Padma Lakshmi returns as host of Bravo's Top Chef, Season 12, introducing the challenges to the contestants each week and presiding over the judge's table alongside Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Hugh Acheson.
Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early on in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing a best-selling cookbook Easy Exotic, for which she won the International Versailles Event for best cookbook by a first time writer. Lakshmi followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, released by Weinstein Books which has over 150 recipes from around the world alongside intriguing personal memoirs.
Lakshmi is also a savvy businesswoman with two companies of her own. The jewelry collection, PL by Padma Lakshmi available at HSN. Secondly, she has created Easy Exotic, a collection of culinary products including fine teas and teapots; high-quality natural spice blends, roasting rubs and sea salts; as well as hard goods.
Lakshmi hosted Padma's Passport on The Food Network where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world. Lakshmi has also hosted Planet Food, a documentary series broadcast on The Food Network and worldwide on the Discovery Channel. She journeyed to countries such as Spain and India. Lakshmi is Emmy nominated for her role as host and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, which has recently been awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Show.
On the screen, Lakshmi was last seen with Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott in Paul Mayeda Berges' newest filmMistress of Spices. She then played Princess Bithia in ABC's much anticipated mini-series The Ten Commandments alongside Naveen Andrews (Lost), Omar Sharif and Dougray Scott. Lakshmi also recently starred in BBC America's Sharpe's Challenge opposite Sean Bean.
She has appeared in films in the US, Italy, and India. Other television credits include hosting Rai Television's Domenica In, Italy's highest rated program.
Lakshmi is also an accomplished writer. In addition to her food writing, she has contributed to such magazines as American Vogue, Gourmet and British and American Harper's Bazaar.
In 2009, Lakshmi 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 such as launching the first interdisciplinary research facility in the country for Gynopathology as a joint project between Harvard Medical School and MIT, where she gave the keynote address at the Center's opening in December 2009.
Originally known as the first internationally successful Indian supermodel and often noted as a global style icon, Lakshmi has been featured as People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in 2007 and 25 Most Intriguing People of 2009, AOL's Top 20 Style Influencers of 2006, Gotham Magazine's Best Dressed New Yorkers, and part of The Elle 25 in 2007.