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Padma Lakshmi returns as host of Bravo's "Top Chef: Seattle” introducing the challenges to the contestants each week and presiding over the judge's table alongside Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, Emeril Lagasse, and new this season – Wolfgang Puck.
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 is a larger endeavor filled with over 150 recipes from around the world and intriguing personal memoirs. She has also been a contributing editor to American Vogue, Gourmet, and British and American Harper's Bazaar.
Previously, Lakshmi hosted Padma's Passport where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world. Lakshmi also hosted Planet Food, a documentary series broadcast on The Food Network and worldwide on the Discovery Channel, in which she journeyed to countries including Spain and India.
Lakshmi was last seen with Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott in Paul Mayeda Berges' film Mistress of Spices. Lakshmi appeared as Princess Bithia in ABC's mini-series The Ten Commandments alongside Naveen Andrews, Omar Sharif, and Dougray Scott, the second-highest rated television film of 2006. She also starred in the two-part mini-series Sharpe's Challenge opposite Sean Bean, the continuation of the BBC series based on Richard Cornwall's novels.
She has appeared in films in the US, Italy, and India. Other television credits include hosting Rai Television's Dominica In,Italy’s highest rated program.
Lakshmi is also a savvy businesswoman with two companies of her own. The first is her jewelry line, The Padma Collection, which has sold at many fine retailers nationwide. Secondly, she created Easy Exotic, a culinary product line that features fine teas and teapots, high-quality natural spice blends, roasting rubs and sea salts, as well as hard goods.
Originally known as the first internationally successful Indian supermodel, Lakshmi started modeling while abroad as an exchange student in Spain with Clark University where she received a B.A. with honors in Theater Arts.