I think it's safe to say that the majority of viewers weren't surprised to see Leah pack up her knives and go on the latest installment of Top Chef. Since restaurant wars and the infamous kiss, it was obvious that her heart wasn't in it to win it. I spoke to Leah yesterday and as is to be expected, she's no longer with her boyfriend. To see what she had to say about Hosea, and her experience,
On the difficulty of the competition: I didn't realize how quickly and on the spot you have to think and come up with ideas. For me, cooking is more a process of trying out things and thinking about it. You can never prepare yourself for the actual game. It was hard being in my hometown. I mean we would go on challenges and be four blocks from my apartment.
I was so close to my bed and my real life, but I couldn't just walk those blocks and go sleep in my bed. It was very hard. Knowing I'm so close to home, but I can't go there or talk to anyone.
On her relationship with Hosea: There's not much to say. We hung out all the time. We kissed on TV, but there was really not much more to it. We are actually just really good friends. He was my support on the show. Everyone paired off into cliques and friendships formed. There were certain people that you would go to and I would go to him. Since we are of the opposite sex, there will be always be an element of flirtation to the relationship. But, no we aren't and weren't romantic.
On Bravo's portrayal of her: It was not good. I kind of stopped watching the show. I didn't really like the way they made me look like this girl who was throwing myself on Hosea. That's not how it went down. That whole portrayal of our relationship — I didn't think it was accurate at all. It was a story line. For the most part I acted like I would in real life. People who know me, know how I am. People who know me through the show, can think what they want. Not everyone is going to like you and not everyone is going to dislike you. I signed up for the show, so I signed up for them to portray me any way they wanted to.
On giving up: Towards the end, I just did not want to be there. I was over it. I was stressed out. Doing each challenge wears you down. It takes a toll on you. I just didn't feel like participating. I regret not giving it 100 percent, but you live and learn that's part of the game. It's designed to wear you down and unfortunately I couldn't handle it.
On the judges: There is very little interaction. The only that we do have is during judges table. I think Gail is awesome. She was really nice and really critiqued you in a positive way. I didn't like Toby Young. He was there to try and bring his English wit and I didn't get. I didn't think he was witty or funny. I respect Tom a lot. He obviously knows a lot about food. Padma is Padma. I don't have anything nice to say, so I'm not going to say anything at all. We had the most interaction with her. As far as caring about us as people, she didn't care. Whereas Tom and Gail looked at us as people, not as contestants. They were there to help us as chefs. Padma didn't invest any time in us, but that's not her job. She is the host. She is there to be pretty.
On who will win: Hosea or Stefan. Ah, Stefan. It's really funny because everyone thinks he is this arrogant asshole, but he has 23 years experience. He has a career. He's a very successful caterer in LA. He knows what he wants. He knows how to get it done. He is really a nice guy.
On her future: I wanted to move to Hong Kong. I wanted to move to Spain, but as far as right now, I am staying in New York at my restaurant. I would like to travel. It's the best way to grow as a chef and as a person, but I will be in New York for at least another year.