Padma Lakshmi Just Targeted Ted Cruz With Top Chef-Inspired Shade

You probably know Padma Lakshmi from her role as host and judge on Bravo's hit show "Top Chef" and Hulu's "Taste the Nation," but off camera and behind the scenes, the television personality is also an avid activist when it comes to humanitarian issues facing women and immigrants. She is not only the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America but is also involved with the American Civil Liberties Union and the United Nations Development Programme (via Lakshmi's website).

It's no surprise then that Lakshmi has strong political views. In a move exemplifying her pro-choice stance, she spoke out in September on Instagram in response to Texas' Senate Bill 8's six-week abortion ban, deploring the law. She also gave a speech at the 2021 Women's March advocating for pro-choice legislation and encouraging constituents to "hold [their] elected officials accountable for the chaos and carnage they are causing" (via Substack). She denounced the actions of the Texas GOP, whose members include U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (via BuzzFeed News).

Lakshmi previously expressed her distaste for Cruz back in February when the National Weather Service reported that an ice storm had frozen over most of Texas. Lakshmi pointed out in a tweet that while his "constituents [were] literally freezing to death," Cruz was at a resort in Cancun. Lakshmi's latest post, which appears on Instagram and TikTok, further conveys her particular lack of fondness for Cruz.

Padma Lakshmi hopes Ted Cruz will metaphorically 'pack his knives and go'

In the post, Padma Lakshmi presents a series of three "POV" scenarios in which she uses her famous elimination catchphrase from "Top Chef:" "Please pack your knives and go." The first two scenarios are comical and not laced with political satire, the first kindly imploring nonadventurous diners at Indian restaurants to leave and the second gently telling chefs who oversalt their dishes during a competition that they will be eliminated. Each scenario displays one of her different catchphrase tones, setting the stage for the third scenario, in which Lakshmi encourages all those named Ted Cruz to "please pack your knives and go."

Padma Lakshmi's Instagram post garnered supportive responses in the form of laughing, heart, and clapping emojis as well as comments like, "Maybe Ted should just leave his knives I don't like the idea of him having access to knives" and "100% on board." But not everyone supported her message, such as one user who commented, "You're too political people follow you for your good looks and cooking skills not your opinions on Ted Cruz."

Lakshmi's passion for reform doesn't seem to be abating anytime soon. As she told The Hollywood Reporter, "I have become galvanized. Obviously, I'm an immigrant ... so I feel a great kinship with people who are not the establishment. But I didn't really become this active until I felt I had no choice, for my daughter. What world was she going to inherit?"