Top Chef Reveals New Host for Season 21 After Padma Lakshmi's Exit

A month after Padma Lakshmi shared she is leaving Top Chef after 17 years, the new host of the Bravo competition series has been revealed as season 10 winner Kristen Kish.

By Alexandra Bellusci Jul 11, 2023 7:26 PMTags
Watch: Top Chef Reveals Its New Host for Season 21 After Padma Lakshmi's Exit

Top Chef's newest host is about to bring the heat.

Bravo revealed season 10 winner Kristen Kish will replace Padma Lakshmi as the new host of the cooking competition for season 21. But while she's returning to the show in a new position, Kish is joined by some longtime veterans head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons.

"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 press release July 11. "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."

Ryan Flynn, Senior Vice President of Current Production, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming released his own statement, writing, "Kristen Kish represents everything that makes Top Chef incredibly special."

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Noting the 39-year-old's experience, Flynn added, "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."

And as Top Chef fans will remember, Kish has no shortage of kitchen credibility, having attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. And ahead of her tenure on the cooking competition in 2012, she served as Chef de Cuisine at a Relais & Chateaux property. In the years since her first stint on the Bravo series, she's released her first cookbook, Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques as well as opened her first restaurant, Arlo Grey in Austin, Texas.

Natalie Engel

The news of Kish's role comes a month after Lakshmi announced she was leaving Top Chef after 20 seasons and 17 years.

"After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef," she wrote in a June 2 statement posted to her social media pages. "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."

(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)