Kristen Kish Chosen as Next ‘Top Chef’ Host

Kristen Kish, an acclaimed chef who won the 10th season of “Top Chef” more than a decade ago, will return as the next host of the long-running culinary competition, Bravo announced on Tuesday. She will succeed Padma Lakshmi, who said last month she would be departing the show, which she had hosted for 19 of its 20 seasons.

Kish, who has hosted several other food-related series, will take the reins for Season 21, which the network has said will take place in Wisconsin. She will join the food writer Gail Simmons and the chef Tom Colicchio at the judges table.

“‘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 said in a statement. “It feels like coming home.”

Kish, who was adopted from South Korea and grew up in Kentwood, Mich., attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. She then spent a decade working at restaurants in Boston, rising through the ranks to become the chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s crown jewel restaurant, Menton.

As The New York Times reported in 2014, Lynch had encouraged Kish and another young chef from her restaurant group to compete on “Top Chef.”

Kish won Season 10, and has become a familiar face on the show in recent years as a guest judge. She has also opened her first restaurant, released a cookbook and has hosted or starred in several shows including “36 Hours,” a Travel Channel show that is a collaboration with The Times; “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend,” and “Restaurants at the End of the World.

Ryan Flynn, an NBCUniversal senior vice president, said in a statement that Kish was “the perfect host for the next chapter of ‘Top Chef’ as we take on a new region of the country we haven’t explored.”

Both Colicchio and Simmons published posts on Instagram Tuesday afternoon applauding the choice of Kish.

“She is an excellent chef, brings a world class perspective and most importantly, having been a past contestant and judge, she knows what it takes to win @bravotopchef,” Colicchio wrote.

“Psyched beyond words to have her pull up that seat at Judges’ Table,” Simmons said.

In a statement to The Times on Tuesday, Kish added that she was already “overwhelmed by the amazing outpouring of support by the fans of ‘Top Chef’ embracing this new chapter.”

“I am eager to get started!” she said.

Maya Salam contributed reporting.

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