Buddha Lo is one of the world's most renowned chefs – and he was pretty much destined for stardom from a young age. From growing up in his family's Chinese restaurant to winning a scholarship at Château Cordeillan-Bages with two Michelin stars, and earning the position of head chef at the young age of 19... these were just markers of the beginning of his success. He travelled around the world, perfecting his craft in multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, winning the Gordon Ramsay Excellence Award along the way, and Top Chef: Houston season 19 just earlier this year. Today, Lo is the executive chef of Marky's and Huso in New York, celebrating his culinary techniques with America's only Caviar tasting menu.
We chat with Lo on his astounding journey so far.
1. How did you develop your passion for cooking?
My passion for cooking started when I was 12 years old. My father was cooking an omelette in a wok in our family’s restaurant and asked me if I wanted to have a go at flipping it. I did it and it flipped perfectly it was like a toss of a coin. Ever since that moment I have been in the kitchen cooking.
2. What has been the biggest challenge in your culinary career so far?
The biggest challenge for me was competing on Top Chef. I knew I had a good chance of winning but there are so many variables that can happen. It’s a competition of skill and also a little luck.
3. What has been the most rewarding moment in your culinary career?
The most rewarding moment was winning Top Chef, it’s taken my career to the moon. Now I can achieve my goals in the future a little bit easier. The competition has brought so many diners into the restaurant that it makes me feel confident in opening a bigger one.
4. What is your cooking philosophy?
My cooking philosophy is to respect the ingredients. If I have a chicken I will make sure that is the tastiest and most beautifully cooked and presented chicken out there. Because all ingredients deserve that level of respect.
5. What’s your daily schedule before you arrive at HUSO?
Every morning I walk my pug and then I ride my scooter into Manhattan and pick up ingredients from the union square farmers market.