Emmy-nominated Padma Lakshmi is internationally known as a food expert, model, actress and best-selling author, as well as the recipient of Variety’s Karma Award and the NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Lakshmi serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef, which garnered a 2020 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, the show’s 14th consecutive Emmy nod. Padma was also nominated this year for her role as host of the show. Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of a new show for Hulu called Taste the Nation. The show marks the network’s first expansion into original food programming. The new half-hour series focuses on people and cultures which have contributed to American cuisine.
Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing the best-selling Easy Exotic, which won the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet. In 2016, she released her food memoir, The New York Times best-selling Love, Loss and What We Ate, which also won “Best Lifestyle, Body & Soul” at the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, followed by The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs. She is set to publish her first children’s book called Tomatoes for Neela in Fall of 2021 with Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.
In addition to being named a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she serves as an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ambassador, focusing on immigrants’ rights and women’s rights, and was recently appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, where she will work to grow support for the U.N.’s Global Goals, including addressing inequality worldwide.