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The Daily Dish Top Chef

#TopChef Winner Mei Lin Gets Real About Her Judges

Season 12's champ has some fun at the expense of Tom, Padma, and Gail.

By Jocelyn Vena

When the season 12 Top Chef winner Mei Lin spoke to Eater recently, she was asked to play F/Marry/Kill with the show's judges. It's a question that has probably crossed everyone's mind at one point or another — and Mei might be the only person with enough guts to give an answer.

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Like most people, she initially found the question to be a challenge ("Oh my god. That's hard — I don't want to kill any of them!"). However, she eventually caved and decided to murder one of the crew. Sorry, Colicchio. "Okay, I'd marry Gail, I'd f--- Padma, and I would kill Tom," she says. "But I love Tom, Tom's awesome."

In addition to pondering that great mystery of the world, Mei has been keeping busy plotting her next step since winning Top Chef back in February. "There's a lot of projects going on but I can't really say anything... I don't really know for sure what's going to happen in the future," she added. 

And while she has yet to spend the money she won on the show, she is hoping to eventually open up her own restaurant in Los Angeles. But don't expect her to team up with her pal and fellow cheftestant, Melissa King. "She won't move to LA, so that's not going to happen," she revealed.

So what might her solo jaunt be like? "My fast-casual concept would be a congee shack," she said. "A bowl of rice porridge, a noodle/congee shop. Just something super simple. Come in, eat a bowl, leave. Super super casual lunch spot. That's actually what I want my restaurant to have for lunch, and then go into a semi-casual, fine-dining place for dinner."

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