Title: Food TV Presenter and Food Expert

Location: New York, New York

Education: Degree in Theatre and English Literature, Clark University

Expertise: Fashion, food, recipes, entertainment, lifestyle, travel
- Food TV Host for Top Chef and Taste the Nation
- Author of five books including Easy Exotic and Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet


Padma Lakshmi is a food expert and television host, known for her work with Top Chef and Taste the Nation. Padma is a model, actress, writer and food columnist for The New York Times. Her work also appears in Vogue, Better Homes & Gardens and Harper's Bazaar.

Padma graduated from Clark University with a degree in theatre and English literature. She started her career as a model, which led her to travel to Bali, France and other places with exotic international foods. Eventually, she worked as an actress in several television and film roles before producing and acting in several seasons of Top Chef, a well-known culinary television program.

Padma's international food experience led to her work as an executive producer and actress for Taste the Nation, in which she tasted exotic cuisine from indigenous people and groups from around the world. In doing so, she used food as a way of creating awareness for activism related to immigration and human rights. According to Padma, she also learned from chefs while on the job, and now is recognized as a food expert and author of her own merit.

She has published five books related to cooking and lifestyle, including her most recent, Tomatoes for Neela.

She also works as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and is an activist for immigrants' and women's rights with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Padma was recognized by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for Best First Book for Easy Exotic.

She also received a 2018 Karma Award from Variety magazine and a 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

About EatingWell

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