1. Her debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
2. 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.
3. In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.
4. Padma Lakshmi was born in Madras, India. was a nurse who specialized in oncology.
5. Her mother tongue is Tamil. She is her parents’ only child from this marriage.
6. Both parents later remarried, and Lakshmi has a younger paternal half-brother and half-sister.
7. The latter formerly worked as an actress and classical dancer but is now pursuing a career with children with special needs. In an interview in The Guardian, Lakshmi said, “My father had quit his job as an executive at Pfizer to manage her career.
8. I didn’t understand why he wanted that relationship with her, and not with me.”
9. In 1984 when she was 14 years old Lakshmi was hospitalized for three weeks, eventually diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which is caused by hypersensitivity to an infection or certain kinds of medications.
10. Two days after discharge from the hospital she was in a car accident in Malibu, California, which left her with a fractured right hip and a shattered right upper arm. The injury to her arm required surgery which left her with a 7-inch scar between her elbow and shoulder.
11. She is a 1992 graduate of Clark University, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she received a BA, with Honors, in Theatre Arts.
12. Lakshmi’s career began at age 21, when she was discovered while studying abroad by a modeling agent in Madrid, Spain while sitting in a caf. As she has stated, “I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan and New York.
13. I’m the first one to admit that I was a novelty.” Lakshmi managed to pay off her college loans while working as a model and actress.
14. She has modeled for top designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Alberta Ferretti and appeared in ad campaigns for Roberto Cavalli and Versus.