What To Watch If You Like Kristen Kish, The New Host Of Top Chef

 Kristen Kish on Top Chef: Seattle.
Kristen Kish on Top Chef: Seattle.
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It was nearly unfathomable to think of what Bravo’s Top Chef would look like going forward, after host Padma Lakshmi announced she was leaving the esteemed cooking competition after 17 years and 20 seasons. However, longtime fans of the show received a pleasant surprise, when it was announced that her successor would be a face familiar to the ins and outs of the competition. Kristen Kish, the Top Chef Season 10 winner, will take over as host alongside Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons when the competition returns for its 21st season.

In addition to what Kristen Kish has proven she’s capable of in the kitchen, she’s also been honing her TV hosting skills over the past decade or so. As she prepares to pack her bags for Wisconsin — the site of Top Chef Season 21’s competition — here are some things you can watch to refamiliarize yourself with the chef before she begins telling a new batch of contestants to pack their knives and go.

Kristen Kish on Top Chef: Seattle.
Kristen Kish on Top Chef: Seattle.

Top Chef: Seattle

If you really want to see where it all started for Kristen Kish, the obvious starting point is a rewatch of her victory on Top Chef Season 10, which took place in the state of Washington. We already know how her journey on the show ended, so it’s not really a spoiler to recall that she made history by becoming the first chef to be eliminated from a season, fight her way back on the companion series Last Chance Kitchen and go on to win the show.

Even knowing all that, this is a season of Top Chef that’s totally worth a rewatch. In fact, it would be pretty cool to see Kristen Kish side-by-side with Padma Lakshmi, the host she's about to replace, especially knowing how much she’s grown since first appearing on TV.

That’s not even to mention the fantastic battles that took place on Top Chef: Seattle, with a cast that also included Brooke Williamson, fan favorite Sheldon Simeon, and Stefan Richter, who had a fun, flirty friendship with the eventual winner. All 20 seasons of Top Chef are available to stream with a Peacock subscription.

Stream Top Chef Season 10 (Seattle) on Peacock.

Kristen Kish on 36 Hours.
Kristen Kish on 36 Hours.

36 Hours

In 2015, three years after officially becoming a celebrity chef on Bravo, Kristen Kish got her first taste of the hosting life by joining 36 Hours on the Travel Channel. She and co-host Kyle Martino traveled to different locales, spending a day and a half exploring the food and drinks that made each destination worth visiting. The series — which was a companion to a New York Times column of the same name — only lasted six episodes, with Kish and Martino globe-trotting from Nashville to Istanbul and Boston to Barcelona.

Buy 36 Hours On Amazon.

Kristen Kish on Fast Foodies.
Kristen Kish on Fast Foodies.

Fast Foodies

In 2021 Kristen Kish rejoined the competition circuit, albeit in a far less intense atmosphere than she’d experienced on Top Chef. On Fast Foodies, she co-starred with fellow Top Chef alumni Jeremy Ford and Justin Sutherland, with each episode of the TruTV series featuring a celebrity guest revealing their favorite fast food item. The three chefs then battled to recreate the dish before putting their own high-end spin on it. Kish and her cohorts cooked for famous faces including Joel McHale, James Van Der Beek, Nikki Glaser and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Both seasons of Fast Foodies are available to stream with an HBO Max subscription.

Stream Fast Foodies on Max.

Alton Brown and Kristen Kish on Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.
Alton Brown and Kristen Kish on Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.

Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend

A year ago Kristen Kish joined Mark Dacascos — the animated Chairman of Kitchen Stadium — and Food Network royalty Alton Brown for a new reboot of the Iron Chef franchise. Kish served as a co-presenter on Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, as chefs went head-to-head with the likes of Curtis Stone, Dominique Crenn, Marcus Samuelsson and others. Just as Kish will bring her first-hand experience to Top Chef in the upcoming season, she had insider’s knowledge of Kitchen Stadium as well, having competed on Iron Chef Showdown in 2017. The first season of this competition show can be streamed with a Netflix subscription.

Stream Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on Netflix.

Kristen Kish on Restaurants at the End of the World.
Kristen Kish on Restaurants at the End of the World.

Restaurants At The End Of The World

Kristen Kish’s latest gig takes her far outside the comforts of any kitchen she’s ever competed in for Restaurants at the End of the World. The National Geographic series sees the chef travel to some seriously remote locations around the world — from an island in Maine to a floating restaurant in Brazil — learning as she goes from the chefs who face some pretty unique challenges when serving up a feast. This series is available for streaming with a Disney+ subscription or to Hulu subscription holders.

Stream Restaurants at the End of the World on Disney+.  
Stream Restaurants at the End of the World on Hulu.

It’s not just her hosting skills that Kristen Kish has been brushing up on, either. The famed chef will also be ready to give her expert opinion on the food served after she takes up the mantle of announcing, “Hands up, utensils down.” Kish has put in plenty of time as a guest judge, returning to her roots on Top Chef several times over the past few seasons. She’s also appeared on many other shows including Easy-Bake Battle, Dishmantled, Guy’s Grocery Games, Chopped and Chopped Junior.

It’s certainly the end of an era for Top Chef, as we say goodbye to Padma Lakshmi, but Kristen Kish has the full support of the veteran host, who tweeted her congratulations upon the big announcement:

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Hopefully Kristen Kish will see a seamless transition into the role, which seems likely, given her continued relationship with the production since her time as a contestant. She expressed excitement over her new gig, saying in a statement (via THR):

Top Chef is where I started my journey — first as a competing chef, then a guest judge. Now as host, I have the honor of helping to continue to build this brand. 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.

In addition to getting to know Kristen Kish, or refamiliarizing yourself with the Top Chef: Seattle champ, by checking out the shows listed above, keep an eye on our 2023 TV schedule for what shows are premiering soon while we wait for a new batch of chefs to take us on a culinary journey to Wisconsin for Season 21.