Here's How Padma Lakshmi Developed Her Passion For Food

One of the most fascinating things about celebrity chefs are their stories of how they were introduced or fell into their passion for food. Giada De Laurentiis found that cooking food helped her find solace during her days of being bullied at school; Nadiya Hussain deepened her connection with her husband through baking (via Nadiya Hussain); and Bobby Flay's natural talent was uncovered while working for an iconic New York City eatery. 

Every story is different, and for accomplished chef, TV host, and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi, her fascination with food started at a very young age. She explained in an interview with NPR that she's a "supertaster," and food that many infants and young children would turn their noses up at — like mango and fiery pickles — were favorites of hers. But it wasn't just childhood that led to where she is now; her bi-coastal upbringing left a huge impression on her, too.

Padma Lakshmi's love of food has led to television host roles and 4 published cookbooks

Padma Lakshmi's palate only continued to develop following her move to the United States, where she lived with her mother in New York and later Los Angeles. Both cities are known for their impressive culinary breadth, and Lakshmi told NPR that the Big Apple especially led to helping introduce a whole new roster of foods to her diet and sharpened her knowledge surrounding different dishes, ingredients, and cuisines. This budding loving story ended up leading Lakshmi to center her entire career on the powers of food and cooking.

Following an impressive modeling portfolio and an acting stint, Lakshmi eventually molded herself a career revolving around food. According to Biography, the publication of her book Easy Exotic led to an open door for hosting her own show on Food Network: Padma's Passport. Then, following the release of her second book came the opportunity for hosting Top Chef, which helped cement her as a household name. Now, with a fifth book on the way — due for release in summer 2021, as stated by her website — it seems Lakshmi's ambition and love of the craft will only lead to more exciting opportunities in the world of food.