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Kristen at Arlo Grey's dinner party celebrating her show

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Dishing with Arlo Grey Owner Kristen Kish

The chef & TV personality recently took her skills global

If you’re a “Top Chef” fan you may know Kristen Kish from when she won Season 10 – becoming the second female winner in the franchise’s history. You may have also seen her as the host of “36 Hours,” co-host of “Fast Foodies” and “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” or her latest, “Restaurants at the End of the World,” which premiered on NatGeo March 21 and is available to stream on Disney. In this one, Kristen traveled the world in search of the people, places, culture and traditions behind the world’s most remote restaurants, taking her to less traveled parts of Panama, Norway, Brazil and Maine.

Kristen is also the owner of the acclaimed Austin restaurant Arlo Grey, which opened in The Line Hotel in the summer of 2018. We talked to the chef, who now lives in Connecticut with wife Bianca Dusic, to learn more about her new show, Arlo Grey and more.

How did you choose the name Arlo Grey for your first restaurant? 

This is what I would have named my first child, but I do not want kids, so a restaurant seems like the next best place to put the name!

Why did you leave Austin a couple of years after opening Arlo Grey? I was never meant to stay forever. I have an incredible team, whom I trained to take over the daily operations. The Executive Chef Alejandro Munoz was my first hire in April of 2018. We were always working towards the goal of him becoming Executive Chef. 

How hands-on are you in the restaurant now? 

I’m in constant contact with my team and make semi-regular visits. I’m also very involved in tastings and brainstorming menu items. It’s a higher level of involvement; there’s no need to micro-manage a team that is fully capable of running the day-to-day. 

What’s something you learned filming the series that surprised you? 

It’s that I don’t play as much as I should in the kitchen. My kitchen life is professional, and I need to remember to have more child-like fun, similar to when I was a kid experimenting in the kitchen. 

What’s the most unique thing you tasted on your travels making this show? 

A feeding bag cocktail from a ptarmigan (grouse). The contents of the feeding pouch were infused with gin.

What would your last meal be? 

Chicken fingers, French fries, mayo and ranch dressing. 

  • Kristen at Arlo Grey's dinner party celebrating her show
  • In the kitchen at Arlo Grey
  • Crossing a steam in Panama’s Chiriqui province(National Georgraphic for Disney by Missy Bania)