Warrior Chef 2: Preliminary Rounds + Eliminator Round

Preliminary Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Time’s up!

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

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

Victoria: Your judges are:

Aster Walker – renowned Los Angeles food critic

Kierra Johnston – famous food critic in the Chicago area

Guy Flannigan – food television personality

Lotte Amazo – award-winning cookbook author from the UK

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

Chloe Lula – highly acclaimed vegan and vegetarian cooking expert

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

Roman – grilled skirt steak, salsa verde, mango salsa

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

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

Victoria: Next is Rose’s dessert!

Rose – homemade baklava with goat milk ice cream

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

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

Victoria: Now Brandon’s dish!

Brandon – lamb ribs with homemade noodles

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

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

Victoria: Next is Enrique’s dish!

Enrique – mahi mahi taco with pineapple slaw and lime sauce

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

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

Victoria: This dish was made by Marisa.

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

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

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

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

Duke – soft shell crab bao

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

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

Victoria: This dish was prepared by Jessica.

Jessica – herb embedded lasagna, mushroom ragout, garlic chips

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

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

Victoria: Finally, Amanda’s signature dish!

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

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

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

Victoria: So can we decide on our scores?

Guy: We can.

In walks the competitors.

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

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

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

Aster: My steak was overcooked. 6 stars.

Kierra: Mine was cooked nicely. 7 stars.

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

Lotte: 7 stars.

Frank: 7 stars.

Chloe: 7 stars.

Roman – 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60

Victoria: Now we have Rose’s dish!

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

Kierra: 9 stars.

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

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 10 stars.

Chloe: 10 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And now, Brandon’s dish!

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

Kierra: 6 stars.

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

Lotte: 6 stars.

Frank: 6 stars.

Chloe: 7 stars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guy: 8 stars.

Lotte: 8 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: 9 stars

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

Victoria: And next, Marisa’s score!

Aster: 9 stars.

Kierra: 9 stars.

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

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: For your beautiful pasta, 9 stars.

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

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

Victoria: We next have Duke!

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

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: 9 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

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

Duke – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60

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

Victoria: Next up is Jessica’s score.

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

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

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

Lotte: 6 stars.

Frank: 5 stars.

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

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

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

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

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

Aster: Beautifully presented dish. 9 stars.

Kierra: 10 stars for something just so unforgettable.

Guy: 9 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: 9 stars.

Chloe: 9 stars.

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

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

Scores:

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

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

Duke – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60

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

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

Roman – 6 + 7 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 40/60

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

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

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

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

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

Preliminary Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Time’s up!

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

Victoria: Your judges are:

Miriam Adjanti – chairwoman of the European Culinary Institutes

Max Hudson – renowned seafood chef from Los Angeles and Honolulu

Scott Connors – restauranteur in New York and Miami

Erwin Ko – famous Korean-fusion chef in Los Angeles

Missy Skies – Michelin starred Italian chef from New York

Chelia Van Buren – award-winning cookbook author and restauranteur

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

Betsy – chicken pot pie

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

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

Victoria: And next is Vin’s signature curry!

Vin – lamb rendang, homemade roti

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

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

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

Yang – fried bass spring rolls, black bean dipping sauce

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

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

Victoria: Then we have Lilian’s dessert!

Lilian – chocolate ganache tart, raspberry compote and fresh raspberries

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

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

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

Nate – scallop-mushroom broth, shrimp crystal wontons

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

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

Victoria: Next is Talia’s pate choux!

Talia – lemon meringue cream puffs, strawberry coulis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Finally, Jo’s family dinner!

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

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

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

Victoria: So can we bring them in for scoring?

Miriam: Yes.

The eight contestants walk in.

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

Miriam: It was a strong effort. 9 stars.

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

Scott: 9 stars.

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

Chelia: 10 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: Next is Vin’s score!

Miriam: I was a huge fan. 10 stars.

Max: 10 stars.

Scott: I would not change anything. 10 stars.

Erwin: 10 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Chelia: 9 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And now we have Lilian’s score!

Miriam: 9 stars.

Max: 9 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars

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

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

Victoria: And now we have Nate’s score!

Miriam: 9 stars.

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

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 9 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Chelia: 9 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And next is Jo’s score!

Miriam: 8 stars.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: Here we have Talia’s score next!

Miriam: 9 stars for an inventive dessert.

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Erwin: 8 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 8 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: The next score will be Trisha’s!

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

Max: 8 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

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

Missy: 8 stars.

Chelia: 7 stars.

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

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

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

Miriam: Just no. 4 stars.

Max: 4 stars.

Scott: 4 stars.

Erwin: 4 stars.

Missy: 3 stars.

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

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

Victoria: Here are the total scores of this round!

Scores:

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

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

Nate – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 8 + 8 = 51/60

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

Talia – 9 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 49/60

Jo – 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 48/60

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

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

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

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

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

Yang leaves the kitchen.

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

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

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

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

Cumulative Scores:

Vin – 58

Rose – 57

Betsy – 56

Amanda – 55

Duke – 54

Marisa – 53

Enrique – 52

Nate – 51

Lilian – 50

Talia – 49

Jo – 48

Trisha – 47

Roman – 40

Brandon – 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eliminator Round (Four will be eliminated)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria: Time’s up!

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

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

Victoria: Your judges for this challenge are:

Ashlee Pou – former Warrior Chef runner-up

Sophia Pham – former Warrior Chef runner-up

Karen Laverre – Warrior Chef 1 third place finalist

Lucas Powers – Warrior Chef 1 fourth place finalist

Fanny Robinson – Warrior Chef 1 fifth place finalist

Tadashi Hamilton – Warrior Chef 1 runner-up

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

Roman – Asian pork sandwich with lotus root chips

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

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

Victoria: Next is Daniel’s dish!

Daniel – Pickled jicama spring rolls, dashi espuma

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

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

Victoria: Next is Lilian’s dessert.

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

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

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

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

Brandon – Seared sirloin, potato puree, fried carrots

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

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

Victoria: And next is Talia’s dessert!

Talia – Rhubarb financier, beet-strawberry ice cream

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

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

Victoria: Now we have Courtney’s dessert!

Courtney – Cherry mousse, meringues, chocolate soil

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

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

Victoria: Next is Trisha’s dessert!

Trisha – Sticky toffee pudding, bruleed figs, buttermilk sorbet

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

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

Victoria: So the last dish belongs to Jo.

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

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

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

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

Tadashi: We can.

In walks the eight contestants.

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

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

Sophia: 6 stars, babes.

Karen: 7 stars.

Lucas: 7 stars.

Fanny: 7 stars.

Tadashi: 7 stars.

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

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

Victoria: Next up is Daniel’s score!

Ashlee: 10 stars. babes.

Sophia: 9 stars, babes.

Karen: 9 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And now we have Brandon’s score!

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

Sophia: It was dry and boring. 3 stars.

Karen: 3 stars.

Lucas: 4 stars.

Fanny: 4 stars.

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

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

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

Victoria: And next is Courtney’s score!

Ashlee: 7 stars.

Sophia: 7 stars.

Karen: 7 stars.

Lucas: 7 stars.

Fanny: 7 stars.

Tadashi: 7 stars.

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

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

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

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

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 9 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

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

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

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

Brandon leaves the kitchen.

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

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 10 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 9 stars.

Tadashi: 9 stars.

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

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

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

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

Roman leaves the kitchen.

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

Ashlee: 9 stars.

Sophia: 9 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 10 stars.

Fanny: 10 stars.

Tadashi: 10 stars.

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

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

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

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

Courtney leaves.

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

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

Ashlee: 10 stars.

Sophia: 10 stars.

Karen: 10 stars.

Lucas: 9 stars.

Fanny: 10 stars.

Tadashi: 10 stars.

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

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

Victoria: Here are the final scores!

Talia – 59/60

Jo – 58/60

Trisha – 57/60

Lilian – 56/60

Daniel – 55/60

Courtney – 42/60

Roman – 40/60

Brandon – 23/60

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

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

Daniel leaves the kitchen.

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

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

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

How it is: Chapter 17

That same day, Tarou was at work with Misaki, talking about the former’s current living situation after they finished another photo shoot. “So you two aren’t living together anymore?” The older model frowned. She was surprised to hear that Timmy had problems with Valerie and Tarou. “Yeah, and that’s why I’m living on Valerie’s floor at the moment.” The male model nodded. “I see, I see.” Had Timmy not been such a close friend of her boyfriend’s, Misaki would have most likely used her one favor from the yakuza to call a hit on the Taiwanese boy. Just the thought of somebody being that immature, inept, and cowardly, he was asking for at least, a slap to the face. Shaking off her dark, violent thoughts, the older girl looked at her friend. “I think Timmy is a complete and utter coward. Just the way he treated Valerie, it was sickening. Then to hear from you that he called her a skank or slut or whatever, that was uncalled for. And that’s just his beef with Valerie. The way he treated you was completely rude. It was homophobic of him to say that your sexuality made him uncomfortable. It’s not like you made advances on him, did you?” She looked at him, nervously. If Tarou had indeed acted with romantic intentions, then this situation could get very ugly. “I saw him more as a little brother or a son, but for him, he only saw my sexuality when that became a topic. He could not shake the thought or fear that I might be romantically interested in him. And his uneasiness towards it, it made me question my own feelings towards him as well. But seeing him act that way, it just reaffirms that this is why I saw him as a little brother or a son. It’s because he is less emotionally mature than I am.” Tarou summarized. “I see. And it makes sense. Him not knowing how to react to and live with somebody like you, it caused him to act really irrationally.” The reason why Misaki was able to make such detailed observations was because she was a psychology major in college, before deciding to become a model full time and abandon the psychology path entirely. There was something about being able to observe others and understanding their intentions and interpretations of life that piqued her interest.

After heading out of the agency, Misaki and Tarou were having dinner at Tarou’s favorite restaurant, Ngam; Tarou and Misaki both adored the chef, who was a model herself, and just enjoyed the elegant takes on Thai cuisine served at the establishment. Tarou sighed, feeling a little uneasy. Even though he was at one of his favorite restaurants, he was not feeling hungry. He was worried about what was happening to Timmy. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Misaki looked at him, visibly concerned. Tarou had been spacing out for a while. It was unlike Tarou, especially when he was a former fat kid, to leave a meal virtually untouched. “I’m just out of it. I’m still getting over what Timmy said about Valerie and how he outed me like that.” Tarou sighed. He did not think that anything could hurt him. But he wrong. Timmy’s words hurt. Seeing her friend this way, Misaki could not bring herself to feign smiling anymore. “Look, you two need to talk. Do you want me to tell Justin about the whole situation?” She offered. Tarou shook his head. “He’s not ready. I don’t think he’ll ever be ready to be confronted. He’s a fucking coward.” The model scowled. He was angry at this point. What did he ever do to deserve this treatment? It was not his fault he was born bisexual. Timmy’s immaturity, it was just ridiculous. Tarou was in disbelief that somebody he looked up to, somebody he grew up with, could have come along so little in life. Slowly, Tarou began to piece together the dots: his involvement with Timmy, or specifically, his smother of Timmy, had caused the Taiwanese boy to become so sheltered and immature. All of this time I tried to protect him, I only caused him harm. He started to realize. Yet, Tarou did not resent himself. How was he supposed to know that this sort of overbearing behavior was okay? He was still a student himself. He had a lot left to learn.

“Hey, what’s wrong,, babe?” Justin looked at a distraught Misaki. She was still shaken by Tarou’s recent behavior and attitude. It was later at night, and the couple were in their apartment. “It’s just frustrating. These guys, they’re legally adults. But they still act like such sulky teenagers.” She frowned. It was bothering her how badly affected both of these boys were acting. “I get how you feel. Timmy’s life has been going to shit because of this. Word got out about how he acted, and he got kicked out of ACU.” Justin explained. “Huh?” Misaki looked at him, perplexed. “Yeah, he just texted me. It did not sound pretty. Apparently, there were over two hundred protestors boycotting an eboard meeting because of him.” “Whoa.” The model was not sure how to feel about this. On one hand, it was amazing to see that this many people cared about Tarou, or at least, what Tarou stood for. On another hand, Timmy was only 18, and he is being punished for being inexperienced, rather than narrow-minded. Misaki knew that even though he was immature, Timmy was not a bad person. He just was sheltered, therefore naive. “How’s he taking the end-result?” She looked at Justin, greatly concerned. “Not well. He told me he needed time alone.” Justin sighed, crossing his arms. He wanted to help Timmy, but he did not know what to do either. Whenever he got like this, Timmy would be impossible to reach. The Taiwanese boy would shut himself off from society. It was unpleasant to say the least. “What should we do?” He looked at Misaki, who was equally at a loss. “I think we need to talk to Timmy. And let him know what Tarou is feeling. Even if he is not ready to talk to Tarou, he needs to understand what’s going on.”

A week had passed since Tarou had been kicked off ACU board. The boy had shut himself into his room, only leaving for class. He felt mortified. Being removed from the club was already humiliating. He felt as if all of his hard work was unraveled in just a manner of minutes. Looking at Tarou’s empty bed, the Taiwanese boy felt himself flush with anger. Unable to contain himself, he slammed his fist into the stripped mattress. It bounced slightly as he left a deep impress in the fabric. “Fucking shit.” He cursed underneath his breath, ignoring the stinging in the side of his palm. He just needed to get off some steam. The thought of Tarou, it was concerning, yet aggravating. Why did somebody feel the need to be so controlling over him? He felt like he could not even breathe. Tarou was suffocating him. Ignoring the smell of the rotting pizza boxes piling up on his floor, the boy tried to drift off to sleep, or at least humor the notion: how can anyone sleep when they feel so constantly scared? Suddenly, Timmy’s phone started buzzing, much to the boy’s shock. It was Justin. “Hello?” He answered hesitantly. “You. I need to talk to you.” It was a woman’s voice. Misaki’s to be exact. “Uh…” The boy debated hanging up his phone, but he could not bring himself to. He feared the exact repercussions of angering Justin’s girlfriend. “Tarou’s devastated. I know you don’t care because you’re a heartless son of a bitch, but you need to know that the way you treat people, it needs to change. The fact that his sexuality made you uncomfortable, and on top of that, you treated him like crap when he was one of your closest friends! You pushed him away for a group of next to complete strangers, when he would have done anything for you. Do you not feel any shame for that?”

Timmy was not quite sure how to feel. Misaki, unlike the majority of his friends in the Asian community, was extremely upfront and direct. She did not sugar coat her words or statements. The Taiwanese boy was just taken aback, because of how unused to this treatment he was. “Well?” Misaki pressed again. She was still on the phone with him. “I’m just… I just need time. He’s exhausting. Looking at him, it just brings up a lot of anxiety and stress for me. I can’t feel safe or comfortable. I-I-I-” Timmy felt himself starting to break down into tears. There were too many emotions for him to process. Being around Tarou just made him extremely uncomfortable, and trying to unravel and comprehend everything Timmy was feeling at the thought of him, it was exhausting. “Look, I’m sure you’re not a completely shitty person. But you are being really selfish by not considering how your actions affect those around you. That’s the bottom line for what I’m trying to convey here. I believe that you and Tarou, you guys can make up and work it out. It might take time, even therapy, but I know you guys can do it and salvage your friendship.” Misaki reassured him. Timmy could hear what Misaki was saying, but he was still trying to recompose himself. He’s had more emotional meltdowns in the past two weeks than he has ever had in his entire life. He did not want to make a habit out of this behavior.

“Do you think I was being too harsh on him?” Misaki looked at Justin as she hung up the phone. “Well, you were definitely blunt. And honest.” Justin smirked. “But don’t worry about it too much. Somebody needed to tell him to be more considerate.” He sighed. As much as he cared about Timmy, Justin knew that the Taiwanese boy was old enough to be responsible for his own actions and decisions. He needed to take responsibility for the way he was treating others, or at least the way he was communicating with them. “Well, at least you agree that Timmy’s being a little pussy ass bitch.” Misaki sighed. As a model, she is used to dealing with passive aggressive, fake, and two-faced behavior all the time. Timmy’s attitude reminded her of that, and if she could stop another young adult from becoming like one of those monsters she works with, then the model would do whatever she can to end the vicious cycle. “Well, it looks like it’s getting really late. Let’s go to bed, babe.” Justin yawned, stretching his arms. “Yeah, let’s do it.” She sighed, getting up from their couch, and heading off to their bedroom.

How it is: Chapter 16

“So to begin today’s board meeting, let’s go over the money from our last event.” Alex started. ACU was meeting that same night Valerie and Janice spoke, in a classroom in the College of Arts and Sciences. He turned to Gary, who was ACU’s current treasurer. “Well, looking into our ticket prices, we charged $7 per person. Our attendance was good. We got 300 people, so that’s $2,100. And we promised each club that attended $100. We had 15, so they get $1,500 from us, and that means our club got a profit of $600!” He smiled. Despite Gary’s expression, everyone knew he was trying to avoid the major elephant in the room regarding the event. “But then there’s the additional costs. Facilities requires us to pay for the damages. And with the broken lamps and tables, that means we owe $750.” “Wait, so we lost $150 by doing this event?!” Alice looked shocked. “That’s… not good.” Timmy blurted, before everyone turned to look at him. He could tell that there was an awkward tension between him and his fellow officers at this point. “Well, at least the event was successful in terms of attendance. We can hold this again next year, and it’ll be just as successful, I’m sure.” Alex started. “Except almost every club refuses to re-collaborate with us for this…” Alice pointed out, referring to the feedback responses. The mood felt somber. And then it got worse. “No more ACU! No more ACU!” The officers turned to see a group of students, marching outside of their meeting classroom, holding signs with anti-homophobic messages on them, such as “Born this way” or “It’s the 21st Century, get with the times.” Timmy could feel his stomach sink with guilt at this point. “What the fuck?!” Alex and Holly peered through the classroom door window. They were being boycotted.

“Who the hell are you?!” Alex stormed outside and approached the students. “We are a part of the Gay-Straight Alliance.” A girl stated. “We don’t believe in what your officers stand for. The purpose of your club is to be all inclusive of Asians, yet you guys still think being bisexual is something to be afraid of. It’s disgusting!” She frowned as the other students continued marching in the hallway, holding up their signs and chanting. Alex was stunned speechless. Timmy looked in horror as a lot of the students in the hallway were glaring at him. “Get the fuck out of the hallway! You’re disturbing our meeting! I’m going to call campus security on you!” Alice threatened, grabbing her phone. She started dialing the number, only to be interrupted by one of the protestors. “Oh, they know. And it’s not disrupting your meeting if you’re not intruding on your classroom or physically harming you.” The male student pointed out. “We can get verbally disruptive, but so long as we do nothing to physically harm us, you can’t sue. Trust me, I’m a law student. I know this crap like the back of my hand!” “Shit.” The vice president cursed under her breath, out of options. “What should we do?” Gary looked at Holly and Timmy. He was normally the optimistic one, but in this case, even he was unsure of how to approach this situation. Unfortunately, the protests only got worse. This was only the beginning of a long, horrendous night for ACU’s executive board.

Suddenly, even more students started flooding into the hallway, many of which Timmy recognized. Amongst the crowd included Enya, Sara, and Melissa, as well as Akinori and Mari as well as the rest of the members of JBA, Vicky and her officers from the Modeling Club, the members of SSA, and the students from Tisch. At this point, they were surrounded, trapped, basically none of the ACU members could leave the room or go into the hallway with the sheer amount of protestors in that hall. And they all began to join in the protest. Had they not been there because of him, Timmy would have been amazed to see so many students rally around one cause. But in this case, he was horrified beyond belief. They were here to target him through his club. “Okay, what the fuck do you want from us? An apology?!” Alex roared. He was at his wit’s end. He was expecting today to be a simple meeting with a motivational speech at the end so that his club does not lose morale. Instead, it became his officers fearing for their lives, and the possibility of ACU being dissolved. As ACU’s president, this was a nightmare scenario.

“Alright, what are we going to do?” Holly whimpered, trembling. The girl was scared, exhausted, and starving at this point, having planned to get dinner after the meeting that they were still forced to be in due to the protestors outside. It had been three hours at this point, and everyone in ACU board was hulled up in their room, terrified. “Down with ACU! Down with ACU!” They continued chanting. Timmy was only half-listening to what everyone else was saying at this point. The Taiwanese boy was preoccupied with his own thoughts. He only wanted to be a part of ACU so that he could finally grow up. But in the process of becoming an officer, he managed to not only push away his closest friends, but caused harm to everyone he cared about. Valerie must hate him, especially if she heard that he called her a slut. Tarou must already hate him, because he refused to go to the Asian Cultural Awareness event, and he was okay with allowing so many of his friends from other clubs partake in this protest. And then his friends on ACU. None of them deserved to be put through this torment, especially because of his own dumb, impulsive mistake. “I’m not even sure at this point.” Alex groaned. He was getting fatigued too, from stress and anxiety. He did not want to be known at the president of ACU when it went under. That would be a hard thing to have to live with.

The board members sat in a circle, trying to figure out a proper solution. At this point, it was already midnight. “So we can go out there an apologize as a board?” The event coordinator, a sophomore named Sharon, suggested. “I think that might be the best course of action.” Alex sighed, resigning to any option at this point. The officers got up and quietly walked into the hallway. The protestors all went silent as they saw the entirety of ACU board standing before them. “Hi, everyone. So we all want to apologize for our officer, Timmy’s actions. He was being rash and did not mean what he said. We’re sorry.” Alex took a slight bow. Everyone else on board quickly followed. As he was in mid-bow, Timmy could feel that all of the protestors were glaring at him. “That’s not enough!” Somebody shouted in the crowd. “We don’t care if you apologize as a board. He’s the one who needs to learn a lesson for what he said!” Another protestor agreed. At this point, Alice and Alex looked at one another and exchanged nods, before turning to Timmy. “Timmy, I’m sorry. We’re going to have to ask you to resign from ACU.” Alex sighed, looking genuinely sorry to let go of such a devoted member. Timmy could feel his throat dry up as he tried to speak. The words just came out in croaks. “I understand. And I really am sorry for all of the pain and fear I caused everyone here.” He could feel the tears rolling down his eyes. “The person who made the comment, he’s no longer an officer. We just removed him from our roster, and we again deeply apologize to everyone who was offended by what he said.” Alice declared. All of the protestors, satisfied with the announcement, slowly filed out of the hallway. Following them, ACU’s officers. Timmy stood there, alone in the empty hall, devastated.

Warrior Chef 1: Finale Part 1

The final four arrive in San Francisco, where the entire finale will take place.

Tadashi: @I’m here. @This is it. @The finale has begun, and I’m one of the competitors. @My chances at that title, it’s getting more and more realistic.

Karen: @I’m one of the final four, and I’m feeling really excited but nervous. @Tadashi, Fanny, and Lucas, they’re all a lot older than me, and it’s pretty intimidating. @But I need to believe in myself.

The four arrive in the kitchen at the resort they are staying at

Carrie: Welcome to the Warrior Chef finale!

Lucas: @Right now, I’m thinking that the final three will be me, Tadashi, and Fanny. @Karen’s been pretty inconsistent recently, so I doubt she can stay in the competition for much longer.

Carrie: So for the creativity challenge, you’ll have to prepare a dish using…. kale!
A cart is wheeled in, carrying kale, ranging from flower to curly to lacinato to purple.

Carrie: But to make things interesting, it’ll be done in head to head cook-offs! Please draw knives!

Karen – 1

Lucas – 2

Fanny – 2

Tadashi – 1

Karen: @I’m cooking kale against Tadashi, who is from SoCal. @I’m feeling really screwed. @This terrifies me.

Lucas: @I’m up against Fanny. @I’m comfortable with this match up. @I think her experience with kale, versus an Italian cook? @Not even a question.

Carrie: You have just 20 minutes to prepare an innovative kale dish. And your time starts now!

Tadashi: @I’m thinking about what I can do, and I’m going to deep fry the kale and prepare a crispy kale and shisso tempura basket with a kale stem infused dashi. @I’m keeping the flavors simple, because that’ll help me stay focused on what I have to get done during my 20 minutes.

Karen: @I’m going to prepare a dinosaur kale infused pasta with some crispy fried purple kale, pancettta, and chicken liver mousse. @I think that the combination of flavors will really help the kale stand up. @Tadashi is going almost entirely vegetarian, but that might honestly be the smart thing to do.

Fanny: @The kale looks great, and I’m feeling like this is an opportunity to really make this dish memorable. @I’m making a kale napoleon, using layers of fried kale, and then pickled kale stems, homemade mascarpone, and apples. @If I can get the mascarpone made in 20 minutes, then I’ll be good to go.

Lucas: @The kale, I’m going to prepare a pork stuffed kale sausage with crispy kale, kale stem gremolata, and shaved apples. @I’m trying my best to keep the flavors straightforward and beautiful. @I’m trying to make sure that the taste of the kale runs throughout the dish.

Karen: @I decide for the mousse, to make a kale butter, and fold that into the pate, just to really get the kale flavor throughout the dish. @I see what Tadashi is doing, and he’s moving surprisingly slowly, but he’s tasting very intensely. @I’m feeling really hopeful that the basic level of his dish will give me the edge.

Fanny: @I check the mascarpone, and it’s completely loose. @I can’t use it. @So I grab the ricotta, and it’ll be my substitute. @I start quenelling it, and the ricotta soaks into the kale, and it’s just a mess. @This is really bad.

Tadashi: @I taste the tempura, and I’m just realizing how few components are on my dish, but I hope that the flavors really do speak for themselves. @If I can accomplish that, then I’ll be good.

Lucas: @The kale sausage is cooked properly, and that’s already a huge advantage. @The flavors of my dish, it’s good. @I’m feeling confident that I can take down Fanny, and I’m sure that Tadashi is going to beat Karen. @The girls who are left, I’m not threatened by any of them.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Karen: @We are this far down the line with the competition, and I’m feeling nervous. @I really want to prove that even though I’m just a freshman, I can still beat these older cooks and win Warrior Chef.

Carrie: Your judge is Warrior Chef house critic, Chloe Lula!

Chloe: Hi, guys! Kale is such a beautiful ingredient, so I cannot wait to see what you have made with it!

Chloe and Carrie taste the dishes.

Carrie: So Chloe, let’s go down the line with each match-up, starting with Karen and Tadashi’s dishes!

Chloe: So Tadashi, the tempura dish was simple, elegant, and light. I liked the flavors and the balance there. Karen, the dish was ambitious, making pate and pasta from scratch, and you delivered on texture and presentation. Overall, the better dish was made by… Karen.

Karen: Oh my God! @I won? @Against Tadashi?! @I’m feeling elated right now! @I can’t believe it!

Chloe: Lucas, the sausage was delicious and the combination of kale textures was really well done. Fanny, the napoleon was an interesting take, but the kale itself was a bit soggy. Lucas, you won this match-up.

Carrie: Congratulations, Karen, Lucas! The two of you won the creativity challenge and will receive an advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Lucas: @This final four are strong, but we all know Tadashi is one of the biggest threats. @Any advantage that will let us edge him out of the competition is greatly appreciated.

Carrie: So now for the elimination challenge! San Francisco is known for having several Michelin starred restaurants, and we want you guys to take inspiration from one of four restaurants and prepare a dish! Please draw knives!

Karen – Atelier Crenn

Lucas – The French Laundry

Tadashi – Saison

Fanny – Campton Place

Carrie: Lucas, Karen, you both have an advantage. If you do not like the restaurants you’ve drawn, you can swap with either each other or one of your competitors.

Lucas: @I’m happy with The French Laundry, so I’m going to keep it.

Karen: I actually would like to swap with Saison from Tadashi. @Atelier Crenn is a really difficult concept to replicate because of all of these ridiculous chemicals and modern molecular ingredients I’ve never heard of. @It’s high-end artistic French food. @With Saison, it is refined, but the flavors speak more than the presentation.

Tadashi: @I got Atelier Crenn, but my experience with Melisse should help me overcome that gap. @I hope that this challenge, I can win.

Carrie: So just 1 hour to prepare your dishes. Time starts now!

Fanny: @I got Campton Place. @It’s modern Indian and Californian cooking. @I’m feeling okay because I can prepare a garam malasa rubbed lamb with a pea-yogurt flan and cilantro-coconut-lime foam. @I’m hoping that using the usage of a homemade garam masala will show enough technique. @Everyone thinks that Tadashi is the strongest cook, but I think of myself as more of a dark horse. @I made it this far, I have proven myself, and I’m ready to take the title.

Karen: @I have Saison, and I know that I can nail this concept. @I’m preparing a butter poached langoustine and chanterelles roasted in garlic-brown butter and a leek-poached lemon peel puree. @I’m literally layering butter into the dish, because that’ll be key to making sure that it really hits home that French feel, but balancing it with the right acidity, just so that it won’t be heavy.

Lucas: @Having to prepare a dish for The French Laundry is awesome. @I’m making a pear-caramel tart, with a pear sorbet, caramel tuile cone, and a pear puree infused toffee with brown butter financier as the base. @I thin that it’s really ballsy, but if I can pull it off, then it’ll be French Laundry-worthy.

Tadashi: @The reason why Lucas might be in trouble tonight is because The French Laundry is 3 Michelin stars and the expectation is that much higher. @He might be sent home because he didn’t deliver to those expectations. @I have Atelier Crenn, and right away, I decide to take a risk. @I’m making an earl gray whipped goat cheese with carrot spheres, fried chervil, brown butter soil, and carrot juice cider. @I’m going to take a risk because that’ll just set me apart, and I’m hoping that my dish will resemble pulling a carrot out of the ground.

Fanny: @I test out my foam, and it’s getting stuck in the canister. @My cilantro, I should have steeped it into the coconut milk rather than blended it in. @I’m wasting time trying to pour out the liquid through a strainer and cleaning out the canister. @I’m so annoyed.

Lucas: @I get the financier out and it looks nice. @The dessert can be a huge success, but it’s just a manner of whether or not it’ll stack up against the other dishes. @I can see myself and Tadashi in the final two. @Karen and Fanny are strong, but they haven’t delivered dishes on the same level as the two of us.

Karen: @I taste the puree, and it’s got a lot of layers of flavor. @The smoky sweetness of the leeks, the sourness and bitterness of the citrus, and I already know that this will make my langoustine taste delicious. @I might actually make it to the final three!

Tadashi: @I’m feeling good about the dish and where it’s going. @In terms of my competition, I’m just not going to pay attention to them. @The moment I get caught up in what they’re doing, I won’t be able to focus on my dishes or my food.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Lucas: @I step back, and my dessert looks like a bit of a mess. @But then when I see the other dishes, I might still be in with a shot here.

Carrie: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Carrie: Let’s start with Karen’s dish!

Karen – buttered langoustine, roasted chanterelles, leek-poached lemon peel puree

Miriam: The langoustine was cooked beautifully. I’m surprised that Karen knew how to cook it so well, but the flavors were elegant and straightforward.

Aster: The puree was such a nice touch and it contrasted the richness of the rest of the dish nicely. I’m happy with the chanterelles and the caramelization she got on those.

Erwin: The dish was simple, elegant, classy. It really did embrace Saison’s French-Californian style well, and she nailed the challenge criteria really well.

Carrie: Next up is Lucas’s dish!

Lucas – pear caramel tart with financier and sorbet

Miriam: The financier was cooked beautifully but there was just too much going on. I get he was trying to capture the whimsy of Thomas Keller, but I was left confused.

Erwin: He had way too many things on a plate that just did not bring anything new to the dish. I felt like it was running a marathon just to get through eating every component.

Aster: I appreciate the ambition, and nothing was cooked poorly. I just wanted him to zero in on making the portion more elegant, and less of a buffet plate. He lacked any real restraint when it came to plating it.

Carrie: And next is Fanny’s dish!

Fanny – garam malasa lamb with pea-yogurt flan and cilantro-coconut-lime foam

Miriam: The lamb was cooked beautifully. I really thought Fanny’s presentation was there as well. But the thing I’m disappointed about is how underseasoned her flan was.

Erwin: The texture of the flan was beautiful. I liked the texture of her foam a lot too. But the flavors of the foam and flan were too subtle, so the garam masala overpowered it.

Aster: The dish basically tasted like lamb with creamy textures. There was not much contrast. But the thing I appreciated was the presentation and concept.

Carrie: Finally, the dish by Tadashi!
Tadashi – earl gray goat cheese, carrot spheres, chervil, brown butter soil, carrot cider

Miriam: The usage of the carrot, and deconstructing carrot cake into this elegant plated dessert, I really loved it. The cider, I was apprehensive, but it acted as a cool palate cleanser. This was a really incredible dish.

Erwin: The fact he made his own cider out of the carrot juice was already enough for me to shower him with praises. The one thing I’m disappointed about is that Atelier Crenn features this carrot jerky, and each contestant saw the cookbooks for the restaurants they had to base their dishes on. He missed that opportunity.

Aster: The dish itself was artfully plated and the concept was really clever. I’m blown away that he was able to accomplish this in just 1 hour, but the flavors were there. I’m impressed by his abilities.

Carrie: So can we decide on who is going to win this challenge, and which contestant is going home tonight?

Miriam: We can.

In walks the final four.

Carrie: So tonight, we agreed two dishes really stood out. Karen, Tadashi, both of you impressed us tonight!

Aster: Karen, the dish was simple but the flavors were delicate and beautiful.

Miriam: Tadashi, that carrot dessert was brilliantly done. We really just couldn’t stop raving about it.

Karen: @I beat Tadashi in the creativity challenge, and I really want to beat him tonight for a second time. @If I can do that, then I really do have a shot at Warrior Chef.

Carrie: Tonight, the best dish belonged to… Tadashi.

Tadashi: Thank you.

Carrie: Congratulations, Tadashi! You won the elimination challenge! Karen, you are also safe. The two of you can leave.

Karen: @I didn’t win, but it feels good to know that I made it to the final three!

Tadashi: @Right now, I have seven wins, and it feels great. @I need to keep producing strong dishes, and win the entire competition.

Karen and Tadashi leave.

Fanny: @It’s between me and Lucas now. @Only one of us can make it through.

Erwin: Fanny, our issue with your dish was that your garnishes were bland, so it made eating the entire dish really uninteresting.

Miriam: Lucas, you just had way too much going on. We appreciate the ambition, but the dish was hard to eat.

Carrie: Tonight, one of you is going home.

Lucas: @Fanny went simple and mis-executed. @I went complex, and went overboard. @I’m feeling that it’s going to be a nail-biting decision.

Carrie: Whoever is going home does have a second chance. We have the Redemption Rounds finale coming up next, so you will have an opportunity to beat the reigning champion and return to the finale. That being said, Fanny, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Fanny: Thank you for the opportunity to compete. @I’m not leaving sad. @I’m leaving determined. @I still have another shot at the title, and I’m ready to take my second chance and really fly with it.

Lucas: @I barely dodged a bullet. @That safety net of the Redemption Rounds, it won’t be here in the next round, so I need to be careful from now on.

How it is: Chapter 12

Tarou and Misaki were walking around the Greenwich Village area after another day of shooting. It was finally spring break, and he was staying in Manhattan that week. “I might have taken some creeper pics of the whole shoot.” She admitted, shamelessly gesturing to her phone. Tarou had finally completed his photo shoot with Paulo, the Spanish male model he had to pose intimately with. Some of their poses included almost locking lips, holding each other in a tight embrace, gazing intensely into each others’ eyes. It was a sight to behold, and one that Misaki has stored permanently in her phone’s photo album. “I will cherish this forever.” She giggled. “You fucking perv. Delete those.” Tarou rolled his eyes, flustered. He managed to swallow and bury his attraction to Paulo during that shoot, but it did not change how the Japanese male had actually felt for the Spanish model. The entire time, he had to think of old people in revealing outfits to distract himself from interfering with the shoot, so to speak. “Not a chance in hell.” The wavy haired brunette cackled mischievously. “Well, since I can’t do anything about that, what are we even doing here?” Tarou sighed. “We’re here to celebrate your glorious photo shoot! I’m treating you to lunch!” She grinned victoriously. “Uh, well, if it’s free lunch, then I’ll take it.” Tarou laughed. “Great! Come with me! I’ll take you to this place with amazing cauliflower.” She squealed, grabbing him by the arm. “Okay, okay. And stop getting touchy like this with me. Your boyfriend will get jealous!” Tarou teased.

Meanwhile, Timmy was also in Manhattan: Alice forgot that she was going back home to Boston for the week, and the board for ACU agreed to cancel their upcoming event, so he was instead hanging out with Justin. The older male worked for a software company, Salesforce, and with special permission, Timmy was allowed to extern there for the week. He wanted to continue this habit of being productive with his time, and doing an externship with a software company would probably be for the best. Justin was in charge of managing different clouds, so he was showing Timmy how to create and organize the cloud storage units. Timmy spent his entire first semester unsure of what exactly he wanted to do for a major, but seeing this reminded him exactly of why he wanted to do computer engineering: being able to innovate, create, and facilitate were three things that greatly stood out to him. He liked being able to help others improve their own lives and experiences. Seeing how the technology at Salesforce did that for so many clients, it was an eye-opening experience for him. “So do you have any questions?” Justin looked at his friend turned extern. “Nope. Just keep going, man. I am loving this.” Timmy grinned goofily.

Valerie was spending her spring break staging at different restaurants throughout New York. She was currently at Scarpetta, a renowned Italian restaurant. At the restaurant, she insisted that she wanted experience outside of the pastry kitchen, so they put her in charge of seafood prep. “It’s just like a flick of the wrist, and then.” The oyster she was shucking popped open in a second. “There we go.” She sighed in relief to herself. “Nice job, newbie.” The sous-chef looked at her, impressed. “Hey, aren’t you the pastry chef over at Wish?” He looked at her, curiously. “Yeah, I am. But I’m also in college, and I’m on spring break, so I figured why not stage at other places, right?” She smiled. “Man, when I was in college, spring break, I was a wild child. I would go to Miami and get hammered.” He chuckled, walking away. “Keep it up, kiddo. You’re doing great!” Valerie was unsure of how to feel. On one hand, he sounded incredibly sarcastic. But on the other, she should just take it as a compliment and keep her head down. Whether or not the sous-chef liked her, that was not the problem at hand. The main issue was making sure that she shucked her 500 oysters perfectly, each time. “Alright, that’s 375 down, 125 more to go!”

“Wow, track was good to you!” A 9th grade Timmy looked in awe at Tarou. The slightly younger male had joined track with Timmy, quickly slimmed down, and grew an entire foot. It was almost like looking at a completely different person. “This… was not expected.” Tarou chuckled, looking at himself in the mirror. He only just noticed how much running had changed his physique. Before, he was overweight and short, but how he was lanky and tall. The two were walking back home from practice, when the taller male was approached by a middle aged woman. “Hi, I’m Vanessa, part of the modeling agency in Logan Photography. Have you ever considered modeling before?” She handed Tarou her business card, while Timmy stood there, dumbstruck. “Um, well, no? But this is… wow. Just wow.” He was stunned at the offer. “Just think about it and give me a call.” She smiled as she walked off. But the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to do it. Hopefully, he can be living proof that the story of the Ugly Duckling does happen. You might be an unattractive kid, but you can grow up to be somebody model-worthy. That was the message Tarou hoped to convey, later that night, when he called the agent. “Hi, you approached me earlier about being a model, and I just wanted to say that I am interested in being one part-time.”

It was back in winter break, right before second semester freshman year. Timmy was at home, pondering over the fact that Tarou had just been elected for so many positions, and how Valerie had been promoted to the executive pastry chef at Wish and was officially announced to be a competitor on Warrior Chef; it was around this time that Valerie’s season had started airing, and Timmy was just taken aback by just how incredible his friend was, just as a high schooler. Both Tarou and Valerie were doing such incredible things. But what was he doing? Compared to them, nothing. He would just sit around in bed, watching television all day. On top of that, he had just finally decided on his major of computer engineering. He felt so unaccomplished, almost undeserving of their friendship. “They have done so much with their time, and both of them are younger than me. I need to get my shit together.” It was at that moment that Timmy resolved to try his hardest and make a mark, just like how Tarou and Valerie have already done. “Next semester, let’s hit the ground running.” He promised himself. He had to try his best, just to show Valerie and Tarou how much they have inspired him.

“So you have had an entire summer to intern. Why didn’t you?” Valerie was sitting down with Janice, in the middle of an interview for the open pastry cook position. “I… was on a cooking competition.” She started, remembering how her finale went. “Oh, I’ve been there. And I’m assuming that you wanted to continue growing in this industry?” Janice smiled, noticing how Valerie was acting. “Yeah, I do.” “I like how brave you are, putting yourself out there. And I like the spirit you bring. Come into my kitchen tomorrow, and we’ll get you suited up and ready. Our executive pastry chef, Namie, she’ll look after you.” Janice reassured her. “Wow! So I get to work under THE Namie-Bethany Amai?!” Valerie gasped, starstruck. “Yup!” Janice smiled; Namie was also a winner of Warrior Chef, and Janice’s executive pastry chef at the time. “As for the whole experience of cooking in that competition, I know it might take the wind out of your sails. Trust me, even when Namie and I won our seasons, it was exhausting. That being said, we’re going to help whip all of that out of your system, okay?” “Deal!” Valerie grinned.

Valerie was already onto her next restaurant, Le Bernadin, by Eric Ripert. It was a 3-star Michelin establishment renowned for serving excellent seafood. She was able to stage at both the fish station as well as the vegetable station. However, she was not allowed to directly handle the seafood; only prep cooks who have been working there for at least 3 months can even begin to touch the first. So her main role was to grab equipment. Despite this, she paid a careful eye on everything, taking mental notes on how the kitchen operated, what the chefs were doing, and memorizing as many details as she possibly could. There was no way that she was going to let this sort of experience slide. It was a far from everyday opportunity that somebody can just step foot into one of the greatest restaurants in America and observe the going-ons of its kitchen. Even if she was not allowed to cook or actually prep anything, Valerie was fine with just watching in first-person. Seeing some of the cooks elegantly break apart an entire fish, or how effortlessly it took for them to saute a pan full of vegetables, or how much focus went into just making a sauce. That was mesmerizing and satisfying enough for her.

“Sweetie, I’m back! And I dragged Tarou in with me!” Misaki called as the two entered the older model’s apartment in Brooklyn. “Hey, honey!” Justin walked over and planted a kiss on his girlfriend’s lips. “How was your day?” She smiled at him. “It was good. Timmy was a surprisingly good intern! He listened a lot and managed to start doing a lot of the basics! He’s a great student.” The programmer chuckled. It was an odd feeling for Tarou to hear it. There was this sort of uneasiness boiling inside of him. Anger or jealousy, perhaps? He thought to himself. The fact that Timmy could learn so much and listen so intensively to Justin, it made the Japanese boy feel obsolete. Timmy would hardly ever listen to him, but with Justin, he did everything he could to appease him. Shaking off these irrational thoughts and unwarranted animosity towards Justin, he sighed to himself. “But yeah, Tarou, tell him about your shoot! Or do you want me to show him pics myself?” Misaki giggled. “Shut up!” Tarou rolled his eyes. “Here, that’s when they kissed!” She squealed, showing Justin the pictures. “Wow, that’s…. interesting.” He was not quite sure how to react to these photos. He was learning a new side to his own girlfriend, specifically some of her interests. That much was certain.

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.