Here's How Padma Lakshmi Got Her First Cookbook Published

Television personality, author, model, and actor Padma Lakshmi is a woman who has often challenged stereotypes in her storied career. While the talented Lakshmi has donned several hats throughout her time in the spotlight, being a writer is one role that is very close to her heart. And, of course, diving into the world of food is something that she does not take lightly, either.

In September 2020, Lakshmi told NPR that she never thought she would be a part of the culinary industry — it was never part of her agenda. Lakshmi said, "I never intended to have a career in food. I didn't know anybody who did, so it never crossed my mind. I always loved to cook." 

Lakshmi further revealed that she often came across acquaintances and colleagues who told her they loved her cooking and thought she was extremely talented. Lakshmi said that she did not stop paying attention to her passion for food and would often carry a notepad with her to quickly note down recipe ideas whenever she visited family members. And that's precisely what led to the publication of her first cookbook.

Padma Lakshmi worked hard to achieve her dream

While it's true that Padma Lakshmi was not initially planning on writing about food, she could not help but buy as many cookbooks as she could and expand her knowledge base (via NPR). She was afraid when she first jotting down the recipes she had in her head and couldn't help but think about the fact that she had never written anything significant up until that point. Ultimately, when she decided to approach a publisher in New York, all she had with her was a meal that she had prepared using one of her recipes.

Lakshmi also told NPR about the time she wrote about her passion for cooking in an essay. She said, "...I went straight to the publisher's office, and I presented the publisher with the recipe. I said, you know, just eat this tonight, warm it up in the microwave, and I handed it to her. And that is how I got my publishing contract."  

Additionally, Lakshmi admitted that she did not realize how popular her take on food would become. She also said that she believes the whole idea was "a marketing ploy" that relied on the assumption that people were curious about a model's diet.