Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi

TV Host, NY Times Best-Selling Author, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and ACLU spokesperson

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 2019 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, the show’s 13th consecutive Emmy nod. In 2020 Lakshmi will host and executive produce a new show for Hulu, marking the network’s expansion into original food programming. The new half-hour series will serve as a “living cookbook” focused 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.

In addition to being named a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she serves as an artist ambassador for the ACLU, focusing on both immigrants’ rights and women’s reproductive rights, and was recently appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Program, seeking to boost support for its Global Goals including addressing inequality worldwide.