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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Meet the New Host of Top Chef — and Find Out the Location for Season 21

Following Padma Lakshmi’s departure, a new host for Top Chef Season 21 has been revealed.

By Shannon Raphael

It’s time to pack your knives and get ready to head to the cheesiest spot in the Midwest for Season 21 of Bravo’s Top Chef.

How to Watch

Catch up on Top Chef on Peacock or the Bravo App.

On July 11, Bravo confirmed that a new set of talented cheftestants will be heading to Wisconsin to compete for the title of Top Chef — and for all the glory that goes with it. 

Along with the filming location for Season 21, the network also confirmed who would be taking over as the host since Padma Lakshmi confirmed her exit from the series in June 2023 after 19 seasons. Read on for details.

Who is the new host for Top Chef Season 21?

It turns out that the next Top Chef host knows what it’s like to compete in the culinary competition firsthand. Kristen Kish, who won Season 10 of the series back in 2013, will be taking the reins from Padma.

Kristen reacted to the exciting news in a statement, also acknowledging that head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons will both be returning to the judges’ table for Season 21 as well.

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,” Kristen 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.”

Portrait of Kristen Kish

Where is the filming location for Top Chef Season 21?

The cheftestants will be taking on Quickfire Challenges and Elimination Challenges in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. 

Tony Evers, the governor of Wisconsin, expressed his excitement for the culinary competition to head to the state for the first time in the show’s storied history.

“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,” he said in a statement. “I know our diverse culinary traditions will help inspire the participants, captivate viewers, and showcase all of the great things Wisconsin has to offer.”

Reactions to the Top Chef Season 21 News

Kristen wasn’t the only one who was excited about the major Top Chef news. Ryan Flynn, the senior vice president of current production at NBCUniversal Television & Streaming, also reacted to the announcement.

“Kristen Kish represents everything that makes Top Chef incredibly special,” he said in a press release for Season 21. “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.”

Jo Sharon and Casey Kriley, the co-CEOs of Magical Elves, the company that produces Top Chef, shared a joint statement about Kristen as well.

“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,” the pair said. “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.”

Catch up on Top Chef on Peacock now. 

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