Padma Lakshmi has nothing but praise for her “Top Chef” replacement Kristen Kish.
“I’m so proud of you @KristenLKish and am over the moon that you’ll be taking over for me on @BravoTopChef!!!,” Lakshmi tweeted shortly after Kish was announced as the culinary competiton’s new host. “I’ll be rooting for you and our whole crew next season. Congratulations!!!”
Kish replied to Lakshmi, writing, “Thank you for your friendship and mentorship over the years. Love you [heart emoji]. I hope to do you proud!”
Lakshmi announced her departure from the Bravo series last month after 17 years and 19 seasons.
“After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave ‘Top Chef,’” Lakshmi wrote on Instagram in June, following the Season 20 finale. “I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits.”
Kish was announced as the Season 21 host on Tuesday, and will join head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons. Season 21 will be set in Wisconsin.
“I am so thrilled to be coming back to ‘Top Chef’ as your new host. Season 10 was a long time ago,” Kish said in a video message. “To be coming back in this new way is new and exciting. It’s also familiar and somewhat feels like a homecoming and a full circle moment for me. I am most excited to get to know an incredible group of chefs, to sit alongside Tom and Gail, and to be reunited with a lot of friends that are on- and off-camera in production.”
After winning “Top Chef” back in 2013, Kish went on to host “36 Hours,” “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” and “Restaurants at the End of the World.” She has appeared on “Top Chef” as a guest multiple times.
Bravo has not announced a premiere date for Season 21.
Previous seasons of “Top Chef” can be streamed on Peacock.