|Padma Lakshmi Quick Info
|5 ft 9 in
|Date of Birth
|September 1, 1970
Padma Lakshmi is an Indian American television host, author, activist, and model who is best known for having served as the host of the cooking competition show Top Chef and the docuseries, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi. She has published a variety of books such as The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World, Easy Exotic and Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, Love, Loss, and What We Ate, Tomatoes for Neela, and many more. Padma has done modeling work for several designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, and Alberta Ferretti. She has been featured on the cover of magazines like FHM, Cosmopolitan, Vogue India, Redbook, L’Officiel India, Asian Woman, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Industry Magazine, Avenue, and Marie Claire.
Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
She lives in a classy and elegant apartment in New York City in the United States.
Padma Lakshmi attended William Workman High School. She got enrolled at Clark University and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in Theater Arts.
Model, author, actress, TV host
- Father – Vaidyanathan (Executive with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer)
- Mother – Vijaya Lakshmi (Retired nurse with a specialization in oncology)
Padma Lakshmi is represented by the London-based CAM (Talent Agency).
5 ft 9 in or 175 cm
68 kg or 150 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Padma Lakshmi has dated
- Salman Rushdie (2000-2007) – Padma and novelist Salman Rushdie met at Central Park in 2000 for their first date and ended up getting in bed afterward. When they started dating, Salman was officially a married man. However, he had assured Padma that he and his wife Elizabeth West had separated a long time ago. He eventually divorced West and moved in with Lakshmi. After living together for three years, they got married in April 2004. He even dedicated his novel Fury to her. However, after the blissful initial years, problems started cropping up as she began finding success on her own. Plus, the symptoms of her severe endometriosis had worsened, leaving her in acute pain, which affected their intimacy in marriage. Rushdie was particularly irked by the lack of s*x and even went on to call her a bad investment. The filed for divorce in July 2007.
- Adam Dell (2007-2009) – Shortly after filing for divorce, Padma started going out with venture capitalist Adam Dell, who is the brother of the founder of Dell computers; Michael Dell. They had been reportedly introduced by mutual friends. Their relationship, which came to an end in the early months of 2009, was largely uneventful. However, it did become interesting afterward as she found out that she was pregnant and wasn’t sure who the father was as she was also dating Theodore Forstmann. She eventually found out that Adam was the father of her daughter, Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell, who was born in February 2010. Initially, they had a bit of a wrangle over Krishna’s visitation and custody rights, but they managed to reach an agreement. They got back together for a brief period in the summer of 2009.
- Nur Khan (2008) – Padma Lakshmi was reportedly going out with Nur Khan, who owned a couple of popular nightclubs and hotels in New York City, in 2008. They were spotted together on a couple of occasions but their affair didn’t last long.
- Ted Forstmann (2009-2011) – The timeline of her relationship with billionaire investor Ted Forstmann, who passed away in 2011 of brain cancer, is a bit sketchy. Some sources claim that they started dating in 2009 after the end of her relationship with Adam Dell, while others contend that they had started dating far earlier. When she gave birth to Krishna, Ted had believed that the child was his and was heartbroken when the paternity test revealed otherwise. He eventually overcame his angst and insisted that she be raised as his daughter. When he passed away, he left trust funds worth millions of dollars in Krishna’s name.
- David Spade (2010) – Padma was reportedly linked with comedian and actor David Spade in 2010 after they were spotted on a dinner date at Koi in Los Angeles.
- Vikram Chatwal (2012-2013) – Lakshmi started going out with hotelier Vikram Chatwal towards the end of 2012. They were first spotted together at a basketball match between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. She even took him as her date to the annual Blossom Ball benefiting the Endometriosis Foundation of America. They were later spotted celebrating Christmas Eve and New Year together. However, their relationship came to an end by the following year.
- Richard Gere (2014) – In April 2014, Padma was reportedly dating actor Richard Gere. It was alleged that amidst his divorce from Carey Lowell, to whom he was married for 11 years, Richard had found love with her. However, about six months later, they were heading in different directions. It was reported that they were just having fun.
- Kenya Barris (2023-Present) – In November 2023, it was rumored that Padma was dating film and television writer Kenya Barris after they were seen holding hands while walking through New York City.
Race / Ethnicity
On both her parents’ sides, she has Tamil Brahmin Iyer ancestry.
- A seven-inch scar on her upper right arm
- Tall height
- High cheekbones
Padma Lakshmi has done endorsement work for the following brands
- Carl’s Jr. Hamburgers
- Red (2014)
- Stacy’s Pita Chips
Best Known For
- Having worked as the judge as well as the host of the popular cooking TV series, Top Chef.
- Making guest appearances in popular movies and TV series such as The Mistress of Spices, 30 Rock, and Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Being one of the first popular supermodels of Indian origin. She has modeled for leading fashion brands such as Gianni Versace, Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren.
Padma’s first theatrical film appearance was in 1995 in the documentary, Unzipped. However, her role was uncredited.
First TV Show
In 1998, Padma Lakshmi made her first TV show appearance in the adventure drama miniseries, Il Figlio di Sandokan.
To maintain her stunning and toned body, Padma Lakshmi follows a regimented and disciplined workout routine. She works out five days a week with two days reserved for weightlifting and the remaining three days for boxing sessions.
Also, to ensure that there is no weight gain, she works out on the treadmill and elliptical machine. When she is at home, she jumps rope and performs a plank. In fact, she carries a rope wherever she goes, especially when she has a very busy schedule as rope jumping gives her the option of a quick and effective workout.
When it comes to diet, she is not a fan of starving herself to stay slim. Instead, she focuses on eating clean. She tries to keep sweets, alcohol, meats, fried foods, wheat, and cheese off the table. As she is sweating it out in the gym and staying fairly disciplined, she gives herself the freedom to indulge once in a while.
She prepares her own cleanse by mixing two ounces of cranberry juice, one Emergen-C Vitamin C packet, six ounces of water or green tea, and a teaspoon of fiber powder, and drinks it three times a day. She also drinks about two to three liters of water daily.
Padma Lakshmi Favorite Things
- Food – Pizza, cheese, nachos, fried chicken, and potato chips
- NYC Restaurants – Uncle Boons on 7 Spring St., Indochine on 430 Lafayette St., RedFarm on 529 Hudson St. and 2170 Broadway, Pongal on 110 Lexington Ave., Ganesh Temple Canteen on 45-57 Bowne St., Mission Chinese on 171 E. Broadway, Mission Cantina on 172 Orchard St.
- Eat Alone Restaurant – Los Tacos No. 1, a Taco Stand in Chelsea Market
- Restaurant to Celebrate Milestones – Any Daniel Boulud or Jean-Georges restaurant
- Vacation Spot – Mexico and Bali
- Store – Kalustyan’s, a spice store in New York City
- Necessary Indulgence – Louis Vuitton carry-on wheelie
- Go-To Drink – If it’s hot, Patrón silver on the rocks, with mint and lime and club soda, otherwise, Patrón Reposado in a brandy snifter neat
- Beauty Product – Christine Chin’s daily renewal serum
- Instagram Handle – Jerry Saltz, who is a New York Magazine art critic
- Favorite Clothing Piece – Custom-made 3×1 jumpsuit
- All-Time Favorite Movie – The Sound of Music (1965)
Padma Lakshmi Facts
- While growing up, she felt that her ethnical name made her sort of an outcast, so to assimilate into American society, she decided to go by the name Angelique. It was in college that she decided to use her birth name once again.
- She is seriously multilingual and converses in five languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, Spanish, and Italian) with perfect ease.
- She is the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA). She has been suffering from the painful disease since the age of 13 but wasn’t diagnosed until the age of 36.
- Lakshmi and EFA were one of the driving forces behind the start of the MIT Center for Gynepathology research. She was invited as a keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony.
- She has been appointed as the global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive organization. She has visited several KCA sites and events in India.
- While growing up, she was involved in a serious auto crash that shattered her right arm and fractured her right hip as well. As the remainder of the accident, she still has a seven-inch long scar on her right arm.
- In her senior year in high school, she decided to study in Madrid, where she was discovered by a photographer, who convinced her to try out as a model.
- In May 2007, People magazine included Padma on their list featuring 100 Most Beautiful Women.
- In 2007, she was placed in the #87 position by Maxim magazine in their Hot 100 list.
- When she appeared on the long-running talk show The View in 2007, she became the first woman of Indian origin to make a guest appearance and also serve as a co-host on the popular talk show.
- While growing up, she often had to endure bullying and racial taunts in school, which led to her suffering from ‘self-loathing.’
- At the age of 14, she had to spend three weeks in hospital as she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is triggered by an adverse reaction to some kind of medication or infection.
- In March 2019, Padma was appointed the United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador.
- In December 2021, she was honored by the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) with the “Advocate of the Year Award”.
- She was sexually abused by a relative of her then-stepfather at the age of 7. She eventually told her mother about it, who believed her but her stepfather didn’t and she was sent to India.
- She has a younger paternal half-sister who is a classical dancer and actress.
- She used to teach math to her next-door neighbor which was actually her first job.
- A copper brown-colored Ford Pinto was her first car.
- Her biggest pet peeve is when a person comes unprepared to a meeting.
- Padma likes boxing, especially the regular old-school Muhammad Ali boxing.
- Padma did her first modeling gig while in college which was for Spanish Elle.
- While going out with friends, she prefers drag queen gospel brunch.
- She makes a very good ragout for which she collects 3 types of meat from different butchers.
- She likes to spend her Sunday by reading The New York Times in her pajamas while at home.
- Poke bowl is her least favorite food trend.
- Whenever she gets an acting project, she buys herself a piece of jewelry. Once she bought a diamond ring and people thought she got engaged.
- She is an ordained minister in New York and California and has married more than 30 couples.
- She prefers taking a very hot bath after a busy long day.
- She had also partnered with Stacy’s Pita Chips for the Stacy’s Rise Project whose aim was to provide $200,000 in funding to 5 female founders of the food and beverage business.
- In June 2023, Padma confirmed that she was leaving Top Chef after having served as the host of the series for 17 years.
- In 2023, Padma was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.
Featured Image by David Shankbone / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0