Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 1

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

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

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

Jessica: Welcome back to Warrior Chef, everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: You have 45 minutes, time starts now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Aster and Jessica try the dishes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: And who prepared the best dish?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica: Time’s up!

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

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

Jessica: Your judges are:

Vanilla Cuylenberg – Warrior Chef 1 winner

Vin Rugnetta – Warrior Chef 2 winner

Lauren Wilson – Warrior Chef 3 winner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rose – tespixhe with citrus salad

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

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

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

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

Lauren: Yes, we have.

In walks Kira, Amanda, and Phung.

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

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

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

Jessica: Vanilla, please announce the winner.

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

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

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

Kira, Amanda, and Phung leave.

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

In walks Rose, Nate, and Karen.

Jessica: One of you is going home tonight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

Warrior Chef Redemption: Announcement

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

Warrior Chef 1

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 2

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3

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

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

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

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