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‘Top Chef’ contestant Kristen Kish from Barbara Lynch’s Stir

Matthias Clamer/Bravo

Kristen Kish, chef de cuisine at Boston’s Stir demonstration kitchen, a Barbara Lynch joint, has been flaunting her culinary expertise on Bravo’s “Top Chef: Seattle.” Currently five episodes into Season 10 of the cooking competition, Kish is holding her own. One of 21 “cheftestants” selected for the show, Kish describes watching the show back in Boston as “kind of surreal to a) see myself on TV and b) hear my own voice, which is the most awkward thing humanly possible.” Since returning to Boston, Kish has received a lot of support and a small dose of fame, acknowledging that being recognized on the street is “different, but I absolutely love it.” Though she’s dabbled in modeling, and was a cover model for a 2009 issue of the Globe’s Fashion Boston, she tries to keep the two worlds separate. “It’s always been chef first, and then the model thing has been an extra side job,” Kish says. “I keep the two worlds separated as much as I can, only because people assume things, whether good or bad. If I’m going to go on ‘Top Chef,’ it’s going to be about the cooking — not anything else.” Kish, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu Chicago, says she’s quite content at Stir. When cooking, she says, “I really like taking classic French dishes and turning them upside down, modernizing classic dishes.” She describes her style as a fusion of French-inspired, peppered “with Italian influences from Barbara and her love for Italian cooking, as well.” Watch Kish continue to fry the competition on Bravo, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Jessica Teich can be reached at
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