Warrior Chef Redemption: Announcement

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

Warrior Chef 1

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 2

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 3

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

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

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

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

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Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 2

Michele: This is it! After nine grueling eliminations, we are down to the top three best cooks in the competition! Phung Pham! The sassy Vietnamese from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Phung has managed to win a whopping seven challenges and continuously impress the judges in both her attitude and ability to cook incredible dishes. Lauren Wilson! The girl from Hawaii who has managed to wow everyone with her skills in both Hawaiian cooking and desserts. And Kira Taso! A prodigy working in Michelin starred restaurants, Kira’s techniques and finesse has put her on top of several challenges. Tonight, one of these three wonderful young women will win the title of Warrior Chef! Who will it be?

Kira: @I’m feeling like a bit of the underdog tonight, because I scrapped my way into the final challenge. @But I’m here, I’m ready to win the title, and I have a kick-ass menu.

Phung: @I know that I’ve got this one. @That title is so mine. @The Phung Dynasty shall never end.

Michele: Welcome to the last round! To start this round off, your final creativity challenge! You guys have just 30 minutes to prepare an amuse bouche! The winner of this challenge will be allowed to choose their sous-chefs first.

Lauren: @Michele didn’t say that the losing cook is going home, which is something that normally happens. @I’m slightly shocked to hear that, but I’m not complaining, because I’m only cooking to win, and not to survive for this challenge.

Michele: So 30 minutes, one amuse, time starts now!

Phung: @I decide for my amuse bouche, I’m making banh xeo spring rolls. @It’s the Vietnamese pancake, lettuce, spring roll wrapper, shrimp, and pork. @For the vinaigrette, I’m going to use molecular gastronomy to make it into caviar to top my dish. @That will set me over the edge. @I know molecular shit, so bite me.

Kira: @For my amuse bouche, I’m going to make whipped foie gras with plantain chips and curry salt. @I want to do something with the plantains because they are a really delicious ingredient. @Three Asian girls in the finale of Warrior Chef. @It’s pretty awesome to know that one of us is going to be the winner tonight.

Lauren: @I’m making a grilled chicken heart with lemon ponzu. @I’m keeping the components limited to two. @The heart needs to be cooked nicely and the ponzu, I’m making my won to show some technique. @And I’m garnishing with the chicken skin for a good texture on top.

Michele: Time’s up!

Kira: @I’m feeling good but then I see that Phung used molecular gastronomy to make spheres and that’s awesome. @She might have just stolen the advantage.

Michele: Your judge for this challenge is Warrior Chef runner up, Rose Fu!

Rose: Hi, everyone! I’m excited to taste your food!

Lauren: @Rose is Montenegrin, and she loves organs, so this might be an easy win for me. @I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Rose tastes the amuse bouches.

Michele: So Rose, which were your favorites?

Rose: Kira, the foie gras butter was awesome. I loved that one with the curry salt. And then the roll by Phung. Inspirational. Brilliant. I really loved it. And Phung, you made the best amuse bouche.

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You won the last creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Drat. @I wanted to pick my sous-chefs first, but oh well. @Phung got the advantage instead.

Lauren: @At this point, I’m just shocked that they didn’t eliminate me for coming in last in that challenge. @In the past two seasons, Amanda and Karen were, so I was expecting that to happen to me.

Phung: @I think this is dumb that Lauren gets to stay, but whatever. @She has to work with the people Kira and I don’t really want, so she’ll sink herself by working with them.

Michele: For the elimination challenge, you need to prepare the best three courses of your life. And you’ll need some help to do it.

In walks Teddy, Elizabeth, Taylor, Jaenice, James, Cherry, Gabe, Henry, and Justin.

Michele: Phung, you get first pick.

Phung: Justin. @Obvious reasons why I’m choosing Justin: he doesn’t suck and he works hard. @No brainer.

Justin: @I’m nervous working with Phung because she’s got a volcanic personality. @I just need to bear with it. @It’s no longer my ass on the line anyways.

Michele: Kira, for having the next best amuse, you choose second.

Kira: Henry. @I think Henry will be a supportive sous-chef, so I’m glad choosing him.

Henry: @Kira is probably the most level-headed of the three, so I’m good with that.

Lauren: Cherry. @I’m surprised nobody picked her, but I’m not complaining. @Cherry and I won a challenge together, so we will win this one together too.

Cherry: @Lauren and I are going to kick Phung’s ass. @For sure.

Phung: Jaenice. @She did really well in the beginning of the competition and I know we will crush this.

Jaenice: Oh, hell, yeah! @I want to nail this for Phung. @We are going to curbstomp these bitches and break their teeth.

Kira: Gabe. @He likes to bake, I have a dessert on my menu, so I’ll give him my dessert so that I can focus on the savory dishes.

Lauren: Taylor. @He’s honestly the only semi-competent one left. @Definitely beats James, Teddy, or Elizabeth.

James, Teddy, and Elizabeth leave the room.

Teddy: @I’m not feeling butthurt about not being picked. @I was eliminated first, so I definitely expected it.

Michele: So you have just 1 hour to prepare your best three dishes and your time starts right now!

Lauren: @I’m working with Cherry and Taylor, and I’m feeling good about this, even though I had to pick my sous-chefs last. @For my first course, Taylor is going to be preparing the spam fried rice cakes with crab salad and avocado crema. @I’m working on the main course, which is braised oxtail with homemade noodles and black garlic broth. @And for the dessert, Cherry is preparing chicory coffee panna cotta with caramel chocolate ganache and mini malasadas. @I’m going to help her on the dessert because my main course is basically all the pressure cooker.

Phung: @For my first course, I’m making “Shaking Beef” tartare, which is the raw beef with “Shaking Beef” seasonings, a homemade baguette, and minted tomatoes. @For the second course is oil poached snapper with lemongrass butter sauce, grilled squid, and pickled vegetables. @My dessert is misugaru doughnuts with red bean filling and a miso-coconut creme brulee. @I’m having Justin handle the tomatoes and the creme brulee, I’m going to do the baguette and most of the proteins, and Jaenice and on the doughnuts, sauce, squid, and the pickled vegetables.

Kira: @For my menu, I’m starting with shave fennel, seared scallops, and pepper-lemon reduction. @The second course is brown butter basted halibut with blueberry gastrique, artichokes, and basil foam. @For my dessert, vanilla cake with cider-apple spheres, salted caramel, and goat cheese ice cream. @Gabe is doing the entire dessert on his own. @Henry is on the first course, while I’m on the second, with Henry helping Gabe once he finishes his own course.

Jaenice: *to Phung* How do I make the sauce for the main course? And how long does squid take to cook? And should I do the sauce first or the pickled vegetables? I’m really lost here. How do you want me to cut the squid? Or not cut it? Grill it whole?

Phung: @Jaenice is a complete fucking moron. @I love her to death normally, but she doesn’t know how to make the sauce or the grilled squid, so I need to help her and then focus on getting that baguette made too. *to Jaenice* FUCKING GET THE FUCKING PICKLES GOING! FUCK!

Jaeince: @Phung is unleashing World War Phung on Justin and I right now and it’s really bad. @I’m just trying to make her happy at this point.

Justin: @I’m just trying to focus on my creme brulee because it takes the longest to prepare. @The biggest challenge about working with Phung is that she’s a dictator.

Kira: @I hear Phung screaming her head off and I am so glad that Henry and Gabe aren’t doing that or making me act that way. @The cake is looking good from Gabe’s station and Henry’s sauces are coming up correctly. @We are one cohesive unit!

Lauren: @I taste the broth for the oxtail dish and it is great. @The panna cotta is in the fridge setting up, and the crab salad prep is ready for it to just get tossed. @I’m glad that my team isn’t butting heads with each other, unlike Phung’s team.

Taylor: *to Cherry* I’m so happy we’re not on Phung’s team right now.

Henry: @She scares me. @I’m going to have nightmares about her face from now until the end of time.

Phung: I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD! I’M GOING TO SHOVE YOUR HEAD INTO A DEEP FRIER!

Jaenice: @Uh, I want to not make the doughnuts now. @I fear for the safety of my head. @That’s reasonable, right?

In the judges’ room:

Michele is sitting with Warrior Chef winners Vanilla and Vin, alongside finalists Karen, Tadashi, Amanda, and Rose.
Vin: It feels great to be on this side of the table, judging them.

Karen: I still remember getting to the final three, and not being allowed to cook. It was heartbreaking because I was that close!
Amanda: *to Karen* I feel the same. We both were cut in the same kind of challenge!

Vanilla: I loved the experience and I hope that they all bring their best. I’m excited to see what these finalists have to bring.

Michele: Ooh, looks like the first courses are up! Here they are!

Phung – “Shaking Beef” tartare with homemade baguette and minted tomatoes

Kira – shaved fennel, buttered scallops, pepper-lemon reduction

Lauren – spam fried rice cakes with crab salad and avocado crema

Karen: For the tartare, it was bland. I was impressed by making a baguette in less than an hour, and the tomatoes were tasty, but the tartare needed more flavor.

Vanilla: The scallop dish was way too simple. They had an hour, and that’s what they brought up? It was very underwhelming.

Vin: I felt like the crab dish showed the most technique out of the three. I liked the crispy rice, the crab salad was refreshing and the avocado was a nice contrast.
Michele: Who won this round for you guys?

Vanilla: Definitely Lauren.

Vin: Lauren.

Tadashi: Lauren.

Rose: Lauren.

Karen: Lauren.

Amanda: Lauren.

Michele: Wow! A clean sweep!

Karen: Kira’s was too simple and Phung’s was bland.

Michele: And we have the entrees!

Lauren – braised oxtail with homemade noodles and black garlic broth

Phung – oil poached snapper, lemongrass butter sauce, grilled squid, pickled vegetables

Kira – brown butter basted halibut, blueberry gastrique, artichokes, basil foam

Amanda: The oxtail was unctuous and fell off the bone. The noodles had a nice bite to them and I loved the black garlic broth a lot.

Vin: The poached snapper was undercooked and like sashimi in the center. And the squid was rubbery and overcooked. It was all inedible.

Tadashi: The halibut was cooked perfectly and I loved that sauce and the artichokes. Out of the three dishes, this one pushed the envelope the most.

Michele: And who made the best entree?

Vanilla: Kira.

Vin: Lauren.

Tadashi: Kira.

Rose: Kira.

Karen: Kira.

Amanda: Lauren.

Michele: So Kira took the second course!

Karen: I was split between her and Lauren’s dishes, but Kira did take more risks and they paid off more.

Michele: And now, the desserts!

Kira – vanilla cake, cider-apple spheres, salted caramel, goat cheese ice cream

Lauren – chicory coffee panna cotta, caramel chocolate ganache, mini malasadas

Phung – misugaru-red bean doughnuts with miso-coconut creme brulee

Vanilla: Wow. Just wow. Kira’s dessert, the cake was light and airy and I loved the cider spheres and how they exploded in your mouth. The ice cream gave the dessert a nice tang of goat cheese. It was great!

Rose: Lauren’s panna cotta was tasty and I liked the mini malasadas that she garnished it with for texture. That was very inventive.

Amanda: Phung’s doughnuts… they were phenomenal. She messed up in her first two courses, but her dessert was stellar.
Michele: And can we make a vote on the desserts?

Vanilla: Honestly, if I had Lauren’s app, Kira’s entree, and Phung’s dessert, I would be so happy right now.

Vin: It’s unanimous that Phung took the third course, and that’s where the problem is. Lauren took the first, Kira took the second, and Phung took the third.

Rose: But look at it as a progression. I’d eat Kira’s meal again over Phung or Lauren’s because it was very elegant and smartly done.

Karen: But when you go individually, Lauren’s three dishes were either the first or second strongest in each meal.

Amanda: I just think that no matter what, we can agree that Phung is out of the running. Her meal was the weakest of the three. Agreed?

Vin: Yeah, I think that’s reasonable. But it’s between Lauren and Kira, and that’s where it gets dicey.

Rose: I still stand behind my vote for Kira. She did an phenomenal job.

Michele: So can we finally agree on a winner?

Amanda: Yes, we can.

In walks Phung, Kira, and Lauren.

Michele: Tonight, the three of you prepared really phenomenal meals. But only one of you can be crowned the winner. The judges have voted, and one of you is already out of the running.

Phung: @I think it’s Kira. @Her first course was an epic fail.

Michele: Unfortunately, Phung, you are not Warrior Chef.

Phung: FUCK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! @I WON 8 CHALLENGES AND I STILL COULDN’T WIN?! @WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?!

Lauren: @That’s actually a huge shock going into this round, but seeing how she treated her teammates, it makes sense.

Kira: @It’s down to me and Lauren now. @I’m feeling nervous. @I want this so badly.

Michele: Kira, you had a really strong entree and dessert. Lauren, the judges felt like your meal as a whole, there was a lack of progression. But each dish individually was very strong.

Lauren: @Should the meal be considered as a whole? @I don’t know if it should, but I know if it didn’t count, then I won this.

Kira: @I’m nervous because they made it sound like my first course was a disaster.

Michele: Lauren…. you are Warrior Chef! Congratulations!

Lauren: Wait, what?!
Confetti rains down as everyone congratulates her.

Lauren: I won?! @I can’t believe it! @I’m Warrior Chef!

Michele: You won the title and the cash prize of $50,000!

Lauren: Thank you. @I’m in disbelief that I won the prize. @I knew I had strong dishes and that my passion was there, but it just feels surreal right now. @All of that hard work, and this incredible journey, it’s paying off right now!

Kira: @Being so close is probably what hurts the most about losing. @I hope I get a chance to redeem myself, because I know I can take that scallop dish and make it a winning dish. @But kudos to Lauren to winning the title. @She’s talented, strong, determined, and she deserved it a lot.

Lauren: @This competition was easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. @But being crowned the winner of Warrior Chef, it feels unreal. @It was a long journey, starting from peeling those russet potatoes, but now I’m here and I’m the champion! @I’m Warrior Chef!

Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 1

The final four arrive in New Orleans, where the competition will conclude.

Justin: @I’m the last man standing and against three of the strongest cooks in this competition’s history. @Phung is definitely my biggest competition and I want her to go home next.

Michele: Welcome to the finale! Let’s get into your creativity challenge! Since we are in New Orleans, we want to see you guys make a delicious… beignet. You have just 30 minutes, and your time starts now!

Kira: @A beignet is a doughnut. @Lauren won the last elimination challenge with her doughnuts, so this will be tough. @I’m making a lemon-coconut beignet with lemon curd glaze and toasted coconut sprinkled on top.

Lauren: @I won the last challenge with my doughnuts so I’m going to do it again. @I’m making a matcha cake beignets with white chocolate ganache glaze. @The biggest competition for me in this challenge, probably Justin? @I don’t really think anyone here has as much pastry experience as me.

Phung: @I’m making mochi and red bean doughnuts. @These doughnuts are going to win Warrior Chef for me. @I swear upon it. @I’m excited to be competing in the finale, but I need to get another win in or else everyone will think I peaked.

Justin: @I’m going to nail this challenge. @I’m making almond, chocolate, and orange beignets. @I think that the flavor combination of these ingredients will deliver. @Lauren is the one to beat for this challenge, but I’m not too worried about the creativity challenge. @I’m thinking about the elimination challenge.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: @I’m feeling great. @This dough is a winner.

Michele: Your judge for this challenge is New Orleans native and Warrior Chef finalist, Tina Wang!

Tina: Hi, everyone! I’ve made it to the final three before, so I understand how it feels to be so close to the end. I can’t wait to try your beignets!

Tina and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Tina, who prepared your favorite beignets?

Tina: Lauren, the matcha was creative and I liked the texture of your beignet. Kira, you produced the lightest beignets and the coconut and lemon was really good. Tonight, Kira, you won it for me.

Michele: Congratulations, Kira! You won the creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Thank you! @I’m stoked that I get a huge advantage. @If I play it right, then I’m guaranteed a spot in the next round. @After almost being eliminated in the last round, I really want to finalize my place in this competition.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying crawfish and shrimp.

Michele: For the elimination challenge, we want you guys to use either crawfish or shrimp in your dishes. Kira, you get to assign who cooks with what.

Kira: Phung’s getting the crawfish, and everyone else gets shrimp. @I want her out. @Crawfish, never cooked with it before. @She probably hasn’t either, so she’s probably screwed tonight.

Phung: @I’m so happy she gave me the crawfish. @I know how to cook it. @It’s delicious. @I’m going to win this challenge and send Kira home. @Bye, bye, girl.

Michele: 45 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making a drunken crawfish broth, using plenty of lager to get that crawfish as wasted as possible. @I’m confident that I can demolish the competition tonight because of my skills. @Lauren’s my biggest competition right now, but she’s not somebody who can even hold a candle to me in the kitchen. @I’m going to knock her over in the name of the Phung Dynasty.

Kira: @I’m preparing butter poached shrimp with a shrimp butter and couscous to soak up the butter, and deep fried couscous for texture on top. @Phung is a tough, tough competitor. @She’s got skills, and I’m still amazed how hard of a time she gives me in this competition, given that she’s just a home cook.

Lauren: @For my dish tonight, I’m making grilled shrimp with a shrimp-pineapple stock and some ham wrapped shrimp tempura. @I want to make the shrimp be the star tonight, and I’m going to showcase them in three ways to show my mastery over this ingredient. @Kira and Justin have got a lot of techniques, and Phung is a monster. @This final four, it’s really competitive.

Justin: @I’m going to make shrimp scampi with a shrimp butter. @I’m making the pasta from scratch, and then I’m going to load plenty of lemon, garlic, and chervil onto the dish. @Phung, Kira, Lauren, they’re all strong cooks. @I have mad respect for Lauren and Kira, and I want the three of us to make it to the final challenge together. @Phung getting the crawfish, I think it’ll be good for the odds of that happening.

Michele: Time’s up!

Kira: @I see Phung’s final dish and I’m shocked. @She’s got a crawfish broth with some raw vegetables and crawfish in a bowl. @It’s a beautiful dish, and I think that if it works the way she’s intending for it to, then she might have just won this challenge.

Phung: @This dish won me the elimination challenge. @It’s everything I could ever ask for, and more. @I see the other dishes, and I’m not impressed. @Justin should just go home, because he’s made pasta in every challenge and that gets old really fast.

Michele: Your judges for this elimination challenge are:

Terrell Ayes – Warrior Chef two time finalist

Tina Wang – Warrior Chef finalist

Guy Flannigan

Michele: Let’s start with Kira’s dish!

-butter poached shrimp with shrimp butter, couscous in two textures

Tina: The shrimp were cooked beautifully and I liked that she incorporated two kinds of couscous into her dish. The butter for me, it lacked shrimp flavor.

Guy: I agree on her shrimp butter being on the bland side. The flavor of the shrimp themselves, nicely done. I liked her couscous too.

Terrell: The dish was close to perfection. The shrimp butter needed more flavor of any kind. It tasted like unsalted butter, just melted down.

Michele: And now we have Lauren’s dish!

-grilled shrimp with shrimp-pineapple stock and some ham wrapped shrimp tempura

Terrell: I was really impressed by the flavor of the stock. The pineapple and the ham actually worked together nicely.

Tina: I hate Hawaiian pizza, but I loved her dish. The flavors complimented the shrimp and I’m just really impressed.

Guy: The flavor of the stock was very deep. The shrimp was cooked nicely, both the grilled and the tempura. I was impressed.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-shrimp scampi with shrimp butter

Guy: The dish itself was just boring. Had he not made his own pasta, then it would have honestly been forgettable. The shrimp butter was a good idea, but it just was bland.

Tina: I thought that the pasta was cooked nicely but I agree that he hardly pushed the originality of the dish.

Terrell: I wanted spices and flavors, but instead, I got bland shrimp sauce. I just didn’t want to finish it.

Michele: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-drunken crawfish shabu shabu

Tina: Wow. Just wow. The flavors in her broth were incredible. Lauren’s broth was delicious, but Phung’s was deep.

Terrell: The spices she coaxed into that liquid, it was addictive. I could have finished an entire vat of that broth alone.

Guy: She managed to make an inventive dish with an ingredient that is really challenging. She nailed it on all counts.

Michele: So can we agree on who will make our final three?

Tina: Yes.

In walks the finalists.

Michele: Two of you impressed the judges tonight, and one of you is going home. Phung, Lauren, you made the judges’ favorite dishes tonight! Congratulations!

Lauren: @The last time this happened, I beat Phung. @Let’s hope for a repeat.

Phung: @I want to beat Lauren. @I want to prove that I’m better than second place.

Michele: Terrell, please announce the winner!

Terrell: It was a close decision. But in the end, the best dish was made by…. Phung!

Phung: BOOM! @I won. @I knew I was going to win though. @If I did not win this challenge, then I would be so embarrassed.

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You and Lauren can leave the room.

Lauren: @I didn’t beat Phung, but I’m in the top three now. @It’s going to be a tough, tough battle ahead.

Phung and Lauren leave.

Kira: @I’m shocked. @I had the advantage, and I lost it. @Phung took my sabotage and won the challenge with it. @It really sucks.

Michele: Kira, Justin, one of you is going home tonight.

Tina: Kira, we liked the dish up until your shrimp butter. The fried couscous was original. But you didn’t make your own couscous.

Guy: Justin, the dish was just unmemorable. Had you not made your own pasta, this decision would be a very easy one to make.

Michele: The person leaving tonight is…. Justin. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Justin: Thank you for this opportunity to compete. @I got sent home. @I can’t believe it. @I thought I was going to be Warrior Chef. @And I’m going home fourth.

Kira: @This needs to stop. @I’ve been on the bottom of the last few challenges and I’m getting sick of it. @I need to step up my game or else I’m going home next.

Justin: @Warrior Chef has been a wonderful experience overall. @I made a lot of good friends and I put myself out there. @I just wished that I had the chance to make it to the end and show that my food is worth the $30,000 prize.

Warrior Chef 3: Round 6

Phung: @I was almost sent home in the last round, but it doesn’t matter. @People have bad days. @You know what? @I can just win a challenge or two this round, and it’ll be my mini redemption. @The Phung Dynasty shall continue into a new era!

Lauren: @I’m surprised that Cherry got sent home, but we’re down to six really strong cooks. @Anyone can be going home at this point.

Gabe: @I’ve made it far, but I can go further. @I’m aiming for that finale now.

Michele: Hi, everyone! Welcome to the final six!

Kira: @Being in the top six feels good, but I want to make it to the finale. @We’re halfway done with the competition at this point.

Michele: So let’s start with our creativity challenge. We want you guys to prepare a delicious breakfast dish in just 30 minutes. Immunity is off the table, but we will be giving the winning cook $1,000!

Phung: @Want.

Lauren: @$1,000? @I need to step it up.

Michele: Your time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making banana-nut muffin doughnuts with a Nutella-Vietnamese coffee cappuccino. @I’m making the muffin dough and then deep frying them, because these doughnuts will win Warrior Chef for me. @The Vietnamese coffee kept me safe in the last round, and I’m just going to keep on going with that because I am here to win it.

Gabe: @For my breakfast dish, I’m preparing orange-maple crepes with brown butter sauce. @I want to do something simple and light, because I think breakfast shouldn’t be too fussy with bells and whistles. @That would get annoying really fast.

Henry: @I’m making a classic. @Bacon pancakes with caramelized ham, and an eggs benedict on top of the bacon pancake. @So I’m doing the egg and the hollandaise on top of the pancake and the ham. @I think it’s ingenious. @I haven’t won a challenge yet, but Justin just won his first challenge in the last round, so there’s still hope for me.

Justin: @I want to keep this winning streak going and the best way for me to do that is to push myself. @I’m making a zucchini cake with poached egg and a fresh crab salad. @I’m going with a savory breakfast because a sweet one is the most predictable way to go and I’m not about doing the most obvious thing at this point in the competition.

Kira: @I’m making a matcha-chia seed parfait with homemade granola and whipped coconut cream. @I’m trying to make a very light dish and make it vegan and gluten-free just to show that I am a fearless competitor. @I love chia seed pudding, so hopefully it will go over well.

Lauren: @I don’t really enjoy breakfast to be honest. @I’m making a rice porridge with a poached egg and some Kona coffee quick-braised ham. @Right now, Justin and Kira are the most consistently strong competitors, but Phung is a demon who I can’t just ignore. @She is definitely the strongest cook when she gets it right.

Michele: Time’s up!

Henry: @I’m feeling good about my dish and then I realize that I didn’t plate my hollandaise. @Crap. @My dish is going to be dry.

Michele: Your judge for this is Warrior Chef house critic, Lotte Amazo!

Lotte: Hi, everyone! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so thank you guys for preparing it for me six-fold!

Lotte and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Lotte, who failed to impress you?

Lotte: Gabe, the dish was very underwhelming, especially compared to the other dishes. And Henry. Your dish was dry. I needed a glass of orange juice for that.

Henry: @I could’ve won the challenge if it wasn’t for that sauce missing. @This sucks.

Lotte: So for my favorites. Phung. The fact you managed to get yeast-leavened doughnuts that fluffy in the time allotted, and the overall concept of your dish was inspired and genius. You really do have a mastery over yeast that nobody else, myself included, seems to grasp. First the baguette in an hour, and then doughnuts in 30 minutes? I’m just stunned. Justin, the crab and zucchini combination was great and it was cool to see you incorporate that into a breakfast dish. And Kira. You managed to really impress me with an inventive breakfast that showed ambition as well.

Michele: So who won the challenge?

Lotte: It was a close call between all three dishes. But the best dish definitely went to… Phung for defying the laws of physics and proofing with yeast yet again!

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You won $1,000!

Phung: Thank you! Thank you! I love you all, my loyal subjects! @I won!~ @I won!~ @Told you my doughnuts would win me this challenge. @Who said that you need yeast to proof for at least an hour? @They’re dumb because I’ve proven them wrong twice now. @Suck it! @That money will fund my “Dummies’ Guide to using Yeast” cookbook! @Expect it in a bookstore near you!

Michele: And now it’s time for the elimination challenge! For this challenge, you guys have 60 minutes to prepare your signature dishes! Your time starts now!

Phung: @This challenge? @Normally they have it in the preliminary rounds but they didn’t do that this year. @Oh well, I’m going to just have to crush it here. @I’m preparing a seared duck breast with banana flower salad and lime reduction, as well as duck carpaccio with crackling and pickled bean sprouts. @I’m tasting the flavors this time because I want my duck to not suck like the lamb in the last challenge.

Justin: @I’m feeling good about this challenge. @I’ve made pasta throughout this entire competition so it’s only natural for me to… not do that. @I’m going to prepare a play on pasta, but it’s a German dessert. @It’s called spaghettieis, which is vanilla ice cream piped to look like noodles, with a strawberry sauce, some chocolate truffles, and a cookie to garnish. @I think it’s a funny thing to prepare here.

Lauren: @For my signature dish, I’m going to do a kahlua glazed pork belly with a raw egg-yogurt emulsion, pickled radicchio, and scallop dumplings. @I’m so ready to take down these guys and make my way to the final five.

Kira: @I’m nervous about this challenge, because I don’t want to disappoint and these numbers just show what the judges think of our dishes down to the margin. @I’m making a confit tuna belly with braised onions, caramelized mushrooms, and brown butter. @I’m going to try my best to show good French technique.

Henry: @I love crab cakes so I’m making a crab beignet with a spicy remoulade sauce and a corn and pepper slaw. @I’m hoping that the flavors really deliver. @I’m not ready to get eliminated and I want to show everyone why I deserve to be in the final five.

Gabe: @For my dish, I’m preparing a seared duck breast with guava glaze and a fried rice with chilies. @It’s Chinese and Mexican fusion, but I know that I can pull this off. @My biggest strengths tonight will be in my flavors and seasoning. @I want to nail it because I haven’t won anything yet.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: @I nailed it. @I know I nailed it.

Michele: So your judges are:

Aster Walker

Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Missy Skies

Guy Flannigan

Frank Torres

Michele: So let’s start with Phung’s dish!

-duck breast, banana flower salad, lime, carpaccio, crackling, pickled bean sprouts

Frank: Phung’s flavors were beautiful. The presentation was astonishing and I liked the amount of flavor she developed into that carpaccio.

Guy: The dish came together. Using the duck fat and salt to dress the flesh of the breast meat was a smart trick.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-spaghettieis

Missy: He normally makes pasta, so this was hilarious to see. The ice cream was well made and the sauce was delicious.

Erwin: Overall, two thumbs up for a great dish. I have no complaints either. He did a really good job.

Michele: And next is Lauren’s dish!

-kahlua glazed pork belly, raw egg-yogurt emulsion, pickled radicchio, scallop dumplings

Aster: The pork belly was cooked nicely and I liked the pickled radicchio against the egg emulsion. She balanced her flavors quite nicely.

Miriam: I got a fattier piece, so it was not as enjoyable for me, the pork. But the dumplings alone were fantastic. I loved those.

Michele: And now we have Kira’s dish!

-confit tuna belly with braised onions, caramelized mushrooms, and brown butter

Miriam: The tuna belly was cooked well, but the dish itself, I was looking for brightness and that’s what I was missing.

Missy: I agree. The dish lacked acidity to really compliment the tuna. But the confit technique alone was impeccably done.

Michele: And this is Henry’s dish next.

-crab beignet with spicy remoulade sauce and corn and pepper slaw

Guy: Compared to some of the other dishes, his was very plain. That being said, the beignets were inventive and I liked those a lot.

Frank: The pairing of the beignets with peppers, corn, and remoulade was clever, but the amount of technique he showed compared to Phung or Lauren or Justin, just none.

Michele: And finally, Gabe’s dish!

-seared duck breast with guava glaze and chili fried rice

Aster: The duck breast was cooked nicely but the entire dish just ate heavy. I couldn’t really stomach most of that rice.

Erwin: I felt that the combination was interesting and he cooked the rice and the duck well, and the glaze was well seasoned. I just didn’t think he did enough with his time.

Michele: So can we score the dishes?

Erwin: We can.

In walks the six contestants.

Michele: Six of you stand, but one of you is going to be eliminated. Judges? Let’s start with Phung’s score!

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

Phung: Boom! @I got 3 10’s. @Nobody is going to beat me.

Michele: And now we have Kira’s score.

Kira – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 8 + 8 = 52/60 stars

Kira: Crap. @I’m behind Phung by 5 whole stars. @I might be going home tonight over my tuna dish.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s score!

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

Justin: Thank you. @Not enough to beat Phung, but I’m still safe. @It’s a good feeling.

Michele: And next is Lauren’s score!

Lauren – 10 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 8 = 54/60 stars

Lauren: @I got a 10, but Justin and Phung still beat me. @It sucks, but at least I’m safe.

Michele: Phung, you actually received the highest score and you won the elimination challenge! Congratulations!

Phung: Of course I would get first. @I managed to really blow the judges away and getting a 57/60 just shows why I am going to be Warrior Chef. @Winning back to back challenges just proves to everyone why they can eat my dust.

Michele: Lauren, Justin, Phung, the three of you are safe and can leave the kitchen.

The three leave.

Michele: Henry, you need 53 to beat Kira. Let’s see your score!

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

Michele: Henry, that means you’re currently in last place. Kira, you are safe.

Kira: Thank you. @I was getting nervous there. @It sucks that I was so close to the bottom. @I don’t like that feeling.

Michele: Gabe, you need at least 51 stars to remain. Here’s your score!

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

Michele: Unfortunately, Gabe, with the lowest score, you are going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Gabe: Thank you. @I’m gutted. @I just got eliminated from Warrior Chef and I didn’t think it was my time to leave. @The final five are strong cooks, but I think Phung will win this season. @She’s been the strongest by far.

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.

Warrior Chef 1: Round 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carrie: Time’s up!

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

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

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

Max and Carrie taste the dishes.

Carrie: So Max, who wowed you tonight?

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

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

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

Carrie: Who won tonight?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-grilled shrimp, prickly pear salsa, corn milk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carrie: Time’s up!

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

Carrie: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Miriam Adjanti

Chelia Van Buren

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

-tomahawk steak, thrice cooked chips, leek barbecue sauce

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

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

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

Carrie: Now we have Lucas’s dish!

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

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

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

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

Carrie: Next, we have Karen’s dish!

-lobster butter gnocchi, scallops, lobster knuckles

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

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

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

Carrie: And here is Tadashi’s dish!

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

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

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

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

Carrie: And finally, Leona’s dish!

-tempura fried rock cod, pickled morels, homemade noodles

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

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

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

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

Chelia: We can.

In walks Lucas, Tadashi, and Karen.

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

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

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

Carrie: And who won?

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

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

The top three leave.

In walks Fanny and Leona.

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

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

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

Carrie: So one of you is going home tonight.

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior Chef 1: Preliminary 2

Preliminary 2

Contestants:
Freshmen:
Jimmy Taylor: Spiky blonde haired boy from Maui, Hawaii. Loves to surf and is currently a junior varsity water-polo player. Loves to cook with Hawaiian flavors, but can prepare most American classics. Wants to win the title because he’s competitive.

Sophomores:
Vincent Edner: Brunette raised in Japan, but currently lives in Washington D.C. Loves to prepare dishes with both Japanese and American influences, and has recently staged under celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. Wants to win to do his mentor proud.
Angelina Yeo: Slim half Latin, half Chinese girl from Las Vegas, Nevada. A former ballet dancer, she currently bakes for her friends on the dance team and sells desserts for fun. Wants to work at China-Poblano, a restaurant that perfectly envelops her heritage.

Juniors:
Judith Tice: Curly dirty-blonde haired girl from Topeka, Kansas. Is gluten, ovo, and lactose-intolerant, and allergic to refined sugars. Loves to cook for herself, because it’s fun for her to figure out what she can and can’t eat. Wants to inspire others.
Lucas Powers: Pale brunette from Boston, Massachusetts. Is competitive and interested in both cooking and law. Wants to go to business school so that he can eventually own his own restaurant empire. Cooks American classics.

Seniors:
Fanny Robinson: Lanky dark haired girl from New York City, New York. Is a part-time model, amateur boxer, and stages under Jean-Georges’s restaurant group. Cooks refined new American, and wants to win for validation that being a chef is a good idea.

Fanny: @I’m the first person walking into the kitchen tonight, and I just see a lot of young cooks who look like they’re out their depth. @This one ought to be easy.

Angelina: @I’m young, but I’m fierce. @Nobody in this group should question my authority in the kitchen. @I’m just that strong.

Carrie: Welcome to the second preliminary! The six of you will be competing for five spots in the next stage of this competition.

Jimmy: @I’m the only freshman in this round, but I’m confident that I can represent myself, the people in my grade, and Hawaii really well.

Vincent: @I’ve worked under Bobby Flay, and I’m bringing that knowledge with me into the kitchen tonight. @Everyone better fear me.

Carrie: So you have an hour to cook your dish. Time starts now!

Jimmy: @So for my dish tonight, I’m making hamburger steak with potato gnocchi, a demi glas infused hollandaise sauce, and Kahlua braised cabbage. @It’s basically a deconstructed and refined take on a loco moco, a traditional Hawaiian meal. @I want to show everyone tonight that I can display finesse, technique, and skills beyond my age. @I’m not going home this round. @Absolutely out of the question.

Vincent: @I’m making compressed ahi tuna with smoked creme fraiche and roasted poblano. @I’m combining spicy, fresh, and creamy and I know that the smoking of the creme fraiche with the cedar wood will be a hit. @I don’t see any other cook in this competition posing a threat to me. @I don’t think any of them have worked at the level of restaurants and chefs that I have.

Angelina: @I’m making pork belly tostada with fresh cabbage, pickled daikon, and poached egg. @I’m making the tortillas from scratch, and then I’m going to treat the meat of the pork belly carnitas style while crisping up the skin separately in the oven. @For the tortillas, I’m going to toast them in a pan, and then bake them off in the oven to finish. @Vincent’s looking really cocky about his dish, but I think it’ll crash and burn.

Judith: @I’ve got a lot of allergies, so I know I need to get creative and find a new way to wow the judges not with just the food I like, but food that tastes good in general. @I’m making coconut oil stuffed dates with shaved fennel and roasted mushrooms. @I’m feeling really nervous, but I think that’s just because I accidentally licked a spoon that had mayonnaise on it, and it’s making me hallucinate a little.

Lucas: @I’m going to make a green curry roasted lobster tail, basil infused gnocchi, lime buttered scallops, and puffed rice. @It’s a lot to get done in just one hour, so I get the potatoes started first, and then I get the green curry paste made with the herbs, chilies, and aromatics, and then I brush that onto the lobster and get that into the oven with the potatoes. @Then I need to start shucking the scallops. @If I pull it off, I could seriously win this challenge!

Fanny: @Lucas is such a sweetheart, and that’s why I want to beat him. @Being a model, you’re taught to be aggressive, especially towards those who aren’t. @Vincent thinks he’s a big shot because he worked for Bobby Flay. @I’ve worked for Jean-Georges. @He’s a dominant chef in New York, and Bobby Flay can’t even compete at that level. @For my dish, it’s a beet-pomegranate sorbet, cacao nib soil, seared lamb loin, and balsamic-black garlic puree.

Jimmy: @I see Lucas is also doing gnocchi. @This is going to be interesting, because if my gnocchi aren’t as good as his, the judges will definitely take note of that. @I decide to switch up my concept and do ricotta gnocchi instead, because then they won’t be as similar. @It’s too early to go balls to the wall and go head to head. @I still think this is a smart idea.

Vincent: @I see that everyone’s making really pedestrian dishes. @And then I notice what Fanny’s making. @She’s got cacao nibs and lamb with pomegranate and beets?@Like seriously, what? @I’m so lost right now. @She never mentioned professional experience before. @I’m feeling a little pissed, because she’s definitely using refined techniques that I’ve never seen.

Angelina: @The pork belly is delicious, and I got the tortillas to work, so I know that I’ve got a delicious dish in the making. @But then I see the other dishes. @Lucas is cooking scallops, lobster, and gnocchi?! @Holy shit. @I’m starting to doubt myself, but I just need to keep cooking through this challenge and hope my concept will kick some ass.

Judith: @I cut open the dates and then I remove the seeds. @I grab my coconut oil, and whip it up and spoon that into the dates. @The other accompaniment is going to be shaved fennel, which I’m cutting on the mandolin, and some roasted portobello mushrooms. @I’m reaching around and grabbing everything, because right now, I’m tripping on mayonnaise. @It’s actually terrifying, but I don’t want to call the medic. @I only have an hour, and I have so much I need to do.

Lucas: @Judith is grabbing a lot of things from the pantry, and her dish is looking interesting. @She’s got hamachi, shiitake mushrooms, firm tofu, and goji berries. @That’s definitely not what her dish was, but good for her for trying something completely different. @I get my lobsters out of the oven, and they’re cooked beautifully. @The gnocchi, I have them rolled and cut, I just need to get them into the water. @The scallops are still waiting for the butter treatment, and I still need to get the rice into the frier to cook it. @I’m feeling so exhausting, like I’m going around in circles right now.

Fanny: @Lucas has a really complex dish going on and in my heart, I’m hoping that he messes up, because I want immunity. @I don’t think he’s going home, even with an incomplete dish, but if he does pull off that risk, it’ll definitely knock me off the 1st place pedestal. @My lamb loin, it’s cooked perfectly. @My soil tastes earthy but not too bitter. @I add some lemon zest and dehydrated mint leaf powder into that, just to twist the flavors and give it an unexpected hit. @I know my flavors are going to kick ass.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Lucas: @I managed to pull everything off, but the presentation was a bit sloppy. @I see Fanny’s dish, and it’s gorgeous. @I would happily eat that.

Jimmy: @Lucas’s dish looks like a mess, and that makes me feel a lot more relieved, because my dish looks rushed too. @I don’t know who’s going to get through to the next stage of the competition, but that makes this so much more exciting!

Judith: @I get a second look at my dish, and it’s so.. not what I envisioned. @Somehow, I got hamachi, which I’m allergic to, tofu, goji berries, and shiitake mushrooms onto my dish. @What the heck is this?

Carrie: So your judges are:

Erwin Ko – renowned Korean-fusion chef in Los Angeles

Miriam Adjanti – chairwomen of the European Culinary Institutions in New York

Scott Connors – renowned Italian chef with restaurants in New York and Miami

Max Hudson – award winning seafood chef from Los Angeles and Honolulu

Chelia Van Buren – famous restauranteur and cookbook author

Missy Skies – Michelin-starred Italian chef in New York

Carrie: Let’s start with the dish by Jimmy!

Jimmy – hamburger steak, ricotta gnocchi, demi glas hollandaise, Kahlua cabbage

Missy: The hamburger was cooked a perfect medium, the gnocchi were fluffy and light, and I loved the Kahlua braised cabbage. It was delicious!

Max: You know what this reminds me of? It’s like a deconstructed loco moco! It’s got all of the flavors, and some of the components, but completely refined!

Chelia: I totally agree with you, Max. This was a loco moco at heart. Him being from Hawaii, that came through on the plate. I really loved the flavors.

Carrie: Next up is Vincent’s dish!

Vincent – roasted poblano, compressed ahi tuna, smoked creme fraiche

Scott: Well the good news is that the tuna was cooked beautifully and I liked the poblano. The creme fraiche, it was too smoked, and I couldn’t taste anything else.

Miriam: I struggled with it because of the creme fraiche. It was overpowering basically everything on the plate.

Erwin: The poblano, I was expecting the kick, but I didn’t really get that. The creme fraiche was strong and I couldn’t taste anything but smoke.

Carrie: And now we’ve got Angelina’s dish!

Angelina – pork belly tostada, cabbage, pickled daikon, poached egg

Miriam: The pork belly itself was cooked beautifully. I loved the crunch of the crackling, sprinkled throughout. The tortillas were a bit of a letdown. They were sandy and grainy.

Scott: I appreciate her making her own tortillas, and that to me was interesting. The seasoning on the pork belly, I love how she treated the meat like carnitas.

Missy: It was an interesting dish, but there were mistakes. The tortilla being grainy was an issue, as well as the cabbage being underseasoned and undressed. But the pork was gorgeous. I loved the pork belly so much.

Carrie: The dish up next belonged to Judith!

Judith – coconut oil stuffed dates, shaved fennel salad, roasted mushrooms

Max: Well this is awkward. The only thing that was consistent to her description was that there were mushrooms. But she poached them… in coconut oil. Those were delicious.

Erwin: There was hamachi on the plate, and that was cooked beautifully. There were also goji berries, but they were hard and dry. It got stuck in my teeth.

Chelia: The whipped tofu puree underneath the fish, she used firm tofu, so it was chunky. I didn’t really like it much. And then there was the description issue. I liked the mushrooms and hamachi, but the rest of it confused me completely.

Carrie: This next dish belongs to Lucas!
Lucas – green curry lobster, basil gnocchi, lime buttered scallops, puffed rice

Missy: The lobster was cooked nicely, and his gnocchi, they were on par with Jimmy’s gnocchi. I loved the Thai influences throughout the dish. That was unique.

Max: The puffed rice and the buttered scallops, just those little details, for him to nail those, and the spice blend in the green curry paste, I’m really impressed.

Erwin: The lobster was buttery and had a nice crispy exterior. The gnocchi were soft and pillowy, and the buttered scallops were silky and juicy. I loved everything.

Carrie: Finally, we have Fanny’s dish!

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

Chelia: Lamb cooked perfectly. The presentation was gorgeous. The puree was a bit strong, but the sorbet, the soil, it all worked so well together.

Miriam: I think that the black garlic, just one clove less, and this dish would be so perfect. It was already presented beautifully, and she paired sorbet of all things with red meat, but it works!

Scott: The soil, I taste mint and lemon, and it worked so well with the beets, the pomegranate, the balsamic, and the lamb. It was beautiful.

Carrie: So can we get into scoring?

Missy: We can.

In walks the six cooks.

Judith: @I’m freaking out, because I don’t even remember what I made. @This sounds terrible. @I don’t know what’ll happen.

Angelina: @I’m so confident in my dish tonight. @I have high doubts that nobody is going to beat me.

Carrie: So only five of you will be advancing to the next stage of the competition. Let’s start with Jimmy’s score!

Erwin: You are really young, but you cook like a seasoned pro. 10 stars.

Miriam: For me, hollandaise and gnocchi don’t go together in a European sensibility. But it was tasty. 9 stars.

Scott: 9 stars for an inventive take on your heritage.

Max: 10 stars. Your loco moco was fantastic!

Chelia: 9 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

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

Fanny: Wow! @I’m so surprised. @He’s young, he doesn’t look like a threat, and he got two perfect scores. @Who would’ve thought?

Jimmy: @Getting a 56 is amazing! @I know I’m not going home, for sure!

Carrie: Next is Vincent’s score!

Vincent: @I’m confident that I can beat 56. @Bring it.

Erwin: The creme fraiche just killed it for me. 7 stars.

Miriam: 7 stars.

Scott: Simplicity, you achieved. Balance, not so much. 7 stars.

Max: 7 stars.

Chelia: 7 stars.

Missy: 7 stars.

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

Vincent: @A 42? @Are you serious?! @I definitely deserved so much more than a 42. @This is embarrassing! @Chef will kill me over this!

Carrie: Now we’ve got Angelina’s score.

Erwin: The pork belly was delectable. 8 stars.

Miriam: You just missed with the tortilla. 7 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Max: 7 stars. I felt like the cabbage was neglected.

Chelia: 7 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Angelina – 8 + 7 + 8 + 7 + 7 + 8 = 45/60 stars

Angelina: @At least I’m safe, but not by much. @I’m feeling a little embarrassed regardless. @I know I can do better than this. @I should have made a dessert.

Carrie: And next is Judith’s score!

Erwin: I’m honestly not sure how to score you. But your hamachi dish was nice. 6 stars.

Miriam: I can’t tell what I can do here, but for what you plated, I’m giving you 6 stars.

Scott: I’m giving you 6 stars, for those dry goji berries, and the inconsistent dish.

Max: 6 stars.

Chelia: 6 stars for decent cooking, but points off for inconsistency between your dish’s description and what we actually received.

Missy: I just wanted an accurate description. But the hamachi was gorgeous. 7 stars.

Judith – 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 +7 + 7 = 38/60 stars

Judith: @They liked the hamachi, but because that wasn’t the dish I intended and it was off my description, I’m getting marked down. @But I get it. @I made a promise for stuffed dates and fennel, and I didn’t deliver.

Vincent: @Yes! @I’m not in danger anymore. @This rocks!

Carrie: Next is Lucas’s score!

Erwin: That was honestly an amazing dish. Messy, yes, but delicious. 9 stars.

Miriam: The presentation, I forgot about it upon eating the dish. 10 stars.

Scott: 10 stars. I’d give you 20, but I can’t.

Max: 10 stars.

Chelia: 10 stars.

Missy: This honestly was a moving, mind-blowing dish. 10 stars.

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

Lucas: WHAT?!

Jimmy: @I didn’t think anyone could beat my score, but that was incredible. @He literally was one point away from breaking the record!
Lucas: @It’s going to be really hard to beat that score. @I have a gut feeling I might have won immunity tonight!

Carrie: Fanny, to stay, you need at least 39. To beat Lucas, you’ll need a perfect score. How do you think you did?

Fanny: Well I definitely beat 39. The perfect score, I’m aiming for that, and I hope I delivered it.

Erwin: Well you’ve got a lot of confidence. And I can see why. It was delicious. 10 stars.

Miriam: 10 stars from me as well.

Scott: 10 stars. I could honestly hire you with cooking skills like that.

Max: 10 stars.

Missy: I was genuinely blown away tonight. 10 stars.

Carrie: Chelia, if you score Fanny’s dish another perfect 10, she will receive immunity. What did you think of her dish?

Chelia: Trying it, I loved the creativity. But for me, the black garlic was too much. 7 stars.

Fanny – 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 7 = 57/60 stars

Fanny: @You’re kidding me, right? @This is ridiculous. @I didn’t deserve a bloody 7!

Carrie: So let’s check the leaderboard!

Leaderboard:

Lucas – 59

Fanny – 57

Jimmy – 56

Angelina – 45

Vincent – 42

Judith – 38

Carrie: Judith, for coming in last, you are eliminated from the competition.

Judith: Okay. @I’m sad. @I’m going home and I didn’t make a dish that I wanted to make. @Had I plated that date dish, it would have beaten Vincent, for sure. @I just want a re-do so badly.

Judith leaves the kitchen.

Carrie: Lucas, you won immunity going into the main competition!
Lucas: Awesome! @I won immunity and I got a 59! @It’s so validating!

Carrie: Please help me welcome back the cooks from the other preliminary round.

The first five cooks walk into the judges’s room.

Vanilla: @I see the other team, and I’m relieved. @Nobody here is a weak cook, so I’m relieved about the immunity. @Hopefully, it’ll serve me well.

Olympia: @I’m ready for the next stage in the competition. @Bring it on!
Carrie: So we’ve tallied up the scores in both rounds!

Cumulative Leaderboard:

Lucas – 59

Vanilla – 58

Fanny – 57

Jimmy – 56

Karen – 54

Jackson – 53

Duncan – 47

Angelina – 45

Vincent – 42

Olympia – 37

Carrie: Olympia, Angelina, and Vincent, the three of you are in immediate danger. Please help me welcome to Eliminators!

In walks two boys, Zack and Tadashi, as well as a girl, Leona.

Angelina: Wait, what?!

Leona: @Being an Eliminator, we’re here to take out the original competitors, one by one. @I’m not going home before they are. @I’m going to win this title.

Tadashi: @I don’t think anyone here is going to beat me. @I’ve been trained by the best chefs in California, and that’s going to be my edge. @Bring it on.

Vincent: @I’m not scared about this Eliminator Round. @I’ve worked for Bobby Flay, and I’m excited to be cooking again so soon. @I’m so ready to prove myself.

Carrie: So there will be one more round of competition. The three bottom cooks against our three eliminators. Whoever scores the lowest in this round will be going home, while the highest scorer will receive immunity. I hope you’re ready for an epic showdown!

Lucas: @All I can say is good luck to Angelina and Vincent. @Those two are going to need to really push themselves. @These guys look tough.

Zack: @I’m not going to let one of these bottom feeders take my spot. @They are going to decide amongst themselves who will be joining the three of us in the main competition. @Nobody out of those three are a threat.

Warrior Chef 1: Preliminary Round 1

Preliminary 1

Contestants:
Freshmen:
Cory Giardino: Small Italian-American brunette, living in San Diego, California. Loves to cook Italian food, but is open to using Mexican flavors, something else he’s been raised on. Wants to win the title so that he can gain more opportunities in the industry.
Karen Laverre: Small half French, half German girl from Salt Lake City, Utah. Loves to cook Italian and Asian food, fusing influences from all over the world. Is currently attending culinary school. Wants to open a line of bakeries and restaurants.

Sophomores:
Jackson Perez: Tall blonde with brown eyes. Was a tennis player before he learned how to cook from his grandma. Cooks French-American cuisine. Wants to open a restaurant named after his grandma, Rachel.

Juniors:
Vanilla Cuylenberg: Slim girl with orange-auburn pigtails, born in Perth, West Australia, living in Florida. Originally a beauty guru, she learned how to cook from her chef friends. She loves all things fresh produce and and desserts and wants to open a bakery.

Seniors:
Duncan Fosters: Raven haired boy, originally from Toronto, Canada, but currently lives in Dallas, Texas. Loves to hunt for his own meats, and is skilled at cooking game meats and barbecue. Wants to open his own steakhouse, where all the meat is hunted daily.
Silvia-Olympia Judd: Tall girl with long silver hair with purple streaks from Portland, Oregon. Originally an aspiring artist, but found a love for food styling after she was introduced to fine-dining. Wants to open a culinary gallery.

Vanilla: @Haha! @I’m so happy and excited to be cooking in this competition! @I can’t wait to showcase my skills in the kitchen! @Being a former beauty guru, most people think I’m just a pretty face, caked in make-up. @But I’m so much more than that!

Duncan: @I walk into the kitchen, and we’ve got a really interesting bunch of people here. @Vanilla’s this ditzy Australian valley girl, Silvia looks like the quiet, artsy type, Jackson looks like the athlete in the bunch, and then we’ve got Karen and Cory, who both just look like little kids to me.

Carrie: Welcome to Warrior Chef, everybody!

Karen: @I’m the youngest here, being 13 years old. @I’ve got a lot to prove to everyone here, because they’re not going to take me seriously, being only a freshman.

Olympia: @I’m happy to be in the competition, and I’m ready to show off my artistry. @None of my plates will be ugly. @I’m going to clean out the competition.

Carrie: So for tonight’s challenge, it’s simple. Prepare your signature dish. The dish with the highest score wins immunity for that cook in the first round of the main competition. However, the person who makes the lowest scoring dish will be going home at the end of this round.

Cory: @I’m determined to make a good impression tonight, because I don’t want to go home first. @Hopefully, my signature dish will blow the judges away.

Jackson: @I’m confident in my dish tonight. @I’m not going to be the first person going home. @Bring it.

Carrie: You have an hour on the clock, your time starts now!

Cory: @I love cooking Latin food, because I’m from San Diego! @I’m going to use tomatoes in my dish tonight, because it’s a mixture of my Italian roots and my exposure to chilies and spices. @I’m making tomato crudo with tuna ceviche and homemade tortillas. @For my tortillas tonight, I’m preparing them using lard, water, and corn flour. @Hopefully, it comes together beautifully.

Karen: @I want to do something that shows my interest in Asian flavors, but I also want to showcase French and German upbringing that I hold so close to my heart. @I’m preparing a ginger dusted rock cod with confit morel mushrooms, spaetzle, and a lime-pepper butter sauce. @I’m using the rock cod because it’s got a delicate flavor, but a firm flesh, and that’ll pair beautifully with the butter sauce and tender morels.

Jackson: @I love cooking French food, because that’s what my grandma taught me. @I’m preparing grilled lamb lollipops with potato gratin and red wine jus. @I basically need to get the lamb and potatoes into the oven, and then get the jus going too. @It’s a lot of prep in the beginning, but after that, it’s easy sailing. @I’m thinking about how else I can jazz up the dish, but I think this is a passable dish.

Vanilla: @I’m so excited to be cooking, haha! @I learned how to cook and bake under a lot of celebrity chefs in Australia, so I want to prove that this girl from the WA can kick some butt. @I’m making apple-calvados sorbet with brown butter cake, fennel crumble, and salted caramel tuiles. @The biggest competitor, in my eyes, would have to be Jackson. @He looks really confident and he’s butchering that lamb really well.

Duncan: @I’m confident tonight that I can pull off a delicious dish. @I’m using venison, because that’s something I cook a lot of. @The best thing to pair with venison, in my eyes, is cauliflower. @I’m making a cauliflower puree and I’m grilling cauliflower, making a vinaigrette with the cauliflower leaves, and then roasting mushrooms and adding those in there. @This should be an exciting challenge. @Let’s do this.

Olympia: @I grab the lobster because it’s gorgeous and I know how to use it well. @I’m making poached lobster with kiwi-dragon fruit salad and lime butter sauce. @I see that Karen is making a lime butter sauce as well, but I know I can make mine a lot better than she makes hers. @I’m not afraid of the competition. @I’m the oldest person here, and my ability to make beautiful dishes will be my edge. @Nobody else can make dishes as gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing as mine.

Cory: @Shoot. @I try pressing my tortillas, and they crumble apart. @I see that I have only 10 minutes left. @I keep trying it, and I’m wasting time. @Eventually, I just decide to grab the premade tortillas. @I have no other option at this point. @The damn corn flour decided not to work at me tonight, and it’s a shame.

Karen: @Cory’s struggling with the tortillas, and I really feel bad for him. @I can’t really imagine him getting high scores or even decent scores with a raw dish and premade product. @I taste my spaetzle, and it’s tender and al dente, and I know that this is going to be good. @Olympia is also doing a butter sauce with lime in it, so I’m nervous that we’ll be judged head to head. @I just need to make sure mine tastes better. @I taste it, and it’s really fatty. @I add some pomelo juice in there, just to get the acidity levels up.

Jackson: @The lamb rack, I get it out of the oven, and slice into it. @It’s perfect medium rare. @The gratin, I push a fork into it, and it’s soft. @Perfect. @I taste my sauce, and it’s delicious. @I mount some butter in there, and I know that the texture is going to be where I want it to be. @Looking around the kitchen, I see some interesting things happening in Duncan and Karen’s stations.

Duncan: @I get the rack out of the oven, and I slice into it. @It’s medium. Sh*t! @I overcooked it. @There’s no salvaging this. @I taste my puree, and it’s good. @The salad, I taste the bits together, and it’s good as well. @I know my other components will be good, so maybe I’ll get another chance to prove myself.

Olympia: @Duncan overcooked his venison, and I’m just thinking he’s screwed. @I check the lobster, and it’s cooked through. @The salad looks gorgeous, with the colors of the green kiwi and the white dragon fruit. @I’m going to serve the entire dish in the dragon fruit shell, because I want that theatre to be there. @It’s going to be gorgeous.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Duncan: @I’m feeling decent about my dish. @The imperfect venison is going to cost me, but the rest of the dish is spot-on.

Cory: @Not getting the homemade tortillas plated, it sucks so much. @I could have made a perfect dish, and this just ruined it.

Carrie: Your judges are:
Aster Walker – renowned food critic in Los Angeles

Kierra Johnston – renowned food critic in Chicago/the Great Lakes area

Guy Flannigan – famous food television personality

Lotte Amazo – award-winning cookbook author from the UK

Frank Torres – award-winning pastry chef from New York

Chloe Lula – renowned vegan/vegetarian cooking expert

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

Cory – tomato crudo with ceviche and homemade tortillas

Kierra: The crudo and ceviche were both delicious. But the tortillas, they taste frozen and premade. He definitely didn’t make his own tortillas.

Lotte: I would want to give him a decent score for the crudo and ceviche, but what real technique has he shown? Two raw components and something out of a packet.

Frank: I have to agree. Had he made the tortillas like he promised, this dish would have been stellar. It’s a real shame.

Carrie: Next is Karen’s dish!

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

Guy: The cod was cooked impeccably. The confit morels, it had a beautiful, crunchy exterior and a nice, silky interior. The sauce, it was a nice, acidic punch.

Aster: She made spaetzle, confit mushrooms, and prepared a butter sauce on top of cooking cod perfectly. If I had to criticize, the dish was on the fatty side.

Chloe: The ginger added a nice heat, and I enjoyed the flavors in her dish. My cod was cooked perfectly as well, and I’m impressed by that. I just wanted more of that sauce.

Carrie: Next up is Jackson’s signature dish!

Jackson – grilled lamb chops, potato gratin, red wine jus

Lotte: The lamb chops were beautifully cooked. The gratin was nice as well. The red wine jus, nice flavors in there. It was a solid dish.

Guy: For me, the thing I’m faulting is the concept. He basically chucks two components in the oven and reduces one over the stove. What else was he doing with his time?

Frank: Regardless of how he managed his time, the dish I received was delicious and I really enjoyed the flavors of it.

Carrie: And now we’ve got Vanilla’s dessert.

Vanilla – apple-calvados sorbet, brown butter cake, fennel crumble, salted caramel tuile

Frank: Wow. This was probably one of the prettiest desserts I’ve seen. I’m tired of eating cakes, but her cake, it’s moist, fluffy, and the brown butter really does come through. The salted caramel tuile, with that fresh sorbet, and the crumble, it was delicious.

Kierra: We’re hitting really close to perfection with this dessert. My cake was on the drier side, but the rest of the components were beautiful. The crumble, in particular, I could eat that by the fistful. It was spectacular.

Aster: The fennel crumble was the standout for me. My cake was moist, and I really enjoyed the presentation, being very whimsical and almost magical, with the caramel tuiles dancing off the quenelle of sorbet and the soil-like crumble. It was a gorgeous dessert and that’s what I loved about it.

Carrie: Next up is Duncan’s dish.

Duncan – venison loin, cauliflower puree, grilled cauliflower-mushroom salad

Chloe: My biggest complaint would be the venison loin. It’s overcooked. But the seasoning on the meat was beautiful. The cauliflower puree was silky and smooth.

Frank: The mushroom salad was probably one of the most complex components I’ve had so far. The earthiness of the mushrooms and the vibrant cauliflower flavor was nice.

Lotte: The venison loin just needed to be cooked less, and this would have been the standout dish tonight. It’s a hard protein to cook, so it’s just a shame he succumbed to it.

Carrie: And finally, Olympia’s dish!

Olympia – poached lobster, kiwi-dragon fruit salad, lime butter sauce

Aster: The lobster was cooked beautifully. The presentation, it was very provocative. The lime butter sauce was delicious as well. But the kiwi salad, it just got lost.

Kierra: I thought it was bizarre to plate the entire dish in the dragon fruit shell. But that being said, the lobster was cooked nicely. And I liked the lime butter sauce a lot.

Guy: It was two highs and two lows. The highs were obviously the lobster and the sauce. The salad, just why did she plate that directly in the sauce? It was lost in the butter flavor. And the choice to plate it all in the shell, it just pooled and got soggy.

Carrie: So can we finish scoring everyone’s dishes?

Chloe: Yeah, absolutely.

In walks the cooks.

Carrie: So only five of you will be continuing to the next stage of the competition. Let’s start with Karen’s score.

Aster: Karen, the cod was cooked beautifully. 9 stars.

Kierra: I wanted a little more acidity, but the rest was nice. 9 stars.

Guy: I gave you… 9 stars.

Lotte: I was really impressed. 9 stars.

Frank: You put up a strong dish overall. 9 stars.

Chloe: Just one tablespoon of sauce would have made it perfect. 9 stars.

Karen – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60 stars

Karen: Wow! @I got a pretty solid score from the judges tonight. @I hope nobody can beat that score. @Immunity is really important.

Carrie: Next is Cory’s score!

Aster: The ceviche and crudo were good. But there wasn’t a lot of technique. 6 stars.

Kierra: The lack of a homemade tortilla made the difference. 6 stars.

Guy: I’m not going to be as forgiving. 5 stars.

Lotte: 5 stars for a half-completed dish.

Frank: I’m giving you… 5 stars.

Chloe: 6 stars.

Cory – 6 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 6 = 33/60 stars

Cory: @Oh shit @That’s 21 stars between me and Karen. @I’m going home tonight.

Carrie: Now we’ve got Jackson’s score!

Aster: It was a delicious dish. 9 stars.

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: I just felt like you could’ve pushed yourself more. 8 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: It was a nice-tasting dish. 9 stars.

Chloe: I wanted more technique, but your dish had good flavors. 9 stars.

Jackson – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 53/60 stars

Jackson: @Damn. @I got beat by just one star. @I thought I did enough.

Carrie: And next up is Vanilla’s score!

Aster: It was a beautiful dish. 10 stars.

Kierra: My cake was dry, but I loved the rest of it. 8 stars.

Guy: 10 stars for a gorgeous dessert.

Lotte: 10 stars. That was easily the best dish tonight.

Frank: 10 stars.

Chloe: I gave your dish… a perfect 10 stars.

Vanilla – 10 + 8 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 58/60 stars

Vanilla: Wow! @I got a 58?! @It was so close to being a perfect score! @I really wished that I could have beaten the pre-existing record of 59, but this is pretty awesome.

Karen: @I wanted immunity, but at least I’m safe for this round.

Carrie: Now we’ve got Duncan’s score!

Aster: Venison was… overcooked. But the rest was delicious. 8 stars.

Kierra: 8 stars for a decent dish.

Guy: I think your dish showed a lot of promise. My venison was medium well. 7 stars.

Lotte: 8 stars.

Frank: I wanted to give you more, but the venison was dry. 8 stars.

Chloe: 8 stars.

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

Duncan: @I mean, it’s more than 33, but if I got less than 33, I would probably quit the competition and go back home.

Carrie: Cory, you are still in last place. Olympia, you need at least 34 stars to stay in the competition, and 59 stars to beat Vanilla for first place. Judges?

Aster: The dish just had a weird composition to it. 6 stars.

Kierra: I liked your lobster and the sauce. But the rest wasn’t good. 6 stars.

Guy: I could appreciate the creativity, but it needed balance. 6 stars.

Lotte: I thought the presentation was unique and it expressed your personality. 7 stars.

Frank: 6 stars.

Carrie: Olympia, that currently gives you 31 stars. To beat Cory and remain in the competition, you need at least 3 more stars from Chloe. In the case of a tie, it will be put to a vote.

Olympia: @I only need 3 more stars. @The judges so far might not have loved the dish, but they still gave me between 6-7 stars. @I doubt Chloe is going to give me anything less than that range.

Cory: @I’m freaking out right now, because I know that I’m a goner tonight. @Damn those tortillas.

Chloe: It didn’t wow me, but it had memorable components. 6 stars.

Olympia: 6 + 6 + 6 + 7 + 6 + 6 = 37/60 stars

Carrie: So let’s look at the leaderboard!

Vanilla – 58

Karen – 54

Jackson – 53

Duncan – 47

Olympia – 37

Cory – 33

Carrie: Vanilla, you retained first place, and you’ll receive immunity! Congratulations!

Vanilla: Haha! @I’m so happy right now! @I just won immunity! @I can’t go home in the first round of the main competition, and that’s a huge relief.

Carrie: Cory, unfortunately, you’ll be going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Cory: Thank you for this opportunity, and judges, I’m sorry about the tortillas. If I ever get a chance to cook again, I’ll be sure not to let that happen. @Leaving so early sucks! @I wanted to prove that even though I’m 14, I can cook really delicious food. @It’s pretty embarrassing, and I just know I could have done better.

Karen: @Seeing Cory go home, it does suck a lot. @I wanted him to stay, and help me represent the freshmen. @Oh well, I just have to do my best on my own.

New Series: Warrior Chef

I figured, since I’ve been writing Warrior Chef series for the past 5 years, that I would start uploading them to this blog as well. I will just warn you guys now that the format is different than a normal story; instead of paragraphs, it will be broken up into scripts. The format of Warrior Chef is basically similar to Top Chef, but instead of professional chefs, it is teenaged cooks instead. Hopefully, the series will not be too poorly received and if it is, then I can always pull the plug on it!

General rules of thumb:
There will be a rotating set of hosts for each “season” of Warrior Chef
The “@” sign before a sentence means that it is a confessional or talking head

Sky Bird: Chapter 23

It was finally Monday, first period. The moment of truth for Kendall. He sat there, nervously with Matt and Fanny, waiting for Sophia to talk in. “Hey!” Sophia ran in, panting. “Sophia! You’re late!” Mrs. Johnson frowned. “I’m so sorry!” She apologized frantically, making her way to her seat. “They locked the back gate, so I had to hope the fence.” She sighed. “At least you did the smart thing. Remember Kendall earlier this semester?” Fanny sniggered. “Shut up, Fanny.” Kendall growled. “Are you okay, though?” The green-eyed brunette turned to her. “Yeah, I am.” She nodded. “You’re not hurt or anything?” Nah. I’m used to hopping fences.” She admitted. “Learning new things about you every day.” Matt laughed. “Okay, guys. Since we can’t just have you guys doing nothing, I’m going to be putting on a movie based on a book you’ll be expected to read next year if you’re taking English 3 AP. It’s the film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Fun fact, Oprah Winfrey played the lead!” Everyone looked at each other in amusement. “Alright, let’s do this!” Matt and Fanny shouted. “Wait, Beloved? Oh, that’s a scary novel! Carly told me about it.” Sophia turned to Kendall. “Wait, are you scared easily?” Sophia smirked. “Dude, I’m Thai and those ghosts are terrifying. I doubt anything from the American horror genre can be remotely as bad.” “Alright, let’s begin!”

“I thought you said you weren’t scared by American horror films.” Fanny shook his head at Sophia as they walked to Chemistry Honors together. “I don’t know why I lied to Kendall. I guess I didn’t want him to think I’m weak or vulnerable?” She turned to him. “I can get that, but if you’re going to be in a relationship with him, it’s perfectly fine to be honest. Yeah, it’ll be annoying that you guys will be getting all lovey-dovey-boo-hoo-I’m-so-scared-hold-me-boyfriend-annoying, but that’s just natural with young love.” “Love? I’m 16, Fanny! 16 year olds don’t fall in love!” She rolled her eyes at his comment. “You’re probably right. I mean, maybe in year, you guys will outgrow each other, break up, and block each other on FaceBook, but that’s just life.” Fanny chuckled. The Thai girl looked horrified. “Oh come on, it’s not as bad as it sounds! Even if Jared and I break up, I might be all hurt and shit first, but then I’ll get over it.” He mentioned, trying to make her feel better, but evidently failing. “Okay, I’m not going to you for love advice.” Sophia shook her head. “You’re going to go to Carly with her majestic relationship with Damian?” The Chinese boy raised his eyebrow skeptically. “Okay, touche.” Carly and Damian’s break-up was so devastating that whenever Carly’s friends see him, they outright ignore him.

“Alright, so here’s what we’re going to do today in Physics.” Ms. Park looked around. “Since we want to have some fun, we are actually going to play the marshmallow challenge. Do you guys know what that is?” A small blonde junior raised her hand. “Yes, Hannah?” “Isn’t it like Chubby Bunny? So fitting a ton of marshmallows in our mouths? And what does that have to do with Physics?” Ms. Park stifled a laugh. “No, it’s not that! It’s a game where you have four pasta noodles, tape, scissors, rope, and a marshmallow and your goal is to building the tallest, stable structure to hold the marshmallow on top.” Everyone looked at each other, concerned. “So let’s go at it individually.” She smiled, handing out the supplies. Today was going to be a very fun class. The brunette smiled to himself, thinking about how he would get the marshmallow to balance. “And if you get the highest structure, I’ll give you 5 points extra credit. More incentive!” She wanted to make sure that everyone would try on this. “I’ll give you all 15 minutes, since we need to take time to measure them and everything.”

“So it wasn’t awkward in first period?” Carly and Sophia were in the gymnasium for their fourth period together. “Nah, we watched a movie, but I lied to him. I told him I wasn’t scared easily, but who am I kidding myself?” “I’m surprised he doesn’t remember you being a scaredy-cat.” Carly giggled.” You’ve known each other for so long! Not one Halloween Party where you were scared?” “It’s more like Beloved is just scarier in general.” She admitted. “It’s not like the rest of the stereotypical scary movies in American culture. That movie actually made me want to scream and cry. It rivals Thai ghost stories.” “Uh, do I want to know?” Carly shuddered. She hated horror movies. The only person in their friend group who wasn’t scared was Megan; she loved scary movies. “But you really shouldn’t lie to Kendall. Especially if you’re about to get into a relationship with him. You guys need to trust each other.” She reasoned. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll go talk to him after this.” Sophia wanted to make sure that whatever it was between her and Kendall, there was honesty.

“Kendall!” Sophia ran up to the brunette. It was lunch time, and he was with Matt and Jared eating lunch in front of the library. “Hey, what’s up?” He turned to see her standing next to him. “Can we talk?” “Oh. Uh, sure?” He got up and headed off with her. “I’ll see you guys later!” He waved. Matt and Jared exchanged looks of amusement. The two made their way towards the black top, where almost nobody was. “So, what is it that you wanted to talk about?” “So when we were watching Beloved, I might have lied. I told you that I was not scared by non-Thai things, and that was a half-lie. I didn’t think that American things could scare me. Except Beloved was terrifying.” The brunette began to snicker. “Wait, that’s what you wanted to tell me? That you were scared of Beloved?” He was laughing at this point. “What’s so funny? I’m trying to be honest with you, since we are…. are we in a relationship?” She looked to him as he stopped laughing. “Sorry, it was just really cute the way you thought it was that important to tell me. I appreciate your honesty, Sophia. And yeah, why the hell not? Do you want to be in a relationship?” Kendall grinned at her. “Of course! Why else would I try to be completely honest with you, right?” “Okay. I want to you to be girlfriend.” He nodded, holding her hand. “And I want you to be my boyfriend.”

“Are they holding hands?!” Megan and Fanny were shocked to see Sophia and Kendall walking into their Japanese classroom, hand in hand. “Aw, I’m so glad for them!” Carly laughed. “Oh, young love. These bitches are crazy. Make sure that they use a condom. Don’t want somebody to be somebody’s baby mama!” Sharquiqui shouted. “Uh… that’s a bit extreme.” Kendall glanced at her as they sat down. “Skye-baka is dating Puckchareon-san? Well, Puckchareon-san, be careful. You might catch his stupid.” Kawaguchi-sensei warned. Sophia just rolled her eyes at the comment and turned back to Kendall. “At least being in class with you will make Mondays go by a lot faster from now on.” She beamed at him. “Time flies when you’re having fun.” He agreed. Fanny, Megan, and Sharquiqui all groaned as Carly giggled. “I swear, if Jared and I were ever this sappy, I apologize now.” Fanny frowned. “I think I am getting physically ill from watching this.” Megan shook her head in irritation.