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Austin Restaurant Chef Kristen Kish Is Going to Be a New ‘Top Chef’ Judge

Plus, a new Vietnamese restaurant serving stone pot pho opens, and more news

Netflix’s Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend Screening, Q&A and Dinner hosted by Napa Valley Film Festival and the Culinary Institute of America at Copia
Kristen Kish at an event in June 2022.
Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Netflix
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Austin chef Kristen Kish is going to be one of the new hosts of Top Chef, the very show she won in season 10. She’ll replace outgoing judge Padma Lakshmi starting with the upcoming season 21, taking place in Wisconsin with current judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons in 2024.

After winning Top Chef in 2013, she was the chef de cuisine of Boston restaurant Menton. She came to Austin to open her first-ever restaurant, Arlo Grey, in Austin as part of the Line Hotel in 2018. She is well acquainted with food television, having hosted and co-hosted shows like Fast Foodies, 36 Hours, and Restaurants at the End of the World (which premiered at South by Southwest earlier this year).

Lakshmi announced she was leaving the show after 20 seasons back in June, as to focus on her own show, Taste the Nation.

New Vietnamese restaurant opening

A new Vietnamese restaurant opened in the Gateway neighborhood this summer. The One Pho is found at 10721 Research Boulevard., Suite B110 as of July 3, as reported by Community Impact. Owner Dao Nguyen is serving stone pot pho, where the broth is served bubbling in a stone bowl with all of the other ingredients — noodles, meats, vegetables — served on the side, and people add and dip what they want into the soup, as well as dishes cooked in cast-iron skillets and other Vietnamese dishes.

A shutter and opening

Mexican restaurant Taconmaye closed its Lakeline Mall location in Cedar Park because it opened a new restaurant, Conmaye Mexican Bar and Grill, in Anderson Mill, both in late June, as reported by Community Impact. The new spot is found at 10700 Anderson Mill Road, Suite 109 with tacos, nachos, larger plates, tequilas, and mezcal drinks.

Chef shuffles

Bufalina sous chef Brooks Wilson is now the pizzeria and wine restaurant’s head chef. Grae Nonas is still involved with the restaurant.

Dripping Springs luxury resort Camp Lucy and its restaurant Tillie’s as a new executive pastry chef with Hannah Smith. She had previously run her own bakery in Los Angeles, Gemini Bakehouse, which she opened as a pandemic baking project, turned into a physical business in 2021, and closed in February 2023.

Juice reopening

So after Austin-based chain JuiceLand closed its Hyde Park location in April, the company reopened in the same location this July. It’s now sharing the 4500 Duval Street address with new tenant gelato shop and bakery Gelatoro, which opened in June.

Taconmaye Mexican Foodtruck

3309 West State Highway 29, , TX 78628 (512) 305-3339


2215 East Cesar Chavez Street, , TX 78702 (512) 394-5337 Visit Website

Arlo Grey

111 East Cesar Chavez Street, , TX 78701 (512) 478-2991 Visit Website


3509 Creek Road, , TX 78620 (512) 894-2633 Visit Website


120 East 4th Street, , TX 78701 (737) 300-2120 Visit Website