Buddha Lo's 'Fangirl' Moment With Alain Ducasse Is All Of Us - Exclusive

If you are a Sherlock Holmes of the "Top Chef" world, scouring contestants' social posts for clues as soon as a new season starts, you've doubtless spotted "All-Stars" contestant Buddha Lo arm in arm with Alain Ducasse. The true sleuths among you will have noted that — per Bravo — Ducasse will "make a rare appearance" with finalist all-star contestants in Paris. Coincidence? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

Lo — understandably — neglected to draw a correlation between the two events when he talked to Mashed pre-Season 20. A little bit of further detective work indicates that the two were not necessarily related, however. "Top Chef" Season 20 started filming in the U.K. in August 2022 before a two-episode finale in France. Lo posted the pic — presumably in New York (if his Insta label is to be believed) — in mid-October. We'll let you would-be Nancy Drews take it from there. Here's what Lo did tell us about the experience when we sat down with him recently.

Buddha Lo describes his 'fangirl' moment

Buddha Lo is doubtless a celebrity in his own right after clinching the "Top Chef" Season 19 title, but rest assured, he was as excited as we'd all be to come face to face with Alain Ducasse. Actually — as Lo admitted to Mashed — the photo was not the fruit of a happy coincidence. It was an intentional setup. "It was a fangirl moment where one of the chefs that I know who's worked at the restaurant said, 'We've got someone big coming in. [You'll] want to sit at the table with a couple of your friends,'" Lo dished.

So the "Top Chef" champion went with his friend, Kristina Ramos, and wife, Rebekah Pedler, who inspired Lo's Marry Me Pasta. They found a corner and waited. "We're like, 'Okay.' So we sat at the table and were like, 'Oh my god. It's the godfather.'" Per Lo, they didn't do much talking, not that it mattered.

"That photo was [when] we met the lead and we haven't even said anything, and we're like ... 'Let's get a photo with him because this is our only time that we're going to be able to get it," he recounted. "It was a very special moment, for sure. Every chef dreams of getting that one photo with Alain Ducasse. We all sat in that corner hoping that we could shoot our shot for it, and it was very lovely."

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.