about a week ago best chefseason 20 premiere, and Buddha Lo is taking a break from his busy schedule as head chef of HŪSO in New York City, a “12-seat caviar special” that currently has a long queue of over 3,000 people. Many diners lined up because of Lo’s status as last season’s winner of the reality show. In which he wowed judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons with an unforgivably uplifting final meal. This includes—you guessed it— caviar.
So when Lo got the call to return to the show for season 20 shortly after his win, he was “screaming yes” in his head before the real words came out of his mouth. Ten seconds after explaining the offer to his wife, Rebekah Pedler, an accomplished pastry chef at Eleven Madison Park, she tells him, “You have to do it.”
As Lo explained to The Daily Beast, he felt like he had more presence to give to the cooking competition. which begins World All Stars season in London tonight with Bravo and Peacock before heading to Paris for the final in a few weeks. It was the most competitive season of the Emmy-winning series. Winners and finalists were selected from several international entries of best chef Compete for $250,000 prize money and worldwide bragging rights.
“I guess I’m just crazy obsessed with it,” Lo admits, insisting he’d be willing to compete even if there were no hidden cameras filming him. “It’s the ultimate playground where you just cook and you don’t have to clean up later,” he adds. “This is a completely different style of cooking where you don’t have to worry about customers, customers or people around you. Your neighborhood will like it or not if you promote it enough on social media. You are just free.”
Below is an edited and condensed version of our discussion.
You are the only US winner. best chef in this new season But there were many winners from their home country. How does it compare to the competition?
The competition is huge. It’s like football in America. You can win the championship in America. But you go to FIFA and you see Spanish, German, French, Italian, English, Thai, that’s what you have to compare. The skill level is as incredible as you can imagine.
Have you had a chance to see the season premiere yet?
No, I haven’t watched it yet. But I can imagine it to be one of the funniest episodes of the season. because we were very drunk in the stew room
I don’t want to spoil anything for you. But I would like to ask about a moment from the beginning. You must instantly team up in pairs for a bond challenge. and in the interview We hear your partner (best chef Polish winner Sylwia Stachyra calls you a “snoker.”
“Food snob”? I don’t know. I guess everyone has. But yes, you can call me whatever it is. It’s a game, you know. I think a lot of people when they get to know me. Even my wife had that impression when she first met me. and when they began to discover things They realized there was so much more to me than that. That is something that is difficult to convey. best chefAs much as you want to show that you can do all these things, you have to do it in the most technical, best, creative and defiant way because you can make fried rice whenever you want. and it would be wonderful But you’re trying your luck by making fried rice. This may send you home because someone is leaving. “Well, you just made fried rice, rice.” But for me, I’ve been making fried rice since I was 12 years old. I used to work in a Chinese restaurant. But you don’t see the other side of me. I love cooking more than good food. It’s just where I’m at in my career and what I find most challenging. So I could see how you looked at me like that. But I still love you
The truth now is that this show has been open for a very long time. until the chef in there really grew up watching As I know you have seen and you study it before joining How do you think studying acting helped you win last season?
Studying definitely helps a lot. I think in most cases If you are going to participate in this kind of competition. which you are in there to overcome You can’t get up somewhere thinking you’re going to win. That won’t happen. You have to study every aspect if you want to do that. when i want a job I know who the head chef is. Who is the assistant chef? Who is responsible? Who is the general manager? before I even stepped through the door I know every dish, every menu, wherever it is. set the sceneeven if it’s not necessary at all I know exactly what ingredients each dish has. I research the Instagram of the restaurants I go to. And I’m sure many people do that. I feel like 20 seasons of best chefYou have many resources to learn and make yourself better. because in my eyes I only have this shot to try and impress. If I’m not as good as I want to be I would be very saddened and saddened. But as long as I study and try to look at every aspect to put myself in a better position. I think that’s the way to go. And I think if you are serious about winning. you should study
you feel like best chef Does it make you a better chef in your daily work?
Yes. And I try to think about that. Because I learned a lot last season. I got to learn from barbeque experts, Indian food, flavors that I wasn’t familiar with. For example, I competed in Nigeria with Kwame (Onwuachi) and we tasted different ingredients. all these That certainly made me better. and the fact that now I have a wide range of foodies coming in It also pushed me to improve my game a bit on how to cook. I have people who are a little more adventurous and they want boundaries to be pushed and blown away. So that motivates me to do more in terms of presentation. In terms of flavor and combination, yes, it definitely made me better.
At the same time there is a lot of pressure when people come to your restaurant. expect something because you are best chef Winner, how do you deal with that pressure?
I’ve been dealing with it for a very long time. And I’m really looking forward to this moment. I have been very fortunate to have eaten at these wonderful foods and have done what they expected and blew their expectations away. What do I really want to show? best chef is and what will win it And hopefully this will push the seasons to come. Gone is a different game now. We’ve had this game for 20 years and I hope there will be future contestants who knock me out of the water and make me look like nothing. Because that’s what I wanted. I remember Stephanie[Ysard]when she ate my food at a fishing tournament. She whispered to Padma that “Are we at this level now?”
Many chefs who have won or made it to the finals of best chef Go on to guest judges or find other TV gigs. Do you now have ambitions to have your own TV show or a bigger presence in the world of food TV?
Yes, I would love to keep doing this. I want to continue to inspire and teach and educate everyone about what I have learned through my career. I’ve spent a lot of time working for great restaurants and great chefs, and as a chef, you want to be able to deliver that. Either through people working in my kitchen or watching TV. hope they learn something Because that’s why I have all my skills. Just watch TV or work in the great kitchen. So I love cooking. I don’t think I’ll be playing a play anytime soon.
Finally, something more difficult: competition. best chef Or working under Gordon Ramsay?
Damn it…Gordon (laugh) Gordon is really strong. Gordon was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I spend more time best chef For three months in season 19 and (when I was working at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London) I was two years away from my now-wife girlfriend. We just got a dog I have already had this amazing career happen in Australia. And I threw it away And I’ve been getting a lot of money. I work long hours and ask myself what am I doing here? I never really got to that point. best chef I’m going, what am I doing? best chef More fun, but I owe everything, a lot of skills, progress, and everything in my career to (Gordon Ramsay)’s kitchen. I can’t stay now with that name and references on my resume. brought me to New York and then i came best chef. Without Gordon I wouldn’t be here, and look, I’m not talking. best chef not difficult best chef is very difficult But I didn’t have any cameras in 2014 when I was working for Gordon.