Top Chef, Radhika

Bravo Photo: Michael Lavine

It wasn't her cooking skills that got sweet-faced, soft-spoken Radhika booted from Top Chef last night. It was her management skills that left the judges unimpressed. "Rad" was told to pack her knives after she failed to lead her team, Sahana, to victory over Leah's Sunset Lounge during the all-important restaurant war.

But isn't Top Chef about cooking good food? So why on earth did Leah get to stay despite serving undercooked fish to the judges? Maybe it's because Leah makes better television—she and fellow cheftestant Hosea have been getting quite cozy even though they have significant others back at home.

I caught up with Radhika this morning from her home in Chicago, where she's executive chef at Between Boutique Café & Lounge, to dish on her elimination...

What happened last night? You so didn't deserve to go home.
I just didn't do a good job of managing my team, and they didn't like the fact that I didn't cook anything.

Yeah, but Leah served them undercooked fish! She could have poisoned the judges.
Bad service, undercooked fish and scales…But it's not just about cooking. It's managing the front of the house and everything else.

Do you think the producers kept Leah and Hosea because of the possible romance drama they're bringing to the show?
It's a TV show, right? I'm not gonna say one way or the other why, but it's a TV show.

Are they a couple now or are they still with their boyfriend and girlfriend back home?
I know they're good friends, but that's all I know so far.

Totally off the subject, but Oscar nominations were announced this morning. What's your favorite movie of the year?
Slumdog Millionaire! I'm going to try to get the cast here so I can cook for them [laughs]. It makes me feel like going back to India. My family lives in all those areas that they showed. It's inspired me to go back.

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