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Is ‘Top Chef’ season 20 Padma Lakshmi’s grand finale on the show?

Are you ready to say goodbye to an era? Padma Lakshmi, the culinary queen and enchanting host of Top Chef, is signing off from the show after a sumptuous twenty-season run. Lakshmi has been the spice that’s added an extra zing to Top Chef. After two decades, she decided to hang her hosting hat to focus on other appetizing ventures. 

Top Chef, which turned into a delightful buffet of talent and mouth-watering dishes, has been a second home for her. During her time, she’s been not just a host, but also an executive producer, steering the show to glory and garnishing it with her charm.

With four Primetime Emmy nominations under her belt, and sweeping a Critic’s Choice Award for best show host last year, she’s been a powerhouse.

Beyond looks

When Lakshmi initially joined Top Chef, some corners of the media had their focus on her looks rather than her culinary prowess. The early press was often unfair and sexist, including a Vanity Fair profile and a New York Times review that overlooked her expertise. But as Top Chef evolved, so did the perception of Padma. She rose like a perfect soufflé, establishing herself as a commanding presence who knew her way around both the kitchen and the set.

The show will miss Lakshmi’s flawless delivery, especially when it comes to product placements. Her grace and poise made even the most blatant advertising feel like an integral ingredient in a complex dish.

We’ve seen what Top Chef looked like without Lakshmi. Back in season one, Katie Lee was the host, but when Padma took over in season two, the show got its secret sauce. 

The former model and cookbook author infused Top Chef with the perfect balance of culinary wisdom and on-screen magnetism. Can you imagine anyone else saying “Please pack your knives and go” with just the right blend of empathy and authority? Neither can we!

New ventures

With her departure from Top Chef, Lakshmi is not putting the lid on her creativity. She’s sizzling on other platforms! The star has been serving up some savory social media content, and her memoir, Love, Loss, and What We Ate, is a heartwarming read that dishes on her life’s journey.

But wait, there’s more! Her Hulu show, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, recently released its second season. This travel show is where Padma really gets to spread her wings, taking viewers on a journey through America’s diverse culinary landscape. Here, she’s not just the host but also the audience’s fellow traveler, delving into the rich tapestry of immigrant communities and their delicious contributions to American cuisine.

Culinary farewell

As we bid adieu to Padma’s regal presence on Top Chef, it’s clear that the show will need to find a new flavor to keep its audience salivating. Padma Lakshmi’s combination of charm, authority, and genuine love for food made her more than just a host; she was the heart of the show.

As she takes a step towards new adventures, one can only wonder what surprises she has cooking up her sleeve. Will Top Chef be able to find another host who can whip up the same magic? Only time will tell. 

Until then, here’s a toast to the culinary Queen. The show won’t be the same, nor reality TV for that matter.


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