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Tom Colicchio Joins MSNBC as Food Correspondent

“Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio has joined MSNBC in the role of food correspondent, a sign of his growing celebrity and the public’s insatiable appetite for culinary-oriented programming.

Colicchio will be featured in segments to run on various MSNBC shows, and he will host his own weekly series, “Stirring the Pot,” for MSNBC’s digital incubator, Shift.

Colicchio has been a semi-regular guest on various MSNBC shows over the years as he is already in the member of the NBCUniversal family through his long association with Bravo’s “Top Chef” and as host of the new series “Best New Restaurant.”

Colicchio said he will put an emphasis on political and social issues that involve food and agricultural concerns in his MSNBC reporting. In addition to his work on Bravo series, Colicchio was exec producer and a featured personality in Participant Media’s 2012 documentary “A Place at the Table,” about hunger issues in the U.S.

The hiring of Colicchio also comes as MSNBC is grappling with a ratings downturn. MSNBC said his appointment was a sign of a “larger strategy to cover a broader set of stories that move and inspire Americans through its progressive lens.”

MSNBC aims to showcase Colicchio across the channel, with regular reports featured on “Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show,” among other programs. There are also plans for a segment dubbed “Everyone Eats” featuring interviews with celebs, politicians, athletes and other notables. Colicchio’s new job will also have him traveling for field reporting with other MSNBC personalities.

“There are few voices — if any — that are as passionate as Tom Colicchio is when talking about the food we eat and how it impacts our families and communities. I’ve long been a fan of his work and am thrilled that Tom’s fresh perspective will be integrated across all our platforms, from TV to Shift to social media,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin.

Colicchio is known for his blunt approach to guiding and judging the contestants on “Top Chef,” the cooking competition series that is a cornerstone of Bravo’s lineup. As a chef, he made his name with the success of his Craft franchise of eateries, which include outposts in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He also runs the Colicchio and Sons restaurant in New York and Heritage Steak in Las Vegas, as well as the sandwich shop chain ‘wichcraft, which has 14 locations around the country.

Colicchio has been head judge on “Top Chef” since its inception in 2006.

“As a chef, a father, and an advocate for sane food policy, I’m looking forward to bringing stories to MSNBC that highlight how critical food is to the workings of a functional, humane society,” said Colicchio. “In today’s world it is impossible to separate our food culture from the politics and policies that shape our choices as consumers and taxpayers, whether we’re aware of them or not. The one thing we all have in common is that everyone eats, and I’m excited to partner with MSNBC on a show that fosters healthy dialogue and speaks to this basic common truth.”

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