Padma Lakshmi Fans Are Loving This Sci-Fi Show Throwback

Padma Lakshmi on Star Trek!? Many of us weren't aware of this sci-fi appearance until Lakshmi herself shared a throwback pic, but fans are thrilled to discover this lesser-known role. It started with Lakshmi sharing a gorgeous snap of herself looking backward captioned, "Look back at it" (via Twitter). Next comes the reply by Francisco Castro, a self-described, "Award-winning, produced, Asian-Cajun screenwriter-playwright-producer." Castro responded by sharing a pic of the "Top Chef" host in the legendary sci-fi series. "Always look back at your appearance on @StarTrek: ENTERPRISE," he wrote. Padma replies with a reshare and the simple hand gesture widely recognized as "Live long and prosper" ala original Star Trek's Spock. Yes, Padma Lakshmi was a Star Trek alien.

In reference to Lakshmi's "Star Trek" nod, fan BenMcG shares, "Literally JUST watched this episode last night then watched you make latkes on TTN. A queen and a cook!" The episode in reference is titled "Precious Cargo" and is from Season 2, Episode 11 of "Enterprise" (via IMDb). For those who were wondering, "Top Chef" began in 2006. 

So what can we expect when watching this future food host?

Padma Lakshmi is definitely a Trekkie

As fans have noted, Padma Lakshmi plays a royal (future) queen in this episode. Memory Alpha Fandom describes the episode as mostly about Commander "Trip" Tucker (Connor Trinneer) and a mysterious, kidnapped alien Kaitaama (Lakshmi). Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) rescues a distressed ship with a failing stasis pod inside. Through some good ol' sci-fi meddling, it's discovered that the pod is carrying none other than Kaitaama, the future First Monarch of the Sovereign Dynasty of Krios Prime. More shenanigans ensue, and Trip and Kaitaama flee in a bare escape pod eating beef jerky and drinking water rations from futuristic hydration bags.

Not quite at "Top Chef" level food evaluation, Lakshmi's character at one point asks about her rations, "Is it edible?" to which Trip replies, "Well, depends how hungry you are." And while Lakshmi's alien food evaluation may not yet be "Top Chef" level, she readily admits she's embraced her inner nerd. Commenting to ABC News in 2010, she owns up to both her role and being a "Trekkie" (via YouTube). We might just be "Star Trek" fans now, too, Padma — what a great throwback.