A terrible accident. Top Chef winner Buddha Lo revealed that his adjoining NYC restaurants went up in flames.
“Last night something not so chilled happened. Markys caviar/Huso caught on fire. We are beyond devastated,” the chef, who was crowned the winner of Top Chef season 19 and is currently competing on Top Chef: World All-Stars, shared via Instagram on Wednesday, March 22. “This happened while we were closed and did not have dinner service. We are lucky that no one got hurt and that the fire department was able to put out the fire fast enough as we are at ground level of a residential building. The fire was set off by an electrical outlet next to our cash register.”
The luxury caviar spot, which is located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, “will remain closed until further notice,” Lo concluded in his post. “All guest that have reservations with us will be refunded. We hope to be welcoming you through our doors soon.”
The celeb hot spot’s website also acknowledged the fire and its closure, encouraging customers to visit their retail store at Grand Central Terminal.
Lo won Top Chef: Houston in 2022 after 18 years of working in the restaurant industry. His win not only awarded him a cash prize of $250,000, it also allowed him to expand his taste to the world.
“People say, ”Oh, fine dining is dead. Fine dining doesn’t have a place.’ [But] food is like music: There’s a place for rock, there’s a place for metal, there’s a place for classical music,” the restauranteur told Food & Wine Magazine after his win when speaking about his penchant for caviar. “There’s a place for everything.”
As he revealed on the season 19 finale, Lo “didn’t dream to be an astronaut. I didn’t dream of anything else,” he said. “I dreamt to be right here.”
For now, that means competing on World All-Stars, which airs on Bravo every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. As Lo faces off against other Top Chef finalists and winners from all over the world — including fellow Top Chef U.S. contestants Amar Santana (season 13), Sara Bradley (season 16) and Dawn Burrell (season 18) — his culinary skills are put to the test and critiqued by longtime judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons and host Padma Lakshmi.
“I wouldn’t call it a normal Top Chef season,” Lakshmi, 52, exclusively told Us Weekly while on set in London in fall 2022. (World All-Stars was filmed in the U.K. and its season finale will take place in France.) “I know so many Top Chefs who didn’t even win and who didn’t even make it past Restaurant Wars. And yet their restaurants are full and their reservation books are packed and closed for months because of the experience and the exposure that they’ve received. So here you’re starting off with people who are already at the top of their game, and that’s exciting. So it’s not at all like a regular season of Top Chef.”