Acclaimed chef Kristen Kish will take the helm of Bravo’s “Top Chef” following the departure of longtime host Padma Lakshmi, the network announced Tuesday.
Kish, a fan favorite who won Season 10 of the cooking show and has also served as a guest judge on the program, is set to debut as host in Season 21, which will be filmed in Wisconsin this year and air in 2024. She joins culinary personalities Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio on the judging panel, both of whom have appeared on “Top Chef” since the show’s premiere in 2006.
“‘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 Tuesday. “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.”
Lakshmi’s departure, announced in June ahead of the Season 20 finale, came as a shock to many fans. The Emmy-nominated host said she was leaving the series to spend more time on “other creative pursuits,” including the Hulu show “Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi.”
“I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food,” she said of her exit.
Lakshmi celebrated Bravo’s announcement about Kish this week, tweeting that she was “over the moon.”
Kish has hosted several other television shows since winning “Top Chef” a decade ago, including truTV’s “Fast Foodies” and Netflix’s “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.” In 2018 she opened her own restaurant, Arlo Grey, in Austin, Texas.