Padma Lakshmi

Indian-born American author, actress, model, television host and executive producer

Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan (born September 1, 1970) is an Indian American author, activist, model, and television host.

Padma Lakshmi in 2008


  • New York City was my first introduction to America. It was a beautiful welcome because in the streets I saw people of all colors, wearing different outfits, clearly from different parts of the world. While I was still feeling like a foreigner, an immigrant, an outsider, there were so many people I could point to even as a young child who looked completely different, too.
  • The best way to improve matters in your own actions is to first understand and accept the reasons for systemic prejudice and how that discrimination manifests in people’s lives over generations. Then you have to accept the ways in which some groups — perhaps your own — have benefited from this societal favoritism. And then you have to open your mouth and be an active member of your community to vote out elected officials who are part of the problem.
  • The world is getting bigger and smaller at the same time. The possibilities and opportunities to taste different kinds of foods are much more prevalent today than even 10 or 15 years ago. At the same time, because people are traveling, in spite of certain parts of the world that are dangerous, you do get to try more things. With the Internet and Instagram, you get to know about all these funky dishes.
  • You know how you’re completely different with your mom than you are with your best friend, than you are with your romantic partner, than you are with your boss? They’re just different facets of me.