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Padma Lakshmi is the Top Chef you just can’t miss. Striking beautiful, charismatic and a lover of food, she’s the girlfriend you wanna hate…until you spend 5 minutes with her.

Padma’s book, Love, Loss And What We Ate is a memoir wrapped in vivid aromas, the descriptive and the delicious. It reads like fond memories surrounded by food. No surprise from the food-lover and food critic.

The book holds nothing back: discussing both a failed marriage and a paternity test. When asked, why now? The brown beauty frankly responds, “because I had nothing to lose. So much of my life has been out in the media without my control.”

This is true. There has been many a whisper over claims of Padma being an “untrained” chef, something she directly addresses. While Tom Colicchio is a veteran of the food world, Gail Simmons is a restaurant owner, Padma defines herself as the audiences’ representative.

“In Project Runway, you can see if the clothes move well, in The Voice, you can hear if the performer sounds good. With food, you rely on reactions and descriptions.”

…and descriptive, Padma is. Which one will discover while reading her memoir. The TV host, model, and author is focused on transitioning from being a good cookbook writer to simply being a good writer.

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While discussing her new book, her beauty is repeatedly mentioned. Something she admits having felt guilty for possessing.

“It’s the alchemy of my parents genetics that makes me 5’9″ and gives me my hair,” she scientifically dissects her beauty. Before you can roll your eyes, she continues, “My mom has a masters degree in public health and worked at Sloan Kettering and would make in one month what I would make in one day for standing in lingerie.”

Modeling wasn’t a goal for Padma, “I didn’t have the luxury of deciding. It was the best thing to meet the need at the time.” Padma used her modeling career to pay off her undergraduate student loans and support herself. She admits she is the only one in her family that doesn’t have a masters degree.

However, as her grandfathers’ protege, he instilled a scrappy approach to life and the importance of the written word. His influence has propelled her into a career that includes being an author.

“Being an immigrant in this country, to feel like an outsider in another culture, at the time feels very painful. That there is an invisible glass you have to break with your forehead to just be on the starting line with your peers.”

This feeling of being an outsider was a driving force in the creation of the book. Padma was inspired to write the book for anyone who might have ever felt like an outsider. She laments, “At some point in your life you just want to be seen, just want to be known for who you are.”

I see you, Padma Lakshmi and now with Love, Loss, And What We Ate, the world will see you in an even more dynamic light.


Top Chef Padma Lakshmi Talks Beauty, Food, And Being An Immigrant In America  was originally published on