"I'm actually surprised at how quickly 'dad-mode' just came onto me," 'Top Chef' champ Buddha Lo said at Saratoga Spring Water’s Supper Club event in N.Y.C.
For chef Buddha Lo, working late hours under stressful conditions in restaurant kitchens has made the transition to fatherhood a little easier.
The two-time Top Chef winner, 32, and his pastry-chef wife Rebekah Pedler welcomed twin daughters, Tatiana and Alina, on Oct. 2 — and he is "loving every moment" of their new life as a family of four.
"I'm actually surprised at how quickly 'dad-mode' came onto me," Lo told PEOPLE at Saratoga Spring Water’s Supper Club dinner in New York City on Nov. 7. "I've been trained for this. I think chefs have always worked on low sleep and unpredictable situations."
Being a new father "has been incredible," said the Chinese-Australian chef, who announced the couple's pregnancy in June.
"I'll never forget being in the room when both of them were born," he said. "I don't know what can top it. Not even a Top Chef win tops it."
"I think that cooking has made me a lot more organized, a lot more prepared, and know how to work under pressure. I can have multiple things on the go and understand what is priority, especially with twins," he said.
Pedler and Lo — who celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary and their first date night out since the birth of the twins at the Saratoga Spring event — have also transitioned some of their chefs' shorthand into their home life.
"My wife and I actually refer to our shifts with the girls as 'the service,' like we do at work," said Lo. "When she comes in for her shift, I give her a crossover. I'll be like, 'Oh, last night was a rough service. The chefs were screaming at me all night. One didn't like the milk that I was giving.'"
Although Lo looks forward to time at home with his daughters, the chef also relishes opportunities to be creative in the kitchen and have diners experience his cooking.
"When I think of new ideas, I get really excited for people to try it," said Lo, who celebrated the theme of the evening by creating a water-inspired menu — which included a self-misting scallop and a clear, see-through water-drop cake surrounded by strawberry sauce. "When this one came together, I was, like, 'Yes, yes, yes, yes!'"
"I designed an expansive installation that immersed guests in the art of water in all its forms, from fluid to ice," said Calderone, who filled her home with ice candle holder centerpieces and knee-high ice blocks with Saratoga water bottles suspended inside.
Tickets for upcoming Saratoga Supper Club dinner series — at Jean-Georges in New York City on Nov. 15, Elcielo in Miami on Nov. 30, El Ideas in Chicago on Dec. 6, and Gwen in Los Angeles on Dec. 14 — are available on Resy.
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