Top Chef victor talks winning over Tom Colicchio (and why dessert is a must)
In the hotly-contested conclusion of the culinary franchise’s 12th season, Los Angeles-based modernist chef Mei Lin out-dueled globally minded Gregory Gourdet. Both chefs impressed the judges throughout the season, but Mei’s menu—thanks to an unexpected choice—came out on top, winning her the $125,000 prize and the coveted title. Fresh out of the kitchen after her win, she’s still digesting what it all means—and took the time to talk about it with EW.
EW: Going back to the beginning of the season, what was it like to step into the Top Chef kitchen for the first time?Mei Lin: Walking into the Top Chef kitchen is one of the most nerve-racking things I’ve ever done. I was just super, super nervous, but you can’t let your nerves get to you that much or you’ll cut yourself in the kitchen or something. And that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do on the first challenge, so I had to stay calm.