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Top Chef: New York, Episode 9 – All’s Fair In Love and Restaurant Wars


Elimination challenge – Well, we know what it is. Now it is time to pick teams. Radhika gets first pick and takes Jamie. Solid choice. Leah takes Hosea. Duh. Radhika makes her first big mistake of the night by taking Carla next. Carla is clearly the least talented of the four choices she had. Leah almost compounds that mistake by taking Fabio over Finn. Granted, Fabio is a fabulous front of house option, but Finn is the best cook left. Radhika gets a SECOND shot at Finn and passes on him because he is arrogant. So Jeff goes to Radhika and Finn is the last man picked. Morons. Finn could care less. He says that Leah picked friends before business, which is always a mistake.

They have six hours to prep, $3000 to buy supplies and right now have about 30 minutes to plan. Jamie says that she tried to open a restaurant and it took nine months just to get the permits. Radhika’s team names their place Sahana and goes for an old spice trade theme. Preferably without the slaves. Sahana means strong and powerful in Sanskrit. What does timid and weak mean, Radhika?

Carla tells Radhika that she has the least amount of restaurant experience – she is a caterer after all. It seems that Radhika smartly wants Jeff in the front of house, but Jeff would rather cook. Radhika very reluctantly elects to work the front. Bad idea. Carla thinks Radhika needs to “man up.” She’s right.

Fabio is clearly working the front and Finn wants something fancy in the design book. Hosea thinks that Leah must stand up to Finn to be successful.

Pier One. Finn is grabbing teacups. Radhika is amazed to be spending $5000 in an hour. Jamie is almost impaled on twigs. Fabio says he was “grabbing everything” and says it is a feeling that his wife has often. HA! Finn tells him to grab all of the candles. Jeff is walking around with giant ceramic camels or giraffes or something.

Back at the house, Leah’s team plans. Finn is talking about something as needing to be “small, pretty, tight and sexy.” Please get you mind out of the gutter! In hindsight, I think he is referring to the lollipop that they make later on. Finn thinks that Leah is making it a democracy. It shouldn’t be one. Finn is making desserts and Fabio an amuse bouclé. Leah is having enough of Finn and needs a smoke.

Jamie is begging for input from her team and her team leader. Radhika says she doesn’t want to direct them. OF course, that is her job! Jamie puts Carla on dessert and thinks that Jeff has good ideas but lacks focus. Somehow, Jamie seems to be in charge. Bad omens for Radhika.

Leah and Hosea bitch about Finn. She sarcastically says that Finn is not saying what he is making for dessert. Hosea says Finn is used to being the boss and that it was no F’n surprise he was picked last. He thinks that Finn may have sabotage on his mind.

What’s on Hosea’s mind is something very different. This is the porn part of the show as the music cues indicate. The cameraman got a great angle from far away of Hosea lying on his back and Leah lying on top of him. He suggests that they should go to sleep. That’s not what they do. We hear smooching sounds and she gently caresses his chest. She says she would like to sleep right there and he thinks it is comfy. WHAT!!!! Do these boneheads realize that this is going to be on TV? I sure hope they warned that soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend and boyfriend about what they would get to see during Restaurant Wars. If not, Surprise!!! Wow.

Commercials – More Housewives!!! STOP!!!

We are back in the morning with the Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eaters. Fabio may be sleeping naked, by the way. Hosea regrets cheating on his girlfriend on basic cable. He loves her, you see. Which is why he is flirting and snuggling with someone else on Bravo. Leah gives the same sentiment; of course she was the one lying on top of the bald guy from Boulder. Hosea thinks it could affect their work.

Sequoia product placement. They are going to buy stuff and Jamie seems to have gone to Bermuda at some point, or so her shirt tells us. Carla/Radhika and Fabio/Leah are going to Whole Foods. Jeff/Jamie and Hosea/Finn are going to Restaurant Depot. Notice how the lovebirds have split for this task. Finn comes up with the team name – Sunset Lounge.

Jamie grabs onions and Jeff grabs tomatoes. She laments the lack of lamb shanks. She beeps Radhika who learns that Whole Foods doesn’t have them either. Jeff meanwhile finds some in the freezer section. Jamie is wary of frozen lamb, and I remember back to Spike’s demise and the frozen scallops. My wife reminds me that meat is better to defrost than seafood. Finn high fives one of the workers.

In the restaurant space, Fabio tries to open a box with a huge knife by cutting the cardboard towards him. I am surprised the rest of this episode was not trying to figure out how to remove the knife from Fabio’s chest. We learn the menus from the two teams here:

Sunset Lounge – Egg Roll, Sashimi Two ways, Short Ribs, Coconut Curry Bisque, Seared Cod, Chocolate Parfait, Panna Cotta. Parfait is the most delicious thing on the planet. Finn then does some crazy knife move to cut saran wrap.

Sahana – Curried Carrot Soup, Grilled Scallop with Chickpea Cake…Wait a minute! Jamie’s team made a soup and a scallop. Seriously. Again. Braised Lamb Shank, Seared Snapper, Baklava, Chocolate Cake and Frozen Yogurts. Jamie is pouring a giant glob of chickpeas. It is confirmed that she is the executive chef.


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