Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
This article contains spoilers about Bravo’s Top Chef Season 19 finale.
And the winner of Top Chef Season 19 is…
“Growing up in Australia, I dreamed about winning Top Chef,” he said in a statement about his win. “I went on this competition to showcase to the world what I can do. This win was not only for me, but was for my late father, an incredible chef who taught me how to cook.”
Buddha, as well as fellow finalists Evelyn Garcia and Sarah Welch, faced off in Tucson for the finale episodes after having competed in Houston previously throughout the season. “I just can’t believe it,” he said in the episode following his win, adding that his teenage self has “lived his dream.” He further reflected on the significance of the win in an emotional interview featured in the episode, which you can check out in the clip above.
Buddha took home the coveted title of Top Chef, as well as $250,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, and an appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
Ahead of the finale airing on Thursday, Top 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, couldn’t end the season without one more great hat.”
Padma reflected on the three chefs’ journeys to the finale, and it definitely left her in her feelings.
“The [Top Chef] finale is here, and [Buddha], [Evelyn], and [Sarah] have worked so hard to get here. From the beginning, Buddha and Evelyn were so solid yet extremely different and distinct in how they cooked. Meanwhile, it was so impressive to see Sarah fight her way back from Last Chance Kitchen, she’s a wildcard for sure!” she wrote on Instagram, alongside some photo memories. “Thanks so much to all you Top Chef fans out there! Thank [you] for tuning in season after season, sitting on your couch, with or without pants or a bra (no judgment!), shoveling potato chips and shouting at the TV ‘Nooo! Tom hates okra!’ or clenching your jaw during a Quickfire saying ‘There’s NO time! The chicken will still be raw!’ We see you and hear you!! Thank you for all your support over the years. I can’t believe next year will be Top Chef’s 20th season!”
Gail also shared on Instagram an emotional look back on the finale:
“A few [behind-the-scenes] pics leading up to our 19th (!!!) [Top Chef] finale. 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. “Every season I burst with pride (and a little anxiety!) for the chefs who make it this far. Their meals were truly exceptional and I just can’t wait to share it all with you. Thanks for cooking your hearts out.”
Speaking of the “feast” the judges whipped up, you can check out the can’t-miss moment from the finale featuring the trio, below.
Want more Top Chef? Top Chef is streaming on Peacock. Plus, catch up with the Bravo app.
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, and, oh, so much more. Subscribe to The Daily Dish podcast, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and be the first to get exclusive extras.