Yul Kwon, the 13th season winner of “Survivor” is becoming a fixture of PBS portion of the TV Critics Press Tour. He presented a panel on his series “America Revealed” in July, but it won’t premiere on the network until April.

Still, he was host of a pre-tour party Tuesday at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena and on Wednesday morning, was on the panel for a new show also starting in April featuring chef Lidia Bastianich.

Kwon, 36, now of McLean, Va., is featured in an episode exploring Korean cuisine. Yet when he first became famous on “Survivor: Cook Islands,” food was the worst part of the experience.

“Yeah, it sucked. There’s no food. It was tough,” Kwon said of his time on the island. “You lose about 20 or 30 pounds on the show. You come back, and you just gorge yourself. I went to Costco every single day. I was eating all the free samples and just stocking up on food, and I gained all the weight back in about a month and then went overboard and gained another 30 pounds, which took me another year to work off.”

As a result, he went on, “being with Lidia has been a blast because I can hang out with her and taste all kinds of awesome cooking and remember the dark days back on that island.”

Of Korean cuisine, Kwon says, “It’s very flavorful. It’s very spicy. And I think it really provides an insight into Korean culture, because Korean society is very Confucian, very formalized, very hierarchal. And food is one of the few ways that people can really express their emotions.

“They express it through the food, but more importantly, the content for eating food is one of the few places where you can just sort of let it all hang out. And once you get the soju and the alcohol flowing, game over. People are letting it all hang out together.”

“Lidia Celebrates America: Wedding: Something Borrowed, Something New” starts April 2 on PBS.