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Kristen Kish

Renowned chef and season 10 winner Kristen Kish has been named the host of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Kish joins head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons at the judges’ table for Season 21 of the Emmy, James Beard and Critics’ Choice Award-Winning series. Colicchio and Simmons both serve as executive producers. Padma Lakshmi formerly served as host for the last 19 seasons.

The culinary competition lands in the heart of Wisconsin for Season 21 as a new batch of talented chefs from across the country battle it out for the coveted title in the energetic and unique culinary scenes in Milwaukee and Madison. With a backdrop of picturesque landscapes, acres of farmland, miles of shoreline and vibrant urban communities, the cheftestants will explore the fresh flavors and local bounty of this rising culinary destination. 

“‘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. “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."

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

Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon, Co-CEO'S of Magical Elves, added, “Kristen is a beloved part of the ‘Top Chef’ family, and we’re thrilled to have her join and bring to the competition her unique, fresh and global culinary perspective, as well as her true passion for food. We look forward to Season 21 and know our incoming chefs will be inspired by the bourgeoning culinary scene in Milwaukee and Madison known for blending tradition with innovation and utilizing farm fresh ingredients.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said, “We are honored to be able to welcome ‘Top Chef’ to Wisconsin for its upcoming season. We’re proud to be known here for our rich food culture, talented chefs and exceptional local ingredients. I know our diverse culinary traditions will help inspire the participants, captivate viewers and showcase all of the great things Wisconsin has to offer.”

Kish was born in South Korea and adopted into a family in Kentwood, Mich. At a young age she showed an affinity for cooking and, prompted by her mother, attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. After culinary school, Kristen spent the next 10 years in Boston honing her skills in several high-profile restaurants, ultimately becoming the Chef de Cuisine at a Relais & Chateaux property. From 2012-13, Kish competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 10 where she ultimately won the coveted title. From there she went on to co-host “36 Hours,” a Travel Channel show that partnered with The New York Times to bring the hit newspaper column of the same name to television. In 2017, Kristen released her first cookbook, “Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques,” and in 2018 partnered with LINE Hotels to launch her first restaurant, Arlo Grey in Austin, Texas. The restaurant reflects Kish’s playful yet refined cuisine, pulling inspiration from her classical training as well as nostalgic dishes that highlights her upbringing and love of travel. Kristen is the co-star of “Fast Foodies”, a co-host of “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” and the host and producer of “Restaurants at the End of the World.”

The partnership with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was made in cooperation with Travel Wisconsin, Visit Milwaukee, Destination Madison, Destination Door County, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

“Top Chef” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning production company Magical Elves with Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines, Hillary Olsen and Tracy Tong serving as executive producers. 


Magical Elves is a leading producer of award-winning, non-fiction content for domestic and international television markets. Known for hits like “Top Chef” (Bravo), “Top Chef: Last Chance

Kitchen” (Bravo), “Top Chef Family Style” (Peacock), “Nailed It!” (Netflix), “Cold Justice” (Oxygen) and “Brain Games On The Road” (Nat Geo), Magical Elves is a veteran production company with a long track record of consistently delivering the highest quality programming. Magical Elves is a part of The Tinopolis Group’s portfolio of production companies. For more information, visit   


Bravo is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network features a diverse slate of original programming, including Emmy® Award-winning “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” fan-favorites “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the highly popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Bravo is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. For more information, visit