Why Kristen Kish Doesn't Really Enjoy Cooking For Herself

Kristen Kish knows what it's like to run a kitchen. In 2013, Kish won the 10th season of "Top Chef," per NBC News, which is already a distinguished accolade. However, Kish was also the first woman of color to ever be named "Top Chef." She also appeared on television, co-hosting Travel Channel's "36 Hours" and hosting "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend," alongside Alton Brown. Then, the very next year, Kish decided the traditional kitchen was an environment that no longer suited her. She left her prestigious position as chef de cuisine at chef Barbara Lynch's restaurant Menton to open her own restaurant, Arlo Grey, in 2018.

Opening the restaurant was no small feat, and it made Kish appreciate the times when she was just relaxing at home in an entirely new way. "[I] travel so much and, especially recently, being home feels like a vacation," Kish told People. "Being home is the time when you can actually decompress and just wear sweatpants all day if you want." It's this philosophy that governs Kish's personal menu as well — and the chef says you won't find an elaborate spread on her dinner table.

Kish says home is for relaxation

Imagine coming home from a long day of work, and then continuing to do the same job. Sounds like a drag, right? In the same way, not all chefs want to keep cooking once they clock out. "When I was opening my restaurant, I ordered takeout every night for two years," Kish told EatingWell. "I had access to a full kitchen and I could make anything I wanted, but that's not what I wanted to do. I didn't want to cook for myself... It's like cooking Thanksgiving — after three hours of prep, that's the last thing you want to eat because you've been smelling it and tasting it along the way."

Kish isn't the only professional to tire of cooking; Chef Anthony Bourdain expressed a similar sentiment. "I don't cook at home," said Bourdain in an early interview, via Insider. "I would love to tell you, you know, 'I go home and I cook fabulous little snackies for my wife.' I would be lying if I told you that. It's more like, 'Honey, call out for Chinese.'" Later, the chef developed a famous affinity for Popeyes' macaroni and cheese, per Eater. However, there is one thing Kish says she cherishes making at home: coffee. Specifically, Kish swears by her home Nespresso machine for the morning cuppa joe that is crucial to her morning ritual. "It's easy for me," the chef told Food & Wine