The Food You May Not Know Padma Lakshmi Loves

Padma Lakshmi has eaten a lot of delicious food in her lifetime. As a judge on Top Chef for all 17 seasons to date, she's indulged in more than her fair share of gourmet dishes over the years, from five-star seafood meals to the most decadent desserts. It's rumored that she consumes anywhere between 7,000 and 8,000 calories per day during filming because she has to try some 30 different creations each episode. That's a lot of food!

But what the Bravo star eats on a regular basis isn't all white chocolate wasabi salmon (remember that winning dish from season four?!) or creamy tiramisu. She actually eats like a normal person, focusing on fruits and veggies and occasionally satisfying her sweet tooth. While she's admitted that she's a little too obsessed with cheese — she says she has to hide it in the refrigerator drawer, according to Delish — there's another food that Lakshmi is constantly snacking on, too.

Pickles, but make them fancy

The one food that constantly comes up when Padma Lakshmi talks about her favorite eats? Pickles. But these aren't the kosher dill pickles that are likely sitting in your pantry. In true foodie fashion, Lakshmi prefers pickles that are, well, a little more unique. The Top Chef judge says it's one of the first tastes that she ever remembers, having loved the spicy Indian pickles that she grew up with overseas. "I was climbing up on my grandmother's shelves in the kitchen like a monkey, sort of like a temple monkey, to try and get at the pickle jars," she confessed to NPR.

Her love of all things pickled has continued into adulthood, too. Not only has Lakshmi published plenty of her own recipes, from pickled peppers to pickled beet stems, but she also admits that one thing she can't get enough of is Indian lime pickles. "Whenever I go [to India], I smuggle it back in my suitcase — or we have relatives bring it with them," she told Bon Appétit"They're these round balls that look like round balls of dirt once they're pickled with chopped lime leaf, dried chile salt, and tamarind."