Why Padma Almost Missed her Emmy Moment

Top Chef host was shocked to graduate from bridesmaid to bride.

Remember that crowning moment of glory that Top Chef savored at last year's Emmy Awards? The surprise... the jubilation... the downright giddy Padma? Well, it almost didn't happen. Seems at least a few on the Top Chef team were coming down with a serious case of the Susan Luccis.

"We were in the middle of shooting and we were grumbling about having to go clear across the country to attend the Emmys and feeling like 'always the bridesmaid, never the bride,'" Padma Lakshmi tells The Los Angeles Times. "And you know, I was feeling what a pity having to get a dress for no reason again, and then we won! I mean, it was a complete shock." How much of a shock? "It was funny, 'cause right before, on the red carpet, I hit the host of The Amazing Race with my bag and said 'I hate you!'" she joked.

But can our beloved foodie fight repeat? Padma hopes so, and is hoping that two episodes in particular -- the Sesame Street and Ellis Island eps -- will help to put her back on the Emmy stage. "It was a very compelling show emotionally," she tells the Times of the Ellis Island episode. "So much of being a chef, and being a good cook, or being creative, comes from the things that you grew up with. And taste is so emotional and so tied to nostalgia... So I thought this episode was great because it brought a lot of these chefs home."

And on the other end of the spectrum, who doesn't love a visit from Elmo? "Everybody was so excited," she recalls of the day Sesame Street rolled through the Top Chef kitchen. "There was this beautiful adrenaline on-set, and everyone became really playful, everyone became really childlike,"

But will that be enough? Not even Padma knows for sure. "I don't know what the secret formula is," she said. "If I did, I would be brewing it right now in my kitchen!"

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