Kristen Kish Succeeds Padma Lakshmi As Top Chef Host

Season 21 of "Top Chef" is coming soon, with a new yet familiar face set to host. Kristen Kish, who formerly took home the "Top Chef" title during the show's 10th season, will be stepping in to take over hosting duties for Padma Lakshmi, who previously hosted the hit reality cooking series since 2006.

Lakshmi first announced her departure back in June during the 20th season of "Top Chef," citing personal obligations to her family and other time-consuming projects. Though her 17-year tenure with the series has come to a conclusion, the Bravo network has extended the open offer to return as a guest on the series as she pleases, stating in another social media post, "She will always be part of the Top Chef family and has a seat at the judges' table anytime."

Though Kristen Kish's promotion is a pleasant surprise to fans of the franchise, this isn't the first time we've seen her return to the program. Kish previously appeared as a guest judge during Seasons 18 and 19 of Top Chef, which took place in Portland and Houston, respectively.

When will Season 21 of Top Chef air on TV?

While many scripted television series have been impacted by the ongoing Writers Guild of America labor strike, "Top Chef" has luckily gone unimpeded as the series relies on unscripted reality premises. The Instagram post advertising Kristen Kish as the new host says only that the latest season will premiere sometime in 2024.

But perhaps we can extrapolate a rough estimate of the Season 21 premiere date based on previous seasons' production schedules. "Top Chef"'s most recent season, "World All Stars," was shot in London, England, with a two-part finale shot in Paris, France. The production schedule went from July 2022 until October 2022 and began airing in March 2023.

Based on this data, and the recent announcement that Kristen Kish and company will soon be flying to Madison, Wisconsin to begin active production, we might be able to expect a similar schedule, barring any unforeseen production issues. While there is no set date for the season premiere at this time, we can expect to see Kristen Kish alongside Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio whipping their cheftestants next year, perhaps near the spring.