Kristen Kish was the winner of Top Chef in 2013. Later, she returned to the show as a guest judge. Now, following the decision to step down from Padma Lakshmi, the show’s longtime host, Kish was announced as the show’s new host for its 21st season in 2023.
“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.”
Her journey to becoming a chef started when she attended Le Cordon Bleu’s culinary program, the world-renowned school for French haute cuisine. After graduating, Kish worked for many years in the restaurant industry across the country.
While working under Barbara Lunch, the head chef and owner of restaurant Stir in Boston, Kish was encouraged by Lynch to audition for Top Chef. On the show, Kish was first eliminated but made her return by beating out five chefs during Bravo’s Last Chance Kitchen web series, and eventually winning it all.
Kish was born on December 1, 1983 and was adopted from Korea at four months old. She was raised by her family in Kentwood, Michigan.
Her family infused Korean culture into her upbringing, including reading her the Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo. Kish celebrates this childhood memory by spray-painting the story on the restroom walls of the restaurant accompanied by a reading of it in Korean.
In 2021, Kish married her longtime girlfriend Bianca Dusic.
Suggested photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kristen_Kish_at_Floriditas.jpg