When I was watching this week's Top Chef, I knew from the get-go that Radhika was going home. You could tell her heart wasn't in the game. When I spoke with her over the phone, she was unenthusiastic about her experience and future. However, she's surprisingly "buddies with Stefan"! To find out what she had to say about her fellow contestants, restaurant wars, and the judges,
On her tendency to cook Indian cuisine: I use Indian flavors in everything I do. I like combining the things from my background with what I learned at culinary school. I am proud of my culture. I want to show others that you can use flavors to express a culture.
On the romance between Leah and Hosea: Um, I don't think any of us were really affected by it. At least for me, I didn't see that happen. I knew they were friendly and attracted to each other and flirting, but I never saw them do anything physically.
On her role as chef/owner during restaurant wars: I took on the role as the leader. I was chosen. Ultimately it was up to me. If the restaurant is a failure, I'm responsible for it. Like Jamie said, she initially didn't want to win because the losing team's head chef usually gets sent home. I don't think anyone else deserved to go home. I was the leader of the team and the judges made the decision based on their own opinion. I would have been more comfortable back in the kitchen. It would have been smoother if Jeff had expedited and run things.
On feeling lost during the filming: I was really overwhelmed. It was a long couple of days. I wasn't mentally prepared for restaurant wars. Looking back, I would have been more aggressive. More assertive. I don't regret the way I acted or represented myself. It was my fault for being too timid and too polite.
On the judges: Um, I liked them all. They have their own qualities as far as criticism goes. Tom is straightforward and tells how it is. Padma is eloquent. Everything she says sounds pretty. I only had a couple of interactions with Toby, but he obviously tries to be clever and funny. Gail is genuine and the most honest of the judges.
On her future: I'm the executive chef at a restaurant in Chicago. Who knows? I might move, I don't have any ties in Chicago. I want to open something new here or on the West Coast. I'm writing a cookbook — which I have been doing for a few years. It's autobiographical.
On who should win: Everyone! They are all talented. Everyone is really talented in their own special way. Carla is a very talented chef. Hosea does really great flavors and simple, not complicated food. Every person has a quality that makes them a top chef.