The Only Way Kristen Kish Would Return To Top Chef - Exclusive

When it comes to her career, there's not much that Kristen Kish is saying no to these days. The budding celebrity chef and "Top Chef" winner runs a successful restaurant in Austin — when she's not on the road filming a range of TV projects. You may have seen her co-hosting Netflix's reboot of "Iron Chef" or having fun with some fellow "Top Chef" alums on TruTV's "Fast Foodies." More recently, you might have caught her in the newest season of "Selena + Chef." In between all that, she's traveling the globe for an upcoming project with National Geographic. And that's just this year.

Regardless of what comes next, Kish says she's looking forward to the possibilities. That's got some fans wondering if another appearance on "Top Chef" could be one of those possibilities. Kish won Season 10 in 2012 and has since returned as a guest judge on the show. As the series gears up for Season 20, which will air in 2023 and have an international theme, per Food & Wine, speculation has started about what, and who, viewers can expect to see.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Kish opened up about what the future may look like for her, and whether or not that could include a return to "Top Chef" in some capacity.

Kristen Kish is focused on 'doing me.'

Kristen Kish is the first to admit that "Top Chef" set her career in motion. "My life changed just 10 years ago," she said. The win set her on a fast track into the world of food TV that hasn't really slowed down since. These days, Kish is looking to consider every opportunity, but really just follow her passions, rather than "tie it to an expectation of, okay, I'm going to be this TV host, and then I'm going to do this." Instead, Kish is focused on "doing me." She explained, "I'm doing the things that excite me, things that challenge me, the things that bring a lot of joy ... the things that introduce me to really fantastic people."

So, the real question is: Does that include a return to "Top Chef"? For anyone hoping she'd enter the "Top Chef" kitchen again as a competitor, we're sorry to disappoint. "That's a no. I can tell you that," she shared. "It does not bring me as much joy to be in that amount of pressure. My anxiety levels cannot happen." 

While Kish's competition hat has been hung up as far as the franchise goes, that doesn't mean she won't ever be back on the show. Asked if she would return to "Top Chef" as a guest judge, Kish told us, "Who knows? If they ask, I will happily go. I will always support and feel honored to be part of a large franchise ... because it's really what completely kickstarted my career into being able to do things like this."

Catch Kristen Kish in the fourth season of "Selena + Chef," now streaming on HBO Max.