Padma Had the Sweetest Reaction to “Top Chef” Winner Kristen Kish Being Named New Host

published Jul 12, 2023
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Chef Kristen Kish attends The (RED) Supper hosted by Mario Batali with Anthony Bourdain on June 2, 2016 in New York City. (
Credit: Noam Galai / Stringer / Getty Images

Top Chef season 10 winner, Kristen Kish, has just been named the new host of Bravo’s hit competition reality series. Over the years, Kish has served as a guest judge on multiple episodes, and will now be assuming the position of host for the upcoming season, which has been revealed to be set in Wisconsin. 

Just before the conclusion of season 20 “World All-Stars,” longtime host (19 seasons) and world-renowned chef Padma Lakshmi, announced her upcoming departure from the series via social media. Citing her need to “make space” for multiple upcoming projects, her Hulu series Taste the Nation, as well as books and “other creative pursuits,” Lakshmi also expressed extreme gratitude for the cast and crew who are now “like family” to her. 

“I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food,” Lakshmi wrote in an Instagram post. “After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly,” she continued. “I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”

Head judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons are both set to return for season 21, and with Kish at the helm of the show, there is a lot to be excited about this season. 

Originally from South Korea, Kish was adopted into a family from Kentwood, Michigan, where her schooling would eventually lead her to attending Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. After finishing culinary school, Kish went on to spend 10 years cooking in a number of high-end Boston restaurants before finding herself competing in Top Chef season 10. Once Kish obtained the title of “Top Chef,” she would then go on to co-host Travel Channel’s 36 Hours, serve as co-star of Fast Foodies, co-host of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, as well as host and produce Restaurants at the End of the World.

“Top Chef is where I started my journey — first as a competing chef, then a guest judge, and now as host — I have the honor of helping to continue to build this brand,” Kish stated in an interview with Variety. “I’m thrilled to sit alongside Gail and Tom as we get to know new incredible chefs and see what they cook up. It feels like coming home.”

Lakshmi, who helped Kish receive the title of “Top Chef” during her time on the show, took to Twitter to celebrate the new accomplishment noting that she’ll be rooting for her “and our whole crew next season.”

Bravo revealed that season 21 will explore the “energetic and unique culinary scenes” in Wisconsin’s Milwaukee and Madison. Painting a scene of picturesque landscapes, farmland, and miles both of shoreline and vibrant urban communities, the “cheftestants” will explore the fresh flavors and local bounty of this rising culinary destination.