vanilla: Thank you. @I’m feeling terrible right now. @It’s just reminding me of how people use to tell me how “unworthy” I am. @Going home this early breaks my heart. @I wanted to take out the competition and I’m being sent home in 8th place. @I’m really disappointed in myself.