• Top Chef

    completed the broadcast of its twelfth edition this Wednesday evening, after eighteen weeks of competition.

  • At the end of an almost flawless final, Mohamed was elected winner of the season with 54.86% of the votes.

  • "I do not believe at all what happens to me, it's too good to be true", he exclaims in his interview for 

    20 Minutes


He beat Pierre, defeated Mathias and won against Sarah.

At the end of eighteen weeks of competition, Mohamed left with the title of big winner of the twelfth season of

Top Chef


He succeeds David Gallienne and offers a second consecutive victory to Hélène Darroze.

"From the moment when there was only me [in the brigade], we started to know each other well and get along well", explains the candidate about the one who accompanied him to the line of arrival.

His state of mind before plunging into the final, his constant progress over the weeks, the support of the public behind him, Mohamed takes stock of his adventure for 

20 Minutes


How does it feel when you are elected winner of 

Top Chef

season 12?

I feel like I'm on cloud nine.

I don't believe what is happening to me at all, it's too good to be true!

What does this victory represent for you?

Success, in fact.

The Graal.

Proof that when you want, you can.

You have to believe in yourself and not listen to what you are told and, above all, give yourself the means to succeed.

Before approaching the final, you looked serene.

What state of mind were you in?

Frankly, I was very calm because I was going to make a menu that looks like what I'm used to doing in a place I'm used to working.

I left in mode: “I'm going to do an event in an establishment and everything must go well”.

That's what made me quite relaxed after all.

Besides, Sarah I appreciate her a lot, there was no adversity.

And then it was the last moment, I wanted to make the most of it too.

How much time have you spent on making your menu?

We only had three days to think about it, it's boiling hot.

In fact, I reused recipes that I used to make to create dishes with these recipes.

I didn't have time to do any testing, so clearly I had to do things that I had already done in terms of preparations, but not in terms of dishes.

Until the end, Hélène Darroze guides you, in particular by asking you to take care of your sauces.

Fortunately she was there?

Yes of course !

I was very uncomfortable having to take the paddle from Arnaud because he is a friend and I know it can be upsetting.

But it's true that the sauce is identity.

Even though Arnaud is a really good sauce maker, it wasn't going to taste like I'm used to.

When Hélène Darroze tells me that, she's right, that's why I reacted immediately.

How would you rate the relationship the two of you have been able to establish over the weeks?

At first, it was complicated, it was a bit like "I love you, me neither".

I had to have the full place in the team for relationships to begin to be created.

From the moment it was just me, we started to know each other well and get along well.

She is a wonderful woman, she is a very, very great chef, she has always been of good advice to me, as much on my person as on my cooking.

It allowed me to refocus on the essentials, to remove the frills.

She pushed me to my limits, she helped me to have confidence in myself, not to lower my head and not to let go.

It was essential.

You considered yourself to be the Poulidor of the season, often finishing second, then your end of the course was dazzling.

What happened ?

This is the theme of the trials, ultimately.

In the end, they were more suited to my cooking.

And then it's obvious that afterwards, we start to break in, to understand what is expected of us and we know the set, obviously that helps.

In the end, I was enraged.

At first, maybe I was having a little too much fun, I wasn't serious enough.

Over time, I focused, I got into it seriously and it helped me.

Sarah explains in the episode that she arrived with impostor syndrome.

Is it the same for you?

Not at all.

I knew that I had all the capacities to go to the end except that I always felt that others deserved more than me, without justifying why, it was always like that, it was a lack of confidence because 'I have often been belittled.

I didn't feel like I was an impostor.

On the contrary, I made very, very big houses, I worked with the greatest chefs in the world so I was completely legitimate to be there and to deserve this victory.

When you think of

Top Chef

, what's the first thing that comes to your mind?

How beautiful it was, it will be an unforgettable memory.

Like a marriage, you only experience it once in your life.

The semi-final, when I lifted the bell, it was very, very strong.

I had a kind of satisfaction, especially since I was qualified when there was a tie for the other two.

I was happy that there was no discussion, I was qualified and it was unanimous.

This season, you also earn the title of the one who, among all the contestants, has the most followers on Instagram.

Does that have any importance when you're a chef in 2021?

Of course it matters.

But what matters is not the number but all the people behind it.

It means that there is a capital of sympathy and that people appreciate you and that touches me.

Across all social media, people are with me.

With the restaurant, I see it.

As soon as I go out, it's madness.

I am experiencing something wonderful, I have the impression of being a Miss France.

You opened a pop-up restaurant in Paris on June 1st.

How's it going ?

It's going very, very well.

His name is Manzili, which means "my house, my home".

It's a Mediterranean concept, we have fun.

We have a pretty wall of flowers, jasmine, olive oils, homemade drinks that represent the Mediterranean basin.

The gaiety, the joy, the happiness and the music at full blast in the evening.

What's next for you?

First, I'm on the four-month marathon [until the end of the ephemeral restaurant], we will try to stay the course until the end.

I will do a mid-season update to find out what to do next.

But I'm going to focus on that first, we just opened.

Everything in its time.


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