Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated producer, television host, food expert, and a New York Times best-selling author, as well as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (2023).

She is the creator of the critically-acclaimed and Emmy-nominated Hulu series “Taste the Nation”, which is the recipient of a James Beard Foundation Award top prize in Visual Media – Long Form. Lakshmi served as host and executive producer for 19 seasons of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series “Top Chef”, which has been nominated for 47 Emmys, including her five-time nomination for Outstanding Host for A Reality-Competition Program.

Lakshmi is co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ rights and women’s rights. Lakshmi was also appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She established herself as a food expert early in her career, hosting two successful cooking shows: “Padma’s Passport”, and “Planet Food” and writing the best-selling Easy Exotic, which won the Best First Book award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet and her memoir The New York Times best-selling Love, Loss and What We Ate. She later published The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs. In August of 2021 she published her first children’s book Tomatoes for Neela which was also a New York Times bestseller.

Additionally, Lakshmi is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety, as well as the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Just when she thought her modeling days were behind her, she graced the pages of Sports Illustrated Magazine’s Swimsuit Edition in 2023.



New York Times best-selling author, Emmy-nominated producer, television host, activist, and tastemaker, Padma Lakshmi will join us and treat us all to her wit, wisdom, and artful way with words and recipes at SVWC 2024.


Photo credit – Priscilla Benedetti