A portrait of Padma Lakshmi with a designed treatment
A portrait of Padma Lakshmi with a designed treatment

Padma Lakshmi

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

Experience

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.

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Padma Lakshmi loves to make this roasted sweet potato recipe during Diwali, a festive time when her family often winds up eating a lot of fried treats. This gives them the feeling of eating chaat or Indian street and snack foods but without all the fuss. The tamarind sauce is a tangy counterpoint to the sweet potatoes, and the yogurt gives it a mellow creaminess without being too heavy.
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Indian Summer Masala
Rating: Unrated
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This spice blend is Padma Lakshmi's riff on an Indian street-food blend called chaat masala.
This chicken dish from Padma Lakshmi's book Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet features a sweet cashew sauce. Serve the chicken with vegetables and your favorite whole grain to soak up the luscious sauce.
With so many cultural influences from around the globe, America just might be the most exciting place to eat. Guest editor, award-winning cookbook author and TV host Padma Lakshmi takes a look at the diverse and delicious food Americans are serving up.
If you're planning a trip to the Big Apple—and aren't sure where to start your food journey—check out this list curated by Padma Lakshmi, a NYC resident and frequent visitor of these establishments.
My family has dozens of variations on this dish, and they all signify love and care to me.
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Beef shawarma is traditionally roasted on a spit and then sliced thin. This grilled version by Padma Lakshmi has similar vibes thanks to a highly seasoned marinade.
For all the flavor of a classic PB&J without the added sugar, just reach for the real deal—fresh fruit.
My family has dozens of variations on this dish, and they all signify love and care to me.
Beef shawarma is traditionally roasted on a spit and then sliced thin. This grilled version by Padma Lakshmi has similar vibes thanks to a highly seasoned marinade.
For all the flavor of a classic PB&J without the added sugar, just reach for the real deal—fresh fruit.
Yogurt Rice
Rating: Unrated
New!
Savory, cool yogurt rice, or "curd rice," as it's referred to on the Indian subcontinent, is the ultimate comfort food.
Baharat Spiced Eggplant
Rating: Unrated
New!
Baharat means "spices" in Arabic—and this Middle Eastern seasoning is loaded with them.
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