‘Top Chef: Houston’ finalists dish the finale and reflect on their time in Texas [Exclusive Video Interview]

“It’s amazing. I think it’s a huge platform for the city and … a lot of people saw a lot of Houston that they didn’t know about,” says Houston, Texas native and “Top Chef: Houston” finalist Evelyn Garcia about this season’s locale for the cooking series. We talked with Garcia and her fellow finalists Buddha Lo and Sarah Welch ahead of the season finale on June 2. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

The three chefs remaining had different journeys to the finals. Sarah Welch, for instance, was eliminated early in the season but went on a historic winning streak in “Last Chance Kitchen” to re-earn her spot in the main competition. One of those “LCK” challenges especially stood out to her: “I loved ‘Restaurant Wars’ because in ‘Last Chance’ we had to make three dishes in 45 minutes, but we actually had to make nine dishes just for production’s sake. So making nine dishes from scratch in 45 minutes is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, and it made everything else seem possible.” Indeed, after returning to the show she ended up winning her first Elimination Challenge: “We’re on a Boat,” where she showed her innovation by using pastrami flavors with fish.

Lo also loved “Restaurant Wars,” which he competed in on the main show, and which his team won in what the judges considered one of the best “Restaurant Wars” competitions they’d seen. When trying to execute a brand new restaurant concept within two days, “no matter how much you study, you don’t know who’s going to be on your team. I can easily say if there’s one person that wasn’t on that team, that wasn’t from the original Matriarc, then Matriarc would not have existed.” But none of the chefs could rest on their laurels. It all came down to one last challenge. Who won it? Find out tonight.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Thursday on Bravo. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

More News from GoldDerby