Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi sure makes an impression. "I had met Charlize (Theron) years ago because she's always been a fan of the show," the foodie tells Entertainment Weekly about this week's special celebrity guest. "She's very funny and obviously very beautiful and very talented."
Aside from those dazzling qualities, Padma adds, "She actually does an impression of me, which I never thought I was that interesting to do an impression of, but it’s funny."
Jumping from the ha-has to the sort of horrifying, the model mom continues gushing about a certain cheftestant's recent dish. "Paul took a big risk in giving us that big bloody hand-print. It was just fantastic to see that kind of confidence and it was beautiful. We were really inspired by [Charlize's new movie] Snow White and the Huntsman, and the fairy tale quality that the movie has, and the visual aspect of it. It was almost like if Tim Burton or Martin Scorsese were cooking these meals."
Although that level of top-notch creativity didn't seal the deal on his win. "There was some debate. I thought [Paul's dish] was very original, Tom thought it was very reminiscent of Michel Bras and what he does," she ‘fesses. “I had just been to Noma in Copenhagen and I thought it was kind of [like] what René Redzepi was doing there. Everything comes from something else, but it doesn't mean it’s not inspired or unoriginal."
See how the whole debate unfolded in our exclusive Extended Judges' Table clip.