‘Top Chef’ Winner Kristen Kish To Replace Padma Lakshmi As Host, Bravo Confirms

Kristen Kish is ready to pack her knives and go…back to the “Top Chef” kitchen!

The culinary star is set to replace Padma Lakshmi as host on the Bravo hit starting next season, the network confirmed on Tuesday.

Kristen, who won Season 10 of the cooking competition, reacted to the news in a statement to Access Hollywood and shared her excitement to join “Top Chef” stars Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons at the judging table.

NAPA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 15: Co-host Kristen Kish attends a screening, Q&A and dinner for Netflix’s Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend hosted by Napa Valley Film Festival and the Culinary Institute of America at Copia on June 15, 2022 in Napa, California. (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Netflix)

“‘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,” she said. “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.”  

Bravo parent company NBCUniversal also applauded the move and Kristen’s qualifications for the job.

Kristen Kish represents everything that makes ‘Top Chef’ incredibly special,” Ryan Flynn, Senior Vice President, Current Production, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a press release. 

The network also announced that Season 21 is headed to Wisconsin, where cheftestants will show off their skills using farm-fresh ingredients within the up-and-coming culinary scene in Milwaukee and Madison.

“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,” Flynn continued.  

The news comes weeks after beloved host Padma announced her decision to exit “Top Chef” after Season 20.

“After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef. Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and exec producer, I am extremely proud to have been a part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food,” she wrote on Instagram last month.

Padma Lakshmi Through The Years

Padma Lakshmi Through The Years

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The TV personality went on to explain her desire to pursue other ventures including her Hulu show “Taste the Nation” and how much she’ll treasure her “Top Chef” experience.

“After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly. I feel it’s time to move and need to make space for Taste The Nation, my books and other creative pursuits. I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support,” she added.

— Erin Biglow

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