Padma Lakshmi, the host of the popular cooking show “Top Chef,” has announced that she will be leaving the show after its 20th season. In a statement shared on social media, Lakshmi expressed her decision to move on and mentioned her pride in being a part of the show’s success and impact on television and the culinary world.
Having been with the show for 19 seasons since joining in Season 2, Lakshmi described the cast and crew as a second family and expressed her fondness for working alongside them. She specifically mentioned her gratitude for the support received over the 17 years she spent on the show.
Lakshmi’s departure from “Top Chef” will allow her to focus on other projects, including her Hulu series called “Taste the Nation.” This show features Lakshmi traveling across America to explore different regional cuisines and was recently renewed for a second season.
The former model and cookbook author expressed her appreciation to her fans for their years of love and support. She also received praise from an NBC Universal spokesperson, who acknowledged her significant contribution to “Top Chef” and described her as a consummate host, judge, and executive producer. The statement emphasized that she will always have a place at the judges’ table and be part of the show’s family.
In a previous interview, Lakshmi discussed the challenges of balancing her schedule between “Taste the Nation” and “Top Chef.” She mentioned the difficulty of traveling for both shows and expressed a desire to be able to do them without constraints. Lakshmi also highlighted the political nature of food choices and mentioned that her show “Taste the Nation” aims to promote understanding and shed light on immigrant populations through entertaining and informative storytelling.
Overall, Padma Lakshmi’s departure from “Top Chef” marks the end of an era for the beloved cooking show, but fans can look forward to her continued presence in the culinary world through her other projects, including “Taste the Nation.”