Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



TELEVISION In the kitchen with Kristen Kish, newest host of 'Iron Chef'
by Andrew Pirrotta

This article shared 554 times since Fri Jul 22, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Iron Chef premiered on Japanese television in October 1993. This over-the-top culinary competition took the world by storm. Over the course of seven seasons and 309 episodes, viewers were wowed by renowned chefs facing off against culinary legends for the ultimate title in food televised competitions. Recently, the show was brought back in all its former glory by Netflix, with a new co-host: lesbian chefKristen Kish.

Kish is probably best known for her incredible comeback victory on season 10 of the Food Network's Top Chef. After being eliminated in episode 11, Kish battled back, winning five consecutive sudden-death victories to rejoin the main competition, which she then went on to win, becoming the first-ever contestant to be crowned champion after being previously eliminated. She recently joined Netflix's reboot of Iron Chef as co-host and floor commentator among the likes of Alton Brown and the infamous chairman Mark Dacascos. Windy City Times spoke with Kish about her journey in the kitchen and her new endeavors as host.

Windy City Times: Was cooking something that was expected of everyone in your household, or did you develop the interest on your own?

Kristen Kish: My job as a child was to be fed, and my parents fed me. My interest in cooking was probably scary and a relief for my parents, [who wondered,] "At least she has an interest in something, but she's going to cook for the rest of her life?" My mom couldn't understand being a chef could be my career, though much later in life she was the one who pushed me to go to culinary school.

WCT: Was there a certain food that made you realize you wanted to be a chef?

KK: Oh, no! I didn't understand that until I was into culinary school. I grew up loving a lot of convenient foods: Hamburger Helper, Rice-A-Roni, mac and cheese. I take all those nostalgic flavors because I truly love them—and I do them in a way that I can sell them at a restaurant. We make our own noodles, and we use this beautiful extruder we got from Italy [as well as] local grains, a sauce that takes three days to make, and it's inspired by Hamburger Helper. The process of food is definitely the heartbeat—what it takes, how long it takes, the preparation of family.

WCT: What's something interesting about being on Iron Chef that surprised you?

KK: My banter and relationship with Alton Brown... That was definitely a surprise, in a good way. We had just met a day before we started filming.

For the most part, kitchen stadium is big, and there are lights and cameras—but the heart of the show is food celebration through competition. Netflix made it grander in a lot of ways, but the soul of Iron Chef is very much still chef-driven, storytelling and the food.

WCT: What was it like working with the legend of Alton Brown?

KK: The anticipation is terrifying. Every scenario in my brain that could go wrong was going to go wrong. "He was going to hate me, or I wouldn't have anything good to say." Getting there, it just clicked into place. And when that happens you're like, "Holy shit! Is this my life? Is this happening?" I went from scared and very insecure going into it and coming out with a new friend and someone I would call close to being family.

WCT: Kitchens are not always shown as being warm and inviting. What is like to not only be a female chef, but a female chef and member of the LGBTQ community?

KK: Kitchens certainly have gotten that rap because it was like that for a very long time; and some kitchens are still like that. However, ask all of the Iron Chefs about the kitchens that they lead. The tide is changing. I think there are more happy kitchens that are out there than there aren't. And some of the best chefs are leading by example.

We're a business, yes, we have to hold people accountable, but it doesn't have to be so harsh. There is a fine balance between being the boss and being in charge, but also doing so with kindness.

WCT: What advice do you have for other LGBTQ+ youths interested in pursuing a career as a chef?

KK: I think it's all about, whether it's a professional job or a personal relationship, you need to align yourself with people of similar mindset. I have a lot of people at my restaurant who are a part of the queer community. I have a lot of younger, more green cooks, looking to learn and find a place where they can come cook. I'll take that any day over an army of the best militant chefs.

It's about finding someone you personally respect and like and going to work there. You don't always have to chase the best restaurant in the city. It's about spending your time with people you can work with. Every cook is different.

WCT: How does feel going from a chef in the kitchen to the host of a TV show?

KK: I watch them in awe. I know what it feels like. I've lived that hour of Iron Chef. To be able to stand back and watch your friends and talented chefs—to be able to have the vantage point that I have, to be able to watch that take place—I am happily not critiquing. I am happy to enjoy it. I get to be an audience member.

Catch this newest season of Iron Chef exclusively on Netflix.

This article shared 554 times since Fri Jul 22, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Sky lose historic game; Cubs fall; White Sox split
In what was openly lesbian WNBA legend Sue Bird's final regular-season game against the Chicago Sky (25-9), things certainly were memorable for her and the Seattle Storm (21-13). The Storm defeated the Sky 111-100 at Wintrust ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Trailblazing lesbian activist Pat Norman dies
Pat Norman, a trailblazing lesbian in San Francisco who became a "first" in some important city appointments, died Aug. 5 at an assisted living facility in Las Vegas, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Norman, born ...

Gay News

WCT co-founder Tracy Baim stepping down from The Chicago Reader
The board of directors of the Reader Institute for Community Journalism (RICJ), publishers of the Chicago Reader, announced that Tracy Baim (who co-founded Windy City Times in 1985) is stepping down as president and publisher at ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Lesbian writer/activist Elana Dykewomon dies at 72
Tributes have poured in following the death of Oakland-based esteemed lesbian writer/activist Elana Dykewomon, who passed away Aug. 7 at age 72, according to EuroWeekly. She received the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction in 1998 ...

Gay News

Judge: Kevin Spacey owes almost $31 million
On Aug. 4, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana confirmed that embattled actor Kevin Spacey must pay House of Cards producer MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Darwin Del Fabro ('They/Them') talks horror, love scenes and inner strength
Queer Brazilian singer/actor Darwin Del Fabro is one of the cast members of the horror movie They/Them (pronounced "they-SLASH-them")—a slasher movie (get it?) set ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner found guilty, sentenced to nine years
On Aug. 4, a Russian court found out WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and possession charges—and sentenced her to nine years in prison. The widely expected verdict came after a monthlong trial ...

Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Announces 2022 Inductees
--From a press release - The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, the only city-sanctioned LGBT Hall of Fame in the world, was founded in 1991 to honor Chicago's people and entities, nominated by the community, who have made significant contributions to ...

Gay News

Hollywood medium Tyler Henry at Hard Rock Live on Nov. 17
-- From a press release - Medium Tyler Henry—the openly gay star of the NETFLIX series Life After Death with Tyler Henry and E! Entertainment's megahit television show Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry—will bring his national live show to Hard Rock Casino ...

Gay News

Cubs keep Contreras, Happ; White Sox win; Sky lose
In the wake of a 6-0 loss at the St. Louis Cardinals (55-48) on Aug. 2, the Chicago Cubs (41-61) did not trade catcher Willson Contreras or outfielder Ian Happ, WGN-TV noted. Both were listed in ...

Gay News

HRC commends White House Monkeypox (MPV) Coordinator appointments; calls for greater federal response
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended the Biden Administration for appointing Robert Fenton and ...

Gay News

Showrunners send abortion-protection letters to Hollywood execs
Recently, more than 400 TV creators and showrunners—all of them women (including Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Natasha Lyonne and Ava DuVernay)—sent letters to top executives at Hollywood studios ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Janan Lindley, wife of longtime activist/former bar owner Marge Summit
Janan Lindley died in hospice at home with her wife, Marge Summit, by her side July 29 of cancer. She was 82. Lindley was born June 20, 1940 and was raised in New Orleans. She studied at Loop College and from ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic Con, WNBA player, Timothee Chalamet, Kate McKinnon
Out Magazine listed at least seven LGBTQ+-related characters and projects that were unveiled at San Diego Comic Con. Some of them include Michaela Coel (from TV's I May Destroy You) as a queer character in the ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian activist dies, school report, Robin Roberts, Joe Rogan
Rita Addessa—a civil-rights activist and the first executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force (PLGTF, later the Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force)—passed away July 9 at Penn Hospice in Philadelphia at age ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.