Acclaimed chef Kristen Kish will take over 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 show, will make her hosting debut in Season 21, which will be filmed in Wisconsin this year and air on 2024. Culinary personalities Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio as judges, both of whom have appeared on “Top Chef” since the show premiered in 2006.
“‘Top Chef’ is where I began my journey: first as a competing chef, then as a guest judge and now as a host I am honored to help continue to build this brand,” Kish said in a statement Tuesday . “I’m thrilled to be sitting next to Gail and Tom as we meet new amazing chefs and see what they’re cooking up. It feels like coming home.”
Lakshmi’s exit, announced in June before the end of season 20, surprised many fans. The Emmy-nominated host said she was leaving the series to devote more time to “other creative pursuits,” including the Hulu show “Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi.”
“I am very proud to have been a part of building such a successful show and the impact it has had on the world of television and food,” she said of her departure.
Lakshmi celebrated Bravo’s announcement about Kish this week, tweeting that she was “over the moon.”
Kish has hosted several 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, he opened his own restaurant, Arlo Grey, in Austin, Texas.