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KRISTEN KISH


"I’ve always been the type to fi nd that next thing that gets me out of my normal routine"


asking for potential participants. Of course Kish’s name came up, not just for her skilful cookery, but her pleasant demeanour – something Lynch only divulged later.


“I’ve always been the type to


fi nd that next thing, and don’t mind anything that gets me out of my normal routine,” she says. “I never thought I would be one to go on Top Chef, let alone win – TV always scared the crap out of me. Barbara saw something in me, and I surprised myself.”


Winning Top Chef has become


an even bigger launching pad for her career. Aside from thrusting her into the national spotlight, the show taught her how to deal with even more intense adrenaline, urgency and pressure.


The pressure came down a little when she was “kicked off” initially, ending up in the Last Chance


Kitchen segment of the show, which pits two eliminated chefs against each other for a chance to make it back into the fi nals of the main show. Being fi lmed off-site helped ease that stress.


“It’s like, I’m already kicked off so if I don’t make it, oh well,” says Kish, but she’s not really recognising the real drive behind her win – her profound optimism and positive outlook.


“At the end of the day, it was a great opportunity, but it’s a


television show,” she says, grounding


herself again. “I tried not to get completely worked up about it; my life outside of this is not going to end.”


In fact, it didn’t. Kish went back to Menton to get back to basics. Last year, she left the job to concentrate on “multiple projects in the works,” which at the moment she’s not disclosing. She tells me this with a smile, though she says she’s “still navigating the new trajectory”. You know it’s going to be good, though. Kish wouldn’t even say if she was planning on staying in Boston, but says it’s not a bad place to be. “In the nine years I have been


here Boston started off with a good, solid core of restaurants, thanks to Barbara, Gordon Hamersley, Lydia Shire and others who created the foundation,” she says. “But now the cooks who worked underneath them and who trained and trained over the past fi ve, six, seven years have the confi dence to go out on their own. People want to stay and work here – it’s a tight-knit, proud city – and there’s now a new generation of cooks who have learned from the greatest of Boston chefs. You have this feeling you want to add something that will only make our city better.”


Kish has been one of those chefs – she could continue to be in the future. Wherever she goes, though, Kish will always carry that title and respect of a top chef.


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