Top Chef Restaurant Wars!
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Restaurant Wars, the most grueling challenge of the season, hit TOP CHEF this week, as two excited teams had a mere 24 hours to open their own restaurants from scratch. Not a wimpy lemonade stand, but a beautifully designed dining space with fabulous service and spectacular food.

“It’s going to be a hot bloody war,” said Fabio, nodding. Someone from the losing restaurant would be going home, and with only eight chefs left, the stakes were high.

In the quick fire challenge, each chef had to create a single dish that represented their overall restaurant concept. Radhika’s Middle Eastern inspired food and Leah’s Asian dumplings came out on top, so the two women were appointed as chef/owners for the main challenge, and they got to put their ideas to the test.

  
 
Radhika chose tattooed chef Jamie, wide-eyed Carla, and fabulously coiffed Jeff as teammates to help her open “Sahana,” a spice trade inspired Indian restaurant.

Leah picked her snuggle-mate Hosea and charismatic Fabio to help open her Asian influenced eatery, “Sunset Lounge.” Stefan wasn’t picked by anyone (no surprise, since he doesn’t play well with others), but he was added to Leah’s team by default. To spare them from Stefan’s giant ego, all agreed to let Stefan be in charge of the desserts. He would have a little cooking station all to himself, much to his delight.

The challenge of the week was hard enough without added drama, but Leah and Hosea finally gave in to their hormones and put lip to lip. Smooching on the sofa quickly ended in guilt, though, since both have significant others waiting for them back home. The two could hardly even cook together afterward.

Leah and I flirted too much last night, and it kinda threw me off my game,” said Hosea in the kitchen the next day. “I totally regret it.”

Chefs worked at hyper speed to prep the food and set up their restaurants. “I feel like a hummingbird on crack,” said Jeff, flipping his gorgeous hair. Most chefs were nervous wrecks as they pictured table after table of hungry diners, but Fabio was just the opposite:

“I’m running the front of the house,” he said, spreading his arms and posing proudly. “We could be serving monkey a$# in empty clam shells, and we’d still win this one.” (Insert cheesy smile and wink here.)

THE RESULT: Team Sahana got high marks for Jamie and Jeff’s main dishes, but Carla’s melted desserts and Radhika’s bad service as the house manager were unforgivable.

Fabio’s ego…I mean charisma and Stefan’s delicious deserts pushed Sunset Lounge into the winning position, but Leah’s undercooked fish dish was so bad that even Hosea didn’t stick up for her. Stefan, the chef all by himself in his dessert-making corner, was named the big winner of the day, earning him a complete suite of GE appliances. Wow!

At judges’ table, Radhika and Carla knew they were the two chefs in trouble. Even with Carla’s “sprinkling of love” on each plate she served, her desserts were nearly inedible, but Radhika, the driving force behind the losing team, gave judges something worse. The terrible table-side service in her restaurant earned her a plane ticket home, proving that in Restaurant Wars, like in life, it’s not just about the food.

Next week, some past-season favorites will return to battle it out with current Top Chef contestants in the Superbowl of cooking—I can’t wait!

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