Here's How Much Padma Lakshmi Is Really Worth

Padma Lakshmi might best be known as the long-running host of Top Chef, but she's an incredibly busy woman outside of the TV kitchen, too. Over the years, Lakshmi has done everything from launch her own jewelry and cookware line to modeling and writing numerous cookbooks (via Biography). As one might expect, having a steady TV job and her name on a line of retail products has made Lakshmi a pretty wealthy figure in the world of celebrity chefs. 

Lakshmi told Forbes that a big part of her success — and high-earning income — has been simply getting over the "icky" feeling of straight-up asking for what she wants (via YouTube). "You're there to make money. You're there as a job," Lakshmi said. "I think as women we need to be a little more proactive to be our own advocate." 

Her ex-husband, Salman Rushdie, said in his memoir, "She was ambitious in a way that often obliterated feeling." Perhaps not great for a marriage, but that has to be like rocket fuel for a career (via Eater). Being her "own advocate" has certainly paid off well for the TV personality, and Lakshmi's net worth is in the millions. 

She's making a lot of money with each Top Chef episode

As for Lakshmi's net worth, it's estimated to be at least $30 million (via The Richest). Some estimates suggest that Lakshmi's net worth could be even closer to the $40 million range (via Celebrity Net Worth). Perhaps right in the middle at around $35 million is the most accurate estimate. As for the various ways that Lakshmi grew her fortune, those product endorsements and book deals certainly paid well, then there are her various acting roles with appearances on shows such as Royal Pains, 30 Rock, and Life in Pieces

The real bulk of Lakshmi's net worth, however, comes from her day job as the host of Top Chef. Lakshmi reportedly pulls in a cool $50,000 for each episode of Top Chef. She likely wasn't making that sorta dough right out of the gate, but with 190 episodes of the cooking competition under her belt, well, that $50,000 per episode certainly adds up pretty quickly.