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Radhika: "I Wasn't Mentally Prepared For Restaurant Wars"

Radhika: "I Wasn't Mentally Prepared For Restaurant Wars"

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.


Join The Conversation
yvettecq yvettecq 8 years
i'm surprised she was kept around this long! she did better just before the boot but she seemed so mousy and stayed in the background all the time. i don't think she is top chef/leader material at all.
Jaycey Jaycey 8 years
It's too bad that the judges don't take into account that she won the Quick Fire challenge....and her "reward"? be in charge of the restaurant in Restaurant Wars. Like Jaime said, that's one challenge that you probably WOULDN'T want to win.
corcar86 corcar86 8 years
I'm sorry but I was not too sad to see her go! I wouldn't have been as irritated by her if she hadn't started out like the first interview of the first show by saying "just because I am Indian, don't expect me to only cook Indian food" (or words to that effect) ...and then made Indian food for almost EVERY freaking challenge! I dunno it just rubbed me the wrong way. I also think that she failed to step it up in more then Restaurant Wars choosing to take a back seat in the kitchen. I think that once she gains some confidence and more pride in herself then she will be a much better chef and leader in the kitchen!
wunami wunami 8 years
Maybe she should have forced Jeff to do FOH...but that would be a mute point if she had intelligently chosen Fabio first and put him as FOH. (DUH!!!) Clearly, Leah is going to choose Hosea first. And why the heck didn't she pick Stefan if she's friends with him and he's one of the best cooks in the group? She seemed talented foodwise (most of the time), but she should have learned to play the game...since it is a game.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i liked her, but i have to say that i never thought that she'd win. this was perhaps her time to go. it's kind with jamie, you kind of know what to expect. she made indian flavored foods, and jamie makes scallops. it's all predictable. oh well.
Simone-Grant Simone-Grant 8 years
Rsdhika is a talented chef. She proved that repeatedly. But everyone knows that part of the Top Chef competition is about being a leader in the kitchen. It's not enough to be able to cook your own food well. She's certainly not the first talented chef (in the show's history) to be sent home for failing to provide strong leadership.
divinelight divinelight 8 years
I loved Radhika. She should have forced Jeff to do Front of House because the kitchen is where she needed to be. Carla also would have been great at Front of House and Radhika has turned out some good desserts for someone who doesn't like sweets, so I think they could have switched too.
nancita nancita 8 years
Yeah, I found it unfortunate that Jeff didn't volunteer for front of the house, because everyone should know their strengths: I felt Radhika was a better cook than he was but he's a much better front of house guy.
Food Food 8 years
I have to say, she has a really positive outlook ant attitude. I applaud that.
tsp tsp 8 years
I actually liked me, her food always looked/sounded good--one of the more promising chefs, in my mind. I'm sad to see her go. Honestly, she wasn't great front-of-house, but leah served (unintentionally) raw fish...and Carla. Ugh. Fail, Fail, Fail, with those desserts.
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