Padma Lakshmi is revealing parts of herself that Top Chef fans have never known in her just-released memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate. The book not only chronicles her love affair with food, but also with the people who have shaped who she is today. Written over the span of four years, it was meant to be a book about healthy eating in which Padma would infuse her life experiences but it turned into a fully-fleshed out memoir instead. And inside, she reveals that when she found out she was pregnant in 2009, she didn't initially know who the father of her daughter was since she was dating two men at the same time. She opened up about that revelation on TODAY on Tuesday.
"You know, it probably wasn't the best choice, but it was the choice I made at the time. I didn't want to be in a serious relationship. I was still really hurting from my divorce [from writer Salman Rushdie], I probably shouldn't have been with anybody and just taken the time I needed for myself. But I was presented with two very different, very interesting men, and, you know, men do it all the time. I chose to do it. I was open with the men involved and I'm gonna own my history, that's what I did."
The book also reflects on her relationship with Rushdie, whom she divorced in 2007 following a lengthy love affair that lasted nearly a decade. "I was with Salman for eight years and at the time that's half my adult life," she added on Today. "It was a wonderful relationship. Like any marriage it had it's ups and downs, and I think also we were dealing with another issue, which I had no idea about at the time, which was endometriois. At the time I really needed to take care of my health and I couldn't take care of my health and get well and also take care of my marriage. And I did the best I could and, by the way, I think Salman did the best he could. And there was a lot of love there and it just didn't work out."
It's a big week for Padma. In addition to the release of her memoir, Top Chef is gearing up for its two-part finale from Las Vegas this week. Check out a preview, below.