Tadashi: @Seeing Fanny and Lucas get sent home was a huge shock for me. @They were both incredibly talented cooks and I expected to make it to the end with both of them. @But now I need to focus on my own cooking and making sure that I can win it.
Nate: @At this point, almost everyone from season 1 is gone. @Jo, Amanda, and I are all still here, and I want us all to make it into the final three together. @I think that Amanda and I would make a pretty bomb final two.
Jessica: Hi, everyone! So for today’s creativity challenge, we want you to draw knives!
Phung – chicken
Nate – beef
Tadashi – salmon
Amanda – pork
Justin – finger limes
Jo – huitlacoche
Henry – jew’s mallow
Kira – sunchoke
Jessica: So for this challenge, you must prepare a dish in pairs that features a classic protein and an unusual vegetable. You guys are allowed to choose your own pairs, so long as a vegetable and a protein are represented!
Tadashi: @I immediately go to Kira, because I love sunchokes, and I have a dish in mind that we can prepare with that and the salmon.
Kira: @I’m stoked to be working with Tadashi because I respect him a lot. @I think that we have a strong team already!
Amanda: @I go to Justin, mostly because I think he’d have a good idea on how to cook with the finger limes. @I know what jew’s mallow is, and it’s really slimy and difficult to work with. @I’d rather not work with it if I do not have to.
Nate: @I don’t want to work with Jo, but I don’t want to cook with the jew’s mallow either, so I’m stuck with him and his huitlacoche. @I’ve heard of what it is, but I’ve actually never cooked with it before.
Phung: @I’m stuck with Henry and his jewish spinach but I don’t care because it’s a creativity challenge and that means guaranteed immunity and no elimination. @I don’t need to try here.
Jessica: You guys have 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!
Phung: @Henry wants to prepare a roast chicken thigh with jew’s mallow-potato puree and a french onion jus. @I think that this would be an epic thing to attempt, but I’m just going to let Henry lead the way, because I know I can nail it in any elimination challenge, so I’m not nervous.
Henry: @Phung’s normally a bossy bitch, but in this challenge, she’s clammed up. @She’s not even trying, and that’s annoying me. @I want to just win the challenge, but it’s basically another repeat of what happened last season with James.
Kira: @This is why I’m glad I’m not paired with Phung. @She would have killed me on this challenge. @Tadashi and I are working together really well, but that’s to be expected. @We both have Michelin starred backgrounds, and naturally, we are used to the same kinds of environments.
Tadashi: @Our dish is salmon with crispy sunchoke chips, sunchoke puree, and a butter sauce. @I’m feeling great about the dish mostly because Kira’s handling the sunchoke while I’m going to break down the salmon and cook that along with prepare the sauce.
Nate: @I’m not happy to work with Jo. @I’m feeling angry. @But huitlacoche, I’m tasting it and it’s actually a delicious ingredient. @I’m going to prepare grilled steak with huitlacoche puree, chimichurri, which I need to make authentic, or else I’ll be grilled. @Classic chimichurri has parsley, garlic, pepper, oregano, and onion, that I then blend up with sherry vinegar and the lemon juice.
Jo: @I’m handling cooking the steak while Nate does the puree and the chimichurri. @Nate’s a good cook, and I think he’s going to make it into the finale this season, because of how strong he is.
Amanda: @We have finger limes and pork. @Justin and I… don’t have any familiarity with the limes. @I taste them, and they’re really pungent. @We decide on seared pork medallions with finger lime gremolata and a pork, lime, and apple jus.
Justin: @Amanda is very focused on business and productivity, so I know that the two of us gel together when it comes to cooking. @I’m going to handle the jus and the gremolata while Amanda does the pork. @I’m taking scraps of the pork and using that with bones to prepare the jus. @I need to get that going ASAP so it has time to develop and reduce.
Jessica: Time’s up!
Henry: @I know that the chicken is undercooked and I’m sweating underneath my skin. @I don’t want to be on the bottom. @I’ve been on such a roll and I really don’t want it to stop here.
Jessica: Your judge is house critic, Lotte Amazo!
Lotte: Hello, everyone! Nice to see you all again!
Amanda: @Lotte is an intense critic and I know that impressing her is going to be a major challenge.
Lotte and Jessica sample the dishes.
Jessica: So Lotte, which team failed to impress you?
Lotte: Phung and Henry, the chicken was undercooked. That was a disappointment.
Phung: Like I give a shit. @It doesn’t matter. @If I got immunity, I wouldn’t try in the elimination most likely anyways, so I’m not really in the mood.
Jessica: And which teams did a good job marrying their ingredients together?
Lotte: Nate and Jo, the flavors actually worked really well together! The huitlacoche puree and chimichurri contrasted each other and lifted the steak. The dish by Tadashi and Kira, the salmon was delicious and I loved the sunchoke puree and chips.
Jessica: And which team won?
Lotte: It was close, but the best dish was prepared by… Tadashi and Kira.
Jessica: Congratulations, Tadashi and Kira! You won the creativity challenge!
Kira: @I’m stoked to win the challenge, but I can’t help feel that I would not have won if Tadashi was not my partner. @In my first season, I have bad luck with team challenges. @I’d always be on the bottom, so winning this one feels odd.
Tadashi: @Winning feels nice, but I’m just thinking about what the next challenge is going to be. @I’m getting nervous.
Jessica: Now for the elimination challenge! For this one, in teams of four, you’ll be creating your own pop-up restaurants! The captains of each team actually were decided in the last challenge! They will be Tadashi and Kira!
Amanda: Oh shit. @They are easily the two most experienced, so this is a clash of the titans. @I’m interested to see how this turns out.
Jessica: Tadashi, Kira, draw knives to determine who gets first pick.
Kira – 2
Tadashi – 1
Jessica: Tadashi, choose your first teammate!
Tadashi: I’ll take… Phung. @She’s crazy, but she’s extremely talented. @It’s an elimination challenge, so she’s going to be motivated.
Phung: We got this, bitches! @I will be the winner tonight, hands down.
Kira: My first teammate will be… Justin.
Justin: @Kira’s got my respect, and it only makes sense that we’d be on a team together. @I’m feeling good working with her.
Tadashi: I’ll choose Amanda. @She’s a solid worker as well, and I think she’s going to be a major asset to my team.
Kira: Hm…. @There’s Nate, Jo, and Henry left at this point. Henry. @He’s been doing really well this season, and I trust him more than I do Nate or Jo.
Henry: Thanks! @Kira, Justin, and I all competed together last season, and if we had Phung, it would have been all the season 3 people on the same team. @That would have been sick!
Tadashi: @It’s down to Nate and Jo. @That’s kind of a no-brainer. Nate. @He does tend to do better with creativity challenges, but I know he’s a much more mature team player than Jo is.
Nate: Thanks. @I’m on Tadashi’s team and it’s overall a solid group. @But if we are on the bottom, then I’m a goner.
Jessica: And Jo, you’re on Kira’s team!
Kira: @I don’t want Jo on my team, but he did decently in his original season, and he made it pretty far, so at least I know he can cook edible food.
Jo: @Kira’s not somebody I can really respect. @You work for a Michelin starred restaurant and yet you can’t win the title? @That’s disappointing.
Jessica: For this challenge, we want to see six dishes, three courses being appetizer, entree, and dessert! You guys have 2 and a half hours to pull off your dishes, and your time starts now!
Tadashi: @So on my team, we have Phung, Amanda, and Nate. @Everyone but Amanda cooks Asian, but that’s not really fair to put her in that position. @So in the end, we go with a Vietnamese concept, with Phung taking the lead.
Phung: @We got this. @Amanda cooks French, and in Vietnam, we have French influences. @For the first two courses, we are going to prepare a chili-chicken liver pate with fish sauce pickled artichokes and homemade crostini, which Amanda will work on. @For the second dish, we are making homemade goi cuon, which are the spring roll wrappers with shrimp in them, and I’m going to have Nate work on that. @For the mains, homemade pho, which Tadashi will work on, and I’m going to prepare ca kho to, which is caramelized fish in a clay pot, using catfish and cola to braise it. @For the desserts, I’m going to prepare a black sticky rice with jackfruit and a mango-coconut sorbet. @For the second dessert, Tadashi and Amanda are going to work together and make a lime creme brulee with Vietnamese coffee dusted doughnuts.
Amanda: @I’m handling the pate dish, which I know how to do, and the doughnuts. @I’m basically on yeast duty today, because I’m making the doughnuts and baguette for the crostini from scratch. @Phung basically overthrew Tadashi as team captain, and I’m mildly scared of her, because she’s definitely crazy.
Nate: @The trick with making my own spring roll wrappers is that I have to steam these individually. @It’s a major bitch, and they are sometimes tearing, but I know that doing this will show a lot more technique and it’ll justify why I needed almost 3 hours for it.
Tadashi: @I’m getting the creme brulee going after I start my broth for the pho. @I’m using the pressure cooker to release as much of that flavor in the bones as possible. @The creme brulees, they need to bake for basically an hour, so I have time to get those going right after the bones go into the pressure cooker.
Kira: @My team is Justin, Jo, and Henry. @We talk it over, and we decide to go with comfort food, because that’ll be the easiest way to incorporate our different backgrounds. @For the appetizers, we are going with a homemade grilled cheese with tomato soup, made by Henry, and a kale caesar salad spring roll with bagna cauda, which Jo is making. @For the second courses, we have Justin and Henry’s roasted chicken with gnocchi and mushrooms, and my own pork adobo with cilantro-lime rice. @For the last courses, I’m making a pear upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream and brown butter ice caramel, and then Justin and Henry are working together on the other dish, and it’s going to be a raspberry tart with lemon curd ice cream. @I’m feeling nervous, because I’m tackling two dishes, but Henry’s going on a limb and doing three and Justin’s going to be helping us as we go.
Henry: @I’ve got a gargantuan task ahead of me. @For the first course, I’m getting the tomatoes into the oven to roast them and then I get the bread dough proofing for the sandwiches. @For the second course, I have the potatoes in the oven as well, and then I’m breaking down the chicken and getting the mushroom and chicken sauce going. @For the last course, I’m helping with making the lemon curd for the ice cream, so I get that going as well while I have everything proofing and baking off. @I’m stressed, but I want to prove that I am an ambitious and capable individual.
Justin: @Henry’s insane for taking on so much. @But we can’t really trust Jo, because he’ll just get passive aggressive and yell at us. @I’m helping Henry make the gnocchi, because I know I can do that well for him, and then I get started on the raspberry tart and the ice cream base.
Amanda: @I get my pate finished, and then I check on the bread. @It’s good to go, so I chuck that into the oven. @It needs to bake, and then cool so that I can slice it, and then from there, I need to also grill it. @For the bread, I’m using steam in the oven to help create that proper crust.
Tadashi: @I get my brulees into the oven, and I see where everyone else is. @I’m feeling good about where my teammates are at overall. @Phung is taking us in a great direction, and we are just going to go with what she’s thinking.
Phung: @I’m going to help us nail this shit. @Our dishes are modern or authentic Vietnamese dishes. @These other guys can kiss my ass.
Justin: @I go to the ice cream machine and pour the mixture into there. @I get the tarts out of the oven, and the shells are perfect. @I check the raspberries, and they’re reduced into this nice jam consistency. @I get those into the tarts and cool them all down together. @I’m feeling great about this!
Henry: @The gnocchi is done, the chickens are roasting, the sauce tastes great, and so does the soup! @I’m getting the sandwiches done, and the lemon curd is already made. @It was stressful, but we managed to get it done!
Jessica: Time’s up!
Tadashi: @I’m feeling great about our team’s efforts, but Kira doesn’t look disappointed about her menu, so it might be a close match.
Phung: @If we lose, I hope Tadashi does home. @He failed as a captain and that’s why I stepped up and took over.
Jessica: Your judges are:
Jessica: Let’s start with the first courses from each team!
Amanda – chili-chicken liver pate, fish sauce pickled artichokes, crostini
Nate – goi cuon
Henry – tomato soup with grilled cheese
Jo – kale caesar salad egg roll with bagna cauda
Missy: Interesting how both dishes incorporated freshly made bread and a variation of a spring roll. I loved Amanda’s pate, and the artichokes were an interesting choice, but they worked really well.
Max: Nate’s goi cuon, he cooked the shrimp well, the fact he made his own wrappers, that’s incredible. I loved the spicy-sour sauce he made with it. Overall, it was refreshing and delicious.
Frank: Henry’s tomato soup was dynamite. I loved how much flavor he got into the bisque, and then the fact he made his own bread was brilliant. For Jo’s, I liked the concept a lot, but the usage of flower kale, it made the dish hard to eat, because the kale, I found myself choking on it. And compared to the other dishes, knowing he did not make his own wrappers, that worked against him here.
Jessica: And now for the second courses!
Nate – beef pho
Phung – ca kho to
Kira – pork adobo with cilantro-lime rice
Henry and Justin – chicken thigh with gnocchi and mushrooms
Missy: Going into the next set of courses, I loved the flavors in Nate’s pho. He used the pressure cooker to extract a ton of flavor out of those beef bones. The fact he made his own pho noodles here, I’m blown away.
Frank: Phung’s catfish was delicious. It was succulent, juicy, and I loved that she used cola to glaze it. The flavor of her dish were phenomenal. I also loved Kira’s adobo a lot. She packed so much flavor into there and the rice was great. I actually used Kira’s rice to finish Phung’s dish.
Max: Henry’s chicken thigh was expertly cooked and I really enjoyed the flavors in the gnocchi and the mushrooms. Out of all four dishes, I’d say Henry’s was the most beautifully presented. But I preferred Kira and Nate’s dishes overall for these.
Jessica: And finally, our desserts!
Phung – black sticky rice, jackfruit and mango-coconut sorbet
Tadashi and Amanda – lime creme brulee with Vietnamese coffee doughnuts
Kira – pear upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream and brown butter caramel
Justin and Henry – raspberry tart with lemon curd ice cream
Max: I just loved Phung’s dessert. It was delicious. The combination of jack fruit with rice pudding, it was inspired. The sorbet was creamy and it tasted of mango. I really loved it. For the second dessert, creme brulee was executed perfectly and I loved the doughnuts. Together, too bitter, but I still liked the consistency of that brulee.
Frank: Kira’s cake was moist, light, and the pears were stewed and beautiful. The ice cream was great and the caramel was divine with those pears. This dessert was a great end to the meal.
Missy: I liked the tart portion of the second dessert, but that ice cream, it had a strange, chalky consistency. I’m not that big on the ice cream overall, but the tart was executed really well.
Jessica: So can we decide on which team won?
Max: It came down to the desserts, but yes, we do.
In walks Tadashi, Phung, Nate, and Amanda.
Jessica: Tonight… the four of you won the challenge! Congratulations!
Frank: You four made six incredible dishes and you have a lot to be proud of!
Amanda: @Hearing that we won, it feels amazing. @I’m pretty stoked!
Max: We all agreed that the menu was great, the food was fantastic for the most part.
Jessica: So you’re all safe, and can leave. Thank you.
Tadashi: @I’m proud of us for doing this well. @It feels good to know you’re safe, and that you led a team to victory!
Phung: @Winning the restaurant concept challenge is awesome, and it was well deserved. @The Phung Dynasty continues, even now!
The top four leave.
In walks Kira, Justin, Jo, and Henry.
Jessica: Tonight, the four of you are on the losing team. However, two of you are safe.
Max: Henry, Justin, the two of you worked together on two of the dishes. Who did what on each dish?
Henry: For the chicken dish, I prepared the chicken and the sauce. I made the lemon curd for the ice cream, which Justin finished.
Justin: I did the gnocchi for the second course, and then I made the raspberry dessert.
Max: Then we have a slight dilemma here. Justin, we loved the gnocchi and the raspberry tart, but the ice cream, you made that, and it was chalky.
Frank: Jo, did you feel like your one dish contributed to the team’s success?
Jo: I think I made a good dish. It was not something that would have cost my team the victory by any means.
Frank: It was a good dish, but when you compared it to what everyone else made in the first course, and on top of that, you had three hours to focus on one dish. Everything on that dish, it needed to be made from scratch, and you did not. So we are mostly questioning what you did with your three hours.
Jo: I focused on my own dish because nobody else wanted my help.
Missy: Kira, your adobo was fantastic and the dessert was delicious. You are definitely safe tonight.
Kira: Thank you.
Frank: Henry, your appetizer was great and we loved the chicken dish. You pushed yourself, helping out with half the menu, and we all agreed that you are safe as well.
Jessica: Henry, Kira, the two of you can leave the room.
Kira: @I feel bad, because I’m the captain of the losing team. @I should be standing there with Jo and Justin right now, up for elimination.
Henry: @i’m glad that the judges recognized me trying my best. @I had to push myself because Jo was not.
Kira and Henry leave.
Jessica: Justin, Jo, one of you is going home tonight.
Justin: @I’m feeling like Jo might be going home. @Yeah, they hated half of my dessert, but I did a lot more than he did in the time allotted, and I was much more of a team player. @I think Jo needs to be eliminated.
Jo: @We both made it to the final four, we both are skilled. @I think that Justin should go home, though, because that lemon curd ice cream was gross, and he was responsible for screwing that up. @If they save Justin, they’re awarding him for basically tanking the team.
Jessica: The judges have talked it over, and it was not an unanimous decision. Tonight… Justin, you’re going home. Please return to the kitchen and leave.
Justin: Alright. Thanks for inviting me back, and I’m sorry about the ice cream. @It sucks. @I really thought that I would be safe tonight. @Seeing Jo not go home when he clearly deserves to, it sucks so much. @He did not even try to be a team player. @To work as a chef, you need to be able to work well with others and be a leader, and he can’t even do that. @I know, whether or not I am a Warrior Chef, that I can do that. @I will be successful in my career, because I’ll continue to push myself.