Born in South Korea and adopted into a family in Kentwood, MI, Kristen Kish showed an affinity for cooking at a young age. Kristen felt inspired at the young age of six years old by watching the cooking show Great Chefs of the World
on Discovery channel, feeling connected to the chefs, the passion they showed for cooking, and the artistic nature of the cooking itself. After high school, Kristen originally attended college with the intent of studying International Business, but soon realized that the subject matter was not reflective of her true passions. Her mother suggested she go to culinary school, and since attending Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, IL and graduating in 2006, Kristen has never looked back.Before joining the Stir team in 2011, Kristen worked in numerous restaurants, including Michelin-star chef Guy Martin’s Sensing
. From her experiences with Barbara Lynch and Guy Martin, Kristen has found her love in restaurants to be the energy, pace, and lifestyle of those in the industry, as well as the camaraderie shared between those within it. She finds the most fulfilling aspects of her career to be bringing people together through the shared experience of food, wine, and hospitality, and knowing the happiness from the experience will remain with guests long after they leave.
Kristen’s passion within food lies in refined cuisine. While she occasionally veers off the beaten path to create rustic dishes, she always finds her way back to refined, elegant creations.
In Fall 2012, Kristen was promoted to Chef de Cuisine of Stir and oversees all back of house operations, including the design and execution of nightly menus. Kristen seeks to create unforgettable experiences for the 10 guests of Stir every night, creating elegant, composed menus and demonstrating cooking techniques for guests to duplicate in their own homes. Kristen’s favorite aspect of Stir is being able to meet 10 new people nightly and being able to connect with them on a deeper level fostered of the intimate nature of the Stir space.
Most recently, Kristen competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 10: Seattle where she won the coveted title of Top Chef, becoming only the second female chef to win the prestigious competition.