For two decades, Padma Lakshmi has won our hearts and stomachs with her love of food.
During this year’s Critics Choice Real TV Awards, that love won her three awards. She took home Best Show Host for “Top Chef” and “Taste the Nation,” and she also accepted two awards for the “Top Chef” cast — Best Culinary Show and Best Competition Series.
Later, her Hulu series “Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition” won a James Beard Media Award for Visual Media-Long Form.
While she gained much fame through “Top Chef,” “Taste the Nation” was more of a personal project for her that she started in 2020 during the contentious political climate in the Untied States.
“I’m an immigrant. I’m from India but I’m an American citizen. I came here when I was four,” she explained. “I grew up in immigrant communities both in New York and Los Angeles, and I just didn’t feel that immigrants were being represented like they really are.”
Lakshmi said she used the Hulu series to show how immigrants shape the United States by using food as a vehicle of that message.
“I just wanted to do a program that showed various types of immigrants who have come here over generations, who have really shaped this country, what their food is like, what their communities are like and what issues are specific to them but also universal to all Americans,” she explained.
Whenever Lakshmi discovers a new culinary delight, she doesn’t hesitate to let everyone in on the deliciousness. Her latest venture: yogurt.
The former model has partnered with Dah!, a play off the Indian yogurt spelled dahi. The India-inspired yogurt brand has a line of lassi, which is a staple in Indian cuisine. She personally became a fan after the little ones in her family almost devoured all the bottles shipped to her from the company’s co-owner.
“I had all my nephews and cousins over, along with my daughter, and they kept going back in the fridge and taking these bottles and just drinking them straight,” she said.
While the lassi may taste delicious, the way this yogurt is made has many health benefits. “What makes this yogurt special, is that it’s made the Indian way,” she said. Traditional dahi is known for its probiotic qualities, which is important for overall health.
Dahi is available at select supermarkets and online.
Season 19 of “Top Chef” is on Peacock and “Taste the Nation” is streaming on Hulu.