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Q&A with Top Chef Kristen Kish

Top Chef Kristen Kish is co-hosting “Food is Love” – a 6-course Valentine’s tasting menu experience on Saturday, February 13 with Zero’s Executive Chef Vinson Petrillo.

Kish competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 10 where she won the coveted title, becoming the second female chef to win the prestigious competition. She went on to become Chef de Cuisine of Menton, Chef Barbara Lynch’s fine dining restaurant. She left this position in 2014 to travel the world and write a cookbook. Most recently, Kish was named co-host of “36 Hours,” a Travel Channel show partnering with The New York Times to bring the hit newspaper column to television.

We caught up with Kristen for a quick Q&A:

Chef Vinson’s kitchen is about 120 square-feet! Do you have any qualms about cooking in such tight quarters?
I cooked in a 200 square foot space for nearly 3 years.. That being said, I was cooking for 10 people.  I love kitchens that force you to work so closely with your peers. At the end of the day.. Give us a heat source and great product and we’ll make amazing things happen.  I couldn’t be more excited for an inspiring challenge with an inspiring chef.
We love that you’re a frequent Charleston visitor. Besides the food, what draws you back to our city?
I have made incredible friends in and out of the industry. That’s the main reason why I even started coming to Charleston.  A city is a city.. But when you add incredible people into the mix.. That’s what keeps me coming back.  I credit my old friends and the new ones for making Charleston what it is to me today.

You have 24 hours in the Holy City – where are you going?
24 hours is plenty of time to hit all my favorite restaurants… Xiao Bao Biscuit, Chez Nous, Zero George, Martha Lou’s, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, Leon’s Oyster Shop, Minero, The Ordinary... Oh my.. So many.. So perhaps I need more than 24 hours!  I guess that’s why I keep coming back too.. So many amazing places to explore over and over again.. Charleston definitely keeps my pants fitting 🙂

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