The longtime host shared the surprising news on her Instagram, posting a statement that said, “After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef. Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and executive producer, I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food.”
“After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly,” she continued. “I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for ‘Taste’ the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits. I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”
“Top Chef,” a reality TV competition show, sees chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges and Lakshmi has been the host since the show’s second season. She’s so far earned 14 Emmy nominations, Deadline reported.
“We’re in the golden age of television, and it’s really competitive,” she told Deadline in May 2023. “I’m sort of the Susan Lucci of reality television. It would be lovely to win, especially because this is our 20th season of ‘Top Chef.’”
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Padma Lakshmi’s Post Received a Lot of Comments From Many Supporters, Including Bravo’s Andy Cohen
Andy Cohen was one of the many people who commented on Lakshmi’s news as he wrote, “End of an era and an incredible run. You were such an amazing partner and a BRILLIANT host. I have such great memories of our TC days ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.” Matt Rogers commented, “Queen” while Evan Ross Katz called the “Top Chef” host a “LEGEND.”
One person wrote, “It won’t be the same without you.” Someone else commented, “This is the worst news I’ve ever heard and I’m really happy for you at the same time.” One commenter shared, “Say it’s not so!!!!! It won’t be the same without you but so excited to see what’s to come for u lady – onward & upward!!”
Padma Lakshmi Is the Creator of ‘Taste the Nation,’ a Food & Travel Show
In addition to hosting “Top Chef” for an impressive 20 seasons, Lakshmi is also the creator and star of “Taste the Nation,” a food and travel show that follows the Bravolebrity across the U.S. to learn about food and cultures. The 10-episode second season dropped on Hulu on May 5, 2023.
The show’s goal is “exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today,” the Hulu description states. “From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history.”
Lakshmi is also an award-winning author and has published several cookbooks as well as a memoir and a children’s book. She was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023 and made the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.