Buddha Lo's Major Disadvantage Going Into Top Chef Season 20 - Exclusive

This season, the world all-star contestants of "Top Chef" were treated to all-star accommodations. Stop by Buddha Lo's gram digs, and he'll give you the tour of his "Top Chef" hotel room himself, a space that he shared with ... absolutely no one. But while the contestant and Season 19 champion might have enjoyed cushy sleeping quarters, in the "Top Chef" kitchens, Lo found his resources more limited than other contestants'. 

His proximity to Buckingham Palace wasn't the issue. The Australian chef has lived and worked in London in the past, so upcoming challenges like elevating pub dishes in Episode 3 and baking biscuits in Episode 4 (assuming he makes it that far) shouldn't feel hella daunting. Take it straight from Lo: "I would 100% say that I feel comfortable in London [as] opposed to doing it in Houston," Buddha Lo exclusively told Mashed. "... I'm familiar with [London]. And coming from Australia, we're part of the Commonwealth, so our normal diet was actually some of the British staples — sausage rolls, meat pies, Sunday roasts, those sorts of things. It was very similar." 

As it turns out, Buddha Lo's Season 20 disadvantage was somewhat self-inflicted.

Buddha Lo reveals his twofold disadvantage going into Season 20

The first part of Buddha Lo's Season 20 disadvantage wasn't something he could control. "It was weeks after my final episode [of Season 19 when] I actually got called to go on for London, so I didn't get to extend my repertoire [of dishes]," Lo reflected to Mashed before the season began airing. "I am literally coming in with the same knowledge that I came [into] Houston [with]. ... I can tell you right now, if I did 'Top Chef' [Season] 30, it would probably be 'Top Chef Universe.' I have no idea; I would have a completely different set of dishes."

Lo, however, added what he called another "layer of pressure" all by himself by refusing to repeat any of his Season 19 dishes. "If you're looking at it, that's 26-plus dishes, [or] even more — 14 episodes, two challenges [each], and some challenges, I'm doing more than one dish," Lo told Mashed. "If I've done a tart shell, I'm not going to do that again. ... I can't do the 'Marry Me' pasta. It's not that I can't, and it's not that I'll get deducted; it's more for a personal challenge." 

Other contestants, Lo revealed, didn't limit themselves as he did: "I was talking to a couple of the people from the other seasons that are winners, and they were like, 'I will bring out dishes that I won challenges with, no problem, because Padma, Tom, and Gail have not seen these dishes before.'"

Tune in and follow Buddha's journey. New episodes of "Top Chef: World All-Stars" air every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo and are available to stream the next day on Peacock.