Top Chef Season 19 Winner, Final Recap

This article contains spoilers for Bravo Excellent chef Season 19 finale.

And the winner of Excellent chef Season 19 is…Buddha Lo! Buddha was named winner of Excellent chefit is final season during Part 2 of the Season 19 finale, which airs June 2.

“Growing up in Australia, I dreamed of winning Excellent chef“, he said in a statement about his victory. “I entered this competition to show the world what I can do. This victory was not only for me, but also for my late father, an incredible chef who taught me how to cook.

Buddha, along with fellow finalists Evelyn Garcia and Sarah Welch, faced off in Tucson for the final episodes after previously competing in Houston throughout the season. “I just can’t believe it,” he said in the episode following his victory, adding that his teenager had “lived his dream.” He then reflected on the importance of the win in a moving interview featured in the episode, which you can check out in the clip above.

Buddha won the coveted title of Top Chef, along with $250,000 provided by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a hallmark of Food & Wine magazine, and an appearance at Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

Before the final aired on Thursday, Excellent chef host Padma Lakshmi and judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons all shared some behind-the-scenes moments from the taping, with Tom joking, “And yes, I couldn’t end the season without another big hat.”

Padma reflected on the Three Chiefs’ journeys to the finale, and it definitely left her feeling her way.

“The [Top Chef] the final is here, and [Buddha], [Evelyn]and [Sarah] have worked so hard to get here. From the start, Buddha and Evelyn were so solid yet extremely different and distinct in the way they cook. Meanwhile, it was so impressive to watch Sarah fight her way back from Last chance kitchen, she is a joker for sure! she wrote on Instagram, alongside some souvenir photos. “Thank you all Excellent chef fans over there! Thank [you] to tune in season after season, sitting on your couch, with or without pants or a bra (no judgment!), shoveling crisps and shouting ‘Nooo! Tom hates okra!’ or clenching your jaw during a Quickfire while saying “There is NO time!” The chicken will always be raw! We see you and we hear you!! Thank you for all your support over the years. I can’t believe next year will be Excellent chefIt’s the 20th season!

Gail also shared an emotional throwback to the final on Instagram:

“Some [behind-the-scenes] photos leading up to our 19th (!!!) [Top Chef] final. First WE cook a wood-fired feast for our 3 finalists, then THEY cook the meal of a lifetime for us and a few honored guests,” she wrote. “Each season, I explode with pride (and a bit of anxiety!) for the chefs who have come this far. Their meals were really exceptional and I just can’t wait to share it all with you. Thank you for cooking your hearts.

Speaking of the “party” the judges prepared, you can check out the can’t-miss moment from the finale featuring the trio below.

Insight

Role reversal as the judges prepare the dishes for the finalists

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