Padma Lakshmi: How I Earned My Chops as a Foodie
The 'Top Chef' host reveals she once had "imposter syndrome."
Padma Lakshmi is always cool as a cucumber. But there was a time when the Top Chef host wasn't sure she had the chops to host the food competition program.
"I think the biggest thing that moved the needle for me was to give myself permission to learn on the job and think, 'That's OK!," she said in her Jubilee talk, according to Yahoo. "On the first season of 'Top Chef,' I suffered from imposter syndrome. I didn't have [restaurant cooking experience]. I thought, I'll just be a really good host."
She also credits one of her Top Chef co-stars for changing the game for her. "Somewhere along there, and he probably doesn't even know it and we're friends, I heard Eric Ripert say to another chef, 'No, Padma has a really sensitive palate, like one of the most sensitive palates of anyone I've ever met!," she said. "I held on to that. Any time I felt insecure or insufficient, which I did a lot on that set, all I had to do was rely on what I did know rather than what I didn't know."
In addition to Ripert's praise, Padma also listened to someone else. "All of us have that little child in us," she said. "The more we can harness that child the more we can find out, where we're in our groove. It's really where we belong. That's when you're feeding that person inside."
Before Padma's hosting gig on Top Chef, she worked as a model and her travels helped shape her love and passion for food.
"I went to college not for anything having to do with food," she said. "I was a theater student. I studied theater and American literature and I was studying abroad in Spain. I was going to dutifully go back home and find an apartment. But in Spain I started modeling. I figured out I could make a good amount of money pretty much by standing still. People donít realize this, but my career as a model directly influenced what I do today. I credit my modeling career with my career in food. It allowed me to travel all over the world, taste the world, and explore places I never would have gotten the opportunity to go to, like France, Bali."