Warrior Chef 3: Round 4

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

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

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

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

A cart is wheeled in, carrying pistachios.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Kierra and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Kierra, who failed to impress you?

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

James: I deep fried pizza dough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kierra: The best dish belonged to… Kira.

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Everyone else, please draw knives!

Jaenice – 2

James – 2

Gabe – 2

Cherry – 3

Justin – 3

Henry – 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Max Hudson

Chelia Van Buren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-roasted boar chops, polenta, chili kale

-fig-hazelnut tart with goat cheese ice cream

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

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

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

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

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

-banana pudding

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

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

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

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

Chelia: We can.

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

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

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

Michele: Judges?

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

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

Michele: Erwin, please announce the winning team tonight.

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

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

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

The top six leave.

In walks Jaenice, James, and Gabe.

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

Erwin: Who prepared what on this team?

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

James: I handled the sides for the venison.

Gabe: I actually cooked the venison tonight.

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

Chelia: Gabe, have you cooked venison before?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erwin: Alright.

In walks the bottom team again.

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

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

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Warrior Chef 3: Round 3

Phung: @Walking into the kitchen, thus begins another chapter of the Phung Dynasty. @I’m going to continue dominating, because that’s what I do best.

Cherry: @Elizabeth going home makes me excited, because that’s one less person between me and the title. @I’m going to win the competition. @And not listen to Elizabeth’s whiny voice anymore. @God, she makes me want to smoke a joint so badly.

Taylor: @James and Henry have both been underperforming in this competition and they’re definitely going home within the next two rounds. @I’m not feeling too nervous, knowing that they’re still around.

James: @I haven’t really been on top of any challenges so far, but I think tonight might just be my night to win something. @I got to believe.

Michele: Hi, everyone! So for tonight’s creativity challenge, we want you to make something delicious using an ingredient that might not be commonly used.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying vats of sour cream.

Lauren: @Whoa. @Sour cream. @I’m not really sure what I can do with that. @I’m not feeling super confident, but that’s going to be where I need to improve.

Michele: You have just 30 minutes to prepare a dish using sour cream. And your time starts… right now!

Phung: @I grab an entire vat, because I don’t like to share. @I’m going to prepare a sour cream crepe with caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, and pork belly. @I’m keeping it super simple but savory.

Lauren: @I’m stoked to be cooking with the sour cream, because I know that the majority of the cooks here will be going with something sweet. @I don’t want to do that. @I’m making sour cream marinated curry chicken salad. @I want to show a much more creative use of the ingredient so that I can continue proving myself in this competition.

Cherry: @With sour cream, I know you can use it in cakes. @I’m making a sour cream chocolate cake with chocolate-sour cream frosting. @I’m keeping it really forward with the flavors, because that’ll really make it a special dish.

Gabe: @I’m making tacos. @You give me sour cream, I’m going to make a good fish taco with pico de gallo and sour cream. @I’m sure that I’ve got this one in the bag, because it goes straight to my roots, and I know what I’m doing here.

James: @I’m going to make a beet and sour cream soup with olive oil croutons and lemon juice vinaigrette. @The beet and sour cream combination will be a huge risk, but huge risk, huge reward. @I’m going to push myself.

Henry: @So far, I’ve been coasting or skating by on the bottom. @Tonight, it’s got to change. @I need to win this challenge. @I’m making a sour cream and caramelized onion puree under a coffee crusted sirloin and sour cream battered onion rings.

Justin: @I’m not too afraid of the challenge tonight. @For my dish, it’ll be a sour cream polenta with spice crusted lamb chops and a mint-sour cream butter. @Out of everyone in this competition, Kira, Phung, and Lauren continue to be the strongest three, and I want to stop them in their tracks.
Kira: @I can’t keep thinking about the previous challenges, or else I’ll get too distracted. @I’m making a charred sour cream puree, sour cream-strawberry puree, and lime-sour cream foam. @Going with this super modern take on strawberries and cream, I’m hoping it’ll stand out and that I’ll really make an impression.

Michele: Time’s up!

Cherry: @My cake is still in the oven. @Fuck. @I’m so not going to win tonight.

Gabe: @Cherry ran out of time, but I also not happy with my presentation. @The tortillas tore when I filled them, and I can’t do anything about that.

Michele: So your judge for this challenge is pastry chef, Frank Torres!

Frank: Hi, everyone. It’s great to be judging this challenge, and I can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for me!

Cherry: @Well, I’m so screwed. @I couldn’t plate up my dessert, and I’m being judged by a pastry chef. @This is really embarrassing.

Michele and Frank taste the dishes.
Michele: So Frank, who didn’t really impress you tonight?

Frank: Cherry, you didn’t plate your dish, so by default, you are on the bottom. Gabe, your tortilla was torn, and the taco ate very sloppy. And James. Your soup was bitter and astringent. I didn’t enjoy it whatsoever.

James: @I thought I dug deep, but I clearly didn’t. @This really sucks.

Frank: So for my top three, let’s start with Henry. Your dish, the puree was phenomenal, and the coffee steak was great, and the onion rings were beautiful. Phung, the crepe was delicate but the flavors inside were bold. The sour cream tied everything together nicely. Lauren, your curry salad was simple, but just so clever. You took the sour cream to a dish I never would have suspected, and that makes me incredibly happy to see you innovate the ingredient.

Henry: @Hearing that I’m on top feels great. @I’m finally starting to show that I don’t suck at this!

Jaenice: @Not being on top is disappointing. @I really wanted to win a challenge.

Michele: And your winner?

Frank: Three incredible dishes, but my favorite had to be… Lauren’s curry chicken.

Michele: Congratulations, Lauren! You won immunity!

Lauren: Thank you. @Winning my first creativity challenge feels great. @I just got immunity, and now it means I can take a lot more risks in the next challenge.

Michele: So for the next challenge, you’ll have to cook in pairs! Please draw aprons!

A box is passed around, and the contestants have to draw the aprons blindly

Lauren – red

Cherry – red

Jaenice – green

Justin – green

Phung – blue

Kira – yellow

Taylor – yellow

James – blue

Henry – purple

Gabe – purple

James: @I’m with Phung, and I’m feeling like I just got immunity. @Phung is such a strong cook that I doubt I can weigh her down.

Phung: @Shit. @I’m with James. @Has he ever NOT been on the bottom? @Oh well, I know how to work like a machine, and I’ll just put him in the corner so that he can’t touch anything.

Michele: So in pairs, you’ll need to prepare a creative surf and turf! You’ll have an hour, and your time starts now!

Lauren: @I’m working with Cherry, and she’s been on top and on the bottom a lot, so not quite sure what to make of her. @So for our dish, we decide on preparing a crab dumpling with pork belly and ginger infused black vinegar.

Cherry: @Both of us have Chinese backgrounds, and I’m pretty confident that I’m going to nail this one for both of us. @I’m in charge of the pork belly and the vinegar while Lauren handles the entire dumpling.

Kira: @So Taylor and I agree on lamb and squid. @We are preparing a lamb stuffed squid sausage with tomato puree and lemon oil to toss with some deep fried capers. @I’m going to handle the puree and the capers with the lemon oil.

Taylor: @I’m comfortable grinding up the lamb and stuffing the squid. @Kira is a strong cook and I know that she is a hard worker, so I’m confident that the two of us can knock this one out of the park.

James: @Working with Phung is great. @We are going to prepare a Vietnamese pancake with shrimp, pork, and a fish sauce vinaigrette.

Phung: @Yeah, so James is going to grab the pans and plates, and I’ll handle the entire dish on my own, because James just sucks, and I don’t want to work with him. @I don’t care if there’s no I in team. @There’s a me, as in there’s a me who doesn’t want to go home. @So he can deal with that.

Jaenice: @Justin and I agree on a pancetta seared scallop that we will also sear in duck fat, and then we will also prepare a corn succotash and a corn milk beurre blanc. @This skinny white boy had to agree with me on what we doing, because if he tried to make me submit to his white hand, then he be racist, that little fucker, he be.

Justin: @Jaenice will handle preparing the corn milk for the beurre blanc and the succotash while I do the scallop and the final sauce. @I think we can work well together, because we are communicating. @I’m feeling good.

Henry: @We agree on a tostada with scallop and beef ceviche. @I’m going to let Gabe handle the tostada while we work together on the filling and I’ll do the entire ceviche portion on my own.

Gabe: @Henry and I are communicating and we are making sure to taste each other’s dishes. @I see that Phung is making James run around the kitchen, which is hilarious for me to see, but I have no time to be amused by that. @I need to focus on the tortilla and redeeming myself on that.

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

Kira: @I’m feeling really screwed right now. @Time is called, and Taylor didn’t plate the squid sausage on every plate. @We might be going home tonight.

Phung: @Crap. @I forgot to plate an entire portion. @Fucking James did not do anything, so I ran out of time trying to do everything while he was just in our way.

Michele: Your judges are:

Max Hudson

Chelia Van Buren

Scott Connors

Michele: Let’s start with the dish Lauren and Cherry prepared!

-crab dumpling with pork belly and ginger infused black vinegar

Chelia: Wow. The flavor of the dumpling was just an umami bomb. The vinegar infused with the ginger was subtle and it paired well with the crab.

Scott: The crispy pork belly on top was a clever idea and it added a nice texture to the steamed dumplings. I’m impressed.

Max: The fact that they cooked the crab so perfectly, I really loved it. There was nothing I could really change with this dish.

Michele: And next, Jaenice and Justin’s dish!

-pancetta seared scallop, corn succotash and corn milk beurre blanc

Max: The scallop was cooked beautifully. The inside was still opaque and glistening. That was already a good sign that this dish was going to be great.

Scott: The beurre blanc was nice, the succotash was pleasant, and I’m just really impressed by the usage of the corn milk. That was brilliant.

Chelia: So far, we’re off to a strong start. All of the dishes we’ve tried have been really solid. I’ll give this team more points on creativity, for the corn milk beurre blanc.

Michele: Now we’ve got Kira and Taylor’s dish!

-lamb stuffed squid sausage with tomato puree, lemon oil, fried capers

Scott: Well the squid sausage was a bit chewy. I liked the puree and the lemon oil with the capers a lot. The flavors worked well together.

Chelia: The squid exterior was not cooked enough, so it was just tough and almost leathery. The biggest disappointment was the sausage.

Max: I can’t even criticize the sausage, because I didn’t even receive any on my plate. The things I did taste, however, the puree and the capers, I really enjoyed that.

Michele: And finally, James and Phung’s dish!

-Vietnamese pancake with shrimp, pork, and fish sauce vinaigrette

Scott: Well, I guess the teams are struggling to work together here, since I didn’t get a pancake. I just have lettuce and the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette tastes great, however.

Max: The pancake was delicious and the fish sauce vinaigrette was dynamite. Honestly, this was the best dish I’ve tasted out of the five and it’s a shame they didn’t finish.

Chelia: I’m so pissed because the dish was so close to perfect, but they messed up royally with portioning. That’s such a shame.

Michele: So can we decide on which teams are up for elimination and which ones are up for the win?

Chelia: We can.

In walks Kira, Taylor, James, and Phung.

Michele: Unfortunately, the four of you are on the bottom, and one of you is going to be eliminated tonight.

Max: Kira and Taylor, who prepared what?

Kira: I made the tomato puree, the lemon oil, and the capers.

Taylor: I handled the squid.

Chelia: James and Phung?

Phung: I did literally everything. James did not touch the dish.

Max: Kira, the tomato mixture was delicious and the capers were our favorite part of it. The biggest difficulty was that the dishes weren’t consistent, and then the squid sausage was just bad.

Chelia: Phung, you put us in a difficult position. The actual dish was delicious, but you failed to plate for all of us.

Phung: But James didn’t do anything. Eliminate him!

James: *to Phung* I tried to help, but you wouldn’t let me touch anything! You were being a control freak!

Scott: Unfortunately, this is a team challenge, so teamwork will have to be a factor in who gets eliminated tonight. Phung, you weren’t a team player, but James, you needed to assert yourself more.

Phung: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! @This is some bullcrap. @I might be going home when fucking James didn’t do anything? @I can’t even right now.

Kira: @Phung is showing a terrifying side of her and Taylor and I are hoping that with her bad attitude, she might be going home next.

Michele: The judges have talked it over. Kira, you are safe. Phung, Taylor, James, we will ask you to come back, after we announce the winner.

Kira: Thank you. @I’m feeling relieved that I was declared safe, but I’m worried for Taylor. @We are really hoping that Phung or James go home instead.

The bottom four leave.

In walks Cherry, Lauren, Justin, and Jaenice.

Michele: Tonight, the four of you prepared the best dishes, and one team will win the elimination challenge!

Chelia: Cherry and Lauren, the dumpling was elegantly done and I really was impressed by your choice tonight. I was amazed by how dainty the dish was!

Max: Justin and Jaenice, you prepared that scallop perfectly and the best part of that dish was definitely the corn beurre blanc. That was genius.

Michele: It’s a tough call for who our winner was. Scott, as one of our judges, can you please announce the winner?

Scott: I am happy to say that tonight’s winning dish belonged to… Lauren and Cherry.

Michele: Congratulations, Lauren, Cherry! You won the elimination challenge!

Cherry: Oh my god! @I won! @Yes! @Freaking yes! @Elizabeth goes home, and now I win a challenge. @Life is getting better and better.

Lauren: @Winning the elimination challenge feels great. @I’m hoping that I can keep this streak up and continue impressing the judges.

Michele: Lauren, you won both challenges! How does that feel for you?

Lauren: Honestly, I’m just still amazed I won even a single challenge tonight. Thank you.

Jaenice: @Damn it. @I was hoping that this Southern belle was going to win something. @I know I belong in the competition.

Justin: @And out of nowhere, Lauren sweeps a round. @I can see her as that girl who gets into the finale, and then loses out at a spot for the final three. @She’s got talent, but she’s not going to make it to the end.

The top four leave.

In walks Phung, James, and Taylor.

Phung: @I can’t believe it’s between me, James, or Taylor. @I think that’s complete bullshit. @What the actual fuck.

Michele: Phung…. the judges agreed that you have an attitude issue. But the dish was virtually flawless. Taylor, unfortunately, the sausage was the weakest component tonight, and you will be leaving tonight.

Taylor: Okay. @I’m leaving, and I’m feeling really deflated. @I thought I’d make it further than just the third round, and I’m getting cut nowhere near where I was hoping to go. @I really hope that Phung’s attitude comes back to bite her.

Phung: @Crap, we just escaped elimination. @James really should be going home tonight. @He did not do jack fucking shit. @I’m going to punch a wall after we leave the kitchen. @Maybe set fire to some senior citizens. @I’m just pissed.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 2

Lauren: @I’m walking into the kitchen feeling a lot more excited. @But I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. @If I think I’m the top dog for winning one challenge, then I’m definitely going home next.

Phung: @I’m the top dog in this kitchen, and I’m definitely going to win the next elimination challenge. @There’s no way that I’m going out next.

Michele: Welcome back to the Warrior Chef kitchen! So for this creativity challenge, you’ll have to prepare a dish, any dish you want…. without a knife.

James: @Without a knife? @How do you even do that?

Taylor: @I’m just racking through my brains for anything I can make without a knife. @This is going to be hard.

Justin: @I’m ready for this challenge. @I can make pasta without a knife, so I’m pretty much set.

Michele: So you have an entire hour to prepare your dish. Your time starts now!

Phung: @Right away, I know what I can grab instead of a knife. @I grab a food processor and a cheese grater, and I’m set. @I decide on making a pumpkin pie with whipped goat cheese and candied pumpkin seeds. @I’m going with a dessert because you’re stupid to try savory without a knife.

Jaenice: @I’m going to make hushpuppies with chorizo and shredded crab meat. @I grab the pizza cutter because I need something to cut up my crab meat with, and that’s where I’m going to go. @Phung and I are good friends at this point, and I want to see the two of us in the finale together. @It’ll be great times. @The rest of them can go fuck themselves, because they’re all boring little bitches. @Especially Henry.

Taylor: @I’m going to prepare a baba ganoush, but I’m trying to figure out what the heck to make with it. @I decide to make pita bread, but I don’t know if my pita will be proofed enough by the time the challenge is over. @It’s a risk, but I need to take those if I want to keep standing out.

Lauren: I’m going to prepare Kahlua pork with macaroni salad. @It’s classic Hawaiian food, and I can make that with a pressure cooker and no knives. @I’m confident in my dish, because it’s going to set me apart, making something savory.

Cherry: @I’m stoked that this challenge means that a lot of people are going to struggle. @I’m making crab rangoons with an apricot-Sriracha sauce. @I’m making my wrappers from scratch and using a pizza cutter to portion the dough. @I’m confident that the homemade wrappers will put me on another level from everyone else.

Elizabeth: @I’m making a miso glazed black cod with tempura vegetables. @For my vegetable tempura, I’m going to only do okra, mushrooms, and broccoli, because those don’t require knives to portion out for tempura. @I’m going to sous-vide the cod, just to make sure that the flavor is really packed in there.

Gabe: @I’m making chicken tamales with a salsa verde and roasted almonds and coconut flakes. @I’m confident with the choice to top the dish with almonds and coconut flakes because that’ll add a lot of texture to my dish. @After the last challenge, I really want to win this one. @Once you’re in the top 3, you want to continue to stay there.

Justin: @I’m preparing mushroom and beef ragout with paparadelle. @I’m lucky that our pasta machines are lined with the cutters, because I don’t have a knife to cut my own noodles with, and the pizza roller, I don’t trust that around my fingers. @I know that my biggest competitors are Phung and Kira, so I need to watch myself around both of them.

Kira: @I grab the scallops, because I don’t need a knife for those. @I’m going to prepare seared scallops with semolina gnocchiette, brown butter, pea tendrils, and black garlic. @I think it’ll be a great chance for me to show a lot of technique without needing to use a single knife.

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

James: @I step away from my dish and I’m feeling happy. @I see what Elizabeth made and it looks like cheap takeout.

Michele: Your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Chloe Lula!

Chloe: Hi, guys! As a vegan chef, I understand how difficult it can be to work with restrictions. That being said, I’m excited to try your dishes!

Chloe and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Chloe, who failed to impress you?

Chloe: Cherry, your rangoons, you didn’t drain them on a towel, so they wound up being really greasy.

Phung: @Seriously? @Everyone making fried food this season keeps forgetting to do that. @How dumb can you be?!

Chloe: Elizabeth, the dish ate really dry. It needed a sauce. And Taylor. Your dish was pretty unimpressive. I didn’t really like anything on your plate at all.

Taylor: Crap. @I reached too far and didn’t make anything good. @This sucks.

Michele: And your top three?

Chloe: Kira, you made gnocchi, seared scallops, and just showed a lot of technique. I completely forgot you were handicapped without a knife in this challenge. Phung, your pumpkin pie was phenomenal and I’m genuinely stunned by how much I loved that. And Jaenice. Your hushpuppies with chorizo, it was great. The texture was brilliant and you fried those perfectly.

Jaenice: @See, Elizabeth and Cherry? @That’s how fried food is done. @Dumb skinny Asian bitches think they know how to beat me in a deep frying battle? @Think again!

Michele: And your winner?

Chloe: The best dish belonged to…. Kira.

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

Kira: Thank you. @Winning immunity means that I can’t be sent home tonight. @I can take a lot more risks and not hold back!

Phung: @Kira’s the last person who needs immunity right now. @So long as idiots like James are in the competition, she’ll be far from in danger of going home.

Michele: So for your elimination challenge, you’ll need to get narrative. You’ll need to prepare a dish inspired by a special moment or story in your life.

Cherry: @I already know which moment appeals to me. @I’m going to win tonight’s challenge so easily.

Michele: You’ll have just one hour on the clock, your time starts now!

Lauren: @I have to tell a story through my dish tonight. @I’m just thinking about the moment I met my boyfriend, Dennis. @We were practicing kung-fu together and just clicked. @He’s Taiwanese, and I decide to make a dish inspired by our first date. @He prepared Taiwanese soup dumplings for me, and I’ll just recreate that dish, and it’ll be my story for this challenge.

James: @I want to make a dish inspired by what got me into cooking. @I’m going to prepare a baklava, which is layers of phyllo pastry with nuts, dates, and spices mashed together into a paste and stuffed in there. @I’m going to serve that with coconut ice cream. @I really wanted to make a delicious dessert to impress a Turkish girl in my class, and that’s what I presented to her. @I didn’t get the girl in the end, but I developed a love for cooking from it.

Justin: @When I think about stories, I remember my grandma’s journey from Italy to New York. @Transitioning to life in Brooklyn was tough on her, and the only real comfort she found was making burrata cheese. @I’m making Grandma Angela’s burrata with tapenade crostini and pork crackling. @It’ll be simple but really well executed. @Just making the burrata from scratch should show a lot of technique.

Elizabeth: @I’m making a gluten-free and vegan chocolate-pumpkin bread that is inspired by my best friend, Casey, who can’t have eggs or gluten. @Casey was the person who sent in my Warrior Chef application, so I really want to win this challenge for her and show how our friendship can take me to the end of the competition.

Cherry: @I’m going to make my story based on the first time I had pot. @It was a delicious brownie. @I’m making a matcha-white chocolate blondie with matcha crumble and matcha ice cream. @I want to have two baked components on the plate, because they need to be baked. @Yes. @Very baked. @So fucking baked.

Kira: @I’m trying to dig deep and think about my childhood. @Growing up in San Francisco, we had good seafood. @I want to make a cioppino but with coconut milk, lemongrass, and chilies instead of the tomato and white wine. @It’s a fusion of my Asian heritage and my upbringing, and that should be an interesting story to tell.

Jaenice: @I love Korean soul fusion. @I’m going to make spicy chicken wings with kimchi-red bean butter and misugaru waffles. @If that does not tell you right away that I am a black woman who eats Korean food, then I really don’t know what else would. @I’m going to win tonight’s challenge with my story, for sure.

Phung: @I’m going to make a banh mi, but make the bread from scratch. @I only have an hour, but I’m going to go with a yeast based dough, because why not? @It’s going to have pate, my favorite, lime cured beef, and lots of chilies and herbs. @I’m looking forward to serving this to the judges, because they won’t be expecting this in just an hour, but I will deliver.

Taylor: @I wanted to do something with hapuku fish, but we don’t have that in the pantry, so I grab the cod instead. @I’m going to prepare oven roasted cod with beetroot chips and an olive hummus with tomatoes. @I’m feeling really good about this dish, because it’s mostly Greek, and it’s something that my parents would make for me all the time growing up.

Gabe: @Right now, Kira and Phung are the two best cooks in the competition. @I want to make sure that I can knock at least Phung out by the end of this challenge. @For my story, I’m going to talk about the time I did peyote in the dessert. @I’m making a chayote squash and cactus pear spring roll with jalapeno crumble and a lime-cilantro dipping sauce. @I think that making spring rolls will set me apart and show a lot more innovation in the challenge.

Henry: @I’m making poutine, because that’s what my grandma, Bella, would make for me all of the time whenever I would visit her in Montreal. @For my poutine topping, it’s a duck gravy with duck confit and some homemade cheese curds, that I’ll pickle for some extra tang and flavor. @When I see the other competitors, I’m just thinking about which one of them will be going home next. @I’m not too threatened, because it’s still early in the competition.

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

Gabe: @I don’t feel too confident with the spring rolls, but I see Elizabeth made yet another gluten-free chocolate cake. @She’s so going home tonight.

Cherry: @I think I nailed it. @Matcha domination, right?

Michele: So your judges are:

Miriam Adjanti

Guy Flannigan

Lotte Amazo

Michele: First are the dishes by Kira, Jaenice, and Justin!

Kira: So for my dish tonight, I have an Asian riff on a cioppino. I’m Filipino, but I was raised in San Francisco, so my dish embodies both my heritage through my choice of ingredients, but also the city I was raised in, by being an iconic San Franciscan dish. The seafood just reminds me of the beaches in both California and the Philippines.

Jaenice: I’m a black woman, and I love Korean food. I combined both of those and created a Korean fried chicken with kimchi-red bean butter, and misugaru waffles. I’m bringing to you guys the Soul in Seoul.

Justin: This dish is inspired by my grandma Angela. She always would make burrata cheese from scratch, so I did the same. My dish is fresh burrata cheese with tapenade crostini and pork crackling. I did the pork crackling as well because we would always have porcetta at the dinner table, and my grandma was the heart of my family.

Miriam: Kira’s Asian cioppino was delicious. I think her story-telling wasn’t terrible, but she could have sold her dish a lot more. That being said, the dish was faultless!

Guy: Jaenice’s story very bizarre. But she fried that chicken beautifully and I loved her waffle a lot. The one thing I didn’t appreciate was that kimchi-red bean butter. I don’t know what she was hoping to accomplish with it, but it was putrid.

Lotte: Justin had the best story out of the three of them. But in terms of the actual dish, his burrata was bland, and the cracklings were soggy. And what’s left of his dish? Just a piece of toast with tapenade. What could have showed skill, he fell flat on.

Michele: And next we have the dishes by Lauren, James, and Phung!

Lauren: So my dish is inspired by my first date with my boyfriend, Dennis. He is Taiwanese, and he took me to try Taiwanese soup dumplings, which were absolutely phenomenal. So I prepared exactly those with black vinegar and ginger for you.

James: I made a baklava inspired by when I first got into cooking. I met a girl in my dance class, and she is Turkish. I wanted to impress her, so I made this dessert. I didn’t get the girl, but it made me passionate about baking.

Phung: Growing up in a Vietnamese household, we know how to make pate and we know how to cure our own meats. My mom taught me how to do use every part of the animal from a young age, so that’s what I did with my banh mi tonight. It’s a homemade baguette with beef pate, lime cured beef, and plenty of sprouts, chilies, pickled vegetables, and herbs. Enjoy.

Lotte: Lauren’s dumplings were actually really well done. I loved the juiciness and the texture of the wrapper and meat. It was a bit simple, but her story sold it for me.

Miriam: I liked James’ story, but maybe there’s a reason why his baklava didn’t win over the girl. For his dish, the phyllo was soggy and undercooked. It wasn’t pleasant.

Guy: Phung just blew me away. Her story was alright, but the fact she made her own bread in less than an hour. I’m at a genuine loss for words. That plus the fact that her sandwich was perfection. I need time to process that achievements behind executing this dish in that time frame.

Michele: Finally, the dishes by Cherry and Elizabeth.

Cherry: So I used to be a pot addict, so my dessert is inspired by pot brownies, which were a thing I used to live by. To overcome my addiction, I deferred to drinking green tea and that helped me recover. I made green tea blondie with green tea ice cream and green tea crumble. I made sure to have two baked items on the plate, just because I used to be twice-baked.

Elizabeth: I prepared a gluten-free and vegan chocolate pumpkin bread that I used to make for my friend, Casey. Casey was the one who signed me up for this competition, and I want to do her proud with this dish.

Lotte: Cherry’s story was a combination of dark and hilarious. The dish was really well-executed and the flavors balanced nicely. It was a great blondie sundae.

Miriam: Elizabeth’s dessert bread was dense and chewy, and her story sounded more like her justifying why she should win the competition.

Michele: So can we decide on our top and bottom 3?

Guy: We can.

In walks Cherry, Kira, and Phung.

Michele: Tonight…. the three of you prepared the judges favorite dishes, and one of you is going to win the elimination challenge!

Kira: @I really want to win back to back challenges. @It would be amazing to set the bar high from the get-go.

Cherry: @Wait, I’m on top? @That’s amazing! @Wow. @I didn’t expect that!

Michele: Miriam, please announce the winner!

Miriam: Two of you made phenomenal dishes, but one of you really pushed the envelope, and possibly defied the laws of proofing bread. Phung, however you managed to make that light, airy baguette in just an hour, we will never know, but you won this one.

Phung: Oh my god! @I’m top dog, bitches! @I just won my second challenge, and I’m proving why I am the one to beat. @Come at me. @I’ve either won or been on top of everything so far, and I intend to stay there.

Kira: @Phung is my biggest competition. @I don’t even know if there’s any stopping somebody like her. @She’s something else.

The top three leave. In walks James, Justin, and Elizabeth.

Michele: Tonight, one of you will be going home.

Miriam: James, your story was good, but your baklava was obviously the reason why you didn’t end up safe tonight, or winning the girl over in your story. Justin, the dish was just bland and soggy, but we liked your story about your grandmother. Elizabeth, your story sounded more like you trying to explain why we should give you the title, and your bread was just dense and gummy.

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

Elizabeth: Alright. @I’m feeling deflated having to pack my bags and leave this early. @I know that I had the potential to make it so much further than this, and I’m disappointed in myself for not being able to show it.

Sky Bird: Chapter 10

“I’m so sore….” Fanny looked exhausted as he slouched onto his desk like a dead body. “Aw there, there, Fanny.” Sophia patted his back. It was first period on Tuesday, the day after Fanny’s race in Santa Barbara. The runner wobbled his way into the classroom. “You know, we would’ve thought you were walking funny for other reasons.” Matt chuckled. Kendall burst into laughter at the comment. “Shut up!” Fanny groaned, unable to do much else. “Class has started, Fanny, Matt. Now you both participate a lot, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to interrupt our discussion” Mrs. Johnson glared at them. “Now that being said, I graded your papers and they’re in this pile. Feel free to pick them up.” Everyone reached for their papers. “Nice! 25/25!” Matt grinned triumphantly. “Here, Fanny. You got a 25!” Sophia smiled. “What did you get, Sophia?” “22, but I’ll take it! It’s an 88.” She laughed. “I got a 23, but I’m glad with that. I’m not exactly the best writer.” Kendall chuckled. “Tomorrow, we are going to start Tortilla Curtain. It’s a book on satire, so I want you guys to do some research on what satire is for tomorrow’s discussion.”

“So Kendall, where are you aiming to go to college?’ It was second period, and Ms. Park was asking each of her students what their plans were after graduating high school. “Well I want to do aerospace, so I’m probably aiming for MIT, Georgia Tech, Stanford, or Cal Tech.” He listed. “Wow. MIT? What’s your SAT score?” “Haven’t taken it yet. I’m just a sophomore, remember?” The brunette frowned in confusion. “Not even the PSAT?” “Nope. I’m going to be studying for it this summer.” How early was he expected to take this test? “Well for MIT, you need a score in at least the 2,200s to get accepted.” She warned him. “But if you do as well on that test as you are in this class for juniors and seniors, then you’ll be fine.” She smiled encouragingly. “Thanks, Ms. Park. I’ll definitely try my best!” Kendall grinned. That was one of the few times he felt honored to be the youngest person in this class.

“Alright, everyone. So remember that tomorrow, you guys have your quiz on osmosis. Make sure you know the different properties of water and the concept of entropy.” Ms. Ling looked at everyone. “We’re almost halfway through second semester, you guys! Keep up the good work!” She wiped the blackboard as everyone began to pack their things. “Kendall, I know you’re grade is bordering on an A and a B. But if you do get an A on this quiz, don’t forget that we drop the lowest score, so you can still get an A if you drop the 16/20.” “Thanks, Ms. Ling. I’ll try my best.” Kendall nodded, surprised by how supportive she was being. “You have a bright future, Kendall. Don’t forget that.” She patted him on the shoulder before walking off to her desk.

“Good news, everyone! Only one of you failed the last test!” Mr. Darcy chuckled, handling back the exams. “Here, Kendall.” The brunette nervously received his paper. Carefully, as if the other side of the paper was hiding a carnivorous lion, the brunette flipped the sheet around. “Holy shit! A 97?!” He couldn’t believe it. “Wait, a 97?! Lucky! I got an 85.” Matt frowned. “85? Ha! I got a 93.” Jared smiled smugly. “Shut up, Jared.” Matt rolled his eyes. “It’s okay, Matt, you got 100s on the last two, so you still have an A average on tests.” “I guess.” The blue-eyed brunette sighed, defeated. Kendall just couldn’t believe it. At this rate, he could get as low as a 70 on the next one and still pass with an A. “Keep up the good work. And the person who failed the last test, feel free to see me after class if you need any additional help. Thank you all and have a nice rest of your day!” The teacher smiled as everyone got up and left.

“Well, we can enjoy a normal lunch for once!” Matt and Kendall laughed. The three of them just left Pre-Calc and were heading over to the shell auditorium, where Fanny, Carly, Megan, Chloe, and Sophia normally hung out. “And I was like, fool, you know I am right! I’m not only an aspiring molecular biologist, but a certified EMT and I taught a seminar in Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, you cracker-ass bitch!” It was none other than Sharquiqui, who was telling Carly and the others about her conference at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Well, no shit, he’s just an idiot.” Chloe agreed. “Hey, guys. Mind if we join you?” Kendall smiled. “That depends. Is Jared going to kiss me?” Fanny looked at the blonde expectantly. “You know it.” Jared smiled, squatting down and kissing his boyfriend on the cheek. “But yeah, these bitches were fucking crazy. Thinking that because I’m 16 and still in high school that I’m the one in the wrong. It’s dumb. Bitch, I have taken every AP test this school district offers, and I have gotten 5s in all of them. I can easily get 4 degrees going into any four year university… in 3 years! You know that I am not an idiot.” Sharquiqui growled. “Girl, you know you’re going to make the world a better place.” Megan laughed.

“Alright, everyone. So get into pairs for our next exercise.” Kawaguchi-sensei glared at everyone. “Alright, girl, it’s you and me.” Sharquiqui grabbed Carly. “Megan, I feel particularly sassy today. You’re my partner.” Fanny looked at the younger brunette. “Yay, we can be sore together!” She laughed. “Sophia, want to be partners?” Kendall looked at her. “Yeah, let’s do it!” Sophia got up, and sat next to him. “Alright, so for this grammar, it’s changing the “i” in “i” adjectives to a “ku.” Or if it’s a noun or “na” adjective, then adding a “ni.” That makes it an adverb.” Kawaguchi-sensei explained. “Practice a couple sentences with each other, and then you guys will present to the class.” The pairs practiced and presented their sentences one by one. Once they finished the exercises, Kawaguchi-sensei walked to the front of the room. “Okay, guys. So as you all know, we had the Japanese movie project last year. You guys have to film a video using all of the grammars in the textbook. Last year, we allowed groups of 5. So we’ll do the same this year-” “Here, Kawaguchi-sensei.” Sharquiqui handed him a USB. “Nelson-san, what is it?” “My movie project. I finished it.” “You already did it?!” He was shocked. “No, duh.” She pursed her lips as she sat back down. “Well, everyone except for Nelson-san, get into your groups.” Kawaguchi-sensei announced. “Good luck, y’all. Fuckers can’t beat my project.” She laughed, clapping her hands. “So I guess the five of us?” Carly looked at her friends. “No, duh.”

“Why does soccer season have to be over?” Jared sighed. The two of them were with Matt; students who finish their sports seasons get put in athletic P.E. in the school pavilion, which basically means that sit around and do nothing for an entire period. “Well now we can do Spanish homework together!” Jared and Matt fist bumped; the two of them were in Spanish 2 Honors together. “”Well, I guess I should study for Chem.” Kendall sighed, opening his chemistry book. He needed to do well on the next quiz or else he’ll be stuck with a B. “I’m going to be so happy when we’re done with test season.” Matt sighed, flipping through his Spanish flashcards. “I hear you. This blows.” Jared rolled his eyes. He’d rather be playing in the field.