Top Chef recap: Strictly Business |

TV Recaps | Top Chef

Top Chef recap: Strictly Business

Hosea and Leah's attraction bubbles over, despite their respective partners, and leads to recriminations, but the restaurant war challenge comes down to leadership issues

Leah Top Chef

ROLL PLAY Leah didn't own up to messing up the lamb roll but she had no problem rolling over on Ariane.

Top Chef

Season 5, Ep. 9 | Aired Jan 21

Do food and sex mix? If we take a look at the results of last night’s salacious Top Chefepisode, it’s safe to say…kinda. Yep, it looks like season 5’s lovebirds — Leah and Hosea — finally lured each other into their he- and she-traps and officially earned themselves a place alongside Top Model’s Shandi and the cast ofTemptation Island in reality television’s cheater hall of fame. And though their spit-swapping incident definitely hurt their game — a distracted Leah sent undercooked fish to the judges’ table during the infamous restaurant wars — the two managed to (barely) eek by, thanks to good ol’ dessert master Stefan.

Or should we say Bravo’s producers? Sure, Radhika’s management skills were dubious, but should a good chef who forgot to replace a spoon be sent home over a poor leader who delivered an inedible — and unhealthy — dish? Apparently so, especially when the alternate option involves sending home a quarter of a juicy love square. Oh, Bravo. How you disappoint me.

Because, I don’t know about you, fellow Top Chef fans, but I can’t stand cheaters. Especially ones like Leah, someone who not only acts questionably but also cooks questionably and isn’t fully reprimanded for it. And our chef — who, as we saw last week, is always quick to play the blame game — managed to fault her indiscretions for her bad food. As soon as Leah encountered problems during dinner service, she complained that she just wasn’t happy. Well, well, well. That’s what happens when you shoot yourself in the foot, Plaxico!

Let’s rewind here. This week’s challenge began at the quickfire, where Padma instructed the chefs to create one dish that showed off their concept for a restaurant. The resulting two winners would be team leaders for…drum roll, please…restaurant wars! Some of our chefs didn’t deliver: Dr. Jeff made the mistake of trying to sell a restaurant through salmon, and Fabio’s three-meals-in-one concept wasn’t quite clear enough for our guest judge, Stephen Starr. Our two winners? Radhika, whose globally-infused pan-seared cod dish impressed the guest judge, and Leah, who might not be thinking ahead when it comes to her love life but was forward-thinking enough for Stephen with her tempura poussin with dashi.

Following their win, our two chefs chose their teams. Radhika handpicked Jamie, Carla and Jeff for her restaurant, which they named Sahana. Leah, on the other hand, went for Hosea (surprise!) and Fabio for the Asian-inspired Sunset Lounge. The last man standing? Strangely enough, the fat kid in gym class this week wasn’t a fat kid at all: It was multiple challenge-winner Stefan, who, though difficult to work with, seems far too talented not to snatch up.

But before they could embark on their pricey shopping trips to Whole Foods, Restaurant Depot, and Pier 1, the teams had to decide which member would play host, while three would man the kitchen. Curiously, Dr. Jeff refused to handle the front of the house, even though just minutes before he had stated that he would ”be able to sell anything.” Of course, Dr. Jeff is essentially a lawn rake with abs, so maybe there are worse decisions. Not that Radhika’s personality is much better. But c’mon. You have to choose between an amateur magician and an anxious, stressed-out team leader, and you go with the latter? Very strange choice.

NEXT: Stefan, the problem child turned savior