Padma Lakshmi (Author, Model, Chef, Reality Show Star)
Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan was born in Chennai, India on September 1, 1970. She is an author, actress, model, television host and executive producer. Her debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the "Best First Book" award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.
In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Her debut memoir Love, Loss and What We Ate was released on International Women's Day, March 8, 2016.
When she was 14 years old, a car crash changed her life. Having recently recovered from an illness, and "my mother, who is very religious, took me to temple so we could thank God for making me better," she recalled. The family was returning from the temple when the car was involved in an accident. The crash broke Lakshmi's pelvis and shattered her upper right arm. Her injuries required surgery resulting in a seven-inch scar along her arm. Lakshmi came to embrace her scar after she began modeling, when the mark distinguished her. "The scar became my brand statement," she said.
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