A familiar face will be taking over Top Chef hosting duties after Padma Lakshmi announced she was stepping down after 20 seasons with the Bravo cooking show. Keep reading to learn more about new host Kristen Kish.

Has Kristen Kish Appeared on ‘Top Chef’?

The talented chef won season 10 of Top Chef Seattle in 2013, after being part of one of the show’s biggest controversies. Despite being favored to make it to the finale, she had an early exit after taking responsibility for her team’s performance during Restaurant Wars despite another contestant causing a more serious cooking mistake. Even judge Gail Simmons told Bravo at the time, “It was a very complicated elimination. Certainly to date, it was the most complicated and controversial elimination this season. It drove us all crazy. We were at Judges’ Table arguing for hours.”

Kristen fought her way back through Last Chance Kitchen episodes to re-enter the competition. From there, she made it all the way to the finals, reigning victorious over runner-up Brooke Williamson. She’s been a regular presence on Top Chef in the 10 years since her victory, participating as a guest judge numerous times.

What Has Kristen Kish Said About Being Named Host of ‘Top Chef’?

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,” Kristen said in a statement on July 9. “I’m thrilled to sit alongside Gail and Tom [Colicchio] as we get to know new incredible chefs and see what they cook up. It feels like coming home.”

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Where Will Kristen Kish’s First Season as ‘Top Chef’ Host Take Place?

Season 21 will feature Wisconsin and the state’s various cuisines and ingredients. Season 20 was the first international competition, Top Chef World All-Stars. It was won by Kah-wai “Buddha” Lo, who had the show’s first ever back-to-back win after coming out victorious in season 19’s Top Chef Houston.

Where Is Kristen Kish From?

She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and adopted at 4 months old. Kristen grew up in Kentwood, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids. She first fell in love with cooking at the age of 6 after watching Great Chefs of the World on the Discovery Channel, she wrote in the Kalamata’s Kitchen blog. Kristen was encouraged by her mother and both of her grandmothers who lived nearby to pursue her passion for cooking while she was growing up.

“My food story now is basically my childhood. Not a recreation, but an homage to the things I remember, delivered through my own creative lens and a very focused, honed technique,” she wrote in her post, adding, “Once I figured out that the magic sauce was just being me, my life really came together.”

Is Kristen Kish Married?

She tied the knot with hotel executive Bianca Dusic on April 18, 2021, in a backyard ceremony in front of close friends and family.