Kristen Kish has been named the new host of “Top Chef,” the network announced Tuesday.
Kish, who won Season 10 of Bravo’s long-running culinary competition show, will join head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons at the judges’ table, which heads to Wisconsin for Season 21. Kish steps in for the departing Padma Lakshmi, who served as host for the previous 19 seasons. After winning “Top Chef,” Kish went on to host “36 Hours,” “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” and “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 said via statement. “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.”
“Kristen Kish represents everything that makes ‘Top Chef’ incredibly special,” said Ryan Flynn, Senior Vice President, Current Production, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “She’s an acclaimed chef and her experience as a cheftestant, winner and judge, alongside her culinary curiosity, makes Kristen the perfect host for the next chapter of ‘Top Chef’ as we take on a new region of the country we haven’t explored.”
Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon, Co-CEO’S of Magical Elves, added, “Kristen is a beloved part of the ‘Top Chef’ family, and we’re thrilled to have her join and bring to the competition her unique, fresh and global culinary perspective, as well as her true passion for food. We look forward to Season 21 and know our incoming chefs will be inspired by the bourgeoning culinary scene in Milwaukee and Madison known for blending tradition with innovation and utilizing farm fresh ingredients.”
Season 21 of “Top Chef” returns to the States after the milestone Season 20, an All-Star edition that was filmed in London. Buddha Lo won “Top Chef: World All-Stars,” becoming the first back-to-back winner in “Top Chef” history.
The show has never explored the Great Lakes region, with the closest host city being Season 3’s Chicago.
“We are honored to be able to welcome ‘Top Chef’ to Wisconsin for its upcoming season,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We’re proud to be known here for our rich food culture, talented chefs and exceptional local ingredients. I know our diverse culinary traditions will help inspire the participants, captivate viewers and showcase all of the great things Wisconsin has to offer.”
“Top Chef” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning production company Magical Elves with Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines, Hillary Olsen and Tracy Tong serving as executive producers.
A premiere date for “Top Chef” Season 21 has not been announced. Previous seasons of “Top Chef” are streaming on Peacock.
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