Checking In With 'Top Chef' Winner Mei Lin

The Season 12 winner reveals how she'll spend her grand prize.

Watch out world! Mei Lin has made some big plans after winning Top Chef's season twelve just last month.

Since going home as the latest winner of the series, and nabbing the $125,000 grand prize, Mei is now revealing how she will spend the dough. In an interview with Press & Guide, the cheftestant shares she will spend some of the money on bills, invest another part of it and, of course, help her restaurateur parents retire a little earlier than expected. They own the Dearborn, MI restaurant, Kong Kow.

"I'm trying to take it one day at a time," she added about her win.

Mei beat Gregory Gourdet to victory and admits that she still hasn't really processed it all. "I was in disbelief because it was so close. Still am," she said. "Gregory and I were neck and neck throughout the entire competition. Just hearing the words [that I was named 'Top Chef'], I was kinda in shock."

If you watched this past season and felt like Mei was a natural on the series, you might be surprised to hear she wasn't sure she even wanted to compete on the show.

"To be honest, I never really wanted to do it," she said. "I was like, 'I donít think it's for me.' However, once I got involved in the interview process, I was like, 'All right, I'll do it and see how it goes.' And that's how it went."

Still, once she got there, she knew she had a special food philosophy that would help her edge out the competition.

"I have a different approach toward food," she said. "The style and flavors were different than everyone else's. Everyone has different approaches to cooking food."

[Source: Press & Guide]

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