Kristen Kish
Kristen Kish.png
Kristen Kish poses with a fan at the Barbara Lynch restaurant, Menton, in Boston, MA.
Born (1983-12-01) December 1, 1983 (age 38)[1]
EducationLe Cordon Bleu College Of Culinary Arts in Chicago (A.A., Culinary Arts, 2005) [1]
Bianca Dusic
(m. 2021)
Culinary career
Television show(s)

Kristen Kish (born December 1, 1983) is a Korean-born American chef known for winning the tenth season of Top Chef. She was formerly chef de cuisine at Menton in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. She is the host of 36 Hours on Travel Channel and a co-host of Fast Foodies on TruTV as well as co-host of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.

Early life and education

Kristen Kish was born in Seoul, South Korea, and adopted by a family in Kentwood, Michigan, at the age of four months.[2] She worked as a model in high school.[3] She attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, earning an A.A. in culinary arts.


Kish became an instructor at Stir, a culinary demonstration kitchen in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2012, Kish was promoted to Stir's chef de cuisine by the owner, Barbara Lynch. She was the chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch's Menton Boston until March 2014.[3] In 2017, she released a book of recipes co-authored with Meredith Erickson, Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques.[4] In May 2018, Kish became chef at her new restaurant Arlo Grey in Austin, Texas.

Top Chef

Kish competed in Bravo's Top Chef in 2012. She was invited to participate in the qualifying rounds alongside her close friend from culinary school Stephanie Cmar, being tasked with creating a signature soup that would be judged by Emeril Lagasse. Kish passed the challenge and moved on into the competition proper (Cmar, however, was not so fortunate). From there Kish won four elimination challenges, creating dishes as varied as French cuisine and onion rings, before being eliminated during "Restaurant Wars" (episode 11). She was able to win her way back into the main competition with five consecutive victories in "Last Chance Kitchen", ultimately making it to the finale with Brooke Williamson. Kish defeated Williamson and was crowned the Top Chef, becoming the first competitor to win after winning "Last Chance Kitchen" and the second female winner in the history of the Top Chef franchise.

36 Hours

In 2015 Kish co-hosted the pilot season of 36 Hours, a series on the Travel Channel with Kyle Martino, a TV analyst and former soccer player. The show, an adaptation of the New York Times travel column of the same name, follows Kish and Martino as they spend 36 hours eating, drinking, and exploring a given city.[5]

Fast Foodies

Starting in 2021, Kish is one of three chefs featured on TruTV's cooking competition show Fast Foodies, alongside Jeremy Ford (winner of Top Chef: California) and Justin Sutherland (winner of an Iron Chef America episode, participant on Top Chef: Kentucky). In each episode, a celebrity presents their favorite fast-food item. The chefs then compete in two rounds. First, they try to duplicate the dish as exactly as possible. Second, they re-imagine the item in a haute-cuisine interpretation.[6]

Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend

Kish serves as one of the co-presenters, alongside Alton Brown and Chairman Mark Dacascos, on Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, the 2022 Netflix revival of the Iron Chef franchise. Kish provides running commentary with Brown on the competition and often serves as the show's floor reporter, coming down to the kitchen floor to check with chefs on what they are doing.[7]

Personal life

On March 28, 2014, Kish publicly came out after announcing the first anniversary of the relationship with her girlfriend at the time, Jacqueline Westbrook, over Instagram.[8] On September 29, 2019, Kish announced her engagement to Bianca Dusic, who is the VP of Food & Beverage for Standard Hotels, in an Instagram post.[9] They married on April 18, 2021.[10]


  1. ^ a b Kahn, Joseph P., "A top chef in town, and she’s just 29: How Kristen Kish made the leap from line-cook to ‘Top Chef’ to rising star of Boston’s culinary scene", Boston Globe, September 14, 2013
  2. ^, 'Top Chef: Seattle': Meet Kristen Kish, Kentwood native competing on upcoming season of Bravo reality show November 5, 2012. Accessed March 7, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Hanel, Marnie (28 March 2014). "A Woman's Place Is Running the Kitchen". New York Times.
  4. ^ Kish, Kristen; Erickson, Meredith (2017). Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. ISBN 978-0-553-45977-7.
  5. ^ "About the Hosts: Kristen Kish". Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  6. ^ "Fast Foodies: three Top Chef alumni, one celebrity, a lot of spicy merrymaking". Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  7. ^ Lambe, Stacy. "Kristen Kish on Reviving 'Iron Chef' and Why She Prefers Hosting Over Competing (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  8. ^ "The Surprise Way This 'Top Chef' Winner Came Out". Huffington Post. 1 April 2014.
  9. ^ @kristenlkish (29 September 2019). "She said YES". Retrieved 23 February 2021 – via Instagram.
  10. ^ Callahan, Chrissy. "'Top Chef' winner Kristen Kish just tied the knot with Bianca Dusic". Today. Retrieved 20 April 2021.