THE cookbook writer whose life was saved by "Top Chef" judge and restaurateur Tom Colicchio has told her story for the first time to The Post's Don Kaplan. Colicchio used the Heim lich maneuver on Joan Nathan after she choked at a charity benefit at her home in DC. The culprit was a Persian chicken kebob prepared by Iranian cuisine master Najmieh Bat manglij. "I don't usually take such big bites," Nathan tells Kaplan. "It was the first thing I had eaten and it was so de licious, I guess I just schlurped it down - that's just never happened to me before."