Padma Lakshmi congratulates 'Top Chef' host successor Kristen Kish

PHOTO: Chef Kristen Kish on "Top Chef."PlayDavid Moir/Bravo via Getty Images
WATCH Padma Lakshmi talks about her new show, 'Taste the Nation'

"Top Chef" has named one of its own winners as the new host for Season 21 in Wisconsin, Kristen Kish.

The former cheftestant and winner of Season 10 who has become a recurring guest judge for the culinary competition show will take over for longtime host Padma Lakshmi, who announced last month "the difficult decision to leave 'Top Chef.'"

The former host and executive producer congratulated Kish on Instagram Tuesday with a photo of the pair standing in the kitchen at Arlo Grey, Kish's Austin, Texas restaurant.

"I’m so proud of you @KristenLKish and am over the moon that you’ll be taking over for me on Top Chef," Padma wrote in the caption. "I’ll be rooting for you and our whole crew next season. Congratulations!!!"

Kish commented, "Thank you so very much - Your support and care means the world to me. Love you."

Padma Lakshmi annuonces her last season of 'Top Chef'

PHOTO: Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi, July 25, 2006. Scott Shafer/NBCU via Getty Images
Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi, July 25, 2006.

Lakshmi, 52, first shared the news on Instagram with her followers, writing that the decision came "after much soul searching."

"Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and executive producer, I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food," she continued. "After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly. I feel it's time to move on and need to make space for Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits. I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support."

Aside from the hit Bravo series, Lakshmi hosted her own show, "Taste The Nation," which made its debut in 2020 on Hulu.

The longtime award-winning television host, author, activist and model recently made the Time 100 list of most influential people in 2023, which she hailed as the "pinnacle" of her career.

Lakshmi is also the American Civil Liberties Union ambassador for immigration and women's rights.

The mother of one also modeled recently in the highly buzzed-about 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

The "Top Chef" season 20 finale will air June 8 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

PHOTO: Top chef judge Padma Lakshmi in Los Angeles, May 21, 2023. Jordan Strauss/Bravo via Getty Images
Top chef judge Padma Lakshmi in Los Angeles, May 21, 2023.

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An earlier version of this story was first published June 2, 2023.