SPOILER ALERT: The 20th season of “Top Chef” is in the books, marking the first time the show has been filmed entirely abroad. Tonight’s finale was held in Paris after a season spent entirely in London. The milestone 20th season featured 16 of the greatest competitors from “Top Chef” iterations around the globe facing off.
But the joy of tonight’s winner was also tempered by the news that this is the last season to feature Padma Lakshmi as host.
”A lot of us grew up on this show,” Lakshmi said as the winner was toasted. “It’s been a long ride. 20 Seasons is quite an accomplishment.” She raised her champagne glass and added, “Thank you very much.”
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Bravo’s “Top Chef” crowned Buddha Lo the winner of Season 20, earning him the title of Top Chef World All-Star champion and $250,000. The Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, who won season 19 in Houston, is the first chef to win back-to-back seasons of the series. Lo is the Executive Chef of Marky’s Caviar, Huso restaurant in New York.
“I’m truly honored to be a part of this iconic season. Winning back-to-back seasons of ‘Top Chef’ feels surreal,” Lo said. “It’s been an incredible journey from the moment I was called to Houston all the way to the finale in Paris. Being raised in Australia with parents from Hong Kong and Malaysia, my food represents different parts of the globe, and to compete against chefs at the top of their game from around the world was a dream come true. It was the ultimate competition.”
Lo won four Quickfires, four Elimination challenges, and the finale meal. Some of his memorable dishes throughout the milestone season included his take on English Breakfast for Restaurant Wars, delivering three different Wellingtons, and showcasing his techniques through sculptural desserts.
In the finale in Paris, Lo, Sara Bradley, and Gabri Rodriguez cooked for Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons along with guests including culinary stars Marcus Samuelsson, May Chow, Daniela Soto-Innes, Clare Smyth, Simon Rogan, Ángel León, Food & Wine magazine’s Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis, Michelin Guides’ International Director Gwendal Poullennec and “Top Chef France” judge Hélène Darroze.
“Top Chef” is produced by production company Magical Elves, with Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines, Hillary Olsen and Tracy Tong serving as executive producers.