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Queer Chef Kristen Kish's Fast Foodies Returns

Queer Chef Kristen Kish's Fast Foodies Returns

Fast Foodies

The Top Chef winner talks to Out Traveler about the second season, the importance of travel, and how food can transport you to far away places.

Food is such an important part of travel, and trying local cuisine can be a fantastic way of experiencing a destination’s culture. But what about when you’re just traveling to another state or in an airport or simply commuting? We know you’ve pulled into a drive-through once or twice! While you might not think highly of it, fast food —  like “street food” from around the world before it — is ready to be reembraced. That’s the aim of Fast Foodies, the cooking competition featuring three chefs recreating and then reimagining their favorite fast food. The second season of the TruTV series launches January 27. 

On Fast Foodies, queer Korean-American chef Kristen Kish is joined by fellow chefs Jeremy Ford (winner of Top Chef: California) and Justin Sutherland (winner of an Iron Chef America episode, competitor on Top Chef: Kentucky) as they elevate drive-through to haute cuisine.

After previously being eliminated on Top Chef’s 10th season, Kish became the first competitor to come back on the show’s “Last Chance Kitchen” and then go on to win the top prize. When she did so, in 2013, she became only the second female winner in the history of the Top Chef franchise. In 2015, Kish cohosted 36 Hours, a series on the Travel Channel where she and Kyle Martino spent 36 hours eating, drinking, and exploring a given city. Her cookbook, Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques, came out in 2017 and her first restaurant, Arlo Grey, opened in Austin the following year.


Queer 'Top Chef' winner Kristen Kish\u2019s new series elevates drive-through cuisine.Photo courtesy TruTV


In 2021, in an intimate backyard ceremony, Kish married Bianca Dusic, who she met while opening Arlo Grey at the LINE Hotel, where Bianca was then the corporate food and beverage director.  “I always say, she is the main reason those doors could open, had plates to serve food on, the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed.  She was the superstar – she still is!” 

Even before hosting 36 Hours, Kish had traveled extensively across the U.S. and internationally, and she says, “I love to travel for pleasure, work, friendships, and education. Experiencing new things, staying curious about people, places, and things outside of our own bubbles is imperative for me.”

Asked to recommend a destination for the perfect culinary tour, Kish simply can’t choose a favorite, admitting, “Wow…this is so hard. There are too many amazing places to even choose. I wouldn’t even know where to start. My advice is no matter where you go — you’ve got to eat, so remain open to exploring the culinary gems, scenes, and hidden spots. The best foods aren’t always the places with the highest rating or come up first on a list or on Google, although that can be a helpful place to start. Digging a little deeper is always fun anyway.”

Kish encourages other travelers to do their own exploring, especially in order to find food created by queer people of color, by immersing “yourself in certain communities that can offer knowledge and recommendations.”

And when stuck home, Kish recommends investing in some good books, saying, “Cookbooks are the best way to armchair travel with food!”

Watch season two of Fast Foodies on TruTv. Below is a preview:

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