Padma Lakshmi Opens Up About Gaining Weight While Filming Top Chef Kentucky — And What She’s Doing About It

Bravo’s Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has been candid in the past about her weight gain during filming for each season of the show: She expects to gain between 10 and 15 pounds each time, eating roughly 7,000 calories a day. And now that Season 16 is underway in Kentucky, Padma is opening up about what exactly is behind those fluctuations — and it’s not just the obvious fact that her job requires her to taste decadent food in significant volume.

“I was drinking bourbon or mint juleps ,” Padma told The Feast. “You don’t think about it because it’s a liquid — but it does add up.”

True indeed.

Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio Expose the Amazing Reality of What “Actually Happens” While Filming Top Chef

Of course, Padma was also enjoying the Kentucky comfort foods when she was not on set — but it’s not just what she was eating that changed the game. It’s that her whole eating routine changed, and it reset her body’s hunger trigger response. “I was eating a lot off set too. once you start eating that much on a daily basis, your stomach expects that much food and you get in the habit of it, so you feel hungry even after you eat a lot of food when you may not normally feel that way.”

After returning home from Kentucky, Padma started to turn things around. “I’m mostly plant based at home. I do eat meat like I’m going to make a roast for Christmas and you make ragu as well. But for the most part, naturally just getting more sleep, going to the gym regularly, drinking enough water, and eating food that’s much more simple will help me. But it takes me twice as long to drop the weight as it takes me to gain it.”

—Reporting by Laura Rosenfeld

8 pics The Feast

‘Top Chef’: This is How Padma Lakshmi Avoids Weight Gain – Her Bikini Instagram Post is Proof

As part of her job duties as a judge on Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi is required to eat incredibly indulgent, rich meals nearly every day of the week. For someone who takes in thousands of calories a day, the 49-year-old looks incredible.

Padma Lakshmi | Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Her recent Instagram post of herself in a teeny bikini is proof of her discipline and dedication to keep herself fit.

Find out how Lakshmi looks so great while eating so much!

How many calories Lakshmi packs on during ‘Top Chef’

Sampling meals from contestants on the reality competition series means for Lakshmi tasting food that has been cooked in lots of butter, or deep-fried, or swimming in cream. It’s a blessing and a curse for Lakshmi, as she wrote in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

View this post on Instagram

Every. Time. #instagramvsreality

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on Jan 15, 2020 at 10:55am PST

“When filming Top Chef, I consume about 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day. We start with anywhere from 15 to 18 contestants, and I have to take a bite or two from each of their plates to adequately judge each dish. Every day. It adds up. I typically gain anywhere from 10 to 17 pounds every season. Once I get home, what’s taken me six weeks to gain takes me 12 weeks to take off.”

How Lakshmi keeps the pounds off

To look at the model, it’s obvious that some of the credit for her physique must be hereditary. Still, that doesn’t mean she can inhale filet mignon, silky pastas swimming in sauce, and rich desserts to her heart’s content. She must have some kind of regimen to keep her body from getting too used to the extra weight she gains during each season of the food competition.

View this post on Instagram

When he says “only 10 more reps” #mondaymotivation

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:17am PST

“I drink a lot of water—three liters a day,” she told Health in 2017. “I can tell by how much I’m peeing. And I eat really healthy, but I’m not talking about calories. I’m talking about nutrition. I eat as many colors as I can. If a salad doesn’t look colorful, it’s not good enough.”

Asked about how she recovers after each season of heavy eating on the show, Lakshmi revealed that for the particular season that had just ended, “It was OK. I didn’t gain as much weight as I normally do. 10, 15 pounds—the maximum I’ve gained is 17. This time I only gained eight, because of a couple of reasons. One, I managed to work out more. I got a personal trainer to come to my hotel room.”

Lakshmi’s proof that her method works

For the evidence that Lakshmi’s method is going great, look no further than her Instagram account. This week, she posted a photo of herself in a black string bikini, revealing more than just skin.

View this post on Instagram

Feelin’ fine at 49 ✨

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on Jan 18, 2020 at 7:08pm PST

What fans saw is the physique that definitely does not look like that of a person who eats as much as a sumo wrestler for a living.

Simply and confidently, her post message was “Feeling fine at 49.”

Lakshmi should keep doing what she’s doing because it is clearly working in her favor!

‘Top Chef’ Host Padma Lakshmi’s Dilemma: From 8,000 Calories a Day to “Red Carpet Ready” (Guest Column)

After a six-week season of heavy eating, squeezing into couture for the Emmys takes a few sacrifices for the host, but she’s determined her daughter’s self-image won’t be one of them.

It’s Emmy season. The weeks leading up to the big day are always a mix of professional pride and sartorial anxiety. Top Chef luckily has been nominated every year since I took over as host in 2006. I find myself in the unique position of eating for a living while still being expected to look a certain way — let’s call it “red carpet ready.” While I can clearly point to the many ways our society constantly reinforces this pressure, the truth is, my own vanity also plays a big role. I want to look good, to be fit and to fit into those fancy couture dresses. Adding to this dilemma is the fact that in the last few years, we’ve filmed in the summer, just a few months before the awards.

When filming Top Chef, I consume about 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day. We start with anywhere from 15 to 18 contestants, and I have to take a bite or two from each of their plates to adequately judge each dish. Every day. It adds up. I typically gain anywhere from 10 to 17 pounds every season. Once I get home, what’s taken me six weeks to gain takes me 12 weeks to take off.

Like many women in Hollywood, I gear up for the awards by dieting, vigorously exercising, searching for a dress no one else will have and hoping for the best. It’s always a nail-biting extravaganza at fittings, praying that a few pretty dresses that came down the runway on a teenage model who is a size 0 will miraculously fit my 40-something body. Getting ready for the Emmys is always fun, and it’s truly an honor to be nominated. But at the same time, in spite of my high metabolism, I worry each year that I’m not going to fit into anything nice.

Every year I manage to somehow make it to the awards, usually with two hours of working out a day and a disciplined diet. My diet for the Emmys is pretty straightforward. It’s like a poem: no meat, no wheat, no cheese, no fried foods or sweets. And, of course, no alcohol. This time, I have the added obstacle of attending a carb-filled family wedding in India. I will lose three weeks in the middle of my training.

Recently, I realized my daughter, who is 7½, has been listening to me talk about my weight. When we have taco night, I have taco salad with just a few crumpled chips. No tortillas, sour cream or cheese. When we order pizza, I get it for her, but I have leftovers of brown rice and lentils. When we make pasta, I have only ragu with greens.

While I’ve been working to lose weight, she has been going through a growth spurt. She still asks me to carry her, but now she’s 4 feet tall and weighs nearly 60 pounds. So, I’ve inadvertently been telling her, “You’re too heavy now to lift.”

She’s noticed, and suddenly she’s told me and others in our circle, “I don’t want to eat because I’m watching my figure,” or, “I weigh too much.” I wasn’t thinking anything of the sort when I was 7 or 10 or even 13.

Her comments stopped me dead in my tracks. Her words scared me. Language matters. We send signals to our daughters every day. And I am her first touchstone of femininity.

Nobody asks Tom Colicchio how he fits into his tuxedo for the Emmys; nobody asks men who they’re wearing on that red carpet. On the other hand, I spent years as a model and writing for fashion magazines, and I’m genuinely interested in fashion — I too enjoy the spectator sport of seeing what everyone wears on the red carpet. In my household, where I’m constantly getting my hair and makeup done for press regarding Top Chef and other projects, my daughter bears witness to an unnatural focus on my appearance, by me and other professionals.

She’s not getting these messages only from me, she’s getting them from every billboard, from every magazine that’s casually lying on our coffee table. I can’t block my child from reality and the culture that we live in. But I have a responsibility to make sure that she has a healthy self-image and a normal childhood. I don’t want her to ever be ashamed of her body. I want her to cultivate her mind. I always say, “Beauty is skin-deep, but dumb and dull are to the bone.”

Every message I telegraph about food and our bodies is important. So, this year, I’ve decided my weight will not be my focus. If I need a bigger dress, so be it. That one day — or any day — on the red carpet isn’t nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn’t measure her worth by her dress size.

And if at my family wedding I have a few more samosas, so be it.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, .

Padma Lakshmi

Celebrated Name:

Padma Lakshmi

Real Name/Full Name:

Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidyanathan




49 years old

Birth Date:

1 September 1970

Birth Place:





1.75 m


56 kg

Sexual Orientation:


Marital Status:



Salman Rushdie (m. 2004–2007)


Yes (Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell)




American author, actress, model, television host, and executive producer

Net Worth in 2020:

$35 million

Last Updated:

February 2020

Padma Lakshmi is an actress, model, author, executive producer and TV host, who was born in India and later got her American citizenship. She is currently known by many for hosting the reality competition TV series “Top Chef”. Continue reading to find out Padma Lakshmi’s net worth in 2018, professional career and personal life below.

Maybe you know about Padma Lakshmi very well But do you know how old and tall is she and what is her net worth in 2020? If you do not know, We have prepared this article about details of Padma Lakshmi’s short biography-wiki, career, professional life, personal life, today’s net worth, age, height, weight, and more facts. Well, if you’re ready, let’s start.

Table of Contents

Early Life

Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidyanathan was born on September 1, 1970, in Chennai the capital of Tamil Nadu, India. Her father Vaidyanathan Padma Lakshmi worked as an executive for Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation, and her mother Vijaya Lakshmi worked as a nurse for some time. Padma Lakshmi’s parents divorced when she was a child, and both of them got remarried again.

Padma Lakshmi lived with her grandparents in her hometown, and with her mother, who moved to the United States to run away from people’s talk of her divorce. She has a stepbrother and a step-sister. Padma Lakshmi was grown and raised between her hometown, New York and California. She finished her schooling from the Workman High School in California, and she graduated with a BA in theatre arts from the Clark University in Massachusetts in 1992. Padma Lakshmi had some time studying abroad such as in Madrid, Spain.

For her personal life, Padma Lakshmi has been married and divorced one time only. Her only marriage was to the British Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie from 2004 – 2007. Padma Lakshmi has a daughter from her relationship with the venture capitalist Adam Dell, her name is Krishna Thea Lakshmi Dell, and she was born in 2010. Furthermore, she also had relationships with actor and hotelier Vikram Chatwal, and others.

Age, Height, and Weight

Being born on 1 September 1970, Padma Lakshmi is 49 years old as of today’s date 1st February 2020. Her height is 1.75 m tall, and her weight is 56 kg.


While studying abroad at Madrid, Padma Lakshmi was discovered by an agent and started her modelling career. She has modelled for many worldwide designers including Gianni Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani among others. Padma Lakshmi has also appeared on many magazines including Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook, the Indian edition of Marie Claire and others.

Padma Lakshmi has released four books. Her debut book was released in 1999 titled “Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low Fat Recipes from around the World”. Padma Lakshmi’s first notable acting work was in the 2003 Bollywood movie “Boom”, followed by “The Mistress of Spices”. She has worked as a host for a few series including the Italian “Domenica in”, and she was the co-host of “The View” talk show. Padma Lakshmi’s has been the host of “Top Chef” competition TV series for over 13 seasons now, which she also works on as an executive producer.

Awards & Achievements

Padma Lakshmi was nominated for a few awards for hosting “Top Chef” competition series. She was nominated for several Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program, PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television, and the Gold Derby TV Award for Reality Host.

Padma Lakshmi gained massive success for her debut book “Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low Fat Recipes from around the World”, which she won the Best First Book award for.

Net Worth & Salary of Padma Lakshmi in 2020

Padma Lakshmi Net Worth

The actress, model, author, executive producer and TV host Padma Lakshmi’s net worth is set to $35 million as of February 2020. She earned her wealth from the great work she’s been doing on TV as an actress and host, from modelling and from the books she authored. Padma Lakshmi’s estimated salary for “Top Chef” series is $50 thousand per episode.

Padma Lakshmi is one of the few multi-talented personalities, who’s an actress, model, author, TV host and executive producer. She has had massive success for her debut book “Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low Fat Recipes from around the World” which she won the Best First Book Award for.

Padma Dishes It Out

Getting to Know Padma

Padma Lakshmi has gained — and lost — 15 pounds 10 times during the past seven years. No, she’s not a yo-yo dieter; the weight comes with her job. Every season on Top Chef, Padma goes up two dress sizes, thanks to eating all the decadent dishes the chef contestants whip up.

Arriving at her photo shoot for the FITNESS cover after nearly two months of filming in New Orleans, Padma, 43, admits she had been anxious about this moment. “I found out about the cover right before doing Top Chef, knowing that I’d be gaining weight,” she says. “I was terrified. It’s FITNESS. I’d better be fit!”

Mission accomplished, as you can see. So how did she do it? We got Padma to spill the workout strategies that help her ditch the pounds, plus the cooking and eating tips that keep her slim and still let her enjoy all her favorite foods. Her sensible ideas will work for you too.

So how do you lose the weight you gain on the show?

I follow a clean diet: no meats, no sweets, no alcohol, no cheese, no fried food, no wheat. And I work out five days a week, boxing three days, lifting weights the other two.

Do you change your workout after you reach your goal?
To maintain my weight I strength-train, use the treadmill and elliptical, and box three times a week. I also do planks at home and jump rope. I carry a jump rope with me everywhere, especially when I’m working. It’s a great way to squeeze in a quick workout and get your heart rate up when you don’t have time to go to the gym.

You gained 45 pounds while pregnant with your daughter, Krishna, who’s now 3. Was it harder to get that weight off?

Yes! I did all my usual workouts, but the most important thing was that I found an exercise buddy in my makeup artist, Michelle. Having an appointment with her makes me get to the gym. Instead of meeting friends for dinner or drinks, meet to work out! You can still spend an hour and a half chitchatting, but you’re getting in your reps too. Also, I always try to get enough sleep because the body holds on to more calories when it’s tired, and I tend to eat more when I’m tired. Rest is important to weight loss.

It took 13 months to get the weight off. It was hard. I went from a size 4 to a size 14 when I was pregnant. What’s interesting, though, is that, in my experience, men don’t want skinny girls. When I was a size 14, I got much more attention from men than I do now.

Has your body changed since you turned 40?
I’ve seen a slow decline in my metabolism from the time I was 30. Even when I’m at my ideal weight, I have to work out regularly — otherwise I’m jiggly. So I exercise consistently, even if it’s just doing some jumping jacks, planks, and stairs, or jumping rope for 10 minutes. I notice a difference if I go a week without exercise.

What are your healthiest habits?
I drink a homemade cleanse of two ounces of pure cranberry juice, six ounces of either green tea or plain water, one Emergen-C Vitamin C packet, and a teaspoon of fiber powder three times a day. I also drink two to three liters of water a day.

You’ve been quoted as saying, “I would rather spend half my life at the gym and eat whatever I want than sit on my ass and starve.” Do you still feel that way?
Yes, 100 percent. I love food way too much to starve myself just to look good. I will put in the work at the gym so I can enjoy what I eat.

What’s your food weakness?
I have lots of them. Pizza, nachos, cheese, potato chips, fried chicken. I believe in everything in moderation. I never say, “No, I can’t have any of that.” I have it and enjoy it! After I finish this photo shoot, I’m going out for pizza, and I’m literally going to take down a whole large pie by myself.

Padma’s Workout Secret Weapon

No fancy-schmancy boutique classes or trendy workout equipment for Padma. She would rather hit the stairs. “After having a baby, I didn’t have time to go to the gym, and I had to be back on TV in less than six weeks,” Padma says. “That’s how I started doing stairs. Now, whether I’m home or traveling, I climb as many as 70 flights a day, which takes me about 35 minutes. I don’t run them. I walk at a steady pace, two steps at a time. It’s the perfect workout because pretty much anywhere you go, there are stairs and they’re usually empty.”

Throw a Killer Dinner Party

Padma tells you how — just in time for the holiday season.

Mix up your invite list. Your gathering will be more fun if you bring together people from different worlds — say, your work friends, your workout pals, and your BFFs from your book club.

Don’t try to impress your guests with fancy dishes. “Just stick to the basics and do them well. I like to serve a Spanish tortilla and a hearty stew with white beans. Guests are coming over to hang out with you a lot more than they are to eat.”

Make at least 75 percent of your menu ahead of time. “No one wants a stressed host. I finish cooking and set the table an hour before the party, then I take a shower.”

Create a party playlist. “It should be upbeat but not too loud. When the dinner starts, switch to classical or jazz to encourage conversation.”

Relax and enjoy. “I have a glass of wine before the first guests arrive. They’ll have a good time if you’re having a good time.”

Eat Out Without Filling Out

  • “I cheat on my date. I eat a cup of cottage cheese before going out so I won’t gorge myself. It fills me up, and you can’t beat it for calcium and protein. I season and dress it with vinegars and spices and serve it like fresh mozzarella or fancy goat cheese. Honestly, in my house it’s a glamorous ingredient — not a diet food — that my kid is always trying to steal from me.”
  • “I ask the server to take the bread basket away. If you go to a restaurant hungry, you’ll inevitably start eating the bread. Why torture yourself? If I’m really craving a slice, I’ll butter and eat the crust only, because that’s the yummy part where the flavor is. I don’t eat the center because, to me, it’s like a sponge. I just picture it on my thighs!”
  • “I eat the carbs on my plate last. By the time I’ve eaten all of the protein and vegetables, I may not want all of the potato.”
  • “I drink 10 ounces of water after every glass of wine. Water fills you up, and alcohol is just empty calories. I would rather eat my calories than drink them.”

Behind the Scenes of Top Chef

Here’s what you don’t see on TV.

Time spent filming: Up to 15 hours a day, sometimes until 4:00 or 5:00 a.m.

How Padma feels after a night of eating the contestants’ food: “Like a human Dumpster!”

Amount of time the judges deliberate before a chef has to pack his or her knives and go: As long as five hours. “We get very passionate,” Padma says.

Most gag-inducing dish she’s had to eat: “It’s a tie. A lemon curd dessert by Ariane that was a nuclear sugar bomb. And a silky chocolate ganache with a morsel of liver embedded in the middle made by Ilan , who won season two. I was like, ‘Oh, what is that in the center?’ It was meaty and gamy — horrible!”

5 Tricks Chefs Use to Cook Healthily at Home

Try Padma’s easy techniques for more flavor and less fat in your meals.

1. Grind spices right before using them. This heightens their flavor and gives dishes a more robust taste.

2. Squeeze in some citrus. “To give seafood some tanginess, I marinate it in lime for at least 15 minutes before grilling it, as I do with my shrimp dish. I also put citrus in my dressings and squirt lemon or lime into soups and stews before serving them.”

3. Toss sweet and tart ingredients in salads to make them more satisfying. One of Padma’s favorites: Spinach and Black Plum Salad.

4. Experiment with herbs and vinegars. “If you use flavor enhancers like cilantro, basil, and mint, and vinegars, you can add taste without a lot of calories,” she notes.

5. Get creative with garlic. When putting it in dishes, Padma leaves the cloves whole. “It’s a time-saver, plus you can pick out the cloves if you don’t want garlic breath.”

Padma’s Spinach and Black Plum Salad

Serves 6


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yuzu* or lime juice
  • Juice of 1 ripe lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 black plums, firm and not too ripe, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • Crushed sea salt

1. Combine dressing ingredients in a salad bowl.
2. Just before serving, add salad ingredients, except salt; toss.
3. Sprinkle salt over salad.

*Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit. You can buy the juice at and some gourmet markets.

Recipe from Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day by Padma Lakshmi. Available from Weinstein Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright 2007.

Padma Lakshmi

Emmy-nominated Padma Lakshmi is internationally known as an actress, food expert, model, and The New York Times best-selling author, as well as the recipient of the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Padma also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef, currently in its 15th season.

Padma was born in India and grew up in America. She graduated from Clark University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts and American Literature. Known as India’s first supermodel, she began her career as a fashion model, working in Europe and the United States.

Padma 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. She followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, which has over 150 recipes from around the world alongside intriguing personal essays. In 2016, She released her food memoir, The New York Times best-selling Love, Loss and What We Ate, followed shortly thereafter by The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs.

In addition to her food writing, she has also contributed to such magazines as Vogue, Gourmet and both British and American Harper’s Bazaar, as well as a syndicated column on fashion and food for The New York Times.

For the Food Network, she hosted Padma’s Passport, where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world. She also hosted Planet Food, a documentary series on the Food Network and broadcast worldwide on the Discovery Channel. Padma was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as host and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Show. Other television credits include co-hosting Rai Television’s Domenica In, Italy’s highest-rated morning news program.

In 2009, Padma co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America alongside world-renowned Advanced Gynecological Surgeon Tamer Seckin, MD. After suffering from the disease for decades herself, she has been able to make amazing strides with the foundation, like launching the first interdisciplinary research facility in the country for Gynepathology as a joint project between Harvard Medical School and MIT, where she gave the keynote address at the Center’s opening in December 2009. Her efforts were recently recognized on the floor of the New York State Senate, where she succeeded in passing a bill related to teen health initiatives. The organization’s ENPOWR program has currently educated over 15,000 students about endometriosis in high schools across the state of New York.

In addition to these projects, Padma is a savvy businesswoman with multiple companies of her own. Her debut home décor line, The Padma Collection, hit Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide with tabletop dishware, stemware and hand-blown glass décor pieces. She also created Padma’s Easy Exotic, a collection of culinary products ranging from frozen organic foods, fine teas, and natural spice blends, to hard goods.


Real Name Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan
Nickname Angelique
Profession(s) Model, Author, Television Host, Actress, Executive Producer
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.) in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet inches- 5’ 9”
Weight (approx.) in kilograms- 55 kg
in pounds- 121 lbs
Figure Measurements (approx.) 34-28-34
Eye Colour Brown
Hair Colour Black
Debut Documentary: Unzipped (1995)
Film: Glitter (2001)

TV: Domenica In in 1997 (as a Host)
Awards, Honours, Achievements • Best First Book at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her cookbook, “Easy Exotic”
Personal Life
Date of Birth 1 September 1970
Age (as in 2018) 48 Years
Birthplace Madras (now, Chennai)
Zodiac sign/Sun sign Virgo
Nationality American
Hometown Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
School William Workman High School, California in 1988
College/University • Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts
• A College in Madrid
Educational Qualification BA (Hons) in Theatre Arts
Religion Hinduism YouTube
Ethnicity Tamil Brahmin
Food Habit Non-Vegetarian
Hobbies Cooking, Reading, Travelling, Roller Skating, Playing Charades
Controversies • In 2011, Padma Lakshmi’s ex-boyfriend Adam Dell, sued her, in Manhattan Supreme Court. He claimed that Padma had refused to put his name on the birth certificate of their daughter. He also claimed that Padma had forced him into signing a restrictive visitation agreement. As per this agreement, he could meet his daughter only for a few hours a week. Later, they settled down their dispute out of court. Now, they both share the custody of their daughter, ‘Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell.’
• In 2018, she made a revelation that she was raped at the age of 16 by her then boyfriend.
Relationships & More
Marital Status Divorced
Affairs/Boyfriends • Salman Rushdie (Author)
• Adam R. Dell (Venture Capitalist)

• Ted Forstmann (Businessman)

• David Spade (Actor)

• Vikram Chatwal (Businessman) (Rumoured)
• Richard Gere (Actor) (Rumoured)
Husband/Spouse Salman Rushdie (m. 17 April 2004; div. 2007)
Children Son- None
Daughter- Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell (with Adam R. Dell)
Parents Father- Vaidyanathan (an executive with the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer)
Mother- Vijaya Lakshmi (Oncologist)
Siblings Brother- 1 half-brother (from her Father’s side)
Sister- 1 half-sister (from her Father’s side)
Favourite Things
Favourite Food(s) Khichri, Taco, Burger, Potato Chips
Favourite Actress Margot Robbie
Favourite Restaurant Los Tacos No. 1 in NYC
Favourite Drink Tequila with Lime Juice and a Splash of Club Soda
Favourite Holiday Destinations Mexico, Bali
Money Factor
Net Worth (approx.) $ 30 Million

Some Lesser Known Facts About Padma Lakshmi

  • Does Padma Lakshmi smoke?: Not Known
  • Does Padma Lakshmi drink?: Yes

    Padma Lakshmi drinking Alcohol

  • Her father had left her and her mother, when she was just 1 year old, and got separated, when she was in her second year. After the divorce, her mother shifted to America and settled there.
  • Padma Lakshmi lived with her maternal grandparents before joining her mother in the US, after almost 2 years. Later, both her mother and father remarried separately.
  • At the age of 7, she was molested by one of her stepfather’s relative. She wrote about this incident in the New York Times,

    “When I was 7 years old, my stepfather’s relative touched me between my legs and put my hand on his erect penis. Shortly after I told my mother and stepfather, they sent me to India for a year to live with my grandparents. The lesson was: If you speak up, you will be cast out.”

  • She grew up shuttling between her mother in New York and her maternal grandparents in Chennai, India.

    Padma Lakshmi in her Childhood

  • At the age of 14, in 1984, she was suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a rare skin and mucosa disorder) and was hospitalized for almost 3 weeks.
  • After 2 days of her discharge from the hospital, she got injured in a car accident in California, when her mother took her to a temple for thanking God for making her better. This road accident left her with a shattered right upper arm and a fractured right hip. Her arm injury required an operation, which left a seven-inch scar on her arm.

    Padma Lakshmi’s Arm Scar

  • During her teen years in Los Angeles, she was very conscious of her arm scar. She was bullied by her schoolmates for the same, which led her to dislike herself. She was also called ‘Giraffe’ for her long neck.
  • When she was in school, most of the people mispronounce her name by Pamda, Panda, and others. So, she changed her name to ‘Angelique’ when she entered High School as she also wanted an exotic name.
  • While studying in Madrid, she was spotted by a modelling agent at a cafe. He offered her a modelling job, she accepted the offer and entered modelling at the age of 21.

    Padma Lakshmi Photo

  • Her arm scar, for which she became self-conscious at first, distinguished her in the glamour world. Her modelling work brought many acting jobs to her and soon, she started appearing in TV shows too. In an interview, she admitted that

    “The scar became my brand statement. I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan and New York”

  • In the initial phase of her career, she worked for top designers including Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Alberta Ferretti, and Emanuel Ungaro. She also appeared in the ad campaigns of Versus and Roberto Cavalli.
  • In 1999, when she was approached for an Italian series, ‘Caraibi – Pirates: Blood Brothers.’ She had to gain almost 30 pounds (14 kg) to match the requirement of her role.

    Padma Lakshmi in Pirates Blood Brothers Caraibi

  • In the same year, after losing that extra weight, she published her book, Easy Exotic on 22 May. The success of her book gave her many opportunities like to start her own show, “Padma’s Passport: My Mother’s Kitchen” on Food Network and to host a British TV show, “Planet Food.”
  • In the same year, she met author and her former husband, Salman Rushdie (almost 23 years elder than her) at an event in New York. In 2001, her former husband Salman Rushdie dedicated one of his novels named “Fury” to her.
  • In 2005, she was diagnosed with endometriosis, from which she has suffered since her early age.
  • In 2006, she became the host and judge of an American cooking reality show, Top Chef. The show made a great change in her life and she became popular as Top Chef’s Host.

    Padma Lakshmi in Top Chef

  • After her divorce with Salman Rushdie in 2007, she published another cookbook titled “Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day” on 29 August 2007. The same year, she met her biological father after more than 3 decades.

    Padma Lakshmi Cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet A World of Recipes for Every Day

  • In 2009, when she got the news of her pregnancy, she was shocked as she didn’t know who was the father of her child. She wrote about it in her 2016 memoir, ‘Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir.’ She explained that

    “I was dating both Adam Dell (brother of Dell Computer founder Michael) and the late IMG CEO and billionaire Teddy Forstmann at the time. I was shocked and elated.”

    Padma Lakshmi during her Pregnancy

  • In the same year, i.e. 2009, she launched her first line of jewellery named “Padma.” Later. she launched her tableware collections- one is “Easy Exotic” and second is “The Padma Collection.” She also owns a line of specialty teas, spices, and organic frozen rices.

    Padma Lakshmi’s Jewellery Line ‘Padma’ and Tableware Collection

  • She had a column in the newspaper, ‘The New York Times’ and has written several articles for the same. She has also written a column for the women’s fashion magazine, ‘Harper’s Bazaar.’

    Padma Lakshmi on the covers of different Magazines

  • In 2018, in an op-ed for The New York Times, she revealed that she was raped, at the age of 16. She wrote that when she was 16, she was in a relationship with a 23-year-old guy. After a few months of their affair, he assaulted her sexually, while sleeping. She stated,

    “It took me decades to talk about this with intimate partners and a therapist. Now, 32 years after my rape, I am stating publicly what happened. I am speaking now because I want us all to fight so that our daughters never know this fear and shame and our sons know that girls’ bodies do not exist for their pleasure and that abuse has grave consequences.”

  • She has featured on the covers of several well-known magazines such as ‘L’Officiel India,’ ‘Vogue India,’ ‘Asian Woman,’ ‘Avenue,’ ‘Cosmopolitan,’ ‘Newsweek,’ ‘Marie Claire India,’ and ‘Harper’s Bazaar.’
  • She is the co-founder of a nonprofit organization, ‘Endometriosis Foundation of America’ along with Dr. Tamer Seckin.
  • She is also associated with several other nonprofit organizations such as ‘Keep a Child Alive,’ ‘amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research,’ ‘Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation,’ and others.
  • Apart from English, she also speaks Tamil, French, Italian, and Hindi.

  • She is a fine boxer too.



1. YouTube

Padma Lakshmi Biography

Padma Lakshmi is one of the most successful cookbook authors in the world and she has been a great actress and TV personality as well. She is an American author, actress, model, TV host, and executive producer. She made her debut from the cookbook Easy Exotic, which won her the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. She won the Emmy Award in 2010, for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.

Famous For

  • An American author, actress, model, TV host, and executive producer.
  • Winner of Emmy Award and Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

Padma Lakshmi Early Life, Childhood, Education, and Family

Talking about her early life, Padma Lakshmi was born in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India. Her birth name is Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidyanathan. Her dad Vaidyanathan was an executive in a pharmaceutical company, Pfizer and her mom Vijaya Lakshmi was a medical attendant who had some expertise in oncology. Lakshmi’s parents divorced when she was 2 years old. Both of her parents later remarried, and she has a younger half-brother and half-sister on her father’s side.

Lakshmi experienced her childhood in both her grandparents’ home in Chennai and her mom’s in New York. She communicates in English, Hindi, Italian, and Spanish. Tamil is her native language. She is of Tamil Indian ethnicity and holds an American nationality.

Regarding her education, Padma Lakshmi went to Workman High School in the City of Industry, California. She is a 1992 graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, where she got a B.A. with Distinction in Theater Arts.

Padma Lakshmi’s Career

  • Padma Lakshmi began her modeling career at the age of 21 when she was studying in Spain. An agent had discovered her when she was sitting in a café.
  • She modeled for top designers like Giorgio Armani, Emanuel Ungaro, Gianni Versace, Alberta Ferretti, and Ralph Lauren. She also did ad campaigns for Roberto Cavalli and Versus.
  • While some designers hired her to model their winter lines, which hid her scar in layers, she also worked with top photographer Helmut Newton, who highlighted the scar on her arm. It planted an important message that beauty comes in all colors, shapes, and forms. After Newton’s endorsement, other major photographers and designers began hiring her.
  • She became interested in acting in 1999. Her first role was in ‘Figlio di Sandokan, an Italian pirate movie. Next, she did a role in ‘Caraibi’ (Pirates: Blood Brothers), a drama about 17th-century pirates. She also hosted Italy’s top-rated television show ‘Domenica In.’ In 2001, she did a comical supporting role as a disco singer in ‘Glitter’, an American movie.
  • In 2002, she starred in ‘Precious Cargo,’ an episode of the science TV series ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’. She portrayed Sean Bean’s nemesis Madhuvanthi in the 2004–05 TV series ‘Sharpe’s Challenge’.
  • In 2003, she appeared in the film ‘Boom’ as Shiela Bardez, a supermodel accused of stealing diamonds. She portrayed the role of Geeta in Paul Mayeda Berges’ film ‘The Mistress of Spices’ in 2005. She also made a guest appearance on the NBC series ‘30 Rock’ in 2009, and starred in ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ in 2014.
  • In 2006, she appeared in ABC’s TV series ‘The Ten Commandments’. She also hosts the popular television show ‘Top Chef’, which she joined in 2006. She also serves as an executive producer of the show.
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  • In 2009, she starred in Eels music video for the song ‘That Look You Give That Guy,’ where she played the love interest of Mark Oliver Everett.
  • Besides modeling and acting, she also writes cookbooks—the first one was ‘Easy Exotic’, a compilation of recipes from different countries. The book made her popular, and she was called to host a Food Network series called ‘Padma’s Passport’.
  • She also hosted ‘Planet Food’, a British culinary tourism show aired on the Food Network in the US and internationally on the Discovery Channels. It was an hour-long special on South India and Spain.
  • She released her second cookbook, ‘Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet’, on October 2, 2007. Her debut memoir, ‘Love, Loss and What We Ate,’ was released on the International’s Women’s Day on March 8, 2016. She also released the ‘Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs’ in October 2016.
  • She used to write a syndicated column in ‘The New York Times’, and has also written several articles on style for the American edition of ‘Vogue’ magazine. She wrote a column on style for ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ as well.

Padma Lakshmi Awards and Achievements

  • Padma Lakshmi has appeared on the covers of many magazines including ‘Vogue India,’ ‘L’Officiel India,’ ‘Cosmopolitan,’ ‘Asian Woman,’ ‘Avenue,’ ‘Industry Magazine,’ ‘Marie Claire India,’ ‘Harper’s Bazaar,’ and ‘Newsweek.’
  • Her cookbook ‘Easy Exotic’ was awarded Best First Book at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
  • In 2007, ‘Top Chef’, the program she hosted, was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. In 2009, she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for the same program ‘Top Chef’.

Personal Life of Padma Lakshmi

Reflecting her personal life, She was dating her boyfriend Salman Rushdie before the couple chosen to take their relationship to another level and got married in the year 2004. The couple was going strong until the point that some serious issues begun in their relationship. The couple experienced the procedure of separation in the year 2007 soon after three years of marriage.

After that, she has been involved with financial speculator Adam Dell. The couple has one child and she is her little girl whose name is Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell. After testing DNA, it is proved that her daughter’s father is Adam Dell. She was additionally in a relationship with Teddy Forstmann, the Ex administrator and previous CEO of IMG. In 2014, she has been in a relationship with an American actor character, Richard Gere. Later their relation breaks up. At the current time, she is single lives happily with her daughter.

Padma Lakshmi’s Net Worth And Salary

Her net worth is $30 million at present, which proves her success in the industry. She has earned a huge amount of salary from her career. She earned $50 thousand per episode from her work.

Padma Lakshmi Body Measurements

Talking about her body measurements, she has been standing with a perfect height of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) and weighs around 68 kg. She has a seductive body size of 38-27-40 inches and bra size is 36B. She has an hourglass body shape with black hair color and brown eye color.

Padma Lakshmi Wiki, Biography, Age, Height, Weight, Husband, Family. Padma Lakshmi is a Very Beautiful and Most Popular Indian Film Actress and Model. She was born 1 September, 1970 (Age 48 Years) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Padma Lakshmi is a Very Beautiful and Most popular Indian Model, Film Actress, Author and Television Host.

She is a Very popular Name of Indian Film and Television Industry. Padma Lakshmi was made her acting debut film Unzipped in 1995. She married to Salman Rushdie (m. 2004: Div. 2007). Padma Lakshmi has complete her Graduation from Clark University.

Body Measurements: Padma Lakshmi Height 5 Feet 9 Inch approx. to 175 cm and Weight 54 Kg approx. to 119 lbs. Her Bra Size 36C and Full Body Measurements are 36-23-35 Inches. Her Waist Size 23 Inches and Hip Size 35 Inches. Padma Lakshmi Shoe Size 8 (US) and Dress Size 4 (US). Her Hair Color is Black and Eye Color is Dark Brown.

Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi Wiki, Biography, Age, Height, Weight, Husband, Family

Actress Name : Padma Lakshmi

Nickname : Padma

Profession : Actress, Author, TV host

Net Worth: $30 Million

Date of Birth : 1 September, 1970

Age : 48 Years

Birth Place : Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Zodiac Sign : Virgo

University : Clark University

Educational Qualification : BA (Hons) in Theatre Arts

Nationality : Indian

Hobbies : Cooking, Reading, Travelling, Roller Skating, Playing Charades

Padma Lakshmi Height Weight

Height in Feet : 5 feet 9 inches

Height in centimeter : 175 cm

Height in Meter : 1.75 m

Weight in Kilogram : 55 kg

Weight in Pounds : 120 lbs

Body Measurements : 36-23-35 Inches

Bra size : 36C

Waist Size : 23 Inches

Hip Size : 35 Inches

Dress Size : 4

Feet/Shoe size : 8

Hair Color : Black

Eye Color : Brown

Body Build : Hourglass

Padma Lakshmi Family

Father : Vaidyanathan (an executive with the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer)

Mother : Vijaya Lakshmi (Oncologist)

Siblings : 1 half-brother (from her Father’s side) & 1 half-sister (from her Father’s side)

Padma Lakshmi Husband Name Affairs & more

Marital Status : Married

Husband / Spouse : Salman Rushdie (m. 17 April 2004; div. 2007)

No. of Children : Unknown

Son Name : Unknown

Daughter Name : Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell (with Adam R. Dell)


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