Padma Lakshmi is internationally known as a food expert, model, actress and New York Times bestselling 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, as well as host and executive producer of Hulu's Taste the Nation.
Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing the bestselling 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 bestselling Love, Loss, and What We Ate, which 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, Tomatoes for Neela, in Fall 2021.
In addition to being named a visiting scholar at MIT, she serves as an artist ambassador for the ACLU, focusing on immigrants' rights and women's rights, and was recently appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Program. She is the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. She lives in New York City with her daughter.