Padma Lakshmi and the Art of South Indian Cooking

Photo credit: Hulu
Photo credit: Hulu

From Marie Claire

“I’m eating rice and dal as we speak,” Padma Lakshmi tells me. As the longtime host and executive producer of Top Chef, Lakshmi has become accustomed to divulging what she’s eating. But today’s recitation of her lunch seems particularly serendipitous. What follows from her admission is a lengthy chat about the food both of us, as South Indian immigrants, grew up eating: rasam (a tamarind-based soup), dosas (a thin rice pancake), yogurt rice (like savory rice pudding). It’s the exact type of conversation—one about families and traditions and homes—Lakshmi hoped would be spurred by her new show, Taste the Nation.

In the 10-part Hulu series, Lakshmi travels the country shining a spotlight on the foods and immigrant communities that so-called “American” cuisine is built on. In Charleston, she explores the culture of the Gullah Geechee people, who influenced Southern dining, and in

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How Trump’s Cruelty Is Fueling Padma Lakshmi’s Fight for Immigrants

Dominic Valente/Hulu
Dominic Valente/Hulu

I’m an immigrant—and I’m not alone. Padma Lakshmi opens each episode of her new Hulu series Taste the Nation with that mantra, and it’s one that’s powering the food author and TV host during the Trump administration’s all-out war on immigrants, from the “Muslim ban” and separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border to the recent suspension of immigrant-worker visas through 2021.

“I find this disconnect between the policies that are made in Washington and how they actually affect people on the ground,” says Lakshmi. “I think it should be a requirement for each of these lawmakers deciding on immigration policy to embed themselves in these communities and see what life is like, and see if these people pose as much of a threat as they think they do.”

With each episode of Taste the Nation, Lakshmi has done just that—planting herself within a community

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Padma Lakshmi Embedded With Immigrant Chefs to Tell the Real Story of American Food

Photo credit: Hulu
Photo credit: Hulu

From Esquire

Photo credit: Hulu
Photo credit: Hulu

You’d be hard-pressed to find a longer resume in the world of food journalism—or even entertainment—right now than that of Padma Lakshmi. An Emmy-winning TV host, she’s also a cookbook author, a venerable producer, and a powerful activist. Her reign on Top Chef as a host and a judge, plus an EP, is nearing 15 years, and in 2009, she co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America. She works with both the United Nations Development Program and serves as an ambassador to the ACLU. And if you’re wondering who currently serves as the mayor of Twitter, look no further than her inspiring, occasionally incendiary, feed.

It’s an incredibly wide range, and it all informs her addictive, compelling new show, Taste the Nation. The 10-episode series, which she developed, produced, and hosts, debuts Thursday on Hulu. The driving question, as

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